The Washington Post must be very proud of itself for tackling one of the biggest problems with the transgender debate (lack of data) and concocting a chipper outcome (most trans people are happy!).
On Thursday the paper published what it called “one of the largest randomized samples of U.S. transgender adults to date about their childhoods, feelings and lives.” The survey took place last year from Nov. 10 to Dec. 1, among 515 U.S. adults who identify as trans and another 823 U.S. adults who did not.
There were a lot of depressing statistics about respondents who are less likely than regular people to say their childhoods were happy and who are more likely to say they often feel anxious. But the ultimate takeaway was that the vast majority of those who said they had “transitioned” away from their natural sex, 78 percent, were “more satisfied” with their lives than before the transition process.
That’s great news for the Post and the rest of the national media trans-champions because it would mean that all the concern and controversy over people who want to irreversibly alter their bodies and appearances with hormones and surgical operations is about nothing!
See? This isn’t about mental illness. Transitioning is real and they’re happier for it!
Like every other one of the media’s new “findings” that fly in the face of common sense and reality (poor diet and lack of exercise have absolutely no bearing on Covid-related morbidity!), it’s nonsense.
Virtually everything about the survey renders it useless, starting with the way it defined “transition.” The Post, in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, set up the survey so that “transgender” includes anyone from those who have undergone surgical operations (just over 15 percent) down to a person who simply says, “I’m transgender,” regardless of whether he does anything at all that distinguishes him from a regular man. By that standard, Janelle Monae, a beautiful actress whose sex is unambiguous in every way, is “transgender,” solely because she calls herself “nonbinary.” (Look! Another wholly satisfied trans person!)
Then there is the utterly pointless one-time questioning of an individual who is dealing with a lifelong, highly fluid conflict. A person who genuinely feels that his mental and emotional state are not in line with his biology may very well feel different one day. He may revert back to his original feelings. They may change yet again. It could be sooner or it could be later. It happens all the time.
A person who decides to live in ways that make him feel more like the opposite sex isn’t a one-and-done. That’s something that has to be examined over an extended period of years. As far as actual genital surgery goes — in theory, the most fulfilling type of “transition” — only one study has done that to date.
Over the course of 30 years, six Swedish doctors and scientists tracked the outcomes of 324 transgender people who had received sex surgeries — 191 male subjects and 133 female subjects. Each subject was cross-referenced with 10 random control subjects of the sex that the trans subject was impersonating. For example, a woman would be a control subject for a man who had had surgery to make himself look more like a woman.
The results were devastating.
Subjects who underwent surgery were more likely than the control subjects to receive inpatient care for a psychiatric disorder, to be convicted of a crime, and to develop cardiovascular disease. The mortality rate by suicide was most striking: Transgender subjects were roughly 20 times more likely to have committed suicide within 10 years of their operations.
“This study found substantially higher rates of overall mortality, death from cardiovascular disease and suicide, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalisations in sex-reassigned transsexual individuals compared to a healthy control population,” the authors concluded. “This highlights that post surgical transsexuals are a risk group that need long-term psychiatric and somatic follow-up.” They noted that surgery and experimental cross-sex hormones may provide some relief for transgender people, but that such treatment is “apparently not sufficient to remedy the high rates of morbidity.”
I don’t doubt that many transgender people are happy. It’s just too bad that The Washington Post can’t survey the ones that killed themselves.