Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PCG's Demonization of Transgender People

Normally people are born male or female. But reality is so hard to define in simple black and white ways. There are transgender persons.

What Scientists Say About Transgender People

Let's check and see what medical scientists have to say about this transgender people.

Let's try the American Psychological Association.
A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder. For these individuals, the significant problem is finding affordable resources, such as counseling, hormone therapy, medical procedures and the social support necessary to freely express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. Many other obstacles may lead to distress, including a lack of acceptance within society, direct or indirect experiences with discrimination, or assault. These experiences may lead many transgender people to suffer with anxiety, depression or related disorders at higher rates than nontransgender persons.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), people who experience intense, persistent gender incongruence can be given the diagnosis of "gender dysphoria." Some contend that the diagnosis inappropriately pathologizes gender noncongruence and should be eliminated. Others argue that it is essential to retain the diagnosis to ensure access to care. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is under revision and there may be changes to its current classification of intense persistent gender incongruence as "gender identity disorder." ("Is being transgender a mental disorder?" American Psychological Association.)
Let's try Britain's National Health Service (NHS).
While biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people, this is not the case for everyone. For example, some people may have the anatomy of a man, but identify themselves as a woman, while others may not feel they are definitively either male or female.
This mismatch between sex and gender identity can lead to distressing and uncomfortable feelings that are called gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, for which treatment is sometimes appropriate. It is not a mental illness. (NHS, Gender dysphoria.)
What causes gender dysphoria? Here is part of what the NHS have to say about that.
Gender development is complex, and there are many possible variations that cause a mismatch between a person’s biological sex and their gender identity.
Hormonal problems
Occasionally, the hormones that trigger the development of sex and gender may not work properly on the brain, reproductive organs and genitals, causing differences between them. For example, the biological sex (as determined physically by the reproductive organs and genitals) could be male, while the gender identity (as determined by the brain) could be female. (NHS, Gender dysphoria - Causes.)
So we see that it is possible for one to be born with male genitalia and yet have a brain with a female gender identity. It is possible for one to be born with female genitalia and yet have a brain with a male gender identity. Gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition and it is not a mental illness. Let us keep those facts in mind.

Violence Against Transgender Americans

Furthermore transgender people in the United States have endured widespread discrimination and are often targeted for violence.
For a few transgender Americans, this has been a year of glamour and fame. For many others, 2015 has been fraught with danger, violence and mourning.
While Caitlyn Jenner made the cover of Vanity Fair and Laverne Cox prospered as a popular actress, other transgender women have become homicide victims at an alarming rate. By the count of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, there have been 22 killings so far this year of transgender or gender-nonconforming people — including 19 black or Latina transgender women.
The toll compares with 12 last year and 13 in 2013, and is the highest since advocacy groups began such tallies a decade ago. (Associated Press, Homicides Of Transgender Women In U.S. Reach Alarming High, November 23, 2015.)
So far 22 transgender Americans have been murdered this year.

And because of widespread hostility against transgender people they also have a high rate of suicide.
Since January of this year, a transgender person was murdered somewhere around the globe every 29 hours. Additionally, trans people are statistically at a much greater risk to commit suicide; the rate of suicide in the general population is under 10 percent, yet within the trans community it is over 40 percent. Dr. Alex Abramovich, a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, says, "Transphobia leads to suicide. End of story." (Derrick De Lise, Transphobia Leads to Suicide -- End of Story, Huffington Post, December 11, 2015.)
There is even a helpline, Trans Lifeline, dedicated to helping transgender people from not committing suicide. That is how severe this problem is among the transgender community. Clearly they need support, not demonization and condemnation.

For anyone who wants to read about suicide I would suggest the National Suicide Prevention Helpline. Their phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Clearly this is a severe problem that needs urgent attention. Clearly transgender people need help. Clearly vilifying them will only add fuel to the flames of this terrible problem.

PCG's Demonization of Transgender People

Unfortunately PCG has shown no interest in understanding and addressing the needs and concerns of such people.

Instead these transgender people are vilified and condemned by PCG as "gender confused," "deviants," "perverted men," having a "disease," having "a mental illness" and "immoral".

Any attempt to accommodate the concerns and interests of transgender people by authorities are belittled, condemned and portrayed in a most alarmist way.

Sometimes they are portrayed in a hostile manner as a financial burden to the public. The possibility that such help will allow transgender Americans to lead happier lives is not side lined.

It is sometimes insinuated that such measures will somehow "spread" or somehow "trick" people into thinking they are transgender when in fact this is impossible.

At times PCG has even promoted the "bathroom predator" myth against transgender people. Joel Hilliker alluded to this idea in a November 7, 2007 article. But this myth used to demonize transgender people is complete nonsense.

The possibility that there are biological reasons for transgender people being who they are is never admitted. At the most this possibility is mentioned only to be dismissed.

It is terrible that PCG should talk of this vulnerable minority in such a dehumanizing and harsh way. In reality transgender people are targeted for murder and experience high rates of suicide.

I found about 22 PCG articles dating as early as 1998 of PCG articles demonizing transgender people. This included articles written by Joel Hilliker, Ron Fraser, Phillip Nice, Stephen Flurry, Brad MacDonald, Dennis Leap and Robert Morley. There is also a tweet by Brent Nagtegaal relevant to this topic.

It is terrible and wrong for PCG to vilify transgender people in this way. They are a numerically small minority and because of widespread prejudice against them are particularly vulnerable to suicide. And unfortunately transgender people have often been forced to endure so much hatred.

While PCG's 1% insist on getting three tithes from their followers they tell their followers to be fearful and loath transgender people, a vulnerable minority. No good can come from such venomous and misleading rhetoric.

It is shameful and terrible that PCG should add fuel for the fire instead of helping in this dire situation.

For anyone who wants to read more about suicide I would suggest the National Suicide Prevention Helpline. Their phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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