Will they regret?

There’s a lot of chat about an Observer article by Rowan Moore, an architecture critic who writes for the Guardian, and his trans son Felix. The latter is annoyed with people who don’t entirely agree that some people are born in the wrong bodies.

Rowan Moore You experience many emotions when your child comes out as transgender. You want to support them but you also feel doubt: is this for real? Have they caught this off the internet? Will they make irrevocable choices that they will regret? You will discover that your child is not who you thought they were, which might shock you, although I’d say that this is something every parent should go through as their children become adults. You might have conflicts (we did) about the best courses of action.

I should think there are other questions a parent wonders about, questions about love and sex, marriage and children, the future, the distant future. It’s all very well to have the Enlightened Ones on your side, but is that really going to make up for all the likely bumps in the road? Even if every single person on the planet thinks it’s brilliant fun to change sex and heroic to boot, the bumps are still there.

So I understand the anxieties that cisgender people like myself sometimes have. But the parent also discovers more about what it is to be trans, how much seriousness and commitment it takes. It is not easy to start dressing to suit your chosen gender, to endure strange looks and possible hostility, to go into the relevant public toilets, to tell family and friends, to persuade people to use your name and pronouns, to undergo medical evaluations, to endure the increasing number of obstacles and delays that lie between you and medical attention.

Maybe not, but what about what’s easy or not easy for everyone else? What about all the social aspects? The trans idea is so solipsistic, as if each trans person operated in a world where other people just don’t matter, except when they’re applauding the heroic trans person.

All of which takes place over years (it’s been more than seven since Felix came out to his immediate family). And then, hopefully, parents see their trans children grow more comfortable in their skin, more confident about who they are. Neither parent nor child might ever know for certain if the “right” choice has been made, or if things might have been different in other circumstances, but such uncertainties are surely part of life in general.

Sure they are, but life in general doesn’t always include drastic moves like stopping puberty or amputating body parts.

Space does not allow us to address all of these issues in detail, but Felix and I have picked out some of the more significant themes from recent debates, and address them below. We have tried to show how these questions look if you take into account the humanity of trans people. Being trans is not something you can take off and put on like clothes, or put on hold while others discuss the rights and wrongs of your situation. It is part of who you are. Many commentators on trans issues don’t seem to understand that.

No, I don’t understand it, because it seems meaningless to me. “Part of who you are” is just jargon. It’s also not clear how Moore knows that being trans is not something you can take off and put on like clothes. Is it never that? If it’s never that then what does “gender fluid” mean? If it’s never that why are there so many more girls who identify as trans than there were ten years ago? Does the fact that something is “part of who you are” mean that it’s a good thing and must be clung to? In all cases? No matter what? Being an asshole is part of what some people are; so what? Much better they should get rid of that part than their sexual equipment.

Later on in the piece Rowan Moore talks about Maya Forstater, and tells some startling lies about her, claiming she repeatedly says things on social media that she has never said on social media.

It’s almost as if the rules are different for women as opposed to trans people.

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