This week I am reposting my piece from June 2021, What Does It Mean To Have A Good Life? Last week Texas Governor and Attorney General declared that “certain procedures done on minors such as castration, fabrication of a “penis” using tissue from other body parts, fabrication of a “vagina” involving the removal of male sex organs, prescription of puberty-suppressors and infertility-inducers, and the like are all “abuse” under section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code.” Those who are investigating us for “child abuse” cast a wide net and they use scary terms, sensationalize medical procedures, and seek to vilify parents and doctors. While the decree is not law, it emboldens those who seek to harm our children and families by spreading disinformation and vilification of our community.
In my recent piece, Conformity, I discuss those who are cloaked under the guise of “saving the children.” It is a scary time when one person can legally impose their values over another. Particularly when it comes to medical decision-making. Those who seek to separate our children from us would have you believe that I am performing surgery on my 11-year-old. Bringing her to doctors who will cut away flesh and that my child will regret the decisions of her parents. None of this is true.
The team of a child, parent, and physician may choose puberty blockers or later, hormones as evidence-based care as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Endocrine & Pediatric Endocrine Society, Endocrine Nurse Society to name a few. The medical decision to seek gender reassignment surgery is between a physician and patient and is not performed on young children.
My proposal: if the government can dictate my access to healthcare then yours should be as well. I propose we reconsider the appropriateness of erectile dysfunction medication for seniors. If I follow their logic, that’s the way your life was intended and you should learn to live with it, right? After all, all drugs have side effects, all opinions are not facts and we, the proud parents of transgender children, are not going away.
I remember taking a philosophy class as a freshman at the University of Maryland. We would read, debate, and write about the following question: “What does it mean to have a good life?” Sit with this question for a moment and consider your frame of reference for a good life. Think about how your good life might not be the same as that of another person’s. That’s ok, right? Of course, it is. We all have this one beautiful life to live after all.
No matter what your “good life” looks like, I believe one thing remains the same. We want acceptance for who we are. Be that Catholic, Jewish, Asian, African American, Transgender, Gay, Female or pink elephant. I’m serious. Affirming a person as they see themselves does not detract from your good life. Because again, we all have just one shot at this. So imagine how tragic it would feel if someone told you that you do not have the right to be who you are.
Your identity and how you present to the world are of enormous importance to you. If you are constantly bombarded with the message that your identity (insert whatever category you put yourself in) is incorrect or worse, wrong. That you are not valid. Imagine the long-term stress, anxiety, and depression that would bring.
Perhaps your categories are societal norms. You have never been part of a marginalized or oppressed category. I can relate. Because until 5 years and many months ago I was not either. Now, here I am. So, for me, the question about what it means to have a good life means something a little different now. Now it means that I will fight until my last breath to be a voice. And as you all might agree a loud one. All are welcome.