An Emphasis on Medicine

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    Topic
  • #134871
    Michelle Lawson
    Ambassador

    Has anyone else noticed the preoccupation trans people seem to have with discussing medical treatments? I suppose it’s a natural thing for us to discuss amongst ourselves, given that for many of us it’s a part of our evolution. Most groups discuss the things that they have in common.

    I’ve often wondered if all the talk about medications, surgeries, and doctors might be counterproductive in our community. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel pressured to live a certain way or fit into a certain box. There are a zillion ways to be trans.

    I know that a lot of people benefit from various treatments in many ways. I’m happy for them, truly. But like any medical condition, it’s better to not need treatment in the first place. For those of you that find peace or happiness without it, I am even happier.

    I just want to go on record as saying I wish that we, as a community, would de-emphasize these things. Taking hormones or having surgeries will never make any of us ”more trans” than any other. These are not the things that define us.

    However, I do understand that it’s a natural thing we are likely to discuss. I just hope we can do so in a way that doesn’t make anyone feel like they need to do anything to fit in.

    What do you all think about this? For those who haven’t sought medical changes, have you felt pressure from the community? Does anyone else think we focus too much on such things? Have you ever been made to feel ”lesser” or like an outsider as a result?

    I look forward to your thoughts.

    5 users thanked author for this post.
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    • #134901
      Michelle Lawson
      MANAGING AMBASSADOR

      I absolutely love the thoughtful comments you all have posted. Yes, this is a tough subject, but as usual, we rise to the occasion and have good insightful discussion. Isn’t that is what we all need to learn and grow?

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134897
      Rebecca
      FREE

      You were trans before you ever did anything. Treatments do not make us trans.

      I’m glad you chimed in. Thank you for your thoughts.

      That’s a philosophical position. I’m not sure I agree. I know someone, a cisgender man, who claims to be a trans woman yet has made no physical or other changes in even the smallest way. He/she has kept the same masculine name and no-one, no matter how transphobic, would object to his/her appearance – or even notice anything. Is he/she transgender?

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #134898
        Rachel
        FREE

        If your basis for thinking she isn’t trans is the fact that she hasn’t had treatments, then yes, she sounds trans to me.

        Obviously I don’t know her. As far as I know, the only requirement for being trans is feeling like one’s body doesn’t match one’s mind. Medical changes are not a requirement.

        I s’pose that’s the crux of this whole conversation, isn’t it?

        Edit to add: I wonder how she feels about being called a cisgender man, after she told you she’s trans. I hope nobody is pressuring her.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #134900
          Rebecca
          FREE

          My thought is that, as Mr Spock once said on Star Trek, a difference which makes no difference is no difference. I am happy to be argued out of this position – it isn’t something I feel strongly about. Another example might be someone claiming to be gay but continuing to live exclusively and happily in a hetero relationship for their whole life. It could be said that labels are for tins of beans, not for people, so does it matter at all? I’m not convinced either way on this.

          Nobody has called my friend a cisgender man, so far as I know. My argument is that he/she acts as one in every part of his/her life.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #134922
            DeeAnn Hopings
            AMBASSADOR

            Lawyers sometimes say:

            “It is a distinction without a difference.”

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #134895
      Rachel
      FREE

      As I read the original post, it feels like the intent was not to launch into a discussion about the pros and cons of surgeries or hormone treatments. It feels like the intent was to have a discussion about the pressures we sometimes put on each other to have such treatments.

      To that end, it seems right to point out that most transgender people never have any treatment at all. Are they “lesser”? Are they somehow not keeping up with the rest of us? Are they not just as trans, just as human, and just as different than the rest of us?

      Moreover, I believe most trans people can find peace or happiness without such treatments. For many who do need medical assistance, they may only need a little bit and not “the whole enchilada”. Those are the lucky ones, the people who need less. The last thing I want to do as a transgender person is make another trans person feel like they need to do more just to earn respect or acceptance.

      To all the trans people out there who haven’t had treatments, whether it’s because you simply don’t need anything or some other reason, I say this:

      You are just as “transgender” as the rest of us, you have nothing to prove to anybody, and this was never some sort of race or competition.

      I hope my trans sisters and brothers will not need as much treatment as some of us seem to push. I hope you’ll find peace through the path of the least medical intervention possible.

      Good luck.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134891
      Rikki
      GOLD

      Hi

      I felt that I should perhaps contribute here. Years ago I experimented with certain herbs that caused changes that haven’t/aren’t going away. It caused small breasts and a larger and sensitive rear end. This has defined my life in a major way ever since.

      During the ingestion period, I was elated then afterwords had mood swings for quite awhile; they’re gone now.

      Do I regret it? Sometimes. The bottom line now is that I AM trans; it doesn’t matter if people agree/disagree/get angry… whatever. It doesn’t change the reality.

      My humble and ignorant advice is that anything like this should be considered carefully and with a lot of research.

      Best regards

      Rikki

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #134896
        Rachel
        FREE

        You were trans before you ever did anything. Treatments do not make us trans.

        I’m glad you chimed in. Thank you for your thoughts.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #134919
          Rikki
          GOLD

          Thanks Rebecca

          I think I have been trans since before conception, but that’s just my opinion.

          Best

          Rikki

          • #134926
            Rachel
            FREE

            I just wanted to clarify that’s it’s just my opinion as well. We all have different ways of looking at it, obviously.

            You said the changes you saw defined your life in a major way ever since, and that you sometimes regret it. I’m curious about why you started and why you stopped, especially as it would pertain to this topic. Were you pressured to start, or to stop? How much did that affect your decisions?

          • #134931
            Rikki
            GOLD

            Good questions! I have posted in the past “beginnings”. When I was little there was a popular movement to feminize male kids; I think the fact that I was sexually abused at an early age by family also contributed. Porn probably helped also to start. Stopping was because the over the counter stuff wasn’t contributing anymore. I take your point though… perhaps I did miss the main point. My only motivation was to share for the benefit of others. Thanks for feedback! Dialogue and thinking, right?

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #134881
      Barb
      BRONZE

      An excellent topic!

      I think it’s just fine to talk about all this. Where else can some of us go? Personally, I’m lucky to have a vibrant trans community where I live, so I get to discuss this often with others over coffee.

      And yeah, we do discuss drugs and surgeries, but it’s not our main topic. That would be sex. LOL!!

      Anyway…

      My daughter got me an excellent book for Christmas called, The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice Is Justice For All, by Shon Fay, 2022. She wholeheartedly includes non-binary, trans femmes and men as being transgender and recognizes that social, medical and surgical transitioning are equal partners in everyone’s journey.

      I do understand that many here don’t have the financial resources to seek medical or surgical interventions, but many of us do. Our nations cover these costs at no charge, unlike in other jurisdictions. So, it’s natural and appropriate for us to discuss this.

      Barb

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #134932
        Rikki
        GOLD

        Thanks Barb

        Thanks another point for me…trans community? I live alone in the desert, so to speak. I like to point the ’76 movie “Ode to Billy Joe” as an example of my daily reality. I think you’re right about talking about this here…where else, right? PLEASE, everyone forgive me if I offended…☺️

      • #134888
        Rachel
        FREE

        Barb!

        I think cost can definitely be a prohibiting factor, but many of us don’t need these treatments to find peace.  For many, social transition is enough. Others may not even need that.

        I agree that there is far too much emphasis on medical intervention and not enough emphasis on other ways to find peace as a transgender person.

        Just my .02

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #134875
      Rebecca
      FREE

      My feeling is that I simply want to be as feminine as is practicably possible for me. If that includes hormones or surgery, I would consider them with their drawbacks and risks as well as their advantages. I look at trans women on YouTube and I confess to envy, as some of them look and speak in a far more feminine manner than I have yet been able to achieve – not through want of trying. My desire to be feminine is deeply rooted but it does not destroy my ability to judge the pros and cons of surgical processes and of body-altering chemicals. Whether trans forums like this one should reduce the emphasis on these, I’m not sure: they have undoubtedly brought greater contentment to many people. Perhaps greater discussions on their disadvantages, and how to live without these very expensive processes, would be an improvement.

      I would be interested to learn more about how transgender people in poorer countries (the Global South) live and how they feel about their bodies. Do they long for expensive surgeries and chemicals? I know that some countries such as Iran provide them more readily than here in the UK where they are now available almost entirely only to those with the money.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #134876
        Michelle Lawson
        MANAGING AMBASSADOR

        Rebecca, thank you for your thoughts. I’m not sure it is as much about de-emphasizing as it is about making sure we don’t become so focused on it that we become one-dimensional in how we approach and discuss being transgender. Especially to the exclusion of how we love to write, to read, to create music, and art, and build things, and fix things, and cook things…. Or chart the heavens, or create new medicines… The list is endless. I think that may be a premise the original author was looking for. Hugs

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #134923
      Rebecca
      FREE

      Indeed. Transgender Heaven is not a place for long, reasoned arguments using evidence to convince others. That was for the Ancient Greeks like Socrates, not for modern people.

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