Are straight transgender men lesbian?
The columnist's job isn't to gather lost sheep, so I don't ordinarily reply to letters that lack worthy content. But by placing Pete Delisser's musings as Letter of the Day instead of in the garbage (where, shockingly, all the letters of praise ended up), I deduce the editor invites my further thoughts.
Delisser accuses me of "bullying" gays and transgenders in my column 'That's a man, baby!' by, for instance, pointing out that Bruce 'Caitlyn' Jenner is a man. It's not true. I am just irreverent about Delisser's pieties in the same way, I imagine, he would be about mine.
So the most direct way to answer him is to explain that I'm a (bad) Roman Catholic, and not in need of any other religion at this time. I refuse - in fact, am unable - to genuflect to the new orthodoxy, the religion of the sovereign and unchecked Ego, 'The Religion of Me'.
In The Religion of Me, the more outlandish the behaviour, the braver one is thought for cultivating it, thereby reversing centuries of moral teaching wherein a cardinal sign of courage was the strength to suppress one's vices. But that's old school, a relic of the Old Religion.
In my column, I began with the unexceptional point that Jenner is a man. You know it. I know it. Jenner knows it. Delisser knows it. It's so well known it's not at all interesting but for the (enormously comical) fact that it's near sacrilegious to point it out (in public).
I doubt mankind will ever command the technology to change genders. Hence, Jenner is a man dressing up as a woman. And as I pointed out, crossdressing is kinda boring, nothing new.
What IS interesting is the mass hallucination in America that Jenner has become a woman, and the political and normative pressure to conform and recognise him as one. And what IS new is the enforced manipulation of the language that we ordinary dumb-folk use. It's evidence that things have gone haywire politically.
In fact, I think an unbending, humourless regime of orthodoxy with a doctrinal rigour that would scare a 16th-century Inquisitor has settled upon the American liberal mind, and in Jamaica, upon many in what Chairman-for-Life called "the articulate minority".
Bredda Delisser, I would say you floated by the Orwell reference too quickly: "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four." Similarly, if at some point in your career as a mammal you've impregnated a female, just like 2+2 = 4, you're male.
Know what? I'll double down. A roadside higgler (apparently male, but I didn't inquire further) said to me, "Yow, dawg, yuh si de rich man weh seh him ah turn ooman? Why him nuh gimme some ah de money?" To my mind, that guy has more truthfulness and honesty in his statements and presuppositions than all the Hollywood-bedazzled cheerleaders of Jenner's psychosis.
Identity is not, and cannot be, a matter of mere psychological conviction. A man suffering from a split-personality disorder isn't issued two TRNs, driver's licences, or given two sets of medication. And a man doesn't become a woman by thinking himself one, anymore than he can become a tree by believing his arms are branches.
Just curious: On what principled basis should we normalise Jenner's body-mutilating transgenderism, but reject apotemnophilia (the erotic desire to be an amputee) as abnormal? Or is that OK as well?
With all that said, Delisser did cause me to wince when he spoke of the torture gay people sometimes face in Jamaica, and which, I infer, he has also suffered.
I detest the fundamentalists who completely abandon the centrality of Christian charity for the extensive pleasures of condemnation. But here's another bullying I detest: When supposedly intellectually sophisticated stiff-necked fools, who think they are cool, look down their noses at biblical reverence and religious piety, and deny people for their 'simplicity'. That's what normally draws me into these controversies.
But further on this matter, I fail to see the connection between Jenner's particular illness and same-sex attraction, about which I had nothing to say in the column.
Jenner isn't gay. Or rather, everything I've watched and read about his very public 'transformation' indicated he is straight. The man has been married three times, has six children, and likes women. Having never received the official handbook for this new creed, I'm possibly missing something. If Caitlyn continues to fraternise with women, what does that mean? Is a straight transgender man lesbian?
Well, unlike Delisser, I have zero interest in speculating about who is gay. I generally believe gay people should be left alone to pursue their lives, make their own choices and mistakes, and find their own way.
Anyway, Delisser spent some of his letter not-so-slyly insinuating that I know some gay people. Cut the cuteness: I can help you out there. I work with gay people, have gay people in my family, and (when I remember to go to church) pray with gay people. For Christ's sake, I'm Roman Catholic!
And honestly, I don't care if Caitlyn puts mountains of silicone in his chest and pays surgeons to saw off his Adam's apple. Go nuts! OK, maybe not 'nuts'. But go crayyyyzy!
However, I refuse to be policed by the Praetorian guards of this nonsense, or observe its sacred conventions. The man needs help, not encouragement. And it's a terrible idea to hold him up as an example of courage. That high suicide rate among gender dysphoric people doesn't change when they proceed with 'gender reassignment surgery'.
Perhaps your quarrel isn't with me so much as with The Gleaner for allowing a heretic of the new religion some space to write. Actually, they pay me for it, so feel free to mount a demonstration.
As for me and my household, we will worship the Old God, however imperfectly. Not your new ones.
- Daniel Thwaites is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.