Transsexualism and the Liberal movement: What were the implications?

1 Jan

The liberal movement as it pertains to transsexuality is not in all reality very liberal. Transsexuals are still the outcasts in society as a whole and even within the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) community. While progress has been made to, specifically over the last decade, to begin offering true equality to this segmented and very misunderstood group of people there is a long way to go.

To understand the liberal movements effects on transsexualism it is important to first understand a least the basics of what transsexualism is. There are many people fond of pointing out that transsexualism is simply more than a mental illness. They often assume these people are fetishists or homosexuals that simply wish to be straight, but as the saying goes, gender is between the ears and not the legs. In fact there is an equal portion of post-operative transsexuals that enter into homosexual relationships as in society as a whole only further proving gender identity and sexual orientation are in no way related.

Transsexualism is in fact a a disorder born of the brain but it is not technically an illness. It is most commonly accepted to be a the direct result of a difference of the hypothalamus and BSTC region of the brain due to an imbalance of the hormonal wash during the natal period which causes the body and brain map to develop differently. Dutch studies have upheld this through postmortem studies of the brains of transsexuals. In fact when a CAT scan is viewed it can only tell if a brain is developed in a male or female pattern, not what the physical sex of the body it comes from is.

Over the past twenty five years or so transsexuals have garnered more and more attention, primarily through sensationalistic television such as the Jerry Springer show that played on this condition for ratings and often portrayed these people in a negative light. In fact more often than not transsexuals and transvestites were lumped together with no differentiation although by comparison the conditions are like night and day. With the phenomena of transsexualism becoming more known, and by most counts negatively known, many trans advocates began standing up to fight for their reputation.

With the rise of the Internet came more open exchange of information and the ability of transsexuals to come out even if only virtually. While the transsexual community in America was often looked upon as some sort of freak over the past decade the tide has slowly shifted and legal protections guarding against discrimination have been enacted in a dozen states and even more major cities. Was this the product of the liberal movement? In all honesty the answer is no.

The simple facts are that the legal rights for transsexuals are lagging behind the rest of the LGBT. While it is illegal to discriminate against homosexuals in regards to employment and housing across the U.S., for transsexuals such applies in only twelve states. Homosexuals may enter military service under the flawed Don’t ask/Don’t tell policy but a transsexual may not. In fact the courts have overwhelmingly upheld that insurance companies not be required to cover GRS (Gender reassignment surgery) the only known effective treatment for GID (Gender Identity Disorder) or associated procedures even when not explicitly stated in policies. On rare occasions the insurer does lose, but it is a rarity. In fact in many cases transsexuals in America have fewer rights than illegal immigrants! Imagine that.

The liberal movement has failed to do anything of consequence to allow for transsexuals to receive medical care, equal employment and housing rights, or even the most basic right to self identity without fear of prosecution in many states. While the expression of gender variance is rarely prosecuted in these days, the fact laws are still on the books against it, and at times are randomly enforced as to the whims of the jurisdictions legal entities is horrific. The liberal movement has failed to do a thing in regards to transsexualism.

So you now ask if that is true than how has progress been made? Quite simply progress has been made by medical research advancing and showing this is not the behavior of deranged individuals but a congenital condition. As such many people become more accepting as it is seen this is something beyond a persons control and predetermined before birth. Transsexuals themselves along with the LGB have become more visible and vocal. With more and more members of the LGBT coming out of the closet and showing that we in fact are normal well adjusted people that are vital to the functioning of society acceptance has grown. The rights and advancements gained by transsexuals is the product of the LGBT movement, not the liberal movement. It cannot even be argued all members of the LGBT are liberal and by extension part of the liberal movement as there are many of us whom identify with conservative organizations such as the Log Cabin Republicans.

The liberal movement has not caused a higher incidence of transsexualism in the population. The numbers have remained fairly steady over the time frame transsexualism has been studied. Although at this time there are more people whom have undergone GRS procedures than at any other that is the product of better procedures and global medicine as countries such as Thailand offer safe, effective, and affordable treatment accessible to even those with limited incomes. The amount of preoperative and non-operative transsexuals has almost remained steady. The only thing that has changed is our awareness of them.

In conclusion as a transsexual person I can say the liberal movement has done nothing, or at best very little in relation to transsexualism. It has afforded no advantages, or even simple equality as a human being. While the liberal movement has not been an enemy to the transsexual community, it certainly has not been the friend it professes either.

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