Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gender Identity Crisis: No Exit Until Now . . .

Trevon Milliard
Reno Gazette-Journal

My brother Shan - professor of counseling at Niagara University - recently sent me an article of interest by Trevon Milliard, "Strangers unite over their transgender children" (USA Today Network, Reno Gazette-Journal, March 20, 2015), and the article begins thus:
When Jessi Arroyo was four years old, her mother taught her to pray.

"Pray to God and he will listen," said her mother, Elvira Diaz. "Ask for whatever you want."

"Mom, I want to pray to God and wake up in the morning with a penis," her daughter said.

Diaz dug up her basic anatomy drawings for children and re-explained the differences. "This is you. You can't be a boy. You're a girl."

"You don't know anything," her daughter said. "I'm a boy."

Diaz didn't know what to do. She'd never heard of this.

"I didn't tell anybody," Diaz said.
Well . . . she did, eventually. Told somebody, I mean, or we wouldn't be reading these words.

I find fascinating, though also troubling, the fact that one's body, more often than might be expected, fails to fit one's inner identity. Of course, I don't personally experience that divergence, but I can imagine - through empathy - how a transgender individual might feel, namely, trapped within the confines of what others consider that individual's corporeal identity, the transgender person suffering claustrophobic angst at being unable to escape, ever.

Except through suicide, thereby ridding oneself of one's flawed body . . . until now, that is, with plastic surgeons as postmodern heroes . . .



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