Paper Genders is one powerful new book that will turn the old common knowledge about transgenders completely upside down.
Everyone thinks the sex change surgery is wonderful and brings to all amazing euphoria, enlightenment and freedom from gender conflict when in fact changing genders tosses you squarely in the middle of a much larger dilemma, disappointment, regret and even suicide.
So what is at the cause of so much suicide? This is a much argued point, some say discrimination. I would suggest it is the "set up" of unrealistic expectations, so let’s look at the two points.
Discrimination started for me when I changed from Walt to Laura. My family wanted nothing to do with me. Then the company I worked for terminated me. That was followed by some of my long time friends abandoning me. The task of establishing myself as Laura and gaining employment was extremely difficult all because of discrimination.
As Laura Jensen I worked with the California State Department of Rehabilitation in San Mateo. I was assigned to a team of good folks there who were tasked to help me gain employment. After 18 months of going on over 200 interviews I was finally accepted at a federal job, I was abused by a co-worker who threw a large pen desk-set at me because I was promoted over her. It turned even uglier with details I won't go into. I resigned and went to work at the post office where I did not want to work. I understand the discrimination that comes to transsexuals.
But consider the real problem is unrealistic expectations. It is the setting of expectations for the transgendered far too high that causes problems, not discrimination. The unrealistic expectations include: 1) expectations for a successful transition, 2) expectations of wide ranging social acceptance, and 3) expectations that laws can protect transgenders and even affect change in social construct and how other people feel, when none of that is true. Transsexuals are unfortunately "set up" to completelyunrealistic expectations, and then get blindsided by the regret and disappointment of changing genders. Much more discussion is needed about the failure rates of sex change surgery long term. Discussion of any failure is either greatly minimized or relegated to a "hush, hush" status. That "hush, hush" status is in fact what leads transsexuals to unrealistic expectations and a very high rate of suicide. It is not the discrimination.
Much more work needs to be done in educating transgenders prior to surgery on the unfortunate consequences of changing genders that cannot be mitigated by new laws. I get letters (some included in the book) from transgenders who after 3 weeks, 10 years or 20 years want to return to their birth gender but the laws will not in some cases allow them to correct the mistake. Some laws discriminate against gender reversal.
Everyone wants to slide through life unopposed all the while singing "Kumbaya" at every tough turn, but that is unrealistic and in fact, foolishness.
What perhaps will surprise you is I think discrimination is a good thing and it is discrimination that should be protected, not protecting people from it. I know my thoughts are not in lock step with everyone but it is such views that prevented me from committing suicide, not some law designed to protect me.
Discrimination if used to injure is not acceptable, however if discrimination is used hand-in-hand with discernment that is, having the ability and capacity to see fine distinctions and be able to perceive important differences between objects, subjects, concepts and patterns, it should be celebrated as an exceptional development of the senses and can be effective in protecting one's self and others.
The fact is every last one us practice discrimination in every aspect of our life all day long: clothes, cars, people we hang with, jobs and where we live, even the words we use. I fully understand and accept why people did not want me as an employee and I did not think they should be forced to employ me just because of some law. It is a much greater crime to force people to employ someone they do not want. That is not even good for the employee.
I want people to employ me because they want me, really want me not because it would be discrimination if they did not. That is crazy to me.
Just my thoughts,