Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, PLUS…the other add-ons to come (Part 1)

Before I start expressing myself I’ve got to say that I don’t judge anyone from the LGBTQQIAAP community; instead I advocate to respect everybody’s rights (including those of the LGBTQQIAAP community) and I encourage tolerance towards each other.

Since I was a kid in the 90’s, the term LGBT was a new term used to refer to Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders. The idea that a man can like another man, a woman can like another woman and man or woman can like both the same sex or opposite sex, was something that I was exposed to during my growing years. The Transgender platform was something I understood more towards the late 2000’s when the famously Chaz Bono (former Chastity Bono, Cher’s daughter, now son) underwent a series of surgeries to change his appearance and have a female-to-male transition. I was merely a teenager back then and I honestly didn’t have a tough time to decipher a female-to-male transition.

I’ve been taught that you can do everything you want in life, as long as you don’t violate any laws or rules (if those laws or rules don’t violate your human rights). It wasn’t hard for me to understand that some girls or boys don’t feel like themselves, so the logical thing would be to transform yourself to who you truly feel as. Those of you who are skeptical of the transgender concept have to understand 2 main concepts: Gender and Sex.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Gender as: “The behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex”. The same Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Sex as: “Either one of two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as female or male especially on the basis of their reproductive organs and structures”.

In definition, you can be born as female, but have gender qualities of a male; and vice-versa. You are born with a Sex but you develop a Gender. That’s why, for me, it’s understandable the concept of being Transgender. We, humans, are composed of physical and psychological aspects that make us who we are. In my opinion, if both are balanced out, we have a pro-active and productive human being for society, which is why people with physical or psychological disabilities tend to have more social rejection, not permitting them to succeed in our productive society.

This concept of Transgender was doing A-OK for me, until I started seeing young children undergoing the surgeon’s knife to change their sex. HOLD UP! I don’t think our society has thought this through.

First of all, I would like to admit that being a child I used to play dress-up a lot. I used to take my sister’s clothes and dress up trying to imitate her. I would also wear my father’s shoes and glasses and imitate him reading the newspaper. My brother also accompanied me in my mischievous dress-us and would also dive into my sister’s closet with me, and dress up with female clothing. Does that mean that I was having a male inclination when I dressed up as my father? No. I’m considered heterosexual and comfortable with being a female. Does that mean my brother was having a female inclination when he dressed up as our sister? No. My brother is also heterosexual and comfortable being a male. I don’t think that a child in development and discovery of itself can decide to be a determined sex, just because of its behavior, culture and psych being typical of the opposite sex that they are.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the phallic stage is where psycho-sexual development begins in children between 3 to 6 years old. It’s when the child discovers the bodies and genitalia of their own and the bodies and genitalia of their peers and parents. Children also discover their libido and what primarily satisfies them. They start to differentiate between female and male, thus the gender differences between them. According to Freud, boys adopt the Oedipus character and girls adopt the Electra character.

In the Oedipus character, boys focus their libido on their mother to subconsciously compete against their father, who sleeps with their mother. In time the child understands that the father has a greater strength and fears castration by his father, thus remaining ambivalent. In the Electra character, girls envy that they don’t have a penis, thus not being able to sexually posses the mother; this make the girls redirect their desire for a sexual union with the father which psycho-sexually progresses in being heterosexual. Both boys and girls develop 2 defense mechanisms:  repression of the previous ideas and memories, and identification with the same-sex parent. This concludes in boys identifying as a male sexual being, and girls identifying as a female sexual being; both having a secure sense of their sexual identity and power along with a moral stance.

This Freudian theory has various controversies, including the fact that he considers females as sexually and morally inferior to males and there haven’t been scientific supports on this theory either. From another point of view, we can interpret Freud’s theory as homosexuality being natural, since we are developed to search for the love and attention of the same-sex parent and later we repress it, thus, turning us into heterosexuals.

Based on Feud’s theory, homosexuality (occurring naturally in the Phallic stage) and trans-gendered expressions can manifest in cross-gender identification caused by early faults in parenting, especially in mother/child relationship, as explained by Arlene Istar in her book “Transgender Emergence: Guidelines for Working with Gender –Variant People and their Families (https://books.google.com.do/books?id=mwYsBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=phallic+stage+and+transgenders&source=bl&ots=iSgz4STu6x&sig=rMPeWk7I7ymJJ-bWhOAVU44UD0s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwidj9qJsfDVAhWF6SYKHcfACqUQ6AEITTAG#v=onepage&q=phallic%20stage%20and%20transgenders&f=false).

In my conclusions, being lesbian, gay and transgender fits well with Freud’s theory and Istar’s approaches. I truly believe that the Phallic stage (from 3 to 6 years old) is determinate in defining one’s gender. In fact, from a psychological point a view, homosexual-ism can be viewed as normal and natural, since it’s the natural tendency our subconscious has, but when the defense mechanisms intervene, then we can’t possibly draw the line between “normal” and “not normal”.

I guess that the question here should be why some children develop the defense mechanisms and why others don’t, which apparently is what defines Gender in boys and girls. Istar has a faulty parenting theory that may intervene in the defense mechanisms, but these haven’t been scientifically proven, same as Freud’s theory.

I do think having a sexual preference for both sexes or a same sex involve the lack of defense mechanism in the phallic stage, while considering oneself  a different gender than the one “assigned” by your sex, involves rather a faulty resolution of the phallic stage by interruption or erroneous defense mechanism. This can explain the desire of girls to have a penis not being resolved, leading to a future desire to be a man. This also explains the desire of boys to compete with the father, turning into an ambivalent position after entering fear. This ambivalent position may progress into a future desire to be a woman or a future desire to keep being a man.

Gay

Nevertheless, I still don’t agree on starting to change a young girl or boy’s name, physical appearance and genitals because they have a different gender role than the one “assigned” by their sex. Gender is in constant development and face changes during early childhood and adolescence. It’s not the parent’s choice to decide if their child is a he or she, it’s the own person to decide so later in life. The attitude that parents should have around child having a different gender than their birth sex is to go along with it and try to adapt around their child’s changes that are normal in the process of development. Punishment and rejection will accommodate for trauma and rebellion, resulting in the child or teen to make a choice just for rebellion and not because it is what they really feel.

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Author: atriumofwords

20 something Manhattan born, Caribbean raised girl who is a senior Med Student, Biochemistry tutor and Violinist. She's an amateur writer when she's not at the library studying for finals. She loves music, traveling and eating.

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