You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to have noticed the recent avalanche of transgender-related stories in various forms of media, plus the apparent 'debate' that we're all supposed to be having on the subject. Well, it's either that or you're one of those incredibly smart people who manages through a series of deft and agile manoeuvres to black out the mainstream media altogether - credit where credit's due and I'm most impressed. I've always wondered who or what plants the seeds of these 'debates' and decides what the rest of us could, would, should and then ultimately must talk about. Right now and remember to reach the 'right' conclusions at the end. Or else.
I've no problem admitting that I don't really 'get' the concept of gender dysphoria and on the very small number of occasions I've met transgendered people in 'real' life I've been somewhat wary of them, due at least partially to a genuine 'eggshells' fear of saying 'the wrong thing' and causing inadvertent offence. My basic understanding of gender dysphoria is that it's a sense or belief, held over a long period of time that the sex into which somebody is born is basically a misnomer when placed next to the gender with which they identify socially, so (say) a person born as male but personally identifying themselves as a female, hence the need for operations etc.
Now that can't be a nice way to live - in fact it sounds pretty traumatic and it's something I genuinely wouldn't wish upon anybody. If I could hit a button that would rid the world of gender dysphoria for good then I would do so without hesitation - less dysphoria means fewer miserable and unhappy people living in a perpetual state of identity crisis until the possibility of a highly intrusive and risky procedure becomes a viable option. That's before we even get onto the need to be pumped with hormones over several years, sometimes for the rest of the individual's life. However, Utopia is not an option and we know that no such 'magic button' exists.
However I'm not sure that absolutely everybody would like to rid our planet of this nasty condition, a point I promise to return to later on.
So anybody in that situation has my sympathy in an abstract sense but it clearly strikes me as the sort of thing you've either gone through personally or really have very little idea about. Something that continues to grind my gears is this wholly false attempt by too many people to offer a sort of pseudo-understanding of the suffering of others, when the possibility of walking a mile in the other person's shoes simply does not and never will exist. This is far closer to the virtue signalling method of people making the right noises to make themselves look and feel good, enable a self-congratulatory pat on the back, rather than actually doing any good. It's nasty, exploitative and wholly insincere.
Now for another shocking confession - in addition to not really 'getting' gender dysphoria I also have to admit to the heinous crime of finding the whole thing just ever so slightly odd or unusual. Apparently, this alone makes me an evil bigot on the same scale as an Imperial Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan, guilty of the all-new shiny hate crime of 'Transphobia' no less. Now I would like to make two points in my own defence before you wheel out the electric chair. Firstly, it is odd or unusual, strictly from a statistical point of view. Secondly, the process and procedure to go from one gender to the other is indeed drastic by definition, that is simply an objective fact. Do I get to live now?
Predictably enough the 'debate' we are all supposed to be having about 'trans issues' is not a debate at all, but a crash course in what to think dressed up as some sort of discussion. In a genuine debate, there is an acknowledgement that while facts are sacred an opinion is free, that any worldview which does not infringe upon the basic rights and liberties of others is a valid one to be respected. This is quite apparently not what is going on here, as acknowledging that "it's your body and do what the hell you like with it" is simply not good enough. You're either a fully paid-up virtue signaller, offering 'support' and 'understanding' or you are a 'transphobe', a hater.
And note:- there is absolutely NO in between, everybody one side of the road or the other.
The tactics of Marxoids and their useful idiots within the Toddler Left are pretty clear-cut when it comes to this stuff. Bait people with the latest round of group advocacy, then fling mud at anybody breaking ranks from the established orthodoxy and conventional wisdom of 'inclusiveness', 'diversity' and all that jazz. That they have now moved onto transgendered people is interesting in itself as it comes quite close to an admission that there is now very little mileage left in the traditional goldmines for this subversive bullshit that have been the supposed 'wars' on racism, homophobia etc. Soon these bastards will need to invent new 'groups' to pull this stuff with.
Inequality before the law is always, always wrong - that should really go without saying. But it's worth noting that no such legal inequality exists in relation to transgendered people. Any adult suffering from gender dysphoria can pursue a sex change operation if they remain sure they want one after counselling. He or she is then able to get a court order which legally acknowledges their change of name and also of gender. They cannot be refused public services on the basis of being transgendered - and rightly so. They cannot be refused a job or fired from their current employment on that basis either - and rightly so. Where exactly is the 'inequality' here?
But then this is the thing - 'inequality' isn't about 'before the law' anymore, we've moved way, way past that and into the dark arts of 're-education' and social engineering, 'informing' people of the narrow range of 'acceptable' opinions they have the State's 'kind permission' to hold. Marching to get people the vote or genuine equal rights has now given way to something intimidatory, let's call it 'bullwashing' (a hybrid of bullying and brainwashing), in order to 'change the minds' of those holding potentially 'dangerous' views, or at least cow them into silence. While promoting 'diversity' on questions of identity, any diversity of opinion is something social engineers seek to crush ruthlessly.
It's no accident that the 'trans crusade' has attached itself to that which claims to promote the interests of gay, lesbian and bisexual people (yes, all of them, these are apparently not individuals possessed of agency or free will, but a homogenous block who think, feel and want entirely the same things). The appropriation of the letter T within the LGBT umbrella has the deliberate intention of conflating people who have had sex change operations with those who might come out as gay, lesbian or bi and be accepted by the overwhelming majority of people, at least at any time in the last 15-20 years. This is pernicious, manipulative and wholly disingenuous. They are not the same.
If your friend Dave comes out as gay or bisexual next week then it probably represents a minor adjustment, but nothing that most intelligent and reasonable people can't make fairly quickly and with little fuss. It's possible that you already had suspicions (for want of a better word) in this regard and were unperturbed by the possibility. In essence, Dave is still circa 90% the same person, a very small component part of who he is, namely his sexual orientation and identity, perhaps isn't what you assumed or expected but so what? It might or might not be something that you can then have 'banter' about depending on your relationship. But after any initial awkwardness, life goes on.
Now Dave becoming Davina is a wholly different situation by definition, as the person you knew as Dave has made a conscious decision to reject the identity of who you knew (and by extension, the friendship itself) in favour of a new identity and new life. The individual with whom you might have gone on holiday, played in a band together, played football or simply gone drinking with no longer exists. This is not hyperbole, that now ex-friend is as good as dead on paper and in the eyes of the law, which is not a minor adjustment at all but an absolute bombshell. Any automatic expectation of 'support' from others on this basis strikes me as unreasonable and presumptuous.
It's this assumption that only the person of re-assigned gender is effected by the whole thing that feeds this poisonous assertion that it is somehow incumbent on the rest of us not simply to respect their rights, but to form a sort of quasi-support network for the transgendered, suspending any impact upon ourselves while doing so. Friends, wives or husbands and even children are now being (gradually less) subtly instructed that the transgendered demand for 'support' aces any sense of confusion, bewilderment or pain that they might be feeling themselves, as if this is another of those 'competing rights' issues and their 'rights' simply do not come into it in the final reckoning.
Of course the whole notion of 'competing rights' issues is itself horseshit but...another night.
Speaking of "I can't imagine", the possibility of any child seeing a parent 'switch gender' strikes me as something with the potential to be immensely traumatic and potentially ruinous to the child. We're now in the process of talking about 'genderless toilets' and teaching what can only be described as kids (less than 10 years old) about 'trans issues' at Primary School. This is a clear nod to the very real position that the transgendered now have within the hierarchies the Toddler Left adhere to (of course the Toddler Right have their own hierarchy but we'll do that soon enough). Being near the top of that particular tree of course gives you privileges and special status, as opposed to genuine equality.
So that child who might be upset, confused or just plain angry at Dad now becoming a woman called Delores will be told that they are being selfish (especially if this happens to be a white, middle class child). In a deranged subversion of the parent-child relationship, he or she will be reminded to stop being so 'transphobic', that Delores really needs her kids' support right now, and that they have no claim on any feelings of their own about the situation. Then the whole class will be subjected to a Maoist 're-education' on 'trans issues', just to correct anybody who wrongly believes that these decisions impact anybody other than the people making them. This is poison.
It doesn't surprise me that in the true style of anyone seeking to brainwash the young, a maxim of 'the younger the better' is being applied here, but then that doesn't make it a single percentage point less pernicious or dangerous. Not only is it brutal and inhuman to ram this stuff down the throats of children, it runs the risk of creating more gender dysphoria, more confusion amongst young people for whom the adolescent years in particular are already traumatic and difficult enough without being bombarded with 'trans' propaganda. What could be a 'passing phase' in reality might end up being misconstrued as a clear cut case of dysphoria, with particularly horrendous results.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that someone, somewhere actually wants this, but then we'd be entering the realm of 'conspiracy theory' or something like that. I'll leave you to make up your own minds.
It's worth repeating that anybody with long-running gender dysphoria should be free to pursue whatever surgery and/or treatment they feel is necessary, although the question of whether the taxpayer should fund it is an altogether different one. On balance it's probably correct that the individual concerned gets to be legally recognised as their 'new gender' and the anti-discrimination rules that have existed on the grounds of race, gender and sexual orientation are extended to include the transgendered. Creating new 'oppressed groups' within society is bad, but creating inequalities before the law is certainly 'as bad' and probably quite a bit worse.
That said, legal recognition and 'social acceptance', let alone a demand that the rest of society reacts or responds to you a certain way on threat of punishment, are absolutely stratospheres from each other. One is the recognition of and a certain respect for the rights of an individual, while the other is a blatant trampling over the rights of others to hold politically incorrect, socially conservative or even offensive points of view without penalty. I'll say it again, collectivism based on this kind of hierarchy and oppressor/oppressed lens is inherently selfish. Dressed up as 'equality', it's actually a totalitarian assertion of your 'rights' way over and above the natural rights of others.
Counter-intuitive as that might be, it also happens to be true.
I'll be back later in the week to discuss the life and times of the Conservative Party - anyway, I'll leave you with the most appropriate song I could find and thank you all one once again for reading. See you soon.