A woman is suing the IRS to deduct the expenses for the sex-change process she underwent. She argues that because gender-identity disorder is a recognized mental disorder that is generally treated with hormones and surgery, the costs are legitimate medical deductions.
I don’t know that I buy this argument. At the moment this accomplishes the desired goal. But classifying this as a mental disorder ignores the medical aspects of having one gender brain in an opposite gender body. If male/female are exactly the same other than the externals and the hormones produced by those physical glands then this is indeed a mental problem. And a curable one at that.
However, if male/female are different because of real physical brain differences, then incorrect gender is a physical defect no different from any other and could/should not be treated any different than any other surgery to correct any other genetic anomaly. If this is not imagination then no amount of head pshrinking is going to mean a thing.
Brain scientists seem to be more and more convinced that there are subtle but measurable differences among male, female, gay, and lesbian brains. Are these “non-standard” brains defective? Are they normal? Where do these differences originate? From stresses in the womb? From external chemicals ingested while growing the fetus? Genetic inheritance? Chance mutation? Or are they normal products of normal reproduction? These questions really should be answered before we decide the wrong gender is a mental problem.
This is hardly in the same boat as choosing to have lips puffed up (which looks like hell, anyway). It does not seem to me to be in the same league with vanity surgery at all.
Now the whole gay born/made argument has to be reexamined. I had a very well known, somewhat liberal, psychiatrist wistfully tell me years ago that he was sorry gay had gotten popular and pc. He had never seen anything as easy as “turning” something like 90% of the gays who came to him for that in very short order. I had to point out that the ones who came to him already had the desire to be turned. And the will can overcome a boatload of adversity.
So, I will state what should be the obvious. Some gays are made. Whether self-made or “mama made him that way”, or whatever. Some are just situational. And some are “born that way”. Eventually a simple gene read should be able to tell which is what. But right now, a little rationality is called for.
Likewise we will possibly be able to diagnose the gender misplaced and correct it while young. One of these days. But, for now, anyone who is desperate enough to survive the whole gamut of testing, head shrinking, and the painful surgery involved damn sure ain’t kidding. A bit more drastic than just sticking some silicon in a boob. So, IRS, back off.
Of course, if we had something rational like the fair tax, the damned IRS would not need to be informed of the private affairs and motivations of citizens anyway.