TRANSNEWS

Transexuality has been a social issue during the last years but, is people opinion about it changing? We have done an anonymous survey to see what their opinion is. Many people consider themselves in favour of transexuality, but as they get through questions they begin to feel insecure about their thoughts.

Few people have had the courage to contradict society and truly showing who their really are, basically, due to some social standards we have assimilated throughout the years, most of them, coming from religious traditions. The Catholic Church since its beginning, has set on the people some basics which, even if we are not believers of its religion, cause many people to disapprove of same-sex marriage. However, it is true that during the last decade, LGBT associations have created a great impact on society, changing most of the occidental countries’ minds, leading to new egalitarian-support laws like France, Canada or Spain.

Even though these facts are more common as time passes , there are still close-minded people and organisations who stand against this “social revolution”. For instance, an ultra-catholic organisation recently in February 2017, released a number of “transphobic vehicles of hate” which willed to tour major Spanish cities with a discriminating message on them against the Sexual Indoctrination in Spanish Schools.

Moreover, some topics are still being taboo talking points nowadays among the population, just as transsexuality. It is not so easy to start a conversation about changing job as of changing gender, isn’t it?

For the time being, many people live repressed in order to adjust to what society deems acceptable and spend their lives “in the wrong body”. However, some really had the bravery to overpass all the taboo barriers, and achieved what they were looking forward to.

In this case, we interviewed Elias, a transsexual teenager who used to be called “Elsy”. This boy first denied to be interviewed by us as by doing so, he felt just what he did not want to: different. However, he eventually agreed to let us interview him as he understood the purpose of the article.

What does it feel to be transsexual?

While you living under a skin and an identity which are not yours, a great anguish and anxiety. When you break free, peace with yourself.

Do you think a transsexual kid knows is different?

I didn’t start to feel different until I was 9 or 10 years old. However, when I turned 13, there was a huge difference and I knew I had to do something about it.

Do you know when and how you were completely conscious of your transexuality?

It started in puberty. It was more of a “leave it or take it” and the feelings turned out to be very strong.

How did you accept it?

It wasn’t a matter of accepting. There were absolutely no doubts of my willing to be a boy.

How did you explain it to your family environment, and what happened to you?

My sister was very supportive, but my mother was a bit reluctant at first, though she agreed to pay for the surgery. She still doesn’t understand why I did what I did, but she respects my decision.

What was the reaction of the people around you when they realised how you had been feeling for such a long time?

My friends knew I didn’t feel like a girl, in fact, years before I decided to take surgery, I told them to call me by the male pronouns, and they did. So they weren’t surprised at all.

What was the most difficult part of your sex-change?

The angst of my family. What affected me the most, definitely. Later on, they were getting used to it and eventually it became normal.

In which way did your life change once you decided changing to your true gender?

I went from the permanent sadness to the perpetual and stable happiness, above all difficulties. Since then, I feel alive.

Have you ever being a victim of transphobia through insults or other type of aggression?

Frequently, verbal aggressions, overall from male teenagers.

Do you think a transsexual can at some point feel harmony?

Yes, if you understand that harmony is the positive result of a contradiction.

Which are the main problems which faces a transsexual person?

I would have to say new relationships. I don’t go around telling everyone I meet for the first time I’m transexual, and it scares me to think that some people might reject me when they find out.

Finally, have you ever been rejected by the society?

Conjunctively, yes, however, fortunately, there are enough spaces in which I am perfectly accepted and I feel comfortable. It could also be said I do not feel rejected but it is also frequent to find negative and rejection spaces, overall in closed-minded environments.

Elias feels now like a new person, ready to do what he couldn’t in the past. He, together with the people who have succeeded in stepping over society barriers, are examples of self-determination, personal growth and many times; success.

Bus of Discord

Transphobic bus in Spain has not left anyone indifferent.

A bus owned by the Spanish ultra catholic association “Hazte oir” was planned to be driven around the country, making people aware of how bad being transgender is. This bus causes licentiousness and was banned immediately in Madrid and Barcelona, the two biggest cities in Spain. The latest news say that the bus knocked down an LGTB-friendly girl in Pamplona before fleeing away from the scene.

This bus has been on tour around the country during a month, and it is planned to continue until it has travelled around all of the main Spanish cities. However, its message has not been always the same, as it had to change due to judicial reasons. Apart from the bus, there also was a caravan, which has had a minor impact and it has not been mobilized as much as the bus. Messages have varied from the original one:

“Boys have penis. Girls have vulva. Do not let them make a fool of yourself. If you are born a man, you are a man. If you are a woman, you’ll keep being it”.

This one was changed to a censored version without the genital names and then to a version where the message “That is what biology says.”, “Respect for everyone”.

Tranphobic bus in New York

Chelsea Clinton, Bill and Hillary’s daughter has publicly rejected “the Bus of Hate” entering the US or someone starting an initiative similar to that one in the country. She is just a “popular” voice saying that, when the fact is that society has rejected that message, claiming for freedom for everyone. The bus has been ridiculized in internet during the week after its first apparition and after that, the bus has mainly fallen into oblivion, as its impact changed, being close to nonexistent now.

CitizenGo, the association to which HazteOir is associated and the causant of controversy around transexuality.

As of Thursday 23rd, this bus has arrived to New York, where its message is the same as the original one, but adapted to the country’s language. The bus is owned by the group CitizenGo, where the organization HazteOir is associated. It has not started its tour yet, as it was only the presentation of the vehicle. No one has made an opinion on it yet, but it will be causing more and more controversy.

In an anonymous online poll we opened to get first hand information, 180 unique users have registered their vote. The options we gave them to the question: “Should transexual people be treated the same as a non-transgender person?” were “Yes”, “No”, “Not in some cases (ie: in bathrooms or locker rooms they should use the one assigned to the gender they were born with)” and “Not in some cases (ie: the example mentioned above and that they shouldn't be able to marry or adopt)”.

The results were:
-Yes (72%)
-No (10%)

-Not in some cases (ie: in bathrooms or locker rooms they should use the one assigned to the gender they were born with) (18%)

-Not in some cases (ie: the example mentioned above and that they shouldn't be able to marry or adopt) (0%)

Most people were in favour of treating transexual people exactly as if they were normal people, meanwhile more than half of the people who voted differently to yes agree with most of it, but they would not like to share a public “intimate” space (locker rooms), with people who are different to the sex they have now. 10% say they don’t consider transexuals as normal people. No one agreed with the option against marriage and/or adoption.

IPro

Final Debate

Eventually, our group decided to join a debate forum online and discuss the transexuality with other partipants against our way of thnking, and judged popular jury.

Introduction

Some people think that people shouldn't change their genders, or that it is something abnormal, some think that transexuality is okay, but they should use the ocker rooms/bathrooms fit for the gender in which they were born, some people think they shouldn't be able to marry or adopt... What do you people think?

Pro (us)

In my opinion, transexuality is completely normal, and people shouldn't look at it as something which is abnormal. As for marrying and having kids, I don't see why not, they are normal people just like a heterosexual person.

Con

Transexuality is absolutely not normal. Transexuality means to change your sex, which is not possible at all. You may think that simply removing the reproductive sex organs of a person automatically makes them the opposite sex, but that is not the case. Sex organs are not the only things that distinguish the difference between male and female. Some of these differences include: Women have developed breasts that are usually capable of lactating, while men have not, men have more bodily hair than women do, and one of the most distinguishable characteristics, women have two X chromosomes and men have an X and a Y. There are approximately 37.2 trillion cells in the human body which 46 chromosomes in each cell. That adds up to a total of 17,112,000,000,000,000 chromosomes in the human body. You cannot change 17,112,000,000,000,000 chromosomes. It is not possible because you would have to change each and every one of them. You can have a sex organ change or shave body hair or even grow it out, but doing just those things does not at all make you a completely different sex.

Pro

If you want to base this debate in science, then allow me to tell you what science thinks about transexuality. Science agrees that transexuality has an anatomical basis, proven by Antonio Guillamon of the National Distance Education University in Madrid and neuropsychologist Carme Junqu" Plaja of the University of Barcelona. They did an experiment using as subjects 42 people, both male and female, who agreed that they felt they were born in the wrong body. Upon many tests and experiments done in their brains, their results, published in 2013, showed that even before treatment the brain structures of the trans people were more similar in some respects to the brains of their experienced gender than those of their natal gender. For example, the female-to-male subjects had relatively thin subcortical areas (these areas tend to be thinner in men than in women). Male-to-female subjects tended to have thinner cortical regions in the right hemisphere, which is characteristic of a female brain.

This isn't the only experiment done to determine whether transexuality has an anatomical basis, psychologist Sarah M. Burke of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and biologist Julie Bakker of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience used functional MRI to examine how 39 prepubertal and 41 adolescent boys and girls with gender dysphoria responded to androstadienone, an odorous steroid with pheromonelike properties that is known to cause a different response in the hypothalamus of men versus women. They found that the adolescent boys and girls with gender dysphoria responded much like peers of the gender they wanted to be.

However, putting science apart, can you imagine what these people must be feeling like? Being their whole life in a body they don't like, where they feel strange, feeling like they aren't quite the same as the people from their gender? If they want to change their gender, because they feel more at ease, because they feel comfortable, then why should other people tell them what's morally right or wrong? These people are not hurting anybody by being transexuals, they are only trying to be happier, and we should respect them and their decisions, because they shouldn't have to deal with people telling them that they are monsters, aberrations, abominations or things like that. If they are happy, and not hurting anybody, why not let them be? It's their body, and they can do whatever they want with it.

Con

The suicide rate among transgender people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Studies from Vanderbilt University and London"s Portman Clinic of children, said 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings "spontaneously lose those feelings" over time. Transgender thoughts are mentally wrong and need to be fixed. If someone who wants to do something irreversible to their body, such as suicide or removing sex organs, are we not morally obligated to help them get well? A person who thinks they are the opposite sex is the equivalent of a person with anorexia who thinks they are overweight. Sure, we can let them keep starving themselves until their death (as long as they aren't bothering anyone else, of course) or we can do what is morally right, give them help.

A transgender person"s disorder is in the person"s assumption that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. I've already explained how science and logic clearly says the you cannot change your sex. Cosmetic surgery doesn't automatically make you the opposite sex. It would be the equivalent of putting a Ford logo over a Subaru logo. Bottom line, its still a Subaru. If you think that a man with a brain that slightly resembles that of a woman, I'm sure you can explain how males who identify as females have brains with male DNA (that thing which makes us what we are and who we are). Women can have mescalin features, such as thick body hair or even armpits, but that still doesn't make them male. The bottom line is transgender thoughts and desires are a mental problem these people need to cope with and by allowing and encouraging them to to irreversible things to their body can have serious consequences on their well being.

Pro

You said that the suicide rate is 20 times higher than the one amongst non-transgender people, and though you did not present a source for that information, I'll accept it and believe it's true. But why do these suicides happen? Could it be because of how society treats transexual people? In this very same page, debate.org, 52% of the people believe that transexuality is not normal. How do you think that makes a transexual feel? There is clear discrimination against transexuals, for example, a trans woman named Gina Serra was fired from her job just because she was transexual, and Raina Aliev, was killed by her father, who when he saw his daughter, the only thing he said to her was, and I quote, "Bring him to me and kill him right in front of my eyes" before stabbing her to death. (The quote might not be very accurate, as I translated it from the Spanish newspaper I found it in). So, don't you think that the cause of suicide may be because they have to live with discrimination, watching crimes like this happen, being humilliated, ignored, subjected to unwanted comments, just because the only thing they wanted was to be happy?

Moving on to your next argument, you said that 70% and 80% of CHILDREN lose these feelings over time. You said it there, children. People who don't have the same ability of thinking and reasoning as an adult. How can you take a 5 year old's whims seriously? When I was 5 years old I believed I would get admitted into Howgarts when I turned eleven. Thing is, it's not the same if a child expresses these feelings, than if an adult does, a child might not know what they're getting into, but an adult does at least 80% of the time. And you are comparing suicide to removing sex organs, because ending your life and changing your genitals are totally on the same level.

You talked about DNA,well, DNA analysis from 112 male-to-female transsexual volunteers showed they were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene, based on a research done in Prince Henry's Institute, Monash University. "We think that these genetic differences might reduce testosterone action and under masculinise the brain during foetal development." said researcher Lauren Hare.

And, if DNA makes us who we are and what we are, I'm sure you can explain how, if I cut several parts of your brain you'll become nothing more than an empty shell with no power of reasoning or thinking. In Alzheimer's disease (which affects the brain), patients slowly start lo lose their memory and ultimately become an empty shell, not remembering how they were and acting totally different. And, for example, if someone is a coward, a few tweaks in their frontal lobe will make them fearless.

Our brain is who we are, and hormones can infuence that too, for example, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), found out that testosterone can change brain structures in female-to-male transsexuals.

If you look up in the dictionary the definition of, for example, woman, it says: a person of the female sex. And if you look up sex (not intercourse), the definition is: sexual organs. So, if sexual organs determine whether you are a man or a woman, and you go through sex reassignment surgery, it is safe to say that they can change their sex.

I've proven that a transexual's brain is different, that their DNA is different, that their responses to hormones secreted by people from their opposite gender are different... science proves transexuality is real and not 'a mental problem', like you so kindly stated in your argument. We should treat these people no differently than we treat non-transexual people, they aren't hurting anybody, they are only making choices that they believe will make them happier. The majority of the transsexual individuals have reported enjoying better sex lives and improved sexual satisfaction after sex reassignment surgery. Of course, there is a percentage which ends up regretting their decision, but isn't that the case in every big decision? Besides, this percentage is very small, and we shouldn't forbid sex reassignment surgery if the vast majority of people are happy with it.

I thank Con for debating against me in this debate, and await your final argument and votations.

Con

You've attempted to prove me wrong in almost all of my arguments except my analogies of the issue. Thinking you're something you aren't is just plain wrong. Not to mention the fact that according to the World Health Organization, being transgender is a mental illness. A man who thinks he is a female is the same thing as an anorexic person thinking they're overweight. It just doesn't make sense in the fact how we feel the need to help anorexic people with their condition, but not transgender. We as a society are losing our sense of morality and are being pushed in a corner for feeling it. Those who try to stand up for morality are discriminated for it. Like Javier Chavez, who was fired from Macy's for disagreeing with their transgender bathroom policy. 0.3% of Americans are transgender, so why should everyone else change their way of life just to please 0.3%? They shouldn't.

It is possible for people to attempt to change who they are, but that doesn't mean that they become something new. Changing your gender or sex is not part of your human identity. If you shake the hand of a man who identifies as a woman, you're making contact with a hand full of male DNA, so therefore you are shaking a male hand, shaking hands with a man.

Not to mention the fact that more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transgender patients by the University of Birmingham Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility found "no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective" and 1/5th of people regret it. So a sex change operation is clearly not the best way for people to deal with their struggle with this problem. Not to mention the fact that 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide when 4.6% of the rest of the population does. So again, sex reassignment surgery is not the best way for these people to deal with their problem.

If a 60 year old man wants to identify as a 16 year old, does that mean he is then 16? No. He isn't. He can dress like a 16 year old, he can act like a 16 year old, or he can even feel like a 16 year old. But that does not change the fact that he is 60. He can undergo surgeries to remove his wrinkles and make him appear like a 16 year old, but he's still 60 years old. You can't magically change your age and you can't magically change your sex. That's just the way it is. All the protests and bathroom laws doesn't change the fact that you can't change your sex.

"If someone is a coward, a few tweaks in their frontal lobe will make them fearless." That statement only talks about the psychology of a person. If a man, being a man by biology, is a a coward, a few tweaks in their frontal lobe may make them fearless but that doesn't change the fact that they are according to biology a man. The laws of biology are things that we can't simply just change because that don't cooperate with someone's feelings. If I, a human, feel like I'm a plant inside, does getting naked and putting my feet in the dirt make me a plant? No, of course not.

The bottom line is, there are better options for people than having genital reassignment surgery. It is impossible for someone to change their sex, which I have already covered. The people struggling with this problem need psychiatric care, not surgery.

Eventually, moderators agree we won the debate.

Credits:

Created with images by krytofr - "IMG_7424"

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