What is Transgenderism?

Brian Clowes
July 12, 2020
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child." - P.J. O’Rourke 1 .

While those fortunate few who still possessed a lingering sense of reality cringed at the bizarre photo of Bruce Jenner and the subtitle "Call Me Caitlyn" on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2015, the press swooned over him and President Barack Obama phoned him personally to offer his congratulations for being so "courageous."

Apparently undergoing body modification surgery qualifies one as a "hero" these days.


Just as homophiles have deliberately attempted to confuse the terms "sex" and "gender" and use them interchangeably, they have done the same with the terms "transgender" and "transsexual."

Merriam-Webster 's describes a "transgendered" person as a person who "identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person's sex at birth."

It identifies a "transsexual" person as "a person who tries to look, dress, and act like a member of the opposite sex; especially : someone who medically changes himself or herself into a member of the opposite sex." However, this definition from a supposedly authoritative source is inaccurate and unscientific; no matter how much surgery a person undergoes, and regardless of how much he or she appears to be a member of the opposite sex, the person will always remain genetically a member of his or her original sex. DNA testing is the absolute last word on identifying various species and their characteristics, including their sex - and nobody can change their DNA. Men will always be XY and women will always be XX.

It is thus scientifically accurate to assert that there has never in history been a successful sex-change operation. Therefore, the category "transsexual" simply does not exist. Only the outward appearance of the person can be altered; the core - the personality, the mind, the soul - remains the same.

"But wait!," the "trans" activist may say. "Someone who transitions from male to female may still technically be male. But his gender was female all along because he was emotionally and mentally a female." To summarize, the trans activists are asserting that people have a female or male sex, which is innate and unchangeable, and a "gender," the sex that one "identifies" as.

Adding to the confusion is the rare category of "intersex," those people who are born with both male and female genitalia. Just as pro-abortionists and euthanasia pushers use the extreme "hard cases" to justify the wide availability of abortion and assisted suicide, trans activists sometimes attempt to use extremely rare "intersex" cases to promote transgenderism.

A person is intersex when born neither XX (female) nor XY (male). Examples are Klinefelter (XXY) syndrome, androgen insensitivity syndrome, and all of the other sex variations, which account for about 1 in 600 births. Even in most of these cases, symptoms are manageable, with the person being able to live a relatively normal life.

Some trans activists claim that the existence of intersex individuals somehow legitimizes their movement. However, at least 99.7% of persons born are clearly either male or female. The huge majority of those who identify themselves as transgender have perfectly normal reproductive systems. This means that the category of "intersex" is entirely irrelevant to the debate over transgenderism. 2

In order to understand and address this confusing issue, we should first review some background information.

The Beginning of the Trans Movement

The story of transgenderism has been developing for more than half a century. The very concept of "sex-change" operations could only be dreamed up by a deranged group of sex-mad doctors - in this case, John Money, Harry Benjamin, and the infamous Alfred Kinsey.

The first alleged "sex-change" surgeries were performed in the late 1950s and increased in frequency over the next 25 years. These operations were done almost exclusively in university-based specialty clinics for some who had serious psychiatric issues and had received counseling. Those who had undergone the procedure were very carefully monitored to see if their surgeries were beneficial to them. The surgeon-researchers finally concluded that the procedures were both physically and psychologically harmful and ceased performing them. Another consideration was the discussion about whether or not "sex-change" operations were really medicine, since the purpose of medicine is to restore proper function to bodily systems. Many of the pioneers believed that these procedures fell into the category of mere cosmetic surgery.

Soon after, for-profit private clinics began performing sex-change operations, not out of necessity but as a kind of elective body modification. These doctors rarely did an extensive psychological work-up. Nor did they follow up on their patients, and cases of documented serious mental complications - many ending in suicide - began to pile up. Like both abortion and fetal organ cell harvesting, this dark corner of medicine is unregulated and highly profitable, and has thus become what one transgender person calls the "sex change industry."

Catastrophe-One Willing Victim at a Time

The attempted suicide rate among transgendered people is an incredible 41%, nine times the national average of 4.6%. 3 Transline, a suicide hotline for transgender and transsexual people, was swamped with more than 20,000 calls during its first nine months of operation. Greta Martela, a lesbian who founded the hotline, said, "With 41% attempting suicide, you have to assume something's just not working for transgender folks." 4

Transgender activists, of course, attribute this to "transphobia" and rejection by society, and work actively to suppress any public expressions of post-surgery regret in the same manner as pro-abortionists suppress evidence regarding the existence of post-abortion syndrome.

Alan Finch, who regretted his surgery and founded a group called "Gender Menders," became one of the victims of the censors. He campaigned against the sex change industry, and immediately became the target of leading trans activists, who will not tolerate anyone being anything less than vocally ecstatic with their "transition." The activists claimed that there are no known cases of regret, and some even said that Finch "should be shot."5

As any psychologist knows, repression actually leads to more mental problems. Former transgender activist Walt Heyer has complained:

Modern transgender activists, the descendants of Kinsey, Benjamin, and John Money, keep alive the practice of medically unnecessary gender-change surgery by controlling the flow of published information and by squelching research and personal stories that tell of the regret, unhappiness, and suicide experienced by those who undergo such surgery. Negative outcomes are only acknowledged as a way to blame society for its transphobia. 6

As with homophiles, and questioning of the transgendered "wisdom" is met with reflexive outrage and attempts to smear opponents and censor their message.

There are few people more qualified to speak on the topic of transgenderism than Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. McHugh wrote a 2014 editorial in The Wall Street Journal asserting that gender confusion is a mental illness like bulimia and should not be treated with surgery.

The left reacted with its usual hysteria. Media Matters for America accused him of "ignoring medical consensus and arguing that transgender patients should be denied medically necessary treatment" (gender reassignment). Another writer called McHugh's views "transphobic," "transgender denialism," and "a form of science denialism….as climate change deniers reject overwhelming consensus about the damage we have done to the environment." 7

McHugh was one of the original participants in the first "sex-change" operations in the USA and has decades of experience in this area, while his critics' only qualification to comment on the subject is their outraged feelings.

The most extensive study of the psychiatric impacts of "sex reassignment" surgery, performed in Sweden, found:

Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population….[Ten] years after having the surgery, the transgendered began to experience increasing mental difficulties. Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable non-transgender population.

The article goes on to suggest that there should be better psychiatric care for people after they "transition," but this makes little sense; why not simply discourage the procedure that causes the problem in the first place? 8

We would do very well to heed the bleak warning delivered by former tennis champion Renée Richards, one of the first transsexuals in the United States:

If there was a drug that I could have taken that would have reduced the pressure, I would have been better off staying the way I was - a totally intact person. I know deep down that I'm a second-class woman. I get a lot of inquiries from would-be transsexuals, but I don't want anyone to hold me out as an example to follow. Today there are better choices, including medication, for dealing with the compulsion to cross dress and the depression that comes from gender confusion. As far as being fulfilled as a woman, I'm not as fulfilled as I dreamed of being. I get a lot of letters from people who are considering having this operation…and I discourage them all. 9

My own survey of the life spans of homosexuals, described previously in this series, found that 61 male "transgendered" people died at an average age of only 41, thus losing an average of 35 years of life. An incredible two-thirds of these deaths were violent in nature: murder, suicide and accident.

Perhaps multimillionaire celebrity Bruce "Caitlyn" Jenner, who enjoys the adulation of misguided millions, will have no problem with his new identity. But what about the person who is encouraged to undergo the "change" by his example, and scrapes together a few thousand dollars to go to a second-rate doctor in the United States - or even flies off to Thailand to get the procedure done?

Many transgender patients have said they realized, too late, that "sex change" operations did not live up to their lavish promises, and that the negative side effects were deliberately withheld from them. Australian transsexual Alan Finch explained:

You fundamentally can't change sex….The surgery doesn't alter you genetically. It's genital mutilation. I've never been a woman, just Alan. It's all been a terrible misadventure….The analogy I use about giving surgery to someone desperate to change sex is it's a bit like offering liposuction to an anorexic." 10

As we have seen, "trans" activists do everything in their power to shout down, censor and intimidate people who oppose so-called "sex change" surgery, in the same manner that homosexual activists censor opponents of special rights.

As with homosexual activists, the rights of others simply do not exist for the trans activists. For example, in the dozen or so publicized cases of high school boys who felt like girls, offers by school administrators to provide a private restroom were never good enough for these self-worshipping students. They always demand to use the girl's restrooms, even if this caused mental and psychological trauma to many of the girls.

Principles such as the right to privacy, the right to dissent, the right to choose and the right to discuss medical and psychiatric procedures with one's own physicians are just tools to gain advantages in the hands of Culture of Death activists, and can be discarded when they are not useful.

We must refuse to comply with the ridiculous demands of a tiny minority of extremists. When we address men with female pronouns or females with male pronouns, we contribute to our culture's confusion about sexuality and the nature of the human person, which is leaving millions of casualties in its wake. Why should everyone else always capitulate to the demands of (in this case) the two-tenths of one percent?

This is like encouraging a person with anorexia to think of themselves as fat and encouraging them to continue with their delusion. When our self-perceptions are not in accord with reality, disaster will strike. This ranges from humiliation (in the case of the young man who thinks that he is much more attractive to the ladies than he really is) to aggravated severe mental problems ending in suicide.

Should We Interfere with the Trans Movement?

Pro-gay "marriage" activists often taunt pro-family people by demanding to know how gay "marriages" would affect them. Trans activists are doing exactly the same thing when they ask "How does a man identifying as a woman affect you?"

This would be a difficult question to answer if the homosexual and trans activists considered the rights of others. But they are actively working to secure taxpayer funding of all "sex-change" operations (at a lifetime cost of half a million dollars apiece); trying to force schools and other public institutions to allow men to use women's restrooms, a sure recipe for sexual abuse; and demanding that trans people be able to play on sports teams of the sex they identify with. This is particularly unfair to girls when a boy who identifies as female demands to be on their team.

They also demand concessions that have much more diffuse and equally serious consequences - that we not refer to infants as male or female so as not to impose upon them a gender they might not identify with in the future; that we ban conversion therapy, even if some people desperately want and need it; and that we refer to everyone with gender-neutral pronouns such as "xe," "xyr" or "zir." 11

In summary, how a man identifying as a woman or vice-versa will personally affect you or me is a typical distraction of the Culture of Death. It is irrelevant. The question is: will we make public policy that teaches the truth about the human person and human sexuality, or will we descend further and further into confusion, destroying more and more lives, becoming more and more unhappy, and believing yet another lie promoted by the Culture of Death?

The Insanity We're Approaching

I have spent half of my life in the pro-life and pro-family movements, and I have learned that one thing you never, ever say is "now I've seen it all!" But be warned: if we can alter our exterior appearance to look like a member of the opposite sex, what is to stop us from going further?

Some pro-family people believe that those who undergo self-mutilation to appear to be a member of the opposite sex are the last word in self-absorbed social anarchism. But anyone who thinks this is in for a rude surprise. When it comes to the Culture of Death, there is always something even more mind-addling and repulsive crouching right around the next corner.

The next step in special rights after transgenderism is the "transabled" movement. Like transgenders, these people feel as if their bodies do not fit their image of what they should be. They imagine themselves as amputees or as blind or deaf people and seek out those few shady "doctors" who will surgically remove an arm or a leg or destroy their vision or hearing. They complain that this activity is illegal, and that they are being driven into the "back alley" ( sound familiar? ) and are being forced to crush or mangle their limbs so that they can visit an emergency room to have the amputations or other mutilations completed, much as women used to self-induce abortions and then get them completed in ERs.

Not surprisingly, many homosexual leaders and pro-abortionists who support "transablism" have dusted off the old " my body, my choice " slogan. Dan Savage said, "Other people's bodies - and other people's body parts - are theirs, not yours. And if someone needs to change or even remove some part(s) of their body to be who they are and to be happy and to be healthy, they should have that right."

This mental condition is referred to as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). Its advocates describe it as just another variety of "body diversity" - much like transgenderism. But many psychiatrists believe that "transablist" individuals are merely seeking the constant attention and sympathy that a severe handicap brings, a desire that should not be indulged or encouraged. It is even possible that these people might become addicted to the attention they receive.

Finally (for now, at least), we have the "Mad Pride" movement, which celebrates mental illnesses, and whose members often look upon their problems as "super powers." One of the "Mad Pride" groups, the Icarus Project, describes itself as

…a support network and media project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.

The motto of "Mad Pride" is "The Right to Be Free…The Right to Be Me." As with other "trans" groups, the rights of others are irrelevant, even if people with certain severe mental illnesses who are striving to "be me" endanger the lives of other people.

The fundamental problem is that transgenders/"transsexuals," transabled and "mad pride" people have lost the ability to distinguish between their self-image and reality. All of us have this problem to a certain extent, and it is the source of many of our personal difficulties. But mentally healthy people can identify such areas of concern and work to resolve them. Now we have organized groups of people who are delusional about their own identities, and who expect everyone else to share in their fantasies under pain of ridicule and retaliation.

Final Thoughts

The Culture of Death turns everything inside-out and upside-down. The power elite celebrate "trans" surgery as a necessary medical procedure (when it is actually not medicine at all, but merely elective cosmetic surgery). At the same time, the elite attempts to ban real medicine in the form of psychological therapy that can help to heal a disordered condition. This Gender Identity Disorder (GID) was recognized as a mental illness in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV . In 2013, the APA published the DSM-V, which changed the term "Gender Identity Disorder" to "gender dysphoria," and dropped it as a mental illness. Like the APA's craven capitulation over homosexuality, this was a purely political move carried out under organized political pressure.

If perception is reality, how do we approach the problems of people who claim that they are part animal, part alien or part machine? The latter, believe it or not, have already begun to slowly encroach on the public consciousness; the frontline troops of the "transhumanist" movement are already criticizing the "fleshists" who oppose them in their journals, their websites and their conferences.

What if a person feels like a demon trapped in a mortal human's body? Try "demon body modification" under Google images if you want an eyeful.

This madness will not end until our perceptions are taught to mold themselves to reality. Is this not the purpose of all true education? Is this not the foundation of our holy Catholic Faith?