Kansas State Senator Steve Fitzgerald threw liberals into a tizzy this week when he surmised that being transgender was not a valid lifestyle choice; that it was, in fact, a symptom of a delusional mind.
“You’re either male or you’re female, and it’s not changeable,” Fitzgerald said in a speech criticizing the Obama administration’s attempts to force public schools to cater to trans students. “It’s reality. Inability to deal with that reality, or to recognize that reality, is disoriented, and can be disoriented to the point of insanity.”
Fitzgerald’s speech probably wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow even five years ago, but a lot has changed since then. The newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders still includes transgenderism, but instead of labeling it “gender identity disorder,” it now goes under the name “gender dysphoria.” But there is plenty of reason to believe that this switch was based less on science than it was pressure from the LGBT community.
Listen to Dr. Jack Drescher, a member of the American Psychiatric Association and a co-author of the new DSM-5 entry, as he admits that the definition sticks out like a sore thumb in the manual. “Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis in the DSM-5, but it’s unlike any of the other diagnoses in the DSM,” Drescher said. “I think it’s the only diagnosis where, if you have the diagnosis, we don’t try to change the mind, but the treatment is to change the body.”
Rule of thumb: When one listing out of hundreds is unique, and that listing happens to address a subject fraught with this much political controversy, something fishy is going on. Psychiatry – to the extent that it was ever a serious science to begin with – has been hijacked by the left. And the consequences could extend far beyond the question of gender identity. This is an attempt to glaze over a political ideology with a thin veneer of soft science. If it works, we could see the same trickery used to justify any number of liberal positions. Criminality and perversions will be reclassified as “human variations”; views opposing liberal causes like abortion and illegal immigration will be deemed pathological.
Unfortunately, no one is being hurt more by this trend than transgender individuals themselves. Psychiatrists have abandoned the search for curative treatments, dooming these individuals to a life of mental illness. Some will feel comfortable in their new identities (the ones we see celebrated in the media), but thousands of others will lead confusing, miserable lives that end in tragedy. Letting them use the bathrooms of their choice is hardly going to change that.