I read an article recently entitled the transgender con, in which the author argued that there is no such thing as being transgender. Instead, they suggested that it is no more than a word invented by psychiatrists. One of the major concerns highlighted in the article was the diagnosis process, and the fact that there is no definitive test that could identify a person as trans or not.
As someone going through this diagnosis process myself, I can’t help but feel that the author is being a bit blinkered in this point of view. Aside from the fact there are plenty of issues we seek medical help on which don’t manifest themselves physically, the author also doesn’t seem to appreciate what a diagnosis of gender dysphoria means. I’ll be sitting down with a doctor in two weeks to get an opinion on my situation. If I get diagnosed, that doesn’t mean I’ll be instantly rushed off for life changing surgery, instead I will be put on a care pathway to support me over the coming years.
While on this pathway I fully intend to continue with my ‘baby steps’ approach to my transition, and the doctor won’t be setting out to bully me into anything I don’t want to do. I can also opt to stop whenever I like, in fact I find I’m meeting more and more transgender people who feel they don’t want or need surgery to be happy. It is true that some people might ultimately regret their decision to transition, but the same can also be said for any cosmetic surgery procedure. And that’s why there’s such a stringent process to go through in this country before you can even be considered for surgery.
Even if the term transgender was made up by psychiatrists, it happens to neatly fit something I’ve been doing and feeling long before I became aware of the word. Plus it’s a broad term, and I like that each of us can find our own niche under the wider trans umbrella.