Intersex, Transgender, and Queer Pride

Roland Stahl
June, 2023

     I have just read the transcript of today’s Democracy Now! program, and I just have to comment again on an issue that seems really surprising to me.  I have referred to this a couple of times before (vide: Gender Liberation and Felix Polydactyl Meander, but the problem just doesn’t go away.  In case you haven’t noticed, my social and political attitudes are liberal to the point of radical, and yet I certainly do not always follow the party line.  I am particularly astonished at the present brouhaha over transgender liberation.  There seems to be an implicit expectation that every “liberal” person will, of course, support the transgender rights movement which includes medical intervention for minor children.  Well, I am in favor of installing diving boards on the Golden Gate Bridge for the convenience of those wishing to end their lives, and I believe in the right of every non-cognitively impaired adult to live one’s life however one pleases (non-gender-specific pronouns), as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others.  But when it comes to medical intervention, whether we are talking about tattoos, piercings, circumcision, euthanasia, or any bodily alteration or mutilation, I believe that some suitable age of consent should be observed below which a child should not make such decisions for oneself.  

     As I have already said in Gender Liberation as well as Felix Polydactyl Meander, it seems to run counter to every progressive attitude to assume or insist that everyone must be altogether in one box or the other, Male or Female.  So here I am, feeling like a conservative and insensitive outsider who does not support medical intervention in the effort to force every child to fit into one box or the other.  The whole Queer movement (I dispense with the whole ridiculous alphabet soup of LGBTQLIANBO, etc., when “Queer” covers the whole ground of non-conformance with the Standard Paradigm) will consider me an obstructionist stick-in-the-mud for marching out of step with the Movement, but I stand by my view that the error lies in the notion that everyone must belong in one Box or another.  We don’t need no stinkin’ boxes!

     My reason for re-visiting this topic is today’s Democracy Now! program, in which Intersex activists are interviewed.  Sure enough, the activism they are supporting is against non-consensual surgeries that are not medically warranted.  They ask to be accepted as whole, original People, who are part of the Family of Humankind in all its glorious diversity.   We don’t need no stinkin’ surgery!  They don’t need any parts cut off (or added on, e.g. prosthetic testes) in order to conform to the membership rules of whichever Male or Female club that they are being pressured to join.  

     This is exactly my argument for the transgender community!  Rejoice in your unique and diverse personhood just the way you are with Pride, and don’t let anyone tell you that there is anything “wrong” with you.

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