If You Still Aren’t Sure About G.I.D….

I sat in the house-made office on the east side of the city, waiting. I looked at the doctor, “I need a letter so I can renew my T, and I want it without therapy or a GID (Gender Identity Disorder) diagnosis. Can you do that?” She didn’t understand why I was against GID. “It is oppressive.” I said. She disagreed and told me that I was not oppressed. “You aren’t trans,” I said, “and you aren’t me. How can you possibly tell me I am not oppressed when YOU are the one who has control over MY life?”

ENDA is continually being talked about, pushing forward after years of work. Trans people have been left out, brought in, cut out, and re-attached because of our ‘tentative’ inclusion as legitimate members of any given community. And why are we consistently left out? It isn’t just because we are the weirdos and freaks of a heteronormative world. It is because no matter how human we make ourselves, how hard we work, how sorry they feel for us, we are still considered crazy. The thing is, from a logical perspective you can’t even blame others for wanting to cut us out because it IS easier without us. Last week The Washington Times published an editorial stating that ENDA was a mistake, that discrimination was necessary not because of the gays or the queers but because of the mentally ill “she-males” threatening to take over schools, churches, and bathrooms.

“Our children and our co-workers should not be forced by law to be held hostage to such [gender identity] disorders, nor should employers be forced to have psychologically troubled persons as the public face of their businesses.”

You may hate that statement, but if you are in support of GID you might as well be in support it. I must clarify: I will never judge any person for doing whatever they had to do to live their life. Most people don’t have a choice, either GID or nothing. But there is a difference between doing what you have to do and actively supporting a system that oppresses us. Non-trans people who support GID, no fucking tolerance, they are all oppressive, uneducated pretentious bastards. Trans people who support GID, advocate for GID providers, turn their backs to change… is it because of happiness in transition or fear of losing their transition? Or both? But what is the price? Along with tons of money, your legitimacy, and social standing of a sane, competent person is removed from you in the eyes of society. Even those of us who have been able to avoid the system through luck of a liberal city – or in my case driving 5 hours to a liberal city… we are still stuck in it because it is a community label. GID is about as liberating as indentured servitude. Trans people are given the “freedom” to live life, but in exchange we must give doctors and the government our life, and our sanity.

“[Trans inclusive legislation is] …promoting and subjecting decent society–let alone our children–to psychological and sexual PERVERSIONS”

GID enables the statement above to MAKE SENSE in the systems of logic, like 1 + 1 = 2. According to the DSM, no matter how they tweak the language, we are mentally disordered, we are perverted, as are our friends in kink, polyamorous,and BDSM communities. GID is not about health, it is about control, money, and normalizing those who are deemed impossible to be normal. It is about erasing us. GID is a tool for them, not us. GID defends them, not us.  GID was not made for us, it was made to explain us, to rationalize us, to categorize us, to FIX us, but it was not made to help us.

So while you are out fighting the good fight for ENDA, keep an eye on the movement for our upcoming storm about GID reform, GIDout.org!

9 comments

  • *snap snap snap* THANK YOU.

  • “It is about erasing us. GID is a tool for them, not us. GID defends them, not us. GID was not made for us, it was made to explain us, to rationalize us, to categorize us, to FIX us, but it was not made to help us.”

    this was the most powerful part of this entire post.

    i can relate this kind of whole-hearted oppression to aspects of my life, which helps me more fully understand your struggles and experiences.

    keep writing, jac. you have a gift with words.

    love,

    allison

  • You should say DSM-IV because I’ve heard that there may be a change in the revision to the DSM-V that gender-identity will no longer be a “disorder”.

    Would you be able to confirm or deny such a rumor, or have you not heard much about the transition to the DSM-V?

    • Hey Dave,
      So far conversations about the DSM-V are still including gender identity disorder. The proposed text is ‘looser’ if you will than the current DSM-IV but it still qualifies gender variance as a mental condition in need of mandated therapy and treatment under the standards of care.

  • what about the power of GID to allow the payment of some treatments (hormones, and even surgery in some cases?) through insurance? if GID wasn’t a label, all the treatments would be seen as purely cosmetic.

    • Hi e,
      if we had a medical coding system that qualified gender variance as a biological status it would medically legitimize it without negatively pathologizing gender difference in the way that GID does. With a medical code, as opposed to a dsm code, all insurance would be REQUIRED to cover transitional care. This would eliminate the ‘not medically necessary’ status of transitional care (the reason why most insurance doesn’t cover it). Right now Hawk Riverstone Phd, my partner in GIDout.org, is working on such a code that would be applicable to not just all transfolk, but genderqueer and gender fluid people as well.

  • well, lots of trans people experience this as a medical condition that needs to be “cured,” and that’s an equally valid way of thinking about being trans….but that doesn’t mean that those people think being trans is wrong or hate themselves.

    to suggest that those people are afraid, self-loathing, or don’t care about fighting transphobia is short-sighted and patronizing.

    not being anti-gid isn’t the same as saying it’s acceptable to discriminate against trans people. is it acceptable to discriminate against folks with depression?

    plus, the fact that gid is in the dsm allows some people to get transition costs covered by insurance, allowing access to transition for people who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

    • Hi n,
      I agree that experiencing gender variance as a medical condition is totally legit. As I commented to e above, creating a medical code that is not a mental disorder would require insurance to cover all transitional care without diagnosing us as mentally ill. Right now it is very rare for insurance to cover any care that has the coding for GID. With a medical code, all care would be covered and never would be considered ‘not medically necessary.’

      As for discrimination and suggestions about GID supporter; My exact words were “I will never judge any person for doing whatever they had to do to live their life. Most people don’t have a choice, either GID or nothing. But there is a difference between doing what you have to do and actively supporting a system that oppresses us.” I never said trans people who used the GID system where bad or unwilling to fight transphobia and I especially never said anything about people being self-loathing. I regret that it was interpreted that way. Also I never accused anyone of anything, hence I have a question mark at the end of my sentence: “Trans people who support GID, advocate for GID providers, turn their backs to change… is it because of happiness in transition or fear of losing their transition? Or both? ”

      We all must make our own choices. What I do judge is the system, not people. I believe that trans people should be free to have transitional care without having to pay huge fees, without being pathologized, and without having to prove our identities to anyone.

  • I think what you were saying is quite the step in the right direction. I’m still to a certain extent fearful of transpeople being left in the dark by a half finished movement that just erased GID and didn’t come up with another insurance option. Thanks for all the information though! My mother is a psychological provider for the state and happens to have A. LOT. of transpeople as patients- (usually with other severe and persistent mental illnesses like schizophrenia..) and she was concerned about what all this GID stuff really boiled down to for treatment options. :)

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