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January 04, 2016
When Bruce Jenner announced to the world that he wanted to live as a woman and would henceforth be known as Caitlyn, the world fawned. ESPN bestowed on him/her the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, celebrity newsmakers battled to interview him/her, and Vanity Fair splashed his/her image across its cover. Jenner is transgender, and in our Emperor's-New-Clothes world, we are not only to accept him as her, we are to celebrate that fact as a kind of truth-telling.
To call Jenner troubled or in need of professional help would be considered insulting. But what about Paul Woscht, now known as Stefonkee, who "thinks he is actually a six year-old girl – not just a woman, but a six year-old girl – stuck in the body of a 50-something man." This is a man who was once married with seven children who now lives with what he calls his "adopted mummy and daddy" as a 6-year-old girl. "I've gone back to being a child," he explains. "I don't want to be an adult right now…" Is Woscht/Stefonkee transager?
What about people who blind themselves or cut off limbs because they "identify" as sightless or lame? Should we celebrate their "truth"?
Columnist Michael Brown writes about this with real truth-telling and appropriate sympathy, in an effort. as he puts it, to "expose the insanity of affirming people's perceptions, whatever those perceptions might be."
You can read his column here.
Salvo has covered these issues from many angles.
We recommend: "Out on a Limb: Elective Amputation – An Irrational Desire or a Fundamental Right?" as a primer on Body Integrity Identity Disorder.
And for further reading on gender disorders, check out "Failed Operations: Medical Malpractice in an Age of Gender Denial Disorder" and "Hooked on a Feeling: Is Gender Just a State of Mind?"
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