“Parts Are Parts, And People Are People”

In a National Public Radio piece by Emily Vaughn on January 2, 2020, titled “7 Women’s Health Topics We Need To Talk About In 2020,” Dr Jen Gunter, a New York Times columnist and author of The Vagina Bible, is quoted saying:

…Transgender women are women

Gunter writes about gender transition and what she has heard from parents of trans kids is that it provided them with medical information that they weren’t getting anywhere else — even from their primary health care provider.

What it comes down to is simple: “Having a vagina isn’t what makes you a woman. It’s how you feel inside,” says Gunter. “We shouldn’t reduce anyone to their body parts, but it happens more with women, and especially with trans women.”

Ultimately, she says, “parts are parts, and people are people.”

Being gender dysphoric (diagnosed as such by a clinical psychologist), I affirm what Dr Gunter says: “Transgender women are women.”

There is a huge debate about this, primarily among individuals/professionals that are not seeing, or are not themselves, transgender people in the context of their practice. It is a topic worthy of debate in part because, as a trans woman, I know how the arguments will end, that is, if truth is being sought.

If you look at me, there is no question that I am male. However, I never felt comfortable as a male. My thoughts, feelings, even social reactions (let’s say to violence,) have always been typically female from a social point of view. Of course, in our day and age the lines between what is typically male and what is typically female are blurred, to say the least. Nevertheless, I was born in the early 50s when sex role types were considered immutable.

My “parts” are male, although not clearly so. I have fathered two children. Given the fact that I do not have ovaries but do have a prostate gland, it seems equally clear that I am male and was properly assigned as such at birth, even though there was some ambiguity.

I am taking hormone therapy and my numbers affirm that I am now female. That is, I have very low numbers of testosterone and very high numbers relative to estrogen. Even before hormone therapy I had low testosterone such that I was receiving regular injections of testosterone in an effort to raise my numbers. The highest numbers I ever got were at the lowest level for a normal male. And, to be sure, the higher the level of testosterone, the worse I felt. It just wasn’t me.

Opposed to this, when I ceased taking testosterone and began taking estrogen everything began to feel just right. The bottom line is this: “It’s how you feel inside.” If that is the case, then I am female — a trans woman.

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