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  •  you're standing at the frontier, not only of... (0+ / 0-)

    ... civil rights, but of the evolution of the human mind.

    See also my just-posted reply to your other comment.

    ---

    To recall part of that reply:  Transgender reality challenges core assumptions about what is real in human existence, what is innate, and what is subject to change through sheer force of will to bring one's outward life into alignment with one's inner reality.  It challenges the conditionality of love that hinges upon sexuality, with the unconditionality of love that hinges upon the heart, mind, soul, and character of a person.  

    ---

    That's a leap that few today are even equipped to make.  It's an evolutionary leap in the nature of the human mind, from love that's based in sexuality, to love that's based in the mind and the character of a person.  It challenges deeply-rooted instincts that have been necessary for the propagation of the species, right up to present times when what threatens the species isn't an inability to propagate but the effects of propagating all too successfully.  

    The closest previous struggle was the struggle for inter-racial marriage, because the "mixing of races" challenges the very identity as well as the power of those who benefit from being able to hold others down based upon something as visible as color.  

    But consider how slowly even progressives change their attitudes about what is immutable about humans, and about the relationship of surgery to the nature of one's humanity:

    Consider all the callous jokes about Dick Cheney, that make reference to his use of an artificial heart: these still play upon the prejudices that arise from the conflation of the idea of "heart as blood-pumping organ" with the idea of "heart as metaphor for human feeling."  

    Those jokes demonstrate a fear of Cheney as monster, as larger-than-life, and more powerful than ordinary humans.  But the reality is that Cheney is a frail old man who has lived his entire life in a state of abject terror of his own mortality: from his youthful draft evasion to his frequent heart attacks to his ultimate reliance upon a piece of imperfect technology for his tenuous lease on life.  

    That "monster" turns out to be a relative weakling, and his superhuman powers turn out to be a pure illusion of our own fear: our fears that are nothing more than the contagious uptake of his own state of permanent fear.

    And here we are only talking about the replacement of an internal organ.  Transgender reality that includes gender surgery, is even more difficult for most people to grasp.

    And yet: there was a time when male erectile dysfunction was referred to as "impotence" (literally: powerlessness), and when psychiatric depression was an unmentionable subject, nearly taboo due to its apparently pervasive resistance to treatment.  There was a time, but is no longer, because both of those taboos were swept away in the relative eye-blink of the time it took for reliable treatments to become widely available.  

    The reliability of those treatments is such that today both conditions are spoken of in the same manner as any other ordinary medical condition that's fixed with pills.  The "stigma" that formerly attached to each, is now considered a quaint superstition of an earlier era.

    So it's inevitable that transgender reality will follow much the same path, as a direct outcome of genetic medicine.  When two old friends meet up for the first time in years, to discover that one of them has switched genders, the reaction will be more along the lines of "holy cow!, you look just wonderful!" and a big mutual hug.  

    Between now and then, are the un-asked-for struggles of pioneers such as yourself, both the bold and the reluctant.  But part of that struggle is going to involve making people recognize that the future of genetic medicine is coming whether they like it or not, and gender will be one of the many things that can be changed at will with a course of prescriptions.  

    I had a Phys Ed instructor in high school in the late 70s, who got at this topic indirectly, and perhaps un-intentionally, when he gave the class a brief lecture and thought-exercise.

    Basically he asked this:  If a close friend got injured in war or on the job, such that he lost an arm or a leg, would he still be the same person?  What if he lost both arms and both legs?  What is it about a person, that you appreciate most as a friend?  

    And so it goes for pants and dresses, penises and vaginas: what is it about a person, that anyone respects and appreciates most as a friend, and, one might ask, what is it that one loves about someone else?  

    So there's a way forward.  Ask people the same questions that my phys ed instructor asked.  Don't make the overt connection to transgender reality.  Let them figure that out for themselves.  When they do, they might have a lightbulb go on in their heads.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 09:41:13 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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