Elan Anthony now joins the likes of Walt Heyer, author of Paper Genders, as one of the heroes who opposes the idea that transitioning from male to female (or vice versa) solves anything at all.
Anthony, now 42, was encouraged by his university’s counseling service and a gender clinic to follow his heart, which told him he was female, not male. What the counseling services never did was to uncover the roots of Anthony’s discomfort with being male—his vulnerability as a slight, emotionally sensitive boy to physically stronger boys who bullied him, relentlessly. Instead, these counselors rushed him onto female hormones—and further, toward surgery.
Anthony’s experience is nothing unusual. Today, in hospitals like Boston Children’s Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island and similar places around the country, poor excuses for doctors are only too happy to indulge the theory that boys and girls can be born into the wrong bodies. Just cut and paste their body parts and have them inject or swallow the right hormones, they argue, and all will be well.
Ultimately, these charlatan, pseudo-healers will be seen as misguided, at best, and driven by their own unresolved, destructive psychological demons, at worst.
Now, Elan Anthony has transitioned back to being a male, after finally focusing on the real psychological underpinnings of his gender dysphoria—and dealing with them.
Joan McFadden, who writes about Mr. Anthony, in The Guardian, quotes him as saying, “One of my biggest struggles is that due to the medical procedures I underwent, I have difficulty with dating, am unable to have children, and still having problems finding a good hormone balance.”
No kidding. It’s interesting how high schools across America (including the Pingree School in Hamilton, MA, with which I have had personal experience) are so happy to organize seminars on the supposed contentment achieved by transgender individuals, but none too happy (in fact, seemingly entirely resistant) to organize seminars on the risks of transitioning.
The most reliable data show, in fact, that gender reassignment solves precisely nothing, in terms of relief of psychological suffering. And that’s why real doctors like Paul McHugh, MD, former Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, shut down that hospital’s gender reassignment program decades ago.
Here’s the bottom line: There is no data, whatsoever, that anyone, ever, has been born into the wrong body. Period. There are, however, plenty of people who believe they were born the wrong gender, or were supposed to be born as double amputees (really), or were supposed to be born paralyzed, or were supposed to be born as canines. No kidding. None of them is worthy of scorn. All of them need kindness, understanding and help. But cutting off their breasts or penises, fashioning makeshift phalluses or vaginas, giving them massive doses of opposite gender hormones or cutting off their legs isn’t the answer—not ever.
Keith Ablow, MD