By Valerie Rice | October 24, 2020
There is a group of people in this country that has an astronomical rate of attempted suicide Somewhere between 29 and 50% of these children attempt suicide at least once. Not only that, but there are extreme cases of violence and murder reported against these people. 25% of them have been the victims of violent crimes and 28 have been murdered in the US this year alone. It almost sounds as if we have a marginalized group of people being harassed, hunted, and killed on American soil. Well, we do. The Transgender poulation is the target of hatred and a subversive extermination campaign that is being assisted by the current administration and conservative politicians everywhere. Mental health shouldn’t be political, but I am calling you out. It has to stop. Transgender individuals are PEOPLE, it is not a lifestyle choice, a disease, preference, or a sexuality. Being transgender is the result of an individual being born with the wrong body. It happens. There is no debate.
First of all, I am going to use a little science to back up my statements. Y’all ready for this? Transgender individuals are neurodevelopmentally different from cisgender individuals in both cortical thickness and a “disconnect of fronto-parietal networks implicated in own-body self-referential processing, presenting thickening in the mesial prefrontal and precuneus cortex as the neuroanatomical correlates of fronto-parietal networks implicated in own-body self-referential processing, presenting thickening in the mesial prefrontal and precuneus cortex (Uribe et al., 2020, 2).”
But that’s not all! Even more scans show an overlap in female assigned connections in the right hemisphere involving body ownership when it comes to the transgender male brain that is not present in the cisgender male brain, meaning that the neurological connectivity for gender is hardwired and not a matter of choice, specially in MTF individuals (Burke et al., 2017, 7). You are welcome! Now that we have cleared THAT up, and there is no argument against the OBVIOUS fact that transgender individuals are literally born with genitals that do not match their brains, let’s move on.
Being transgender is not a new thing. It is not a fad or a phase. And, of course, it is never going away. Once upon an ancient time, the third gender was a sacred one. Many transgender people were religious leaders and healers. There are accounts of transgender people being highly sought after lovers and scholars. It was later, with the introduction of Christianity and the moral wars that it became dangerous to be transgender in Europe. As religion became the primary form of control over society and laws came from church leaders, a lOT of things started to change.
Native Americans were the last culture to hold out reverence for transgender people, and in some cases, they still do. It wasn’t until 1969, after centuries of murder and oppression, that Marsha P. Johnson started the Stonewall riots. This amazing woman of color, a self proclaimed drag queen, and the mother of PRIDE, started us on the path back to acceptance. But it hasn’t been easy and we haven’t gone very far. Not even in the LGBTQIA community; and we owe her everything, marriage equality included, that we enjoy today.
No thanks to the Trump administration and the republicans we have running rampant in the house and Senate, Transgender people are living under constant threat and daily, legal, discrimination. How so? Well, let me tell you. Trump tweeted a law that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military. He also tried to prevent service members from healthcare related to their transition care. Luckily, he has been blocked by judges and it is tied up in courts. This is blatant discrimination. As is the religious freedom act. While on the surface it sounds like a good idea, hell, it uses the word “freedom,” but in reality it allows employers, landlords, doctors, government officials, and everyone else to refuse services to anyone who doesn’t follow their religion. I recall a discussion that happened back in grad school about this issue. We were learning about the Counseling Code of Ethics and one of my fellow students asked the professor what to do if she had a client who was gay. She was a Christian, you see, and didn’t believe in gay people. Do you know what his answer was? “Pick a different career, your religion doesn’t belong here.”
And he’s right. It doesn’t matter what your personal beliefs are, they do not get to interfere with established ethical code. She dropped out, BTW. Look, IDGAF what your religion is, but don’t push it on others, and don’t allow it to turn you into a bully. A law is nothing more than popular opinion, or more accurately, an opinion held by whoever has the most money. It has very little to do with what is ethical. Laws should follow science and care for the people. But they don’t.
Alright, I have overwhelmed you quite a bit with this. But I’m only a little bit sorry. There is so much more to be said, and I will probably revisit this topic again in the future. If you take nothing else away, just remember that transgender people are the way they are because of birth. Stop the hate, advocate for what is RIGHT, please, let’s make our world a better place for everyone. I really think we can do this if we work together.
Burke, S. M., Manzouri, A. H., & Savic, I. (2017, December). Structural connections in the brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation. Scientific Reports, 7(17954), 8-15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17352-8
Uribe, C., Junque, C., Gomez-Gild, E., Abosa, A., Mueller, S. C., & Guillamon, A. (2020, May). Brain network interactions in transgender individuals with gender