This is an open letter to the United States.
What started the modern transgender movement here in the United States? Does anyone even know what the original motivation of transgender people to create change in our societal system was? If you were to look at the behavior of the LGBT and it’s allies being a transgender person and are old enough to remember I think the answer would be no. The motivation was an extension in the personal treatment of gender dysphoria. Legislation that would make treatment easier to get in the US so the legitimate options didn’t exist only outside the US. Legislation that would make it easier or even possible to change identification to match a person’s gender. Legislative protections against discrimination so we could hold a job, rent a house or apartment, receive services and the things that people take for granted but could legally be denied us. The rest room was an extension of that as well. All we were looking for was legal use in another area that would help alleviate the miss match (gender dysphoria).
To me it seems that underlying motivation that started this is being ignored. Unfortunately it was never fully understood. The LGBT turned to lawyers to argue the cases. To argue the cases using cisgender definitions when speaking of a transgender need. It doesn’t take experiencing gender dysphoria. The one thing above all among transgender people that causes the highest suicide rate among that group. It does however require an understanding of it rather than just an acceptance that transgender people exist.
The reason we know Gender, a persons mind, and Sex, their physical body, are two separate things in all people is because treatments for a transgender person that work to bring those two things into alignment would bring things out of alignment for a cisgender person. To argue in a court of law that sex and gender are the same things, as they have been historically used from the cisgender viewpoint, is to kick the legs out from under the arguments that treatments are necessary and not simply cosmetic. If sex and gender are the same then treatments for gender dysphoria are not needed and therefore do not need to be covered by insurance. So thank you for working so hard to try to destroy, unintentionally, the basis of what we seek to change.
The LGBT and it’s allies are perusing this topic as if it’s the same as the topic of sexuality. They are using the same tactics. The only tactics you can use around the topic of sexuality. Acceptance. “Accept that it exists and get over it.” The topic of sexuality however is a single flag. Where the topic of transgender is a three legged stool, (Medication, Education and Legislation), that will only stand if all three legs are made strong. The treatment for sexuality is simply acceptance. The treatment for gender dysphoria crosses over distinctly, uniquely, into both the medical and mental health sectors. Name to me something else that in it’s treatment does that? You can’t, but once again the voice of transgender people are being silenced, as they always have been, and we are being told “Shut up. We got this.” As you take up the banners through your 501c’s believing your money makes up for your lack of understanding.
The Illinois ruling that came down from the federal government under the Obama administration was an incorrect one. Sex and gender are not the same things so the 1972 Gender Equality Law that used the old cisgender definitions of sex and gender can’t in reality be used as a clothe to wipe clean every aspect of the transgender topic. It can be used as the legislation was intended which was equal participation. Momentum was felt after that ruling and it seemed everyone in the LGBT and ally community were eager to line up behind it. Everyone but those in the transgender community who know better but are never listened to. Victory has outweighed the need for the original motivation that started all of this.
When I speak out in an effort to change your course I’m accused of my efforts being about just me. That if somehow my speaking out to correct a huge flaw in your course should be taken as a lack of support for the overall goals. The people who started shaking this monkey tree and getting things moving were not only seeing what would be beneficial to themselves but recognized that if fixed would be beneficial to those trying to navigate this very difficult path. Even though you are the larger group, I see this becoming about you and how the difficulties of others can be harnessed to benefit your organizations. I just wish you would stop and bare in mind why this was started and the goals we were trying to achieve.
Erica Elizabeth Ravenwood