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Christina Engela (March 09, 2011, 12:24:31 PM):
"alternate lifestyle choices"?

Hmmm - so you think being transgender is an "alternate lifestyle choice"?

Btw - that kid who was asked to leave the school (or expelled) for wearing trousers is one example of how difficult the rule-makers make life for others? And tell me something else - is saving those two lives (you called them blips) not worth a little effort?
BoogieMonster (March 09, 2011, 13:52:23 PM):
Hmmm - so you think being transgender is an "alternate lifestyle choice"?

You don't seem to indicate which part you have a problem with. I'm guessing choice. It's just a term I hoped would not cause offense, I was wrong, perhaps I should give up and just use common street lingo, since you're already hell bent on being offended. Cool with that?

And tell me something else - is saving those two lives (you called them blips) not worth a little effort?

Well you don't seem too concerned about the other 500,000 to 1 million children killing themselves, only those two. Pot, meet kettle. You focus in on a tiny portion of a huge problem and try to make that part more important than the rest. Moreover you want to portray me as "not caring" about the problem at all, when in fact I atleast acknowledge the full extent of the problem. My point is not "oh sure let the children die", implying that is to set up a straw man argument. My POINT is, if everyone is equal, the causes of ALL suicides (perhaps including bullying, but imho most people survive bullying just fine, bullying probably exacerbates or combines with other problems - I think this remains to be determined, feel free to educate me with scientific evidence) can be dealt with uniformly and effectively instead of pretending the problem is unique to transsexuals only, and then pleading for special treatment and calling it equality.

In that case discovering the truth and addressing it (if possible) would save countless MORE lives, probably including the 2 lives you care more about.
Hermes (March 09, 2011, 14:54:34 PM):
My original posting on this thread in fact started with the words “Empathy aside,” clearly indicating that I have empathy with this topic, but that what was about to follow would not concentrate on that aspect of transgender pupils. The irony of this whole tirade is that I agree with most of your sentiments, but I do not agree that transgender school children should embark on a sexual transition programme while they are still at school.
Thank you for the five references. Extensive research has been done into the origins of sexual orientation and the nature versus nurture debate remains somewhat inconclusive. Personally I am inclined to share your view that it is mainly of genetic origin. Either way it is a reality and needs to be dealt with. By no means do I suggest that sexual orientation is a whim or preference; insisting on cross dressing at school is a different kettle of fish. To insist that your personality determines your true gender is semantic trickery with no scientific basis, and none of the five sources you quoted above refutes this.
Ironically, the last of your five references in fact suggests that a gender transition programme would usually not go beyond stage one (living as a member of the opposite sex for one year) before the age of 18. That is school leaving age, which supports my view.
You apparently misinterpreted my comment on the age of consent to sexual intercourse. All I stated was that if you are regarded as too immature to make a decision on sexual intercourse, how can you then be regarded as mature enough to make a substantially more far-reaching decision on gender transition?
The practical implications of our public school system accommodating pupils living as the opposite sex, is complex. There are school hostels where children share dormitories and communal showers. There are sports for which gender is a determining factor in team selection. There are school excursions on which children share accommodation. There are schools dedicated to boys or girls only. As it is, our school system suffers under severe lack of classrooms, qualified teachers, school books and basic management. Not only is it questionable whether our public school system can accommodate it, but would the transgender child really be better off if excluded from all these activities or facilities? “Boys remaining among boys” is therefore not the shortsighted enforcement of a gender role, but the physical reality of the sex with which they were born.
Nature endows us with a bag of talents and challenges and we have to make the best of those attributes. Liberal society holds the admirable view that we should not discriminate against anyone on the grounds of these attributes and that all people should be treated equally. In some cases special effort to facilitate challenged people is appropriate. Even so, society can often not fully compensate challenged people to the extent that their standard of living equates that of people without those challenges. This calls for realism and adaptability on the part of challenged people. In the case of transgender pupils it would be more appropriate to remain within their own physical sexual group until they have complete school, even though it may cause some sacrifice in the meantime.
Christina Engela (March 09, 2011, 15:58:30 PM):
@ Boogiemonster:

"Well you don't seem too concerned about the other 500,000 to 1 million children killing themselves, only those two."

The issue is the two "blips" as you call them - and that you made them out to be insignificant. Don't try to pass the buck.

Yes, I get your point - society should set the rules to suit the majority, to hell with the minorities and too bad if the one or two trans kids can't handle it and off themselves - it's their own fault for not being able to take the pressure. Does that some it up?

Perhaps instead of comparing oranges and apples and considering the one or two kids "weak" for not being able to handle a "little" bullying, you should consider that some instances of bullying are worse than others.

Oooh here we go with the "special treatment" issue ;) Lovely. You will find that there are more groups out there than just transsexual or transgender people who have unique needs in terms of social interaction. Unfortunately in a diverse population, it is close to impossible to create a uniform yet restrictive system that caters to everybody's needs. In most cases someone will get left out or disadvantaged while the majority blissfully and naively thinks everything is hunky-dory and those who are left out are "just being silly" or looking for "special treatment in the name of equality". Perhaps we should scrap all those pointless entrance ramps for buildings and tell people in wheel chairs and on crutches to just "suck it up" and to stop expecting "special treatment"?

You want to know what will save more than the two lives you keep whinging about me be concerned about? Solve the problem of ignorance and prejudice. In short, educate people to stop being so selfish and to consider that everybody is entitled to be happy and that enforcing silly little rules about who people are allowed to be, how they are allowed to express themselves, who they are allowed to love or what they are allowed to believe in - and you will have a good start.

@ Hermes:

Okay, let's discuss this rationally. I don't know you and I have no desire to keep a long term fight on the go.

On the issue on school leaving age and age of consent: In most cases where children transition, parents give consent for medical treatment - yet even so, some schools persist in rejecting such children - all in the name of worrying about their image and because the child will wear clothing of their true gender. I think such schools have lost perspective of what really matters - the welfare of the child.

As I said earlier, I knew what I was when I was twelve but it's different for all of us. Some can "tough it out" for longer. Some can't. Some know from an early age already and I have to say if somebody knows they are female and wants to be able to live like a female, then why should they be forced to live like a male? I have a friend who started living as a girl at 9 already, although she went to primary school as a boy, and then to her high school as a girl. She had her surgery at 17, and that was back in the 1980's. On the other hand, I struggled with my identity right through school and even through the army before I eventually embraced my nature and began transition. I would give anything to have been able to transition when I was 17. Many children get into trouble because of emotional pain, getting into all kinds of things because of issues like not being able to live their lives - surely you can see that all that could be avoided if such restrictive measures were not forcibly applied?

I understand what you're saying about mixing children of different sexes together etc, but I'd like to point out that we are talking about around 1 percent of the total population here. Statistics point out that about one in a million people is transgender. And of course there are measures that can be taken - for instance, the child can change in a cubicle (as I did in the ladies gym for years before my surgery - and I can assure you, any more than they may not have wanted to see me naked, I certainly did not want them to see me naked either).

As always this topic seems to come down to sex and the modern Western obsession with it. Heaven forbid that children should see each other naked or even think about sex. Did you know for instance, that up to about 300 years ago public baths and such were not segregated? That's right - there was no concern about 'modesty' and so on - all that was a relatively recent invention that came in with the Victorians who were notoriously puritanical and too afraid to see themselves naked in case they be tempted into thinking sinful thoughts. Recently there has been a return to the old convention with the advent of the "Unisex washroom" where both sexes go to do their business - but instead of standing at a trough swinging their genitals around in public, people use the cubicles. And showers come in cubicles too ;)
GCG (March 09, 2011, 16:50:08 PM):
christina, i think you need to calm down. you are not likely to find a more open-minded and accepting bunch of people outside of the gay community here.
the majority of people here deal in facts, if you cant give them cold, hard, scientific facts, then you are going to end-up in flame wars gaurinteed.
i really dont believe there are clear-cut little boxes one can put each LGBTI person into. each has their own degree of inclinations and needs. and while, you, personally, might feel that you were born male, but experience yourself as female, there might be naturally born male, that feel very feminine, but prefers to be seen as male. it is very much of a personal choice. some, like you, prefer to become female in totality, but at the end of the day, your body will forever need hormones to stay 'female'. its unfortunate that you have been dealt a double deal like this. but you have been able to bridge your condition.
dont be offended by use of technical language, nobody is here to coddle. by referring to an intersexed child at 'it', is easier than saying he/she every time. dont be so touchy.
allso, dont just throw links at us, nobody has got time to access them all.


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