at my old job, we had a sick joke. our tyrannical office manager had cosmetic procedures done on her face. we surmised that before having the operations, she went to both a psychologist and a plastic surgeon. she got quotes for fixing her personality and her fixing her face. with the cost of fixing her personality so expensive, she chose to fix her face instead.
in the public world, there is the “real world” and the “actual” world. the “real world” is the common knowledge. the “actual world” is the real details. for example, in medicine, we all know of organ transplantation. we all don’t know that, after the transplantation, that the recipient must take anti-rejection medication the rest of their life. this anti-rejection medication is an immunosuppressant. thus, those with transplantsy live their lives out with a compromised immune system. another medical example is that there are medications to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. we all know that these drugs exists. we all don’t know, however, that if certain of these medications are taken too long that the individual cannot get off of the medication. they must take it for the rest of their lives. in sum, what is common knowledge about medical procedures and medicine is far different than the reality.
with this said, we will address the concern of gender affirmation procedures. it is reported that “that 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide, with suicidality highest among transgender youth.” suicidality among transgender youth: elucidating the role of interpersonal risk factors. with these numbers, there is no doubt that mental health is a key concern for these individuals. the next question is “whether medical treatments can assist?” in the “real world,” genders affirmation procedures are being promoted. in the real world, we are told of surgery and medications. in the “actual world,” there story is quite different. some of the medications are lifetime medications. further, certain procedures can take away the individual’s ability to procreate. with this said, there needs to more research done on this issue as to whether the procedures actually improve the individual’s life. see eftekhar ardebili, m., janani, l., khazaei, z. et al. quality of life in people with transsexuality after surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. health qual life outcomes 18, 264 (2020). [more studies needed]
give the fact that transitioning is a lifetime commitment, medical professionals, activists, schools, and parents need to be honest with these individuals. will dramatically and forever changing one’s gender as a child, truly deliver a happier and more fulfilling life?
the pinocchio story is that of the puppet that who tells lies and his nose grows. in the real world, however, it is the puppet maker geppetto who is the deceiver to the puppet. suppressing the truth concerning the nature and extent gender affirmation surgeries to young children is dangerous. the long term efficacy and happiness derived from the procedure is something that needs to be fully researched.
in sum, the individuals, given an opportunity to mature may be in a far better position to make a decision about their own life which will result in both body mutilation and the need for medication the rest of their life. this is the “actual world” reality that they will be undertaking. it is a huge decision that must be done in a mature and honest fashion. those surrounding these individuals have their own motives that are not in the interest of the individual. which include financial and psychological. as such, this is why the truth is so important.
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