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Kitty Plato, the problem is that talking therapy doesn't on the whole work for trans people. Not all trans people have surgery (either they don't want it or other reasons) so it's not just about that, or hormones, although for many trans people they are a life-saver. Even if we consider a situation where trans people can't (aren't allowed, etc) medical treatment as part of their transition, they'll still want to use pronouns and other social aspects that fit with their gender identity. If we're going to deny them of that too, then basically what you're advocating is the trans equivalent of "gay cure" therapy, which has been shown to be dangerous and ineffective. Further to your comment about the bi-gender dichotomy (also known as the gender binary), many people actively live outside (or between) this binary. And even those who are comfortable in a binary identity can see the world in a non-binary way. This isn't new, although it is rare.
Phil I disagree deeply. Gender identity and gender roles are different things; many trans and cis (not trans) people subvert gender roles, while others fit within them (either by choice or because they are constrained by their social environment). Also because we haven't managed to move beyond a highly gendered society I don't see why transgender people have an additional duty to subverting gender roles by foregoing a social and medical transition which would massively improve their quality of life (to the extent where some trans people commit suicide if they can't access treatment). I think it's also worth noting that many of the people who criticised Moore (for the original error and her responses) are very well aware of this understanding of politics. Many are involved in many kinds of activism: traditional politics, socialism, feminism, rights for disabled people, etc. PS It is preferred that "transsexual" and "transgender" are used as adjectives - the idea is that this is one part of a person, rather than all their defining features (similarly "gay" and "female" should be adjectives).
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Jan 13, 2013