I feel as though I often write on here about TV programmes I have watched, and yet Princess and I are never really on the lookout for programmes about transgender issues, we seem to just stumble upon them.. Actually I should give Princess more credit for being a wiz flicking with the TV remote. Yes she does have some very male traits…kidding. Sorry darling, oh and to everybody else for the gross stereotype.
I digress, I don’t know what the programme was called but it was about Disorders of Sexual Development (DSDs). Firstly I would just like to start with the caveat that all my comments are from my own understanding of the content of the programme.
The programme interviewed individuals who all had slightly different DSD condition, but all were phenomenally inspiring.
Intellectually I understand that different generations of parents and the medical profession are doing what they think is best at the time. Electric shock therapy used to be considered the best treatment for mental illnesses, now most people believe this to be barbaric and it is not practiced any more (I hope!). Similarly the individuals in the programme described various surgical atrocities they experienced as children. They had vivid memories from very young of having operations and being in immense pain ‘down there’, and not understanding why the adults had put them through this.
It struck me that clinician’s feel helpless unless they are ‘doing’ something; taking action is where their power is and how they remain in control. I don’t blame parents for trusting doctors, who are after all supposed to be the experts. The development of the medical profession has evolved from; ‘fix it’ – ‘correct it’ – ‘perfect it’. Essentially in my view they are easing their discomfort, rather than having to deal with a person born into the world whose gender cannot be identified. Apart from anything else they cannot fill out their precious birth certificate correctly. They have to choose which box the child fits into, because heaven forbid they should find an alternative solution; such as changing the bloody Birth Certificate to accommodate the fact that the not all babies are born as one sex or another.
One interviewee made a very sensible observation; ‘you don’t know how a child will develop.’ What seems like an extraordinary large clitoris when a baby is born, could become quite normal sized by the time the child grows to age 1 or 2.
My disgust reached its peak when one of the parents anonymously interviewed said she wished her baby had had cancer, because that would have been easier to explain to people than not knowing if their child was a boy or a girl when asked. Really!! Come on, really? Again intellectually I understand that the comment came from a different generation struggling to deal with the unknown. But the parents and medics seem to have forgotten the fact that a healthy baby has just been born, not at risk from any ominous life threatening condition looming over it, a baby who is simply different.
Sometimes things are best left well alone.