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Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Response To Dr. Gagnon: Don't Call Yourself An Expert Unless You Know What You're Talking About

[CONTENT WARNING: Ignorance and Transphobia]

            The other day, my oldest sister sent me a message on facebook with a video, asking if I had heard of Dr. Gagnon. Given the nature of my discussions with her, I immediately knew that the video would be about transgenderism. I wasn’t sure how positive or negative it would be but I’m always open to listening to people talk about the topic, even if I disagree. So, I clicked the video hoping it might be something interesting, like someone that researched the topic and such. Sadly, I was horribly disappointed, and instead head some back and forth between two people that clearly have done no research and have no clue what they’re talking about. And it’s not even just about opinions, he’s wrong on so many things factually. Like, they say things that are literally objectively wrong. So, I’m going to pull things throughout the video to respond to to give you an idea.

“He[sic] wants to be known as Chelsea Manning even though he’s[sic] a man.”

            First of all, oh no, media daring to respect someone’s identity and use “she?” They say this like it’s some sort of sign of doomsday. And of course they continue to misgender Chelsea as “he.” My only response here is, no dear radio host, Chelsea is a woman. End of story. K? Moving on.

“Confused? Yeah, a lot of us are.”

            Oh shut the hell up. Could you at least try to seem respectful when discussing this? “Something I don’t understand? Must be evil and bad, let’s poke fun at it.” You know what might help you understand? Actually researching and knowing what you’re talking about.

“What are we to think of transgenderism, these new forms of aberrant sexuality…”

            Whoa whoa whoa, no one mentioned sexuality here. If you had even a fraction of understanding of what transgenderism is, you would understand it’s not sexuality. Who I see myself as has nothing to do with who I’m attracted to. It’s not that hard to understand. I know people who are trans that like women, some that like men, some that are bisexual, it has nothing to do with sexuality, who we’re attracted to. I’m not even a minute in and I know you don’t know what you’re talking about.

They say we’re not in a good place because the media respects Chelsea Manning’s wish to be called “she”

            Oh no, respecting people’s wishes and identities, we must be in a horrible place! Eyeroll

“Society sees sex and gender differences as inconsequential”

            Absolutely not. Of course they’re consequential! They shape how our society views people! You know what makes them consequential? The huge suicide and murder rates. A consequence of me being trans is that I have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered. Pretty big consequence there. I know, that’s not what you meant by consequential, but the point being no, we don’t view it as inconsequential, that would be impossible in a society that labels us freaks.

“Transgenderism is essentially an extreme form of homosexuality.”

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO, HOLY WHAT? NO, NO NO, NO NO NO NO NO. SAY IT WITH ME. NO, NOOOOOOO, NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO. Read this in the tune of a grandfather clock
NO NO NO NO
NO NO NO NO
NO NO NO NO
NO NO NO NO
NNNOOOOOO
NNNNOOOOOO
NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
            Seriously, an expert? You think of yourself as an expert? This sentence is so wrong, I’m not even sure where to begin. Repeat after me Dr. Gagnon.
YOUR GENDER AND YOUR SEXUALITY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME, AT ALL, IN ANY WAY, NO, NOPE, NOTHING.
THEY
ARE
DIFFERENT
HOW CAN ONE PERSON BE SO WRONG?
            It’s seriously not hard to understand. How you see yourself as and who you’re attracted to are different. Different. Diiiiiffferrrreeeeeent. SERIOUSLY, I CAN’T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH TIMES HOW WRONG THIS SENTENCE IS.

“It’s a complaint towards the creator for making one as male or female.”

            Now this one is more complicated and I can’t speak for all trans people. However, I don’t “blame God” for how he made me or anything like that. I see it as being something that went wrong at birth, just like any other birth problem. Unless you’re gonna say fixing a birth deformity is “complaining against the creator for how he created you.” Oh, also, people that are gay don’t necessarily have any problem with the gender they were assigned at birth. Unless they’re trans and gay. Also this entirely leaves out the possibility of bisexuals. This is so oversimplified you can’t have any rational discussion based on it.

“[Transgenderism] is a complete denial of the integrity of one’s sex or gender.”

            More ways I can tell he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. See, gender and sex are different things. And this isn’t some opinion, this is a well-established scientific fact. See, sex is referring to your genitals, your chromosomes, the sexually dimorphic parts of your body. Gender, however, is a socially constructed issue. It is in how we identify with each other and groups and our sex. This manifests in ways such as gender roles, gender expression, and gender identity, the extent to which we identify with male or female. Most people identify with their birth sex, but this isn’t always the case. And we end up with many mixes with feminine guys, masculine girls, etc. Gender is a very complicated social construction that shapes how we relate, where as sex is the biology. Sex is a very complicated thing that isn’t a neat “male/female” dichotomy. Even in people that we would very easily say “male” or “female” their biological sex may not be that simple. This discussion oversimplifies it all.

They actually mention intersex individuals!
           
            So I mean, they have that going for them.

The refer to Chelsea Manning receiving hormone therapy as “It’s turning into bizzaro world.”

            Really? Really? You’re gonna be that ridiculous about it? Hey, hostess, us learning about things and adjusting our approach and thoughts on them, just cause they disagree with you, doesn’t make it “bizzaro world.” We have a TON of research on this topic to back up our views. It’s not like this is a sudden IGNORE EVERYTHING approach. This may be shocking to you but people that hold views different than yours probably have just as much of a nuanced view and approach as you do.

They claim someone may be trans because of social influence, child rearing or peer relations.
            Yeah, here’s the thing… you need to back that up with evidence. You can’t just say it like it’s some objective truth. In fact, we studied this and looked at possible influences. Boys that were born with a rare defect were once given surgery to be female and raised as female… and they still identified as male and insister they were boys. So, just saying this probably isn’t related to things like that. Since apparently even when they have LITERALLY NO REASON TO BELIEVE THEY ARE MALE, they still realize they’re male. Also, we have a ton of research that says it’s simply a part of who we are.

Brawaeys, A. & Gijs, L. (2007). Surgical Treatment of Gender Dysphoria in Adults and
Adolescents: Recent Developments, Effectiveness, and Challenges. Annual Review of Sex Research 18 (178–224).

Chung, W. C., De Vries, G. J., & Swaab, D. F. (2002). Sexual differentiation of the bed nucleus

of the stria terminalis in humans may extend into adulthood [Abstract]. The journal of neuroscience, 22(3), 1027-1033. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11826131

Coolidge, F., Thede, L., & Young, S. (2002). The Heritability of Gender Identity
Disorder in a Child and Adolescent Twin Sample [Abstract]. Behavior Genetics 32(4): 251–257 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12211624

Garcia-Falgueras, A., & Swaab, D. F. (2008). A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate

nucleus: relationship to gender identity [Abstract]. Brain: A journal of neurology, 131(12), 3132-3146. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18980961

Gaser, C., Hamilton, L. S., Luders, E., Narr, K. L., Sanchez, F. J., Toga, A. W., & Vilain, E.

(2009). Regional gray matter variation in male-to-female transsexualism [Abstract]. Neuroimage, 46(4), 904-907. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754583/

Gooren, L. (2006). The biology of human psychosexual differentiation [Abstract]. Hormones
and behavior, 50(4), 589-601. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16870186

Gooren, L. J., Hofman, M. A., Kruijver, F. P., Pool, C. W., Swaab, D. F., & Zhou, J. N. (2000).

Male-to-female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus [Abstract]. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 85(5), 2034-2041. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10843193

Gooren, L. J., Hofman, M. A.,  Swaab, D. F., & Zhou, J. N. (1995). A sex difference in the
human brain and its relation to transsexuality [Abstract]. Nature, 378(6552), 68-70. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7477289
Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., & Tanis J. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A report of the
national transgender discrimination survey. http://endtransdiscrimination.org/PDFs/NTDS_Report.pdf
Greist, J. H., Jefferson, J. W., & Spitzer, R. L. (Eds.). (1982). Treatment of mental disorders.
Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.
Solomon, A. (2012). Far from the tree: Parents, children, and the search for identity. New York,
NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

They claim we don’t think hormones, bodies, or brain structure matter.

            Fun fact, they do matter, and we definitely think that. If I didn’t think hormones mattered, I wouldn’t be on hormone replacement therapy. If I didn’t think the body mattered, I wouldn’t hate my body being male so much. Oh, and you point to sexually dimorphic parts of the brain? Uhhhhh

Brawaeys, A. & Gijs, L. (2007). Surgical Treatment of Gender Dysphoria in Adults and
Adolescents: Recent Developments, Effectiveness, and Challenges. Annual Review of Sex Research 18 (178–224).

Chung, W. C., De Vries, G. J., & Swaab, D. F. (2002). Sexual differentiation of the bed nucleus

of the stria terminalis in humans may extend into adulthood [Abstract]. The journal of neuroscience, 22(3), 1027-1033. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11826131

Coolidge, F., Thede, L., & Young, S. (2002). The Heritability of Gender Identity
Disorder in a Child and Adolescent Twin Sample [Abstract]. Behavior Genetics 32(4): 251–257 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12211624

Garcia-Falgueras, A., & Swaab, D. F. (2008). A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate

nucleus: relationship to gender identity [Abstract]. Brain: A journal of neurology, 131(12), 3132-3146. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18980961

Gaser, C., Hamilton, L. S., Luders, E., Narr, K. L., Sanchez, F. J., Toga, A. W., & Vilain, E.

(2009). Regional gray matter variation in male-to-female transsexualism [Abstract]. Neuroimage, 46(4), 904-907. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754583/

Gooren, L. (2006). The biology of human psychosexual differentiation [Abstract]. Hormones
and behavior, 50(4), 589-601. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16870186

Gooren, L. J., Hofman, M. A., Kruijver, F. P., Pool, C. W., Swaab, D. F., & Zhou, J. N. (2000).

Male-to-female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus [Abstract]. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 85(5), 2034-2041. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10843193

Gooren, L. J., Hofman, M. A.,  Swaab, D. F., & Zhou, J. N. (1995). A sex difference in the
human brain and its relation to transsexuality [Abstract]. Nature, 378(6552), 68-70. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7477289
Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., & Tanis J. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A report of the
national transgender discrimination survey. http://endtransdiscrimination.org/PDFs/NTDS_Report.pdf
Greist, J. H., Jefferson, J. W., & Spitzer, R. L. (Eds.). (1982). Treatment of mental disorders.
Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.
Solomon, A. (2012). Far from the tree: Parents, children, and the search for identity. New York,
NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

            Huh, well whaddya know, trans people’s brains match their gender identity rather than their birth sex so uhh… WE REALIZE IT MATTERS.

Gnosticism

            No, this is nothing to do with Gnosticism. And as mentioned above, we’re not “anti-body” or ignoring the body or saying it’s no consequence.

“Studies have been done on male-to-female transsexuals and their views of casual sex.”

            Aside from the citation needed, that has way more to do with what we’re taught as a society and how society views male and female sexuality. That’s not a hard ingrained biological truth. And you would agree I hope that men aren’t just “hardwired to like casual sex.” (Afterall, then you’d need to blame God for doing that.) That’s a social issue that has nothing to do with someone’s biological sex.

“To transgenders”

            Transgender is an adjective, not a noun. Learn grammar.

“Malakoi, Greek term for ‘soft male’”

            Well for one, good thing I’m not male J Also this leaves out people that are female-to-male. But even ignoring that, this word is more complicated than he makes it sound. This word and “arsenokoitai” are debated because… Paul’s writings are literally the only place we see them. So it’s hard to determine what exactly is meant by them. A common understanding is that these two words pair to mean the “active” and “passive” partners in homosexual intercourse. But even ignoring that, it’s what he says after that gets me.
            “Men who actively feminize themselves to become partners for other men.” Well for one, gay people don’t necessarily feminize themselves. They don’t even need to necessarily be feminine at all. Also, trans people aren’t necessarily going to have those attraction patterns. There are people that are male-to-female that are attracted to women. Are you going to say they’re feminizing themselves to become partners with women?
            IT’S NOT ABOUT WHO WE’RE ATTRACTED TO, IT’S ABOUT HOW WE SEE OURSELVES. WHY DO YOU NOT GET THIS? Who I’m attracted to has nothing Nothing NOTHING to do with me being trans. Got it? Got it.

Deuteronomy 22

            Ok, apparently you actually even suck at teaching the Bible. Because you should know full well that the Deuteronomic law was given specifically to the Israelites at a time in which it was essential to separate themselves from pagan cultures. It is not something given to the people of today. But that’s just the beginning of the problem.
            Another problem is that cross-dressing has nothing to do with transgenderism. There are guys that like to cross-dress that are completely heterosexual. I view myself as female and I like cargo pants. What someone wears has nothing to do with their gender identity. Wearing a dress doesn’t make someone a woman, just like me wearing cargo pants doesn’t make me a man.
            Also, what “cross-dressing” is is totally socially arbitrary. What we view as “male” and “female” clothes is socially made up. It doesn’t actually mean anything. And cross-dressing then would be different than cross-dressing now cause… they’re clothes. They don’t have an objective gender, it’s fabric. But please, do go on you supposed “expert”

“Jesus’s statement on eunuchs”

            Do you uhhh… not remember what that statement is? Jesus praises eunuchs. He says there are those born that way, those who were made eunuchs by others, and those who make themselves that way for the kingdom of God. The one who can accept it SHOULD accept it. So umm… if anything, this would support trans people. I personally, however, don’t think this is talking about trans people at all and is talking about literally people that are asexual or castrated for slavery or servitude in general.

He recommends people that already have surgery detransition and have more surgery

            THIS IS A BAD IDEA, A HORRIBLE IDEA. These surgeries are complicated for one, but also doing this could be literally dangerous for the persons well-being, including their psychological well-being. THIS IS A BAD IDEA, DON’T LISTEN TO HIM, THIS IS A HORRIBLE IDEA THAT WOULD DAMAGE MANY PEOPLE.

“The person has denied the way that God has made them.”

            “If you have surgery to fix a congenital defect or abnormality, you are denying the way God has made you. Now shut up and deal with that clubbed foot.”

She mentions bigender and pangender and such and then says “How can we have a conversation about sexuality”

            Well first of all, ya don’t. Because this has nothing to do with sexuality. I don’t get how you don’t understand that. As for non-binary gender identities, that’s a whole other ball game that I don’t have the time to go into right now. But uhhh, it’s not sexuality. Get that through your thick skull.

He admits that birth abnormalities exist but denies fixing them?
Wat?

“These laws are going to be used to persecute Christians”

            This is going to be shocking to you, I know but… who I am, my identity and my gender, they have nothing to do with you. Me being allowed to be who I am is not going to “persecute” you. Me living my life is not “persecuting you.” It has absolutely nothing to even do with you. Are you such a narcissist that nothing you don’t agree with can happen without you crying persecution?

It’s going to harm children.

            He points to a trans boy (female to male) using the boy’s locker room in California as “hurting children.” (Cause… reasons? I dunno.) But I’m going to get very very serious here. I’ve been responding in somewhat sarcastic ways, but if I were speaking this it would be in a very serious tone with a serious face.
            Do you know what’s harming children, Dr. Gagnon? What’s harming children is being denied by their families. What’s harming children is the 41% suicide attempt rate among trans people. What’s harming children is that almost have of homless people are some form of LGBT because people reject them. What’s harming children is bullying so merciless they feel they have no choice but to end their own life than to try to live through it another day. What’s harming children is the father that stabbed his own child for coming out as transgender. What’s harming children is that once you come out as trans, you have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered. And that number jumps to 1 in 8 if you’re not white.
            And you have the audacity to say that to help children we need to be rejected more? Here’s a news flash, society isn’t as accepting of us as you think. It’s not sunshine and rainbows for us. We are literally dying because of who we are. If you think the problem with society is that it’s too accepting of us, you’re not just ignorant, you’re a bad person.

“Concerns about the restroom facilities people use”

            You know what the concerns are, really? People play it off as “Well I’m scared a man is going to come into the woman’s restroom and assault me” or something like that. For one, that’s not a measure of whether or not trans people should be allowed to use certain bathrooms. Two, if a man is going to assault a woman, he’s not gonna care about the laws. And three, I can guarantee you that I am infinitely more terrified of using a public restroom than you are of letting me do that. You know how many times trans people have gone into public bathrooms and assaulted someone?.... none. We literally have no record of it happening. It’s not a rational fear. You know how many times trans people are the ones being assaulted in the bathroom? All the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It is a very real constant fear for me. I HAVE WAY MORE TO BE AFRAID OF THAN YOU DO.

He talks about incest and lowering the age of consent

            What the actual fuck does this have to do with my gender identity? What does who I see myself as have to do with incest and raping children? It’s not a logical leap, it’s ridiculous. It’s totally unrelated. Guess what? I don’t support lowering the age of consent. This may seem difficult to understand but SEEING MYSELF AS A WOMAN DOESN’T MEAN I’M OK WITH CHILDREN BEING RAPED, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? THIS ISN’T ABOUT THROWING AWAY SEXUAL ETHICS. HOW ARE YOU THIS STUPID?

And finally, in your last part, this isn’t about denying God. Trans people have varying ideas of God. It is nothing to do with how we view God.


After the message, my sister said he’s an “expert in the field.” My response to that is to be an expert, you need to know what you’re talking about. This guy has no damn clue what he’s talking about. He’s not an “expert” he’s a biased idiot that has no understanding of the topic at hand, has done no research, and can’t even look at topics in the Bible correctly. He’s not an expert, I wouldn’t even call him knowledgeable. He’s just plain wrong. In other words, unless you want your brain to hurt from the ignorance, don’t watch that video.

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