Trans Sandwiched
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Trans Sandwiched

We Must Not Trivialize Gender Dysphoria

Turning other people’s suffering into a culture war football is evil.

Image from Pexels

Welcome back to Trans Deeper, a show where we take a deeper look at what people are saying in the trans conversation, and whether their claims are valid or not.

Today, I want to look at a worrying development: the trivialization of gender dysphoria. Specifically, in certain circles, basic compassion for those suffering from gender dysphoria is increasingly seen as ‘woke’, and inhumane treatment is therefore justified as non-woke and rational.

Let me give you some examples. Treatment for gender dysphoria via medical transition is described as ‘experimental’, despite being the only proven effective treatment out there, and decades of evidence supporting its effectiveness. From there, such treatment, even in the context of consenting adults, is painted as questionable, and possibly in violation of the ‘do no harm’ principle. This ‘standard’ is, of course, ridiculous if we apply it equally to all of medicine in general. All medical treatment carries potential harms. If this is the way ‘do no harm’ is to be interpreted, then clinical medicine might as well not exist, and patients left to suffer despite the existence of highly effective treatments. Of course, nobody intends for this ‘standard’ to apply to all of medicine. They only apply it to gender dysphoria, because they are trivializing the suffering brought on by this condition. This culture war motivated bias is both unscientific and inhumane.

Another example is the increasing normalization of gender critical views in anti-woke circles, to the extent that gender critical activists are given many opportunities to promote their views without the other side of the argument being equally presented. One thing gender critical activists often argue is that using a trans person’s preferred pronouns is ‘giving in’ to some kind of ideology. I have argued elsewhere why this isn’t the case, but as a supporter of free speech I ultimately respect your right to say whatever you want. However, the important point is, the gender dysphoria side of the story is almost never presented as a rebuttal to the gender critical argument. The argument is that, using a trans person’s preferred pronouns contributes to relieving gender dysphoria, and is therefore a decent thing to do. After hearing this argument, it is still up to you to do what you believe is right. But the argument must be available for consideration in the first place. And too often, it isn’t even on the table anymore in the anti-woke world.

As I have been saying for a long time, the discourse around trans people has been dominated by everything from academic philosophy to politicized culture wars, with the focus on anything but gender dysphoria. This is totally unfair to trans people, who transition because they need to relieve their gender dysphoria in the first place. The distraction from this fact leads to less appetite for compassion towards trans people as fellow humans, and more polarization over trans issues as abstract philosophical concerns, as if they weren’t affecting actual human beings. The current trivialization of gender dysphoria is the logical conclusion of all this. Therefore, it’s time we talked a lot more about gender dysphoria. It needs to be at the center of the trans discourse once again.

TaraElla is a singer-songwriter and author, who recently published her autobiography The TaraElla Story, in which she described the events that inspired her writing.

She is also the author of The Trans Case Against Queer Theory.



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Author & musician. Moral Libertarian. Disrupting the woke vs anti-woke echo chambers and making the West truly liberal again.