Transsexual truths?

Author:Usher, Jennifer
Position:Correspondence - Letter to the Editor

In "Surgical Sex" (November 2004) Paul McHugh is certainly right to assert that sexual identity (or, as I prefer, gender) is not subject to change; it is most certainly inherent. About nearly everything else, however, Dr. McHugh is quite wrong. To begin with, I honestly have to wonder how many transsexuals Dr. McHugh has encountered, either before or after surgery. While some do match his descriptions, most of those I know have actually been quite successful in their transformation and are indistinguishable from other women.

Contrary to Dr. McHugh's claims, many transsexual women show considerable interest in children and many mourn the fact that they will never be able to bear a child. I myself have cried bitter tears over this. And yes, some transsexual women do identify as lesbian--just like women who are not transsexual. Likewise, many transsexual men identify as gay. Such is to be expected if transsexualism is more than just a choice.

The report published by Jon Meyer (and cited authoritatively by Dr. McHugh) was met with considerable skepticism at the time it was published. It was widely criticized for methodological flaws, while other studies have shown that Meyer's study was incorrect in its conclusions. Nevertheless, it was used by Johns Hopkins as an excuse to shut down its gender identity clinic. I also note that Dr. McHugh mentions the Clarke Institute. The fact is that this agency has a notorious reputation for mistreating transsexual patients, forcing them...

To continue reading