Thursday, April 27, 2017

LGB Rights Turned on Their Head

I'm old enough to remember when the movement was called Gay Lib. Then Lesbians and bisexuals insisted on inclusion and it became Gay and Lesbian Rights. Bisexuals were added in and it became LGT Rights. Through it all, the movement had one message: "We aren't asking anyone else to turn gay, we just want to be free to express our own proclivities." This is an appeal to basic fairness and very hard to argue against. Reasonable people will agree that what ever happens between consenting couples is their business.

Two things have happened in the last couple of years that have turned this argument upside down. It began when the transsexuals managed to include themselves into the mix becoming LGBT then LGBTQ, sometimes with other letters added at the end. This flew below the radar until 2015 when the Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal nation-wide. Suddenly the LGB part of the alliance had achieved all of their goals.

Movements seldom just declare victory and shut down. They declare new goals. So, the LGBT movement seamlessly moved on to the T part with the Q part waiting in the wings.

Things get kind of strange here. Where, previously we had two sexes easily differentiated by their chromosomes as well as secondary sexual characteristics. Now we have a gender spectrum where gender is separate from sex. Officially the movement is pushing the idea of being born in the wrong body. Just as gays were "born this way", trans people say that their bodies do not match their gender. Someone might have XY chromosomes but still be convinced, deep down, that he is and always has been a woman and that society should treat him as a her.

This group has yet to reconcile with the gender-fluid people who claim to change genders as often as their clothing and who want to be treated as whatever gender they happen to be currently wearing. But I'll ignore them for the moment.

A big problem with being a transsexual is that sexual reassignment surgery is expensive and just builds an approximation of the opposite sex's genitals. So a majority of transsexuals only change secondary sex characteristics. Trans-women take hormones to grow breasts and possible get implants. Trans-men take hormones to grow beards and have their breasts removed. This leads to the construct "a woman who happens to have a penis".

Problems arise when trans people start dating. It's difficult to find a guy (or a lesbian woman) who wants to have sex with a girl who happens to have a penis. The problem resolves itself with trans couples but the number of trans people is really pretty small.

Which bring me to the point of this post - the demand that CIS-gender people (people whose gender matches their genitalia) ignore a trans person's genitalia. Here's a rant by a trans women who insists on being treated as a real women. The original, powerful message of the Gay Lib movement is gone. Instead of "let us live our lives", (s)he's now demanding that others change.

This is self-defeating. Where gay rights advocates have always insisted that you can't force someone to change their sexual attraction, now the trans people are demanding just that. And they are not just demanding it from straight people. They are demanding that everyone change. And you just can't expect people to change their sexual preferences because you demand it. It just doesn't work that way.

This is also a total redefinition of what it is to be gay or straight. By this reasoning, gays are now two people with the same secondary sex characteristics regardless of primary sexual characteristics.

I expect that this conflict will start breaking up the LGBTQ alliance. If that doesn't then the gender-fluid folks will.


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