Transgender Surgery Is Not the Solution
Transgender surgery also known as sex reassignment surgery(SRS), gender reassignment surgery (GRS), genital reconstruction surgery, sex affirmation surgery, gender confirmation surgery, sex realignment surgery or sex change is the surgical process in which a person’s physical appearance and sexual characteristics are altered to resemble those of another sex. It is used as treatment for patients with gender identity disorders and trans-sex people. Although alleviating gender dysphoria, does not suffices as cure for trans-sexualism. This essay will seek to show that transgender surgery isn’t the solution.
According to sturup (52) after 19 years of gender reassignment surgery, 8 of 10 patients had died and at least 4 had acute adjustment problems and 7 had experienced depression, suicidal behavior, continuous living in the previous sex role, family rejections and trouble working. John Biver in his article surgical sex: transgender surgery isn’t the problem state that the rate of suicides or suicidal thoughts among the individuals who had SRS increased 10-fold after the surgery, 20 times more than the suicide rate in people with gender identity disorder who hadn’t undergone the surgery. Meyer, Hoopes and Randal showed that a number of their patients showed worse postoperative adjustments than before the operation. These adjustments included serious suicide attempts, drug abuse; wish to reverse the operation and moral depravity. This only shows that the surgery brings about more problems, to the patient, than solutions.
John Biver goes on to state that transgender surgery doesn’t really change the gender of an individual because the change is biologically impossible. Men and women who undergo the surgery merely become feminized women and masculinized men. Though they have physically changed and may seem physically men or women, they remain, mentally, the sex they were originally born. They continue to act and sometimes even view themselves as what they were before the surgery.
Paul McHugh explains that some patients with body dysmorphic disorder characterized by the annihilating assumption ‘I’m ugly’ undergo the surgery as an experiment to check if they will be more beautiful and more loved if they change the way they appear to others. Most times the surgery doesn’t help because the disorder is a psychological one that needs psychiatric help. According to Richard F., Dale o. and Philip s. (12) the therapist are too willing to accept the “I’ve been feeling trapped in the wrong boy since childhood’ line and do not deal with the real issues of self-esteem, anger and pomposity.
The surgery itself also has serious complications like excessive bleeding which may lead to death or anemia. Amy hunter(2), a patient recovering from the transsexual operations says she has had to undergo dozens of surgeries to correct a 2 inch colon tear and rectal-vaginal fistula in the doctors attempts to get her to have a vagina. She also counts other post-surgery problems like chronic pain, bleeding and depression. She remembers a time when she flew from home to Michigan with a bag in her abdomen and thick pads between her legs to soak up the blood.
ACLU’s Ban on transgender military service () shows that people who are transgender have very low chances of being accepted into the military and the ban is not based on any medical examinations. This goes to show how very trans genders are discriminated. They are discriminated in all levels of life. Many transgender patients face discrimination in all areas of life: church leaders condemn them and the act, most people have trans phobia hence don’t relate with them, even when dating it becomes frustrating liking someone and them refusing to be with you because they consider you the same gender as themselves and think it will be homosexual. Dana Rivers a high school teacher in Sacramento California underwent the surgery (FtM) and despite having worked in the school for over 8 years she was fired. There are countless reports of patients being fired for undergoing the surgery or lacking papers to apply for new jobs because of the challenges faced when changing the name and gender markers in crucial documents such as the birth certificate, Gary v Hasbrouck (video).
The children of a trans gender couple of or of a transgender parent are and would be very discriminated for having parents who are not the gender they were born. This may lead to psychological trauma, pain, feelings of rejection and even confusion as to whether all people change their gender when they are older. The discrimination at the work place too can make the children live below average lives since the parents are jobs less or the have jobs that do not pay well (national gay & lesbian task force, 166).
It may also be very challenging in home where the parent changed their gender after the family already had kinds, to tell the children “ mom is your new dad.” Or “ dad gave birth to you” or “you have two dads now but he used to be mom”. Such statements may cause confusion to children and a lot of psychological trauma because of the questions the child may never get to ask the parents. Also in cases of dirvoce, the custody battle may be challenging especially in situations where mom is the biological dad and dad is the biological mom. In most custody battles the mother has more rights than the father, in a scenario like this it will be very challenging to award the rights to either parent keeping the welfare of the child first. Lawyers may have to show documents from experts showing that sexual orientation is not relevant to the ability of the parent (national centre for lesbian rights, 4).
Transgender surgery is a topic that many shun from and others judge those who have undergone the procedure. Undergoing the surgery may bring more damage than help to a family or individual so the consequences of such actions must be well thought of and deliberated. Counseling should also be done to ensure that the reasons for the action are valid and are not just a passing phase of life or a mid-life crisis of sorts. One should also go to pre and post surgery counseling to help them cope with the drastic changes and with the challenges too.