A Look at the T in LGBT

Editor-in-Chief’s Note:
It’s already Friday and we’re still very far from our fundraising goals. I know the economy is bad and things are tight. But it’s precisely now when we have to decide what matters to us most. If you enjoy and learn from what you read in The Catholic Thing (I learned a few things from today’s column myself), please help us continue this work. Don’t wait. Donate $25, $50, $200, or more to strengthen and extend the work of TCT today. You’ll be happy over the next year that you did when you see what we have in store for you. – Robert Royal

How is it that the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered (LGBT) agenda seems to have taken hold among many in the United States without anyone taking a close look at that T? I suspect that most Americans have not given much thought to the Ts. But they should.

Alongside LGBs, we are repeatedly being asked to accept the transgendered in law and policy. Just last week the Connecticut legislature considered something opponents have dubbed the “bathroom bill,” which would allow the “transgendered” into any bathroom they choose. U.N. human-rights personnel have already decided that international law requires that “sexual identity,” which is the cornerstone of transgenderism, be enforced as a new category of non-discrimination in international human rights law.

We are not talking here about the microscopic number of unfortunate babies born with confused chromosomes and both sets of reproductive organs. Rather, we are talking about those whose bodily confusion and even hatred is so intense they are convinced they have been born into the wrong body, a confusion that often leads to bodily mutilation of completely healthy sex organs done under the knife of accredited medical doctors.

One of the things we have lost in the national debate over homosexuality is the Yuck Factor. The thought of men kissing and more was once enough to send shudders through most Americans. Perhaps it still is, but we are being socially engineered no longer to express it. Certainly this cannot be the case with the transgendered.

The Yuck Factor must still have the power to repulse, particularly when one looks behind the transgender curtain.

John Colapinto wrote a powerful book ten years ago about the case of John/Joan, an infant boy whose penis was burned off in circumcision and who was placed under the sadistic care of Dr. John Money of Johns Hopkins University, who butchered the boy, shot him full of hormones against his will, and forced him to wear dresses. For years, Money falsely reported that John/Joan had fully adapted to his new gender. John/Joan later committed suicide. It was the work of John Money on John/Joan that formed the basis for much of the sex reassignments that followed.

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, along with Phillip Dutton and Dale O’Leary, has published a paper in the National Bioethics Quarterly on the psychology of “sex reassignment surgery” that should give anyone pause.

The authors say the belief one is “trapped in the body of the wrong sex” is “generated by a disordered perception of self. . . .such a fixed, irrational belief is appropriately described as a delusion.” They call sex reassignment surgery “a category mistake” that offers “a surgical solution for psychological problems.” And it is related to “addiction to masturbation and fantasy, poor body image, excessive anger, and severe psychopathology in a parent.”

According to the literature there are two types who seek sex reassignment surgery: homosexual transsexuals and autogynephilic transsexuals. Autogynephilic transsexuals “are men in love with the image of themselves as women.” They find sexual excitement in dressing up as women and often have fantasies of being penetrated. If they have partners, the partners are mostly props in the fantasy. The paper says most AT males consider themselves to be heterosexual. Many marry and have children and some eventually decide they want to live full time as women and then seek sex reassignment surgery.

Homosexual transsexuals are “men whose appearance, gestures, and speech are perceived as feminine.” They believe they can pass for women and attract masculine heterosexual men. Dr. Paul McHugh, who closed the sex reassignment program at Johns Hopkins – often to the relief of surgeons called upon to do what they regarded as genital mutilation – says these men are “conflicted and guilt-ridden homosexuals who see a sex-change as a way to resolve their conflicts over homosexuality by allowing them to behave sexually as females with men.”

Much of this can be traced to “gender identity disorder,” where young boys do not bond with their fathers or their male playgroup. They may have effeminate characteristics or simply an inability to catch a ball. Their mothers may dress them up as girls. Additionally, their mothers may be depressed. The boy may adapt himself by acting like a girl, which causes further alienation from other boys.  From this can grow the feeling the boy was born in the wrong body. Psychologically this can lead to a hatred of the body, particularly the sex organs.

It is apparent that almost all of this is based in early childhood psychological problems that have gone untreated. The authors tell the story of a thirteen-year-old boy seeking sex reassignment surgery who described in great detail sexual experiences including anal sex that he had with older boys and men. He did not feel like a boy. He felt like a girl and wanted physically to be one. The authors said it was clear what the boy was describing was the result of long-term sexual abuse. Yet the psychological establishment refuses even to entertain such ideas.

The authors hold it is nothing short of unethical for medical doctors to butcher otherwise healthy sex organs in order to “treat” underlying psychological problems. The authors show that long after the penis is removed, long after a rudimentary vagina is formed, and long after the daily estrogen shots used to grow breasts, such underlying psychological problems remain.

What’s next on this far frontier of sexual yuckiness? Some say pre-pubescent children should be given hormone treatments to put off puberty so that they can have more time to figure out their “gender identity”. There are even new letters being proposed for the acronym. Alongside LGBT you will soon see “I” and “Q.” Don’t ask.

Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-Fam.