Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Just heard something on the radio about transgenderizaton. It's the perfect inkblot of common sense. Mutilate your penis -- not by cutting it off but by turning it inside out and pushing it in -- and castrating yourself, albeit passively by having it done, and injecting hormones and maybe silicone, and that makes you a woman. Electrolysis and Adam's apple shaving -- that is, the actual cartilage ground or sliced down with some sort of cheese grater. And then regretting it, as a very large percentage of the victims of this series of mutilations does. Depression and suicide.

Or the pair of humans, both born female, now both mutilated to approximate an external similitude of a male form, and counting themselves as men. Were they lesbians? Are they homosexuals? Are they into sodomy? I'd expect them to be basically asexual now. Seems like a paradox, but I just think all the confusion sort of neutralizes itself out. Neutered, so to speak.

Imagine the level of confusion. It can count as nothing less than a sort of madness. A combination of magical thinking and a failure to transition out of object impermanence. Infantile, then. But if we do imagine it, we cannot help but be subjected to some measure of compassion. How wretched a state. Fretful, self-spiteful, self-loathing. Like taking a razorblade to yourself, the way disaffected teens do. I'm sure most of us have some sort of secret issue. But for my part, I really like my penis and its accoutrement.

Then there's the idea that the government should underwrite these mutilations. If there is such a thing as gay marriage, where the state ratifies the union, well, why not the changing of a gender? If Evolution is real, where one thing becomes another, then alchemy is a literal if not scientific reality. Just because it's not recognized doesn't mean it's not real. So is it real? Law is reality. If the state recognizes a thing, it brings the coercive power of its institutions to support and protect and promote that thing. So gay unions, and sex removal operations, and don't ask don't tell -- these matter in more than a passive, a societal-mutilation way. They have expanding consequences, the way castration causes depression, sort of a postpartum thing.

Ah well. Nothing is ever solved. We just throw out lifelines, trying to rescue or to be rescued. Sometimes it's just words. But honestly. If I think my left arm is possessed by Satan, and suffer somatic dysphoria from this, is the appropriate therapeutic remediation to amputate the arm?


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