Diary

Where Does Identity Preference End and Mental Illness Begin?

This is not an easy article to write without inevitably hurting the feelings of some people.  It is not my intention to do so.  My objective is to instead have an honest conversation about where we are headed as a society.  I do not pretend to understand the great struggle that those who deal with gender identity conflicts deal with, nor do I in any way mean to portray mental illness in a demeaning or insulting manner.  My goal is to cut through the fear of being branded as lacking compassion or opposing equality and focus on the end result that these battles over identity preferences are leading to.

It would seem to me that when an individual with a perfectly healthy male body or female body seeks to transform to the opposite gender, it is not a question of any malady with the person’s anatomy, but rather a question of the function of that person’s mind.  I do not mean to sound cold, but if a human claims to be a tree or a horse is it reasonable for society to encourage that identity preference and for the medical community to offer procedures to assist in the transformation to whatever extent is possible?  Should we not instead seek to treat the person’s mind so that the person can achieve a point of reconciliation with their biological gender?

Some would say what business is it of anyone if a person wants to live their life as the opposite gender.  The problem is twofold.  First there is a direct impact on others because this issue has not stopped with individuals quietly living out roles as the opposite gender.  Society is being asked, and in increasing cases, compelled, to change its social mores to accommodate the gender identity preferences of this small segment of our population.  It doesn’t matter if women feel uncomfortable having men who identify as women sharing the same public restroom.  Too bad.  The more important concern now is that the person with a unique gender identity preference is not made to feel uncomfortable.

The second problem is the impact this line of thought has on the sanity of a society.  If a society cannot definitively call human beings with the anatomy of a male a man or the anatomy of a female a woman, that society is plunging into madness.  Not all human impulses are good for the health of a society.  While the majority should never oppress minority groups, society cannot be held hostage to the unique impulses (and some could argue mental illnesses) of small minorities within it.  If I as a 44 year old man claim that from this point forward I choose to identify as an eight-year-old girl, should society encourage my identity preference?  Would it be healthy for society to do so?  If you say no, which part of my preference do you take issue with – my age preference or my gender preference?  Is my wanting to behave far younger than my biological age a sign of mental illness?  If the answer is yes, why isn’t claiming that I am a gender that is the opposite of my anatomy mental illness?  Why is it acceptable for me to act in defiance of one aspect of my biology but not another?

There is an active movement to make this sort of madness seem normal and to marginalize those who are opposed to it.  But when these affronts to logic take place, even in seemingly innocuous ways in the name of compassion, the entire fabric of a society is in danger of being torn apart and reformed.  If a society can be conditioned to think that gender is not an absolute then it can be conditioned to believe that there are no absolutes – and that is the ultimate goal.  For if there are no absolutes then there is no truth.  If there is no truth then any lie can be believed and reality becomes whatever those who are in control claim it to be.  In such a world, no one is safe from oppression, no matter what their identity preference is.