That’s the title of an article on Slate dot com on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. I’d say that the title puts it mildly. It puts lots of people in an impossible position.
The trans boy, I’m pretty sure he was in an impossible position already. (“Trans boy,” isn’t that a boy at birth who is transitioning to female? I’m just checking the math.) Most people suffer from a certain amount of confusion as teenagers, but I can’t even imagine what these kids go through.
His parents, or her parents, I’m trying to be sensitive, they might just have been in an impossible position already, even without this championship. I hope that they are being very supportive of their child through the entire process, that’s the only thing to do, but I’d be surprised if they weren’t thinking, just a little bit, “does he have to bring the entire world’s attention to this thing?”
The state officials who ran this competition, they were caught between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t let him compete, they are roundly condemned for being insensitive to the needs of diversity. If they do allow it, they are roundly condemned for violating at least the rights of the other girls to participate in a girls competition, and at most of violating the very laws of God almighty, and probably everything in between, too. Better them than me. I prefer not to be condemned at all.
I’m sure that there was a sanctioning body for this event, and maybe a state agency that runs these kinds of affairs. I wonder if they have a policy these days regarding transsexuals, but one way or the other they were probably in an impossible position as well.
The impossible position raised by the article’s title has become general. We all share it. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I always assume that my own feelings about something cannot, statistically speaking, be unique. I, and maybe most people, are of the opinion that our brothers and sisters, and all of them, should be allowed to live their lives in the manner that they find most appropriate. That’s an easy thing to support. People should be able to love whom they choose, even marry whom they choose. They should be able to smoke cigarettes, if they choose, without being condemned later on if they come down with lung cancer and become a drag on the medical system (it was legal; they did it; deal with it). Same with drinking, or an over-time over-dose of KFC. I wouldn’t mind seeing the legalization of any drug that didn’t make people violent, and that enabled people to go on working and being productive, but maybe that’s just me. I would extend this logic rather further, but I don’t want to offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities. It’s your body; it’s your life: go in peace. But . . .
I can’t help having the feeling, though, that actually changing your physicality through extensive surgery may not be a good idea, neither do I feel like it’s obviously a good idea for society to encourage it. It does me no harm if other people take that route, but I can't help wondering if it might do some of them some harm in the meantime. There’s something different about it, don’t you think? At least where minors are concerned. Are we really to allow minors to make a choice like this, the surgery part?
I’m glad that I am not on the committee that has to make these decisions. That would be an impossible position for me. It would be much easier if it were just my child coming to me with the decision. Then I could just smile and be supportive.
This type of thing tends to ride a wave through the public imagination before the wave breaks on the shore of so-what. We’ve seen it all before. Long ago there was a fellow who underwent the whole medical process to transition to womanhood. That was Christine Jorgensen in the early 1950s. People thought that it was strange, and then they got over it.
And now we periodically hear about tranies competing in women’s tennis or something. Then it all settles down and people forget about it, because really, in the scheme of things, it’s no big deal. To us it’s no big deal, anyway. To them, the sufferers, it’s a very big deal. I say “sufferers,” please forgive me if that seems insensitive. But really, isn’t it safe to say that no one would choose to go through something like that if it seemed like less than an absolute imperative? Like a situation that one had to escape from on an emergency basis? Like you were escaping a condition that caused you profound suffering?
So I’m all for this kid finding peace with this world of deep shit that we must all come to terms with. His struggle may be different from ours, but no one gets out of these blues alive. Really though, does he really need to take all of that extra upper-body strength to a women’s wrestling tournament? That’s a good question, isn't it?