Guest post: The binary goes away, the binary comes back

Originally a comment by Papito on Top of the roller-coaster.

My peak happened rather suddenly when my son announced to us that he was really a woman inside. This was patently absurd. His pediatrician wanted to send him straight to the gender clinic. He said to me, “Do you want a live daughter or a dead son?” I said to him, “I brought my son to you because he was cutting himself. I would like the cutting to stop, not for a professional to do it instead.”

FYI, my son is over it now. I was able to steer him carefully around all the eager affirmers, and find him a real therapist. He’s autistic, he’s not like the other boys, and he feels uncomfortable in his body. The TRAs would have you think that means his Johnson must be cut off, and he must present henceforth as a simulacrum of a woman. He eventually realized that would not be an improvement.

One of the things that struck a bell in my mind in the article linked above is this sentence:

The notion of conversion therapy for those seeing themselves as transgender relies on another binary – that of ‘cisgender’ and ‘transgender’ – being set, closed, biologically anchored categories without overlap, rather than a more plausible hypothesis that one’s gender identity is flexible, informed by one’s culture, personality, personal preferences and social milieu.

That’s it, that’s what the epithet “trans kids” means: all kids can be sorted, from birth and permanently, into two categories: trans and cis. The binary goes away, the binary comes back.

Why? Why must the TRAs insist that the natural categories of male and female are nebulous, arbitrary, wobbly, and made up by Victorian colonialists, at the very same time they insist that as soon as a child utters the magic words “I’m trans!” he jumps irrevocably into the other box and may nevermore be “cis?” He is now a “trans kid,” and any consideration that this self-identification may be temporary, may be mistaken, and may later be regretted, any consideration whatsoever that human beings are complicated, children grow and learn, or that we are not fully known to ourselves, is nothing but oppression, by one side of this binary against the other.

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