Says The Peter():
First, it’s utterly reprehensible that anyone in the medical community would be complicit in facilitating a psychological disorder by amputating healthy body parts. There is a condition known as either apotemnophilia or Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) that is characterized by the desire to amputate a healthy limb. It is useful for comparison in that it is thought by many to be closely related to Gender Identity Disorder (i.e., transsexualism), which society is increasingly accepting as a valid identity that emerges from biological influences and whose behavioral manifestations are morally legitimate.
Let's start with the obvious things here. Mistake number one is LaBarbera's insistence that transsexualism be compared to apotemnophilia. Frankly, I don't buy that argument to begin with. It rests upon the very shaky assumption that transsexuals transition and have gender surgery because they are fixated upon the physical change that surgery will bring. Except for Bailey/Blanchard/Lawrence, few in the medical community actually believe such a premise. The 'autogynephilia' hypothesis tends to rest upon declaring transsexuals as liars when they discuss motivations other than the physical for wanting to transition.
Unsurprisingly, The Peter cites Anne Lawrence. There's a lot about Dr. Lawrence I respect and admire - but her "autogynephilia" hypothesis doesn't impress me - especially when it runs contrary to so much other data.
Most people, rightly in my view, recoil in horror at this decision. But it is difficult to see how amputating a healthy arm or leg is substantively different from amputating a healthy penis or breasts.
If that was all that gender transition was about, I might almost agree with that. The reality is that gender transition is much more about what's between the ears than the physical changes. Yes, the physical changes are important - do not make the mistake of assuming I trivialize their role in transition - but they tend to reinforce and support the journey that the individual is making in their heart and mind.
Second, these two men remain men even without their penises, even with hormone-induced or prosthetic breasts, and even with hormone-induced female-ish voices. As I’ve written before, my mother was no less a woman following her mastectomy, hysterectomy, and oophorectmy than she was before her surgeries. The disordered desire of these two men does not change objective reality.
So...tell me, Peter. Since you clearly understand that womanhood (or manhood) is not completely tied to the physical, what makes you think that it is impossible that a woman may have been born into a male body?
Finally, these two men are not merely asking the government to become complicit in their disordered delusion; and they are not merely asking the government and all of society to accept their delusion as reality; they are also asking the state to commit fraud. They are asking the state to affirm in a legal document a falsehood. Even these two men acknowledge that they were born male. If they hadn’t been born male, they couldn’t have had a “sex-change” operation.
Ummm...no, it's not committing fraud. What The Peter is whining about is not fraud - any more than a name change is a commission of fraud. The government has every right (and likely a requirement) to keep the old and revised versions on file, just as they would with a legal name change.
To say that it is fraud, one would have to demonstrate an intent to deceive. In this situation, we must recognize that the Birth Certificate is an important document for someone establishing citizenship, or applying for a passport. Why should these people be subjected to additional scrutiny every time they apply for key identification documents?
The problem that The Peter has here is that he doesn't want to admit that transsexuals are real people, with real lives. He sees transfolk as sinful, delusional and liars.
Unfortunately, what he is wanting to propagate is a pattern of ongoing, systemic discrimination that someone who transitions across genders experiences. A birth certificate with an old name, or a wrong gender marker on it can very quickly turn into an excuse for being fired from a job, or one finds their passport application suddenly comes back with demands for more information or proof of something or another. Every time you apply for a passport, suddenly you go through the process of 'outing yourself' one more time to somebody (who probably doesn't care, but when transsexuals are assaulted or worse with frightening regularity, you never know)
Already the government has been complicit in this monumental deceit and delusion by allowing them to change their “gender” designation “on their driver’s licenses, passports and Social Security Card.” Just as the medical profession acts unethically when amputating healthy body parts in the service of a delusion, so does the government act unethically when changing legal documents to affirm a falsehood in the service of a delusion.
Unfortunately, he doesn't even know what a delusion really is:
A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everybody else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture.
Okay, let's explore this in the context of transsexualism for a moment. A transsexual presents at a therapist's office, and the commonly held assumption is that the narrative is "I'm a woman in a man's body". (A gross oversimplification of what really happens, but it will suffice for now)
So, from an external perspective, we have someone who is quite aware that they are physiologically male. There is no question of their awareness of this. The trickier question is establishing whether the person is in fact psychologically female.
The second part of the problem is harder to establish, and in fact is why the therapy process can be so important. Someone who has lived a good portion of their life in one gender will have a lot of adaptation to go through before they will be able to live successfully in their chosen gender. Whether the individual is willing and able to make that adaption successfully is a pretty good indication of how real the latter is. (Trust me - someone who is a man will not find it easy to fit into a woman's world - and the converse is also true, and is in fact one of the driving forces that leads transsexuals to pursue transition.
It's very hard to describe a transsexual as deluded. They are, if you read the literature, excessively aware of the reality of their situation, and the challenges that they face are a combination of internal and external stresses that need to be resolved.
LaBarbera is simply demanding that more obstacles exist for an already marginalized population. Where is the spirit of Christian teachings in that position?