The American Psychiatric Association depathologized trangenderism the other day, thus removing it from the DSM and declassifying it as a mental disease. It should have happened ages ago, although when you consider that the APA only declassified homosexuality in 1990, I suppose we should be glad that it happened at all.
I find that a lot of people in fortunate circumstances rarely believe themselves to be fortunate. Rich white guys who come from rich white families think they’ve done something to deserve their money, names, and educations, and while it may be true that some work hard and study well and some of the cousins who share the same names are irresponsible fuckwits, it shouldn’t be forgotten that one circumstance begets the other, and the actual work/study/non-fuckwit-ness has very little to do with it.
First of all, being white and male is probably the single greatest advantage in the world, and nothing a person does guarantees this for themselves. So, luck. White males are the wealthiest, most powerful, most historically dominant group in history. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t read.
Second, a family with money is a huge advantage that, again, the individual did nothing to achieve, and the individual shouldn’t get or claim credit for anything their parents or grandparents did to build that trust fund (as seriously EVERY RICH KID I’VE EVER KNOWN has tried to do with me). Money pays for better neighborhoods, better schools, and the kind of background that doesn’t involve free lunch and government cheese.
Third, the kind of background that doesn’t involve free lunch and government cheese generally leads to a better secondary education, and possibly post-secondary education, as well. While not very many complete fuckwits can go Ivy League without money (George W. Bush excluded), someone who comes from the kind of money that can be dropped on tuition without requests for assistance from the school (more requests = less income) is likelier to get into an excellent state school at least, and for the most part, these are more comprehensive and result in more degrees than do community colleges.
Fourth, while several of my friends lament their degrees and the student loans incurred while earning them, the fact is that a degree gets you a better-paying job than no degree. I’m proof of that. It’s so much easier to get a decent job with a degree, and so much easier to get a degree with money, and so much easier to come from money if you happen to be born white and male.
See? Of course not all white males, white males with money, or anyone with money, a degree, a good job, et al is just plain lucky. But you’d have to be a fool not to see how one leads to another, and the gigantic sociological advantage a person has simply by virtue of that first step. Which is still lucky, and even though I’m not a male and I didn’t come from money and I don’t have a degree, I know that my own circumstances have made me far luckier than a lot of other people.
Which brings me to the transgender thing. To begin, I consider myself lucky to have been born straight. This isn’t to say that being gay is unfortunate, or that there’s something wrong with gay people. Of course I’m not saying that. I’m not saying that because I’m not an asshole and I don’t think Jesus rode dinosaurs. What I am saying is that legally, I have far more advantages as a heterosexual person, strictly because I happen to be heterosexual. I can get married if I want. I would probably be able to adopt a child fairly easily. I can receive my spouse’s health insurance, no one’s going to fire me for liking dudes, and no major political party is actively trying to take away my basic civil rights (well, they kind of are because I’m a woman, but let’s just not right now).
Considering how lucky I am to have been born heterosexual, let’s consider how much luckier I am to have been born cisgendered, with absolutely no doubt in my mind or my body that I am a female. I cannot fathom how much more difficult my life would be had I been bullied for being gay, or black, or whatever, but to feel so apart from my own physical self to the point that I would have to transition to another gender or just die from an inability to properly express myself is unimaginable for me.
I’m glad the APA has finally acknowledged this, and that it has stopped allowing the “God don’t make no mistakes” contingent to influence actual medical decisions.
Maybe now that transgenderism has made the tiniest step towards acceptance, some of these dumbshit kids on Tumblr can quit pretending to be so different and just pick something. Be gay, be straight, be bi, be transgendered – all of these are legitimate choices. But once you start claiming something outside your species (or reality, I’ve seen both), you may as well petition the APA to evaluate attention whoring. I am sick to death of shit like this:
WHY DOES MY FRENCH TEACHER KEEP FORCING US TO USE MALE AND FEMALE VERBS TYPICAL CISGENDER EDUCATION SYSTEM I AM AN OTHERKIN THIS IS DISCRIMINATION.
No, this is you not wanting to learn French, which is a language far older than something you saw on the Internet claiming it’s perfectly sane for you to consider yourself a half-Hobbit werewolf.