25 Nov 2018

The NYT is Begging to be Taken Seriously (and It Obviously Does Not Deserve It)

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Andrea Long Chu

How does it feel to live in a time in which the grand establishment newspaper of record will publish, with grave seriousness and implicit nodding approval, the self-pitying posturings of a crazy who has created a personal identity and political ideology based on maladjustment and futile, self-destructive efforts to rebel against Nature and Reality?

Next Thursday, I will get a vagina. The procedure will last around six hours, and I will be in recovery for at least three months. Until the day I die, my body will regard the vagina as a wound; as a result, it will require regular, painful attention to maintain. This is what I want, but there is no guarantee it will make me happier. In fact, I don’t expect it to. That shouldn’t disqualify me from getting it.

I like to say that being trans is the second-worst thing that ever happened to me. (The worst was being born a boy.) …

I feel demonstrably worse since I started on hormones. One reason is that, absent the levies of the closet, years of repressed longing for the girlhood I never had have flooded my consciousness. I am a marshland of regret. Another reason is that I take estrogen — effectively, delayed-release sadness, a little aquamarine pill that more or less guarantees a good weep within six to eight hours.

Like many of my trans friends, I’ve watched my dysphoria balloon since I began transition. I now feel very strongly about the length of my index fingers — enough that I will sometimes shyly unthread my hand from my girlfriend’s as we walk down the street. When she tells me I’m beautiful, I resent it. I’ve been outside. I know what beautiful looks like. Don’t patronize me.

I was not suicidal before hormones. Now I often am.

I won’t go through with it, probably. Killing is icky. I tell you this not because I’m cruising for sympathy but to prepare you for what I’m telling you now: I still want this, all of it. I want the tears; I want the pain. Transition doesn’t have to make me happy for me to want it. Left to their own devices, people will rarely pursue what makes them feel good in the long term. Desire and happiness are independent agents.

As long as transgender medicine retains the alleviation of pain as its benchmark of success, it will reserve for itself, with a dictator’s benevolence, the right to withhold care from those who want it. Transgender people have been forced, for decades, to rely for care on a medical establishment that regards them with both suspicion and condescension. And yet as things stand today, there is still only one way to obtain hormones and surgery: to pretend that these treatments will make the pain go away.

The medical maxim “First, do no harm” assumes that health care providers possess both the means and the authority to decide what counts as harm. When doctors and patients disagree, the exercise of this prerogative can, itself, be harmful. Nonmaleficence is a principle violated in its very observation. Its true purpose is not to shield patients from injury but to install the medical professional as a little king of someone else’s body.

Let me be clear: I believe that surgeries of all kinds can and do make an enormous difference in the lives of trans people.

But I also believe that surgery’s only prerequisite should be a simple demonstration of want. Beyond this, no amount of pain, anticipated or continuing, justifies its withholding.

Nothing, not even surgery, will grant me the mute simplicity of having always been a woman. I will live with this, or I won’t. That’s fine. The negative passions — grief, self-loathing, shame, regret — are as much a human right as universal health care, or food. There are no good outcomes in transition. There are only people, begging to be taken seriously.


Personally, I think that we sane and normal people have a lot more reason for melancholy based on sheer embarrassment over the contemptible intellectual state of our culture and establishment than does some nutcase who does not like the sexual characteristics he was born with.

I fail to understand how Society and the medical profession and government are all supposed to adapt to whims connected with sex on the part of an infinitesimally small number of deeply neurotic malcontents without feeling exactly the same obligation to “take seriously” and accommodate the wishes of every madman who thinks he is Napoleon.

5 Feedbacks on "The NYT is Begging to be Taken Seriously (and It Obviously Does Not Deserve It)"


When you believe something that is not true, that is a delusion. It is easier to reason a person out of a delusion than it is to remake him or her to fit their delusion. In short, it’s easier to fix the software than the hardware.

John’s Hopkins has ceased performing gender reassignment surgery because the patients did not improve.

There is a performer at the Coney Island freak show who calls himself the Lizardman. He has filed his teeth into points, forked his tongue, tattooed scales all over his body, and implanted horns on his head. If he wants to be a lizard, should we fulfill his wish?

A hiker out west came across a herd of goats in the mountains. He was astonished to find, running among them, a man clothed in a goatskin, acting like a goat. If he wants to be a goat, should we fulfill his wish? Should we implant hair all over his body, attach horns to his skull, and replace his hands and feet with hooves?

Or should we talk them out of their delusions until they accept reality?

Francis W. Porretto

Having met a couple of transwomen who struck me as acceptably well balanced and self-supporting, I recited to myself Heinlein’s old saying that “delusions are often functional.” But one of them has since exhibited a broad streak of irrationality. Her delusion is breaking down, and nothing will restabilize her. I’ve begun to think that there will be a shakeout…hopefully before a lot more deluded people are led astray by their delusions.

Seattle Sam

There are over 300MM in the United States. Why does the NYT and other media always focus on the small number of severely deluded oddballs? Besides oddities always being items of curiosity, I think their agenda is to normalize oddballs. We are supposed to not only tolerate, but lionize the oddball such that what we used to call “normal behavior” is no longer consider normal. It is the same reason every third episode in TV shows features some sort of homosexual. That way you’ll forget that they are <5% of the population. Imagine half the TV shows set in Los Angeles featured rain. Eventually you'd be led to believe it rains a lot in Southern California.
The NYT has an agenda, and it is pursuing it vigorously.


Who pays the bills for enabling this insanity?

This is a voluntary procedure.
If you can’t force people to be in a union and pay union dues.
Than you should not be able to force people in an insurance pool to pay for this madness.

I guarantee this is being paid for, or massively underwritten, by the Taxpayer.

Soren K

Sam is correct, the NYT and many media outlets have an agenda. But in addition to the “normalization” agenda is the cash agenda. Media of all types has mushroomed over the past 20 years and while the number of eyeballs hasn’t nearly kept up. So… to grab your share of eyeballs media has devolved into tawdry click-bait in every corner of the planet. Sensationalism,or fake news if you will, has stomped out dull truth… or at least kicked it under the pile of leaves so you can’t find it easily.

The freak show has become the new normal.


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