August 2nd, 2017

When your spouse changes—big time

When we get married we promise to stick by the spouse for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. We marry a particular person for certain reasons—looks, personality, kindness, intelligence, a host of things that we aren’t even necessarily able to list but that go to the heart of the reasons we chose this particular person over others.

And yet we always know—and those vows reflect—the notion that change is part of life and life can be very unpredictable. We can look at the mothers and fathers and grandparents of our spouses to help us imagine the future, but we don’t really know whether our husband or wife will become fat, or disabled, or bald, or depressed, or angry, or have an affair, or suddenly want to live in the country after being a city person, or a host of other possibilities both small and large.

But in the olden days, those vows didn’t include “for man or woman,” because sex (or gender, take your pick on the term) was considered immutable. That’s not true today. Whatever you think of how basic the change is, there’s no question that one can change one’s outsides and take hormones to effect a powerful transformation that could and probably would be very disturbing to most spouses having to deal with it.

Here’s a story of one such modern-day dilemma. I can’t find the original article being described, so I’ll just go with the writer’s report on it, but I think it’s important to remember that although the article is about a couple that was originally lesbian, this sort of thing also happens in relationships that are originally heterosexual (look no further than Caitlyn Jenner’s ex-wife Kris Kardashian, who resolved a similar dilemma by getting a divorce):

I recently read a first-person account by a woman who had been a “proud lesbian” until her partner up and decided she was actually a man. This woman expected to be a Professional Gay Woman for life with all the dual rights and privileges to which she was entitled, and suddenly she finds herself married to a regular old garden-variety MAN like the rest of us non-special heterosexual women.

Not only that, but since it’s verboten to suggest that the transgender person hadn’t ALWAYS been a man, this woman had been with a man all along, thus jeopardizing her status as a lesbian, proud or not. That’s gotta rock your world…

To the woman’s credit, I guess, she tells us that this man is still the same dear partner he had always been and she is going to stay with him. Whatever

That may seem ridiculous or humorous. But to the person it happens to—man or woman, straight or gay—it’s absolutely no laughing matter. It tests the limits of what sort of change a person can endure in a mate.

61 Responses to “When your spouse changes—big time”

  1. chuck Says:

    Early blogger Zoe Brain is another example. His story:

    Actually, I am a Rocket Scientist. Also hormonally odd (my blood has 46xy chromosomes anyway) and for most of my life, I looked male, and lived as one, trying to be the best Man a Gal could be. Anyway, in May 2005 that started changing naturally for reasons still unclear, and I’m now Zoe, not Alan : happier and more relaxed not to have to pretend any more. UPDATE – reason now identified as the 3BHSD form of CAH.

  2. DNW Says:

    “Caitlyn Jenner’s ex-wife Kris Kardashian, who resolved a similar dilemma by getting a divorce) …”

    What dilemma?

    It becomes a different sex, it is no longer your spouse. Unless you are crazy yourself.

    The idea that constancy and a commitment to one flesh should be presumed operative when the very identity of the person is changed by … well who exactly? … is absurd.

    (If Y, ostensibly becomes X, then who or what identifiable agent can be charged with making the decision, if you take the pre-suppositional fluid identity lunacy involved seriously in the first place? The previous person no longer exists … again, if you take the fluid identity nonsense seriously)

    This is the trouble that comes with accommodating the mentally ill as if they are not crazy. What possible point is there in enabling this kind of lunatic behavior through social solidarity?

  3. parker Says:

    No matter how serious the situation you described, I can not rap my mind around this except to conclude these people are in need of intervention by mental health professionals, with the caveat there are a few rare exceptions where genetics are involved. We’re talking about far less than one percent of the population. Why has this become such an issue that enthralls so many?

  4. J.J. Says:

    Ugh!

    When I was a young man, I wanted a wife who would always be available for good times and look up to me as her knight in shining armor. (Immature much?)

    Didn’t get that woman.

    Instead I got a woman with a heart of gold, the courage of a lioness, much common sense, and an ability to burst my bubble when needed.

    We had a rough patch after our son died. We both did some hard work, examining our lives and relationship. It was time well spent. We are both better people and better spouses than we were before.

    Sixty one years together in a week. These days are now filled with aging. Both of us have dealt with severe medical problems in the last eighteen months. There is no one I would rather be with until the end of our days. I look back on my years of marriage as a journey I never imagined, but am glad I took.

    For anyone who has relationship challenges (regardless of sex) it is worthwhile to see if the relationship can be repaired/renewed. Sometimes it can.

  5. John Guilfoyle Says:

    J.J. – you are one richly blessed family.
    Thank you for pointing down the road to such a life for the rest of us.

  6. parker Says:

    J.J.,

    Good work! 48 years for us come August 13. A long term relationship does require work in order to keep 2 unique people together. Sorry to learn you lost a son, can’t imagine sorrow that deep.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    parker:

    I find it intrinsically interesting. I don’t only get interested in things that affect many people.

    In addition, I happen to know some people who are transgendered, although they were never married. And, as I’ve noted before, the particular people I happen to know appear extremely well-adjusted and sane.

    But this post isn’t really about them. It’s about the spouses, and how they deal with the situation.

  8. huxley Says:

    I think Jimi Hendrix said it best:

    Now if 6 turned out to be 9
    I don’t mind, I don’t mind
    Alright, if all the hippies cut off all their hair
    I don’t care, I don’t care
    Dig, ‘cos I got my own world to live through
    And I ain’t gonna copy you

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    J.J.:

    Kudos to you on your marriage, and congratulations on your anniversary!!!

    And my condolences on the tragedy you endured years ago.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW:

    The definition of “dilemma”: “a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially undesirable ones.”

    The person does have to make a choice. Not everyone sees it the way you do. And the choice is between undesirable alternatives.

    That person took a vow to stick by the person in sickness and in health, remember? And we marry a person of a certain gender, but we also marry a person.

    I don’t see anything easy about the situation. I strongly believe I would get a divorce if faced with it, but there would be nothing easy about the choice, particularly if there were minor children.

  11. huxley Says:

    My problem is more with the women — and I’ve known several — who divorced their guy, not because he changed his gender or something major, but because these women decided their husband was not really their soulmate.

  12. The Other Chuck Says:

    Good for the lesbian couple who transitioned with the transition. It wouldn’t have mattered in the deepest sense if my now deceased mate of 30 plus years was woman or man. We were soul mates to the end. You don’t ever willingly give up or seek to replace that kind of bond. You know what’s going to be said before it’s uttered, what will be the outcome of any argument (forgiveness), and that life would hardly be worth living if it ended by choice.

    I envy the hell out you, J.J.

  13. The Other Chuck Says:

    And you too, Parker!

  14. parker Says:

    Well neo, if my wife of near;y 48 years discovered she is a magic male after giving birth to 3 children; I would seek to have her committed. I know the same would be true if my long suppressed desire to have a vagina surfaced. Transgender means XX and XY are meaningless, it denies biology. XY that wishes to be XX will never have ovaries and will always have a prostate. XX that wants to be XY will never have a prostate or testicles.

    Sorry, but we have to differ. Transgenderism is impossible. Nothing will make a XX XY nor make a XY XX. It is coded in every cell of our bodies. I realize sexual desire is a bell curve. Genetics are not. Its binary.

  15. huxley Says:

    In my San Francisco days a wild lesbian friend introduced me to Pat Califia, a Mormon turned SM lesbian writer of some repute in radical sexual politics of the time.

    When Califia came out as a lesbian she lost her Mormon family. When Califia came out as a sadomasochist, she lost her feminist community.

    In those days it was politically incorrect for a feminist to be into SM. I’m not sure if that was ever settled. Even in the LGBTQ-whatever world SM is still in some kind of closet.

    Recently I looked Califia up online and discovered Pat is now Patrick, bald with a beard. Perhaps Patrick Califia is now back in good graces with third-wave feminists as a trans-man. Her/his wiki entry is very careful to discuss her/him as male.

    For the record I enjoyed talking with Pat Califia. She was thoughtful, gracious, and obviously intelligent. I don’t claim to understand that journey.

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    DNW,

    The point is societal dissolution. The knaves on the left pursue it. The fools on the left are too stupid to even recognize, much less consider the societal implications.

    parker,

    It’s a great opportunity to participate in some cutting edge virtue signaling.

    J.J.,

    Congrats. You’re one of the lucky ones.

    huxley,

    Some personal background that relates to your point.
    After 15 years my ex demanded a divorce. We had a 7 yr old daughter. She readily agreed that I’d been a faithful, loving husband. No drug or alcohol dependence, no gambling problem. Worked hard and religiously brought home my paycheck.

    She said she had to find herself. That was 24 years ago, she never remarried. My daughter says she has a drinking problem. Years later, I learned that she blames me for everything… apparently little self-reflection.

    In hindsight, there were certainly warning signs but my need to have what J.J. and parker have been blessed with blinded me to what I actually had… our choices make our bed.

    Yet I don’t regret my mistakes, besides a daughter who’s a beautiful person, I realize that Billy Joel had the right of it when he wrote; “You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes. But they’re the only thing you can truly call your own”

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    parker:

    I’m not saying transgendered people are “real” men (if born a woman, or vice versa if born a man). They, however, are not necessarily crazy or unstable. I know transgendered people who seem perfectly fine (as I said before, they were not married originally; in one case the person is now married but that happened after the transition).

    We are arguing over semantics when you say they don’t exist. No, they don’t exist as men just like other men, or women just like other woman. They are people who have a condition that is (in my opinion) partly biological and partly psychological that causes them to feel aligned with the opposite gender from the one in which they were born. There are various ways to deal with this. Some live lives in the same gender in which they were born. Some transition in terms of clothing, hairstyles, and taking hormones. Some have the full surgery. It doesn’t make them men or women in the traditional, biological sense. But they are people who we call transgendered and who call themselves transgendered, and that’s what they’re dealing with. It’s a phenomenon that has nothing to do with chromosomes (except for some rare people who have chromosomal anomalies). Chromosomally they will always belong to the gender in which they were born.

  18. parker Says:

    “I don’t claim to understand that journey.”

    That is because you are more or less grounded in reality. Reality is not subjective. The sun appears to arise in the east and set in the west because the planet rotates to make it so. That is undeniable. XY is XX or XX is XY will never be reality. Period.

  19. Roy Says:

    I don’t know much about this couple and that’s because, frankly, I don’t care. It’s none of my business.

    The only problem I have with today’s LGBTQ-whatever world is that they seem to be on a campaign to *make* it my business.

  20. J.J. Says:

    Thanks to all for the kind words. I’m a lucky dude. 🙂

    The transgender issue is an enigma to me. I feel truly sorry for anyone who believes they are not what biology says they are. Such a conflict. Life is hard enough without such mental/physical confusion. Hard for me, an enthusiastically heterosexual male, to contemplate.

    The left wants to make it about group identity and it is obvious to me that all transgendered people are not alike. Witness Neo’s friends who seem to be well adjusted. I wonder what percentage of transgenders are happy and well-adjusted? Each person should be dealt with as an individual and with tolerance, not as a victim group who deserve special consideration.

    Sexual identity is a huge part of our lives. Such a change (deciding they are transgendered) by a partner in marriage is just an enormous upset. If two people can work that out, it’s a wonderful thing.

    It’s an issue I wouldn’t want to deal with, but when you have a good relationship with a wife/husband, it’s worth going to a lot of energy and effort to salvage no matter the issues involved.

  21. parker Says:

    “.. they will always belong to the gender in which they were born.”

    Ah, so we agree. I will continue to think those individuls need therapy, not affirmation. That is why various studies show those who go under the scapul have a 40% suicide rate.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    parker:

    And the suicide rate is high whether they go under the scalpel or not.

    But none of that means that all transgendered people are mentally or emotionally disturbed. What it does mean is that there is a high rate of such disturbances among the transgendered. That’s why I keep saying it’s not a unitary thing. And that’s why I don’t agree with generalizations about the mental health (or lack thereof) of transgendered people.

  23. Sharon W Says:

    Parker–“I will continue to think those individuals need therapy, not affirmation.” This is my position, but probably for a different reason. “Male and female He created them.” My belief in God the Creator informs my understanding. If there is no God–then anything goes. And the more our society has separated the Judeo-Christian God from our public sphere, the more we see the embrace of what has been historically opposed in Western culture. While as adults some may “celebrate” what is being discussed in this post, the reality is that this kind of thinking has already altered some education curricula–even in kindergarten–in terms of words used, ideas presented, and so on. I think Gramsci would be very pleased at how the take-down of Western culture is coming along.

  24. AesopFan Says:

    Some rather complex permutations. I had trouble keeping up with the pronouns.

    http://www.redbookmag.com/life/news/a43617/husband-transgender-wife-amanda-jette-knox/

    My Son Became My Daughter — and Then My Husband Became My Wife
    When her daughter came out as transgender, she never imagined her husband would be next.

    http://people.com/bodies/transgender-father-and-daughter-transition/

    Eric Maison and his daughter, Corey, realized at the same time that they are transgender. The father and daughter — who were formerly mother and son — were watching a documentary about a transgender girl when they had their light bulb moment.
    * * *
    These stories suggest at least some genetic component in these particular instances of gender-dysphoria (is that a word?).

  25. Matt_SE Says:

    One thing I absolutely cannot abide is when reporters use the preferred pronoun of the tranny. They are feeding into their mental delusion and lying to all their readers, thereby perpetrating it.

    I expect crazy people to be crazy. I expect sane people to be sane.

  26. huxley Says:

    Neuroanatomy tells us the brain’s cortex is a thin layer of cells which is basically crumpled up to fit into the braincase. It’s as individual as fingerprints how that crumpling occurs.

    According to one theory human differences are in part based on which layers become adjacent to each other in the crumpling because it allows the neurons in the different layers to connect. For example a person who experiences visual-auditory synthesia might have visual and auditory layers next to each other.

    I’m speculating here but possibly transgendered people have a rare crumpling which results in gender confusion.

  27. om Says:

    Do not spindle, fold, or mutilate…..applies to more than just punch cards.

  28. Sally Kay Says:

    In 1963 John Hopkins Hospital began doing sex reassignment surgeries. At that time they were considered radical and gained much attention. And so they became the model for other institutions as physicians and researchers could go there to learn about the surgeries. In 1979 they ceased doing the surgeries and have never resumed.
    You can read about the pioneers, a surgeon, Claude Midgeon, and psychologist, John Money, who initially searched for a way to assist children with chromosomal abnormalities. Picking nurture over nature, however, that theory seemed to backfire.

    That being said, I stand with Parker and those who conclude that xx and xy are never changed regardless of the hormones, surgeries and such. Which is not to say that I lack compassion for those individuals.

    What always surprises me, and should not, is the depth, intellect and remarkable courage of those like JJ and Parker, you neo and others. I am blessed with a remarkable 12 year marriage but will never achieve the length of you gentlemen.

    With appreciation,
    Sally Kay

  29. huxley Says:

    Does anyone remember that classic self-help psychology book found in sixties paperback racks: “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Dr. Michael Maltz?

    Maltz was a plastic surgeon who noticed his patients often had great hopes their comsetic surgery would dramatically improve their lives but after surgery they would be disappointed because they still felt like their same old unhappy selves before they went under the knife.

    Maltz’s solution was visualization techniques to improve their self-image and to vividly imagine their goals. Maltz eventually extended his work to help people without plastic surgery.

    I don’t know how well Maltz’s techniques worked but they were influential to later motivational coaches like Tony Robbins.

    Following on Sally Kay, I do wonder if the gender dysphoric are truly helped by sex change operations. I have read articles on the Johns Hopkins conclusions in that area.

  30. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    I will note that the number of gender-ambiguous persons is usually inflated by advocates by including males with Kleinfelder Syndrome and females with Turner Syndrome. The people with those conditions are seldom in any doubt that they are, respectively, male and female, but their genetic makeup is not standard. This has always struck me as deceitful on the part of the advocates.

  31. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    I should note that it makes a considerable difference in the numbers.

  32. Oldflyer Says:

    I am with Roy as quoted: “I don’t know much about this couple and that’s because, frankly, I don’t care. It’s none of my business.

    The only problem I have with today’s LGBTQ-whatever world is that they seem to be on a campaign to *make* it my business.”

    Not only do an increasing number of groups campaign to make it “our” business, they insist that society twist itself into odd shapes to conform to whatever mold they dictate.

  33. Oldflyer Says:

    By the way, several people quote the traditional wedding vow about sickness, health, etc; but, ignore the first part of the question: “Do you take this (fill in blank) to be your lawful wedded (blank)?

    I don’t know about others, but, I was not asked, “do you take this woman, or man if circumstances change?”.

  34. DNW Says:

    “neo-neocon Says:
    August 2nd, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    DNW:

    The definition of “dilemma”: “a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially undesirable ones.”

    The person does have to make a choice. Not everyone sees it the way you do. And the choice is between undesirable alternatives.”

    I don’t generally see dilemmas as real problems rooted in logic. They are verbally produced mirages.

    The famous instance cited by Copi should suffice to reveal the spurious nature of a typical dilemma.

    An ancient Greek mother upon hearing her son wanted to go into politics exclaimed. “You cannot do such a thing! If you do what is right the people will hate you, and if you do what is wrong the gods will hate you! Therefore whichever choice you make you will be hated!”

    The son then replied: “Then I shall most certainly go into politics! For if I do wrong then the people will love me, and if I do right then the gods will love me. Therefore whatever choice I make, I will be loved!”

    “That person took a vow to stick by the person in sickness and in health, remember? “

    I was not aware that that vow was in general use and had the same meaning for secularists that it does for Christians engaging in Holy Matrimony.

    But: In sickness and in heath? Well then, if so, the person who wishes to change sex is therefore either sick, and should be treated, or; if and while of sound mind sets upon abandoning his or her own obligation to be faithful to the spouse he married, is guilty of either fraud or abandonment.

    It may hurt to be a victim of a fraud, or to find that one has been contractually yoked to a incipient lunatic, but that is not in itself a dilemma.

    “I want to be someone else now, and the same sex as you” is not fidelity.

    “And we marry a person of a certain gender, but we also marry a person.”

    A person of the opposite sex. We mate with vows, sacramentally on occasion (if that is what you are referring to by “marry”) a member of the opposite sex.

    It -that framework and its natural fallout- is the only reason such a contractual relationship – where vows mean anything at all – even rises to the dignity of public notice under the law. The emotional squalls and satisfactions of queen and catamite are of absolutely no interest to a normal man with better things to do with his life than see Oprah play out off the small screen, or participate in upholding an absurd social system dedicated to propagating such nonsense. Our ancestors knew this … we seem blind to it.

    “I don’t see anything easy about the situation. I strongly believe I would get a divorce if faced with it, but there would be nothing easy about the choice, particularly if there were minor children.”

    By the way, as alluded to, the only reason the vow to which you refer means anything in the first place (more than an emotive grunt) is because there is, under the mindset which honors vows, a presumption of enduring and real identity in the first place. No set identity to pledge to, then no not-nonsensical vow.

  35. ConceptJunkie Says:

    Oldflyer: But you were asked about “in sickness”, which I believe applies. The whole situation is pretty ridiculous because of how many contradictions emerge as the Left tries to reconfigure reality to conform to this new idea.

    Regardless, it heartens me to hear about these wonderful marriages, and I am blessed to count myself among them, with a lovely, long-suffering, saintly wife of 24 years (we are relative newlyweds compared to most of this crowd!).

  36. Sharon W Says:

    Oldflyer–That is a point that Dennis Prager made years ago with the SSM debate. He stated that in kindergarten children would begin to be asked, “Are you going to marry a boy or a girl when you grow up?” It has actually become more serious than that. Just this term new protocols have been put into place in the Minnesota school district K-12 to deal with the “transgender” issue. Haven’t socialists/communists always altered the facts of history and changed word usage to promote their agenda? A case in point: Downton Abbey is known to have sought the punctilio of expression of the exact environment and conduct of the period of time being presented. However, at one point we get Lord Grantham lecturing his staff on the normalcy of Thomas’s homosexuality as a thing to be understood and accepted. Really!! At that time, under his roof. Such revisionist history. This subtle lying about the reality of the past is part and parcel to just about any program I’ve watched over the last number of years. Compare this to any issue of racism in western culture’s past and how that is presented in all its ugliness–even if things need to be made up (one example–The Butler).

  37. Philu Says:

    Reading through the comments, I see nothing similar to the change I’m dealing with. My wife of 38 years was diagnosed a couple of years ago with MCI (mild cognitive impairment) with short term memory loss. More recently, delusional disorder was added to the diagnosis. She’s still functional, but certainly not the same gal I enjoyed being married to all of those years.

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    Philu:

    I’m so sorry to hear it. That’s a very very difficult situation.

  39. Mark30339 Says:

    Neo’s post provokes in a good way. It has to do with the nature of identity and the social signals allowing identity to be changeable on virtually every level, and changeable at multiple times of life. I wonder if this new fluidity in identity is a response to the Post-Modern answer to the core human questions: Who am I? and Why am I here? You are who you want to be; you’re here to do what pleases you.
    .
    For centuries the West’s answer was rooted in Judeo-Christian thought. I am a child of God, made in God’s image. And I am here to act justly, to love mercy and to continue my humble walk with God. The Judeo-Christian ideal placed a priority on being subordinate to the Divine in a generation to generation relationship that lasts a lifetime — and beyond. But our age is no longer satisfied with that understanding, so it chooses to prioritize the self, and in many cases with profoundly troubled results.

  40. Sharon W Says:

    Mark30339–Excellent comment!

  41. CW Says:

    When it comes to the vows of marriage one should be able to take certain things for granted. I think gender qualifies as one of those things. To each his own, but for me a sex-change would be a deal breaker. Luckily my husband of nearly 31 years has never shown any evidence that he is in any way remotely in touch with his feminine side.

  42. Dennis Says:

    Roy and Old Flyer: Yes, That.

    I have many hetero friends none of which finds it necessary to bore me or hassle me with that fact. They talk or act out constantly about being straight or expect special designations concerning their straightness. The alphabet people aren’t discriminated against and weren’t even before the current political foolishness. Laughed at maybe in terms of the more outrageous displays; looked at with disgust when they feel they have to take their sexual predilections public; fought when they felt the rest of society should have to give up traditional mores to accommodate them; but discriminated against? no. not so much.
    Most people would treat them as Thomas Jefferson suggested: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”

  43. Dennis Says:

    Re: previous comment: They *don’t* talk or act out…

  44. Kyndyll G Says:

    One of the underlying things that bothers me about the topic as defined (and therefore, twisted out of all possible association with reality) is the idea of “gender nonconforming” being a problem that affects anybody but a remote few, mostly terribly damaged, people. In order to do that, there has to be a starting assumption of “gender conforming” that forces a great mass of people into an uncomfortable place of nonconforming, just waiting to be rescued from their distress.

    The problem is, it’s the 21st century in the West, so this was not reality when they started on this campaign. What they seem to have had to do is imagine tiny boxes of hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity in which no real people fit, because real people are not 100% stereotypically masculine or feminine. So in effect, they are rolling back the clock to old-fashioned gender stereotypes to further their agenda.

    I’m just glad that I was a little girl of the 1970s, when little girls could play with trucks and like football, or be competitive, or not be interested in dolls, without someone thinking they should be a boy and damaging them for life, mentally and physically.

  45. Julia Says:

    There are certain heresies as old as Christianity itself that deal with spirit/soul versus body as being who we are (or who Christ was/is). Quite frankly, it never interested me, but a comment above made me ponder it again.

    When we marry and promise fidelity, to what/whom are we promising? Christianity holds that we are both body and soul with both being equally important as to who we are. Yet changing one’s gender assumes that the tie between body and soul is no longer unserverable.

    Unfortunately, the modern day Christian church in America is not well prepared to deal with this discussion. Moral relativism has seeped in everywhere. As a Catholic, we have more outspoken orthodox leaders who will continue to speak out in truth.

    Going even more biblical, man and woman become one in the sacrament of marriage. Divorce severs that which shouldn’t be severed (if you believe in what Jesus states). And not content with easy no-fault divorce, the modern progressive has progressed to severing body from soul. I don’t think we as a society could have ever seen this coming.

  46. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    The dispassionate and informative discussions that Neo encourages among commenters at this site are much appreciated.

    The conversation seems to have focused on persons who, as young adults or later, discover that their gender identity doesn’t match their plumbing. Live and let live might be appropriate for them. But I am deeply disturbed by stories about parents who decide that their three-year-old has told them that he or she really wants to be she or he, and proceed to subject the infant to hormones and therapy to bring that about. My instinct is that those parents are engaging in the “cutting-edge virtue signalling” identified by Geoffrey Britain, above.

  47. Julia Says:

    Neo – On another posting, I brought up whether indulging people of their delusions was a wise thing (since I believe that transgenderism is a form of mental illness). If we amputate the leg of someone who believes they shouldn’t have one, and if they are happy and ‘well adjusted’ afterwards, is that evidence that they were not/are not mentally ill? It seems to me that this is not proof of mental stability as you seem to believe in the case of transgenderism.

    ~~
    On a separate not….

    What pains me most is that I believe I would always treat any individual with respect, but that the way things are going, if I choose not to applaud someone, it’s deemed ‘hate’. The left is so busy redefining anything that conflicts with their viewpoint as hate in order to suppress and marginalize.

    The following quote is from the late Bishop Fulton Sheen, Venerable, (instrumental in bringing me home from atheism into Catholicism) and truly conveys my thinking:

    “The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error. ”

    More strong words about tolerance from 1931! http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2012-1130-fulton-sheen-Plea-For-Intolerance.htm

  48. DNW Says:

    Mark30339 says

    ” I wonder if this new fluidity in identity is a response to the Post-Modern answer to the core human questions: Who am I? and Why am I here? You are who you want to be; you’re here to do what pleases you … our age … chooses to prioritize the self, and in many cases with profoundly troubled results.”

    Julia says,

    ” And not content with easy no-fault divorce, the modern progressive has progressed to severing body from soul. I don’t think we as a society could have ever seen this coming.”

    These comments grasp and illustrate the amusing philosophico-logical issues involved here and the remarkable conceptual incoherence of the postmodern practitioner.

    As Julia implies, it is a profoundly puzzling thing to observe people who are in the main radical materialists, adopt a kind of modern Gnosticism which imputes to some bodily epiphenomenon (under a consistent materialist interpretation) pride of ontological and moral place to some invisible entity or process beyond the material.

    Thus this strictly material, always evolving process, once imagined to be a “man”, has nonetheless, mirabile dictu!, a coherent self squirreled away somewhere … one which somehow floats free of the bodily limits like a helium balloon attached to the head of a mannequin – and acts as the kind of reserved self and coherent moral agent, which the materialist’s philosophy seems to otherwise deny.

    Cool trick! Having your philosophical cake and eating it politically too.

    And as Mark303 observes, ” … this new fluidity in identity is a” , “Post-Modern answer to the core human questions: Who am I?”, the answer supposedly being: “You are who you want to be ..”

    But, and here is where the gag gets really good, “If your identity is fluid, then who and what exactly is the agent “you” that is deciding what you want to be?”

    How is any outsider to “identify” the fluid identity thing, or (in trying to take it seriously) know what it is that is doing the deciding?

    So who, or what, to use a Bushism, is the “Decider”, in this situation?

    Knock knock … anyone in particular home in there? And if supposedly so, how am I to know, and why should I care?

  49. DNW Says:

    ” ‘ I recently read a first-person account by a woman who had been a “proud lesbian” until her partner up and decided she was actually a man. ‘

    That may seem ridiculous or humorous. But to the person it happens to—man or woman, straight or gay—it’s absolutely no laughing matter. “

    It may not be a laughing matter to those involved in these pantomimes, but it precisely this absurdity, which occurs to every teenaged boy who first hears about lesbians shoving fake manhoods into each other, and then blurts out laughing, “What the hell? So they don’t like guys but one pretends to be one?”

    Actually, it is a laughing matter … at best.

  50. expat Says:

    I can be pretty tolerant of individuals, but I can’t stand activists. They are self-centered people who need affirmation because they don’t have any principles. They also don’t give a da** about kids. Kids need to be given a firm ground so they can find out who they are and where they want to go. Take that away and the kids will be thoroughly screwed up. Are we too rich or too selfish to sacrifice anything for the next generation?

  51. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW:

    Ah, so you take your humor cues from teenage boys?

    Have fun laughing at the sexuality of gay people? If one thinks too much about the sexual act in general (particularly as a mere physical activity), there are certain absurdities that could attach to heterosexual sex as well.

    Laugh away.

    I prefer to get my jollies elsewhere.

  52. Mike K Says:

    The only problem I have with today’s LGBTQ-whatever world is that they seem to be on a campaign to *make* it my business.

    I am old enough to remember when homosexuality was “the love that cannot speak its name.” Now it won’t shut up and has been joined by every conceivable variation on sex.

    There is one rare condition, called “Testosterone Insensitivity Syndrome,” in which the individual is genetically male but appears female. A famous movie star is one example.

    True hermaphrodites are about as rare.

    I am very familiar with the experience of Johns Hopkins with “Gender Dysphoria” and that is what we are seeing. The point about plastic surgery someone made above is also very true. I injected varicose veins for a while as a vascular surgeon. My office staff hated those patients and eventually I discovered they were referring them to a “vein clinic” some pediatrician had started nearby.

    I asked them why and they told me the patients were impossible. Typical plastic surgery patients and we didn’t charge enough to put up with them.

    The transgender people are similar. Now they are attacking the military and I now examine military recruits as a part time retirement job. The services were dreading this incursion and Trump saved everyone by taking the hit and anything the Pentagon says is just virtue signaling. NOBODY in the military wanted anything to do with this.

    I’m happy a few people seem content with their transformation. Cross dressers have alway been with us.

  53. huxley Says:

    Humans have the most complex and creative sexuality of the primates. Probably of all animals.

    I suspect it has much to do with having huge brains, great imaginations, the ability to use symbols and ritual, long cultural histories and wide individual variation. Plus we have high sex drives and human females do not have estrus (“heat”).

    We are very sexy monkeys. From this perspective I’m not surprised that, as the Kinks once sang:

    Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
    It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world

    In terms of evolution we are a work in progress. We are still absorbing the shockingly rapid expansion of our brains to triple the size of chimpanzees during the past two million years.

    Apparently there are a few … ahem … kinks in the system.

  54. DNW Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    August 3rd, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    DNW:

    Ah, so you take your humor cues from teenage boys?”

    Well, that is not what I wrote. And you brought up the issue of a “laughing matter”

    What I wrote is that even a teenaged boy can recognize a self-refuting absurdity when he sees it: one implied by an engagement in a pantomimed activity apparently affirming what is otherwise denied.

    “It may not be a laughing matter to those involved in these pantomimes, but it precisely this absurdity, which occurs to every teenaged boy who first hears about lesbians shoving fake manhoods into each other …”

    “Have fun laughing at the sexuality of gay people?”

    If an activity is absurd it is absurd, and desperate feelings don’t make it any less so.

    If one thinks too much about the sexual act in general (particularly as a mere physical activity), there are certain absurdities that could attach to heterosexual sex as well.

    Laugh away.

    I prefer to get my jollies elsewhere.”

    Few would bother to laugh, or even have the occasion to do so, if they didn’t demand that their performances be accorded public respect.

  55. Richard Saunders Says:

    I heard recently somebody say (I really wish I had said it first!) “I totally support the right of any transgendered person to believe that he, she, it, or xie is a member of the US military.”

    Or, as Ben Shapiro (5’7″ and 150 pounds soaking wet) says when asked about transgender rights, “If I believe I’m six foot nine, shoot 70% of my three-pointers, and score 30-40 points a game, does the NBA have to take me?”

  56. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW:

    Actually, it is what you wrote. You made the analogy [emphasis mine]:

    It may not be a laughing matter to those involved in these pantomimes, but it precisely this absurdity, which occurs to every teenaged boy who first hears about lesbians shoving fake manhoods into each other, and then blurts out laughing, “What the hell? So they don’t like guys but one pretends to be one?”

    Actually, it is a laughing matter … at best.

    You say it’s precisely the same absurdity that teenaged boys find so amusing in lesbians, and a laughing matter. I don’t see how that’s not taking one’s cue from the humor of teenaged boys.

    If you read descriptions of the so-called “bottom” surgery which some transgendered people undergo, it is quite harrowing, even to read about. Very harrowing, actually. I can imagine lots of emotions a person could feel on reading about it, but amusement just isn’t one of them.

    I like a laugh every bit as much as the next person. But I just don’t see anything funny here.

  57. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    August 3rd, 2017 at 10:10 am

    The only problem I have with today’s LGBTQ-whatever world is that they seem to be on a campaign to *make* it my business.”

    Not only do an increasing number of groups campaign to make it “our” business, they insist that society twist itself into odd shapes to conform to whatever mold they dictate.
    * * *
    Some years ago I saw a bumper sticker that read “Focus on your own d*** family” — apparently someone was upset about the failure of either a bill or a referendum pushing same-sex marriage, I forget now which, and attributed that failure at least in part to the Christian organization Focus on the Family .

    My response was then and continues to be:”I would be happy to focus on my family, if you would just let us alone.

    — I point out, in passing, that the public has ALWAYS voted against normalizing same sex unions under the name of “marriage” – it required meddling by activist courts to finally get traction.

  58. parker Says:

    Oh my,

    It is simple, because I adnit I am a simpleton. Born XY you are male, Born XX you are female. If you are a confused puppy; you need help.

  59. DNW Says:

    “You say it’s precisely the same absurdity that teenaged boys find so amusing in lesbians, and a laughing matter. I don’t see how that’s not taking one’s cue from the humor of teenaged boys.”

    In an Emperor’s New Clothes situation, one wherein the general populace was too intimidated to state the obvious, I suppose you might claim that the adult takes its cue regarding admitting the obvious, from a fearless child.

    My point though was that even a teenaged boy – since we hope young children never are confronted by such garbage – recognizes the logical identification absurdities involved in the pantomime. That is to say, you do not have to be a subtle philosopher and a moderate realist to immediately grasp the disorder exemplified by the manifest contradiction

    Thus and I remove my restatement of your reference to a “laughing matter” :

    “… in these pantomimes, … it [is] precisely this absurdity, which occurs to every teenaged boy who first hears about lesbians shoving fake manhoods into each other …”

    Neo further says,

    “If you read descriptions of the so-called “bottom” surgery which some transgendered people undergo, it is quite harrowing, even to read about. Very harrowing, actually. I can imagine lots of emotions a person could feel on reading about it, but amusement just isn’t one of them.”

    Well now, laughing at the process of someone undergoing surgical genital mutilation and a faux reconstruction as the other sex, in order to satisfy a psychological disorder, is not quite the same as the pantomime about which I asserted that even teenaged boys recognized an implied a logical incoherence as the lesbians labored away at one another.

    “I like a laugh every bit as much as the next person. But I just don’t see anything funny here. “

    Neither do I. I think the process you have now decided to mention, is a real horror show … one I have no interest at all in involving myself in.

  60. Kyndyll G Says:

    At some point, the general population has to make clear that an individual has the right to dress and behave as the opposite gender, and even to believe that they are the opposite gender if that makes their world go around in a happier fashion, but that the rest of us have the right to not get dragged into catering to their delusion.

    If a person looks like a given gender, I will gladly use pronouns accordingly. I’m not going to check, and I honestly don’t give two f^%s what gender someone is, unless I intend to pursue an intimate relationship with that person. But I’m not going to pretend to be insane. For example, if a woman, dressed as a man, has failed to take her artificial hormones and menstruation occurs, this is not because men have periods too, this is because this person is a woman who is failing, at this moment, to convincingly pretend to be a man. It is reasonable to be polite, and to expect politeness, but it’s crossing the line to expect everyone else to share a delusion.

    I have to believe that at some point, even a population of sheep, scared stiff of being accused of being an “ist” or a “phobe” will step up and say, “Nope, not going there. Have fun on that trip … by yourself.”

  61. Ymar Sakar Says:

    There’ll be 3 genders.

    And the third one will be the master, the rest slaves.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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