Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is society knowledgable about Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood?

An interesting situation is going on in the state of Maine. Judy Harrison (2008) tells a story of a 13 y/o boy who identifies as a girl and wishes to use the girl's bathroom at school. This story is the topic of much debate and possible lawsuits. After reading this article there were many posts of people giving their two cents worth of mostly, in my opinion, uneducated opinions on the topic. There was one individual's comments that stood out in my mind and worthy of sharing with all of you. Devin of Bangor, ME shares these words:

"While over sixty years of research has been unable to determine what causes gender identity disorder, certain findings have been established by the medical/scientific community: (1) gender identity disorder is an indisputable phenomenon affecting from 1% to as much as 5% of the population (uncertainty is due to the number who choose not to be identified); (2) gender identity disorder has nothing to do with chromosomal makeup, and chromosomal makeup includes xxy and xyy anomalies often resulting in intersexed conditions such as ambiguous genitalia and transsexualism; (3) gender identity disorder has nothing whatsoever to do with sexual preference; (4) gender identity disorder cannot be alleviated through psychotherapy; (5) gender identity disorder can be alleviated through corrective surgery; (6) suicide among transsexuals is believed to have been as high as 50% as recently as 1980. (That percentage has begun to decline dramatically with increasing cultural acceptance.) Translation: gender identity disorder isn?t a choice or a hoax or a perversion, and those who are born with it can find relief by assimilating into the gender with which they identify. Considering that anywhere from 3 million to 15 million Americans are transgendered and many are inclined to suicide, what responsibility do we assume for our fellow human beings when we castigate them for their differences and deny them the opportunity for self-actualization?" (Devin, 2008)

On the page with this article is a poll that asks "Should a 12-year-old boy who identifies as a girl be allowed to use the girls' bathroom at school?". I responded to the poll with a yes answer only to find that only 19.06% of individuals responded yes. The majority, at 80.94%, of responses said no. I find this disturbing. There is a general lack of knowledge in the general population to this topic.

Wikipedia identifies the following four criteria for Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood:
  • "The individual is persistently and intensely distressed about being a girl/boy, and desires (or claims) to be of the opposite gender.
  • The individual is preoccupied with the clothing, roles or anatomy of the opposite sex/gender, or rejects the clothing, roles, or anatomy of his/her birth sex/gender.
  • The individual has not yet reached puberty.
  • The disorder must have been present for at least 6 months. " (Wikipedia, 2008)

For those of you that are aware of children that may have this condition, please offer support to those in that childs life. For those that are aware of adults with Gender Identity Disorder, please be remindful that they are just like everyone else in that we all live and die and yearn to be loved. Be respectful of others despite our differences.

Ok, so I'll get off of the soap box, now I'm curious as to what you all think. Do you know of anyone in Saipan that is transgendered? How is life on this island for them?

Island Dyke


Devin (June 11, 2008) Reader Comments on Grandfather plans rights suit over boy using girls bathroom. Retrieved on June 12, 2008, from

Harrison, J. (June 10, 2008) Grandfather plans rights suit over boy using girls bathroom. Retrieved on June 12, 2008, from

Wikipedia (2008) Gender Identity Disorder. Retrieved on June 12, 2008, from

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