Do you disagree with the term “gender identity disorder”?
Tony: Yes and no. Yes, to be transgender is, in my opinion, is a disorder where your brain doesn’t fit your body. I don’t think it can be ‘fixed’ through therapy, though; this is something I’ve tried to do, to no effect. My counsellor was … a naughty word that would be unprofessional to say :3 It can only be ‘fixed’ through your body matching up. You know what? I’m not makin’ sense. I’ll simplify it for myself and everyone else:
- YES. I believe that if you are transgender you have a ‘gender identity disorder’, because you are not the sex you were born.
- NO. I do not believe that it is something doctors can fix as though it is a mental disorder. It can’t be ‘fixed’ by psychologists.
I want people to disagree with me on this. But, I suppose I see from both perspectives.
Shaan: Not at all. Just because it’s a disorder doesn’t mean people/the medical field thinks it can be fixed. It’s simply an acknowledgment that there is an issue in the brain going on. That something in someone’s mind is a little “off” if you will. I do think it can be helped to a certain degree though, which is obviously via transition. But even then some people still have an mild symptoms of GID. Someone else brought up how it pressures the more masculine MTFs or feminine FTMs to question whether they’re really trans or not since they don’t display the typical super fem/macho characteristics. I agree with that…and I’m honestly a bit worried about it myself when I go in for therapy. But at the same time I’m not going to beef myself up just so some shrink can tell me what I already know. I’m just a femme guy, that makes me no less of a guy than the next. And if that’s how psychologists define GID, by how you act/look, I think there’s a problem with the system.
Ian: I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’m sort of in the middle. On the one hand, it’s kind of offensive that the psychiatric community sees being transgender as a mental disorder; as something to be “cured.” That outlook makes me feel uneasy to a certain degree. I think it also puts a lot of pressure on atypical trans people to feel like they have to fit certain criteria in order to be “really trans.” For example, when I first came out to myself as trans, I was worried that I wouldn’t really be considered trans because I hadn’t always known that I was a boy as a child. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to be diagnosed with GID because of that, and that I’d be left high and dry with my gender issues (I still haven’t been diagnosed with it, but I’m now confident that I will when the time comes). I suppose in that way, the idea of gender identity disorder can be a comfort to some people. So many people tell us that being trans is just a phase or that it’s not legitimate that! for some people, having a professional tell them “yes, this is what’s going on with you” can be a relief.
So overall, I’m honestly not sure what to think. I think in many ways it would help the movement if GID was taken out of the Diagnostic Statistcal Manual for Mental Disorders, partially because it might take away some of the stigma people hold against us, but it might make certain aspects of transition more difficult for people.
Stephanie: I don’t know if I necessarily disagree with the term. I mean, it’s kind of hard to describe it. It’s not really a mental illness, it’s a state of being. Perhaps condition would be better than disorder? Disorder just sounds so negative. Although, condition does as well in some context. Disorder implies there is something wrong with the brain, though, and there isn’t, it’s the body that’s wrong. Condition, to me, sounds to be more about the body.
Charley: I hate the term “gender identity disorder” - it’s exactly like saying homosexuality is a mental disorder. So I do not see myself as a woman. Am I sick? No. I am a fully healthy, contributing member of society who does not need meds. Plus, we know sexuality is not a duality like we once thought. We also know gender to be a social and artificial construct. So, why does psychology and medicine still retain this archaic dual mode? Let’s say I want cosmetic surgery or another cosmetic procedure (like hormones, etc.) done to change my body. Other people who just want Botox or something else get maybe a bit of psychological check-ups just so they know they are prepped and know what to expect. Me? For me to transform my body, I have to go through at least ayear’s worth of therapy and a bunch of other shit? And, my biggest thing is that Western medicine does not accept, or even at the very least, tolerate other POVs. Pre-conquested India recognised 3 genders. Modern Thais and Polynesians recognise more than 2 genders. Why, as usual, does the West think its own views to be the ONLY views?
Who’s to say that transgender people are ‘different’? Is this just a majority rule issue? And is there any mental disorder which is not detrimental? Granted, transphobia and the self-struggle can be detrimental, but being transgendered is not a ‘bad thing’.