Interesting. I’d need more examples to really be able to put myself in your shoes though.
What makes you think it’s not a psychological disorder? Or do you think that even if it is, the appropriate treatment is to undergo gender reassignment surgery or HRT, or alternatively, that it’s harmless enough that it’s pointless to label it as such?
OK, so, to the best of my knowledge, those who work in Psychology and Psychiatry believe that being trans in and of itself is not a disorder, but the distress that derives from it can be treated as if it were one. Indeed, the DSM-5 stresses that Gender Dysphoria is about the distress, not the fact that they identify as another gender identity. The International Classifications of Disease 11th edition, (the draft of which was released in June) will shift what it calls gender incongruence out of the mental health section, and into the section on Sexual health matters.
Overall, transition (social or medical) is considered the primary cure for dysphoria. The medical field has tried to find ways to “cure” it without transition for decades, and transition has been the only one that reliably works.
As for my own level of offence to it: It’s not ideal to call it a disorder, but it has to show up somewhere in order for it to be covered by insurance (and considering the costs involved, most would rather insurance covered it). The problem is more that the people who usually call it a disorder or mental illness are usually doing so to imply that trans people are deluding themselves and that they should instead look for help to get a “cure,” and stop being trans.
I was going to ask if you were interested in reassignment surgery. I’ve not met many openly trans people, but the ones I have talked to have told me that they didn’t feel that they wanted or needed the surgery, which I was a bit surprised by. I just always assumed that surgery would be a primary goal or desire of transitioning people.
Undecided, personally. It’s actually not that uncommon to find non op trans people, but I’ve met the gamut of those who’re looking into getting it, people who want to but think the technology isn’t up to satisfaction yet, those who decided that the effects of hormone therapy are enough, and those who are undecided on the matter.
Another question. How do you feel about cisgendered actors playing trans characters? Movies like Boys Don’t Cry, which is one of my favorite movies, and others.
Generally, not really fond of it. It’d be, “not great but not bad,” when it’s cis people of the gender the trans character identifies as. The problem is that it’s usually trans women being played by cis men, which can get into some harmful stereotypes by reinforcing the idea that trans people are men in dresses with makeup.
And then there was that recent Scarlett Johansson controversy, where they were going to rewrite a real who trans dude into being a woman who dressed up as a man in order to get their way in life. Which is even worse. (so glad she rescinded that role.)
Do you know what I mean when I talk about acceptance without understanding? And do you have any words of wisdom or experience that might… not really solve the dilemma, because I think it’s always there… but maybe just show it in a different light?
I think I get you, though I have more experience with the overanalysis side you describe. It’ll be important for those close to those kids (particularly teachers, parents, and medical professionals), but not everyone else particularly needs to know the itty bitty details. For a lot of us, it’s more important that you stand by us even if you don’t fully understand, than to try too hard to be “validating.”
Then again, I’ve also found attempts to make the public, “understand what something is like,” tends to fall hilariously flat on its face, so I’m not really optimistic that trying to explain a deeper understanding than “she’s trans” is all that helpful.