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I appreciate all input, Alexander, even that which is critical. Can't improve if we close ourselves off to other views, so your perspective is valid to me. I re-read the piece, and I can see your point about the suddenness of its inclusion after the lack of profanity which preceded it. That said, I can assure you that shock value was not my intent. I don't tend to write especially profanely, but swear words are a part of our language which I personally feel are appropriate in certain situations (you might not agree, which I completely respect, but that would close you off to many important ideas). As such, by limiting their use to places where they best convey a thought (rather than flooding a piece with them like a Tarantino script), they will of course stand out and appear "shocking" - however, I agree that would be cheap if it was the goal (it was not). In this context, I can't think of an "intelligent, thoughtful" way to portray my feeling about those who use hate and violence toward innocent people. I always try to see both sides of a confrontation to understand motivations, but all stances lose me when they resort to violence. Hence "Fuck them" - while it might have appeared shocking, it most appropriately captures my thought in that regard. So while I don't use a swear word just to startle the reader, I also don't disinclude them just to avoid startling anyone - we are adults, after all, and these are serious matters. Thank you for your insights; I will keep them in mind. Aside from that, your thoughts on the article as a whole? ZL

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Jun 9, 2023·edited Jun 9, 2023

"Not always, but sometimes" is *more* than enough to give any responsible adult pause for any serious permanent medical procedure.

Hormone therapy and amputation of tissue do not cause temporary problems. They can (and often do, no shortage of detrans people) cause permanent, life altering and often destructive problems that compound upon the problems they are meant to solve. Even when they don't create other problems, they don't often resolve any co-morbidities such as latent or undiagnosed GAD, Autism, chronic clinical depression, or any other serious psychological/psychiatric issues.

When it comes to permanent and life-altering changes, we should err on the side of *extreme* caution. Far too often though, in the name of understanding and libertarianism, we allow as a society for people to do irreparable harm to themselves and/or their children.

All because we are very keen on being understanding and don't want to think of ourselves as insensitive. As a society, we will be complicit for the negative outcomes of so many, simply because we don't want to be the bad guy.

Sometimes, saying "no" is the kindest thing you can do.

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Very good article--and generally the kind of article that should be written about this topic. Well, about any emotionally-charged, controversial topic :-)

I’ve learned more about this topic than I ever intended. I have a couple quibbles/alternative views.

Mainly, I’m not convinced gender dysphoria does exist. I do think body dysmorphia exists, and is a more apt diagnosis. The main reason for my conclusion is that I believe gender is a social construct. If that is true, then it logically follows that it’s impossible to be born with “an innate sense that one is the opposite of a social construct,” especially to the point of undergoing surgery and other medicalization. But being uncomfortable in one’s own body is very real--in fact, I would argue that the vast majority of humans suffer this, albeit to varying degrees, but especially during adolescence. There’s another thought experiment I’ve tried, which is to imagine a small child being abandoned on an island. This poor soul learns to survive, and enters puberty and adolescence, but without any other human or social influence, and therefore doesn’t know the difference between boys and girls, or anything about societal “norms” associated with the sexes. I literally cannot conceive the possibility that he or she suddenly, ex nihilo, comes to the conclusion they are the opposite sex, let alone a different gender.

I think there is also something to be said about the fact that virtually all body dysmorphics up until ten years ago were natal males. Add into that autogynephilia and other comorbidities and, as you rightly pointed out, there are people (a tiny, tiny number) who are under such mental distress that they can only live if they go through the massive effort to basically pretend to be the opposite sex. (I say “pretend” not to be unkind but to be painfully, objectively factual.) Are there women in this category? Yes, but then we’re talking a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage. And the literal explosion amongst teen girls is incomprehensible outside of ROGD, driven by social contagion.

All this to say, as you already did quite eloquently, that we need to be kind, and we need to be able to have conversations, not hurling epithets towards “the other”. And we need to have compassion for the distress that people have, all the whole working with them to find a positive outcome, preferably one that doesn’t require deceit, lies, medicalization, broken relationships, etc.

Peace,

Mark

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It’s a nice piece. What I can’t contend with right now is the absolute inundation by our mainstream and ruling elite of LGBT rights and issues. You can’t take a step or breath without being confronted with it. I get it’s pride month but it’s reached a fever pitch that is utterly disconcerting and I can’t make out what the purpose of this full-throttled 24/7 embrace of all things rainbow is really about. People have reached their limit and the push back is starting to gain traction. I don’t see where this doesn’t end in a sad retreat of acceptance and violence. I just can’t see why we are cheering a minority group so vociferously without any notion that it’s gone too far.

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This article is a very surface-level treatment of the subject, not a centrist one. I do not see anything here which has has not already been discussed in most articles covering this subject area. I think the main purpose of this article was to promote the author’s (self-published?) book.

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I enjoyed reading your thoughts and how you feel on the issue if transgenderusm. Much of what you say I can agree with. As you've titled your entry, it is indeed a very "centrist" position though I feel it leans rather heavily left. I hold this perspective and am glad to share that on this topic of transgenderism, somewhere in the mix, the discussions of truth vs fiction and reality vs delusion have to factor in to this whole equation.

I assume that from your "centrist" position you too, will agree that there is undeniably, indisputably no possible way to change one's sex, or gender. We are who we are, the sex that we were st thectime of birth having either XY or XX chromosomes. Disregarding the .01% of anomalies that do occur and is certainly a very valid discussion, it really is another discussion altogether. So, sticking to the 99.9% who are born with either XY or XX chromosomes, I think that we can all agree that this cannot be changed. Sure, people can make numerous surgical modifications, manipulations and removals, people can dreas in attire opposite their biological sex, people can present themselves as being one of the opposite gender - many who do remarkably well and will easily pass as the opposite gender to the unknowing person. In fact, I personally, when I happen across someone who consider themselves to be transgender, I will without hesitation refer to them as the gender of which they appear. If I don't know the person and gave never had a conversation with them about transgenerism, there is no need for it to be discussed. I think the real question that we, as a society have to ask ourselves is, "is it good, is it right, is it morally and ethically acceptable for us to validate one's delusion in the belief that they are the opposite sex of what they are biologically?" And, are we, as a society, prepared to jump in to living that lie, that delusion simply to make the transgendered person feel "right"?

Looking at the definition of "-trans" On or to the other side of. The term transgender is very much a misnomer. One is either biologically male or biologically female. This is unchangeable. One cannot be either-or. So, one cannot be on the other side, or be the opposite sex of what they are biologically and therefore, the term "transgender" is very much a misnomer. One cannot be transgender. It does notcexist as it is biologically impossible.

Those who consider themselves to be transgender have the highest rate of suicide amongst all groups which has been a near steady 40%. Activists will assert that this is because they are shunned in society. While this may make a small percentage of the whole the primary reasons for the high suicide rate is 1) drug addiction/alcoholism, 2) risky behaviors as dating and having sexual relations with heterosexual men without being transparent about who they truly are (homicides, yes, not suicides but certainly contribute to their mortality as a group), regret for making such life-altering, irreversible anatomical changes and most of all; the realization that after all is said & done, when they look in the mirror, they still see themselves (and this is where proper professional counseling on how to be happy with and live oneself regardless of what we deem to be shortcomings or imperfections is crucial). I don't believe that we, as a society, want to validate this type of completely treatable. malady of the mind. In fact, I suggest that validating this type of delusion is far more harmful than anything else for an individual.

I don't believe that any of this is a matter of understanding or not understanding one who suffers from gender dysphoria. This is a matter of living the truth in a world of reality or living a lie in a fmgrand delusion.

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What starts out as an intelligent, thoughtful article making salient points in discussion of the issue, with the sudden and, given the previous articulation of the theme, startling inclusion of “Fuck them,” becomes just another illiterate piece unworthy of attention. No idea why startling the audience was necessary, but it sure didn’t further your point with adult readers.

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