In an earlier post my reference to “transgender” issues seemed to bother some emailers. Well, I have my particular views and I will stick to them. I certainly haven’t “attacked” anyone or used uncivilized language. One emailer felt that I was “hurtful” in my continuing to describe the male transgender teen (being tormented by the DCF) with the pronouns “him” and “he” when the youth feels he is a “she.” Now, if you are a male but prefer to be called “Mary” or “Susan,” then I have no problem with calling you your preferred name. But if someone is a male I will refer to him as “he.” If my doing that is “hurtful,” then I would say that there may be some unresolved issues which may need to be addressed. That’s my view on that. And one’s gender is not just associated with one’s physical genital apparatus, by the way, as one emailer thought that I had implied. One’s gender includes other aspects associated with it and associated with one’s self, in my view. It’s part of the whole individual.
Further, self-determination is an important aspect of personal growth and liberty. We should respect who someone is as a unique individual (except those who aggress against others). However, with the gender identity issues as with other issues, I really believe that the influence that one’s primary caretakers have during the first 1 or 2 years of life has a lot to do with these issues later on, and that much of the time, who one really is as an individual may not have been genuinely respected by one’s primary caretakers during that first important phase of life. In psychology, some of the effects of that can be referred to as narcissistic disturbance, which affects a wide range of personality and life aspects, including one’s gender identity, in my view. I’m sure that some people will disagree with me, but if someone says that some particular male person feels he is really female then she should be respected for who she is, well, okay but I believe there is more going on inside — in other words, my view is that the taking on of the opposite gender is part of the “false self,” and isn’t part of who one really is, and which has its origins in the earliest years of the relationship between that individual and one’s primary caretakers.
I would say that during the 1980s Alice Miller had a big influence on my thinking, particularly in her books, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, For Your Own Good, and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child.10:35 am on April 16, 2014 Email Scott Lazarowitz