Dumb arguments against legal protections for transgender people, part 4

I’ve written before about dumb arguments people make for why there shouldn’t be legal protections for transgender people. And here’s one I haven’t tackled:

The Bible says it’s a sin!

You might want to read the whole book before you make that claim:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
—Galatians 3:28

The usual Biblical arguments about transgenderism ignore this verse, or try to claim that it’s being metaphorical about how god judges people. And then they point to verses in the Bible about how god created each person, or the verses about women covering their hair and so on to infer a definitive statement from god. But they’re wrong, as I’ll explain below…

None of these people know anything about the medical “condition” of intersexed children. They don’t know that at least 1 in 20,000 babies are born with genitals that the doctors can’t be sure what gender the baby is. They are unaware that most doctors treat this situation as a problem, and they tell parents “there is something wrong that we need to fix right away.” And then the doctors perform surgery (sometimes multiple surgeries), sometimes prescribing hormone treatments, et cetera. They are constructing the baby’s gender, instead of leaving the baby as god made them.

I remember one story I read once of a person who was raised as a girl, but from her earliest memories she knew that was wrong. She would tell her parents she was a boy, and be told no, she was a girl. She was aware of some medical procedures when she was young, and there was another issue when she was about 12 or 13, where she was told she had a hormone problem and that she had some cysts that were releasing the wrong hormones that had to be removed. They implied to her and her parents that the cysts would become cancerous tumors if not removed. So she had surgeries and hormone treatments. She never had a period. She was told all of that was because of this obscure medical problem. When, at the time, she raised the issue that maybe she was really a boy, both her parents and the doctors emphatically shut her down.

Click to embiggen. The picture is "satire" but the measurements are real medical guidelines.

Click to embiggen. The picture is “satire” but the measurements are real medical guidelines.

As an adult, she was finally able to access her medical records and so forth and found out that at birth, her penis had been a couple millimeters shorter than the range on a ruler that was literally used by doctors at the time, so as an infant they performed surgery to reduce the size of the organ to an “acceptable size” for a clitoris, and then re-shaped some of the tissue nearby to be more like a vagina. Those cysts that had to be removed later on? Those were her testicles that had never descended because of the changes made by the earlier surgery. So more surgeries removed her testicles and “tidied up” the vagina.

She was not born a girl. He was born with slightly ambiguous genitalia, and because of the societal expectations and the limits of medical science (it is relatively easy to convert most intersex conditions to a state that passes for female with some surgery) he was assigned the gender of “female” and that’s when the sex change happened. Not years later, when as an adult, he decided to start living as a man.

Then there are people who don’t need any surgery, and seem to develop normally as a female their whole lives, and only when they reach a situation where someone performs genetic tests on them, is it discovered they had a Y-chromosome the whole time. We don’t have statistics on this, because most people never have their genome studied. What we do know is that, world wide, about 12 young women athletes are discovered to have this situation that they never knew about, and most choose to retire quietly, because they think this means something is wrong with them. Given the small percentage of the population that become serious athletes, and become good enough to compete at a level where a multi-national sporting authority requires a chromosome test, we can conclude that the number of women out there with a Y-chromosomes is much, much higher than that “12 young women each year” would indicate.

So you can’t draw a hard line at chromosomes. For example, it is estimated that about 1 in 500 boys have XXY chromosome make up, instead of XY. The vast majority of them have no “symptoms” caused by the extra X chromosome. About 1 in 1000 girls have XXX instead of XX, and again, the vast majority exhibit no “symptoms.”

When you dig into the statistics on these “conditions,” it becomes clear that gender is very often a constructed state. And that verse from Galatians seems a whole lot more literal than you first thought:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
—Galatians 3:28


Previously:

Dumb arguments against legal protections for transgender people.

Dumb arguments against legal protections for transgender people, part 2.

Dumb arguments against legal protections for transgender people, part 3.

Dumbest arguments against anti-discrimination laws, part 1.

Dumbest arguments against anti-discrimination laws, part 2.

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live in Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

4 responses to “Dumb arguments against legal protections for transgender people, part 4”

  1. jcckeith says :

    Well as far as dumb arguments go – that one is completely irrelevant anyway since the laws are not based on what the Bible says. You know, that whole separation of church and state thing in the constitution. So these people can keep on misinterpreting their religious doctrines forever and it should have no effect on whether or not laws are made or not made.
    And hey, even if the laws were based on Biblical information and by their logic, things that the Bible says are wrong should therefore not be protected by law – then a whole lot of people are going to be unprotected by the law. Adulterers, anyone who takes the lord’s name in vain, anyone who envies other people’s stuff and wow, so many other things. At a Biblical rate, nobody would be protected under the law because everyone does things wrong according the Bible repeatedly throughout their lives.

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