Playboy magazine has its first transgender centerfold. Inez Rau appears in the November/December issue of the magazine, looking like a beautiful and sexy woman. The only problem is that Inez Rau isn’t a woman, no matter what Rau says about the matter (or Playboy, for that matter).
Rau is actually a human being with DNA that conforms in every way to that of a man, who was born male and who remains male. The fact that Rau is on massive doses of estrogen, has breast implants and may have had his penis removed doesn’t make him a woman. It makes him a man who believes he is female. And, the way I practice psychiatry, having that sort of fixed and false belief—a delusion, which is a form of psychosis—is something that would lead me to offer counseling and medication, not a referral to a plastic surgeon.
I am not being selective in my insistence on facts, here. I would feel no different were Rau to be made by plastic surgeons and makeup artists and endocrinologists to look and feel 75-years-old. He still wouldn’t be. Period.
Not only do I consider it pathologic for Rau to be under the delusion that he is a female, but I consider it psychologically toxic to every human being who is coaxed to agree. Because coaxing people to embrace ideas that are false weakens them, intellectually and psychologically, and paves the way for them to be deceived by other ideas that lack scientific and intellectual merit. Create a nation of folks who think that females are sometimes born into male bodies, or vice versa, and then you’ll have a nation whose people can believe almost anything.
Fake news could pass for real news.
Getting high on opiates or marijuana, in order to escape reality, could become an epidemic.
A Secretary of State and former President of the United States on the take to the tune of many millions of dollars from foreign governments could label their political opponent a foreign agent, instead.
Oh, wait . . . That does sound familiar.
See, turning a blind eye to one form of reality isn’t innocuous, and it isn’t easily contained. Much to the contrary, it can easily contaminate our individual, and then collective, ability to think and act rationally.
Keith Ablow, MD