This conversation is not an easy one and I ask you all to bear with me as I open a subject that seems if not politically incorrect, at least forbidden in polite company... Some of you may not have even heard it; others may have firm and serious opinions... It involves individual choice, once a basic American principle that has morphed into the extreme control over our lives of late stage capitalism. For the sources of control of almost any fad or issue, just follow the money, if you are not doing so already.
To make sure we are all on the same page I want to underline the difference between gender and transgender. We all are assigned a gender at birth and it is based upon what sex we seem to be. Mistakes are made, but how many? According to the latest statistics, 700,000 individuals identify as transgender in the U.S. alone. They have no doubt that they were born into the wrong body and most will undergo hormone treatment and surgery to right that wrong. This is a new cultural development, although small numbers of these surgeries have been done at Johns Hopkins and Stanford University since the mid-1960’s. Christine Jorgenson was a cultural phenomenon when she went to Denmark for the surgery. This is now a movement, a cultural phenomenon that can be decided by young children with parental permission of course. In all the articles we see, the parents are happily giving permission and delighted to indulge their children. The son becomes adaughter; the daughter a son and everyone lives happily after.
This cultural movement has followed very quickly upon the acceptance in many places of gay marriage. I do not think it is connected biologically, being in the wrong body vs. sexual attraction. Yet we do not have enough research to answer that question. In fact, we do not have enough long term research to answer many of the question concerning feminism and gender vs. transgender. It is more of a medical than a gender issue and is being run largely by psychiatrists and other medical doctors such as surgeons and endocrinologists.
I was one of the early feminist psychologists who brought forth the term “gender” in order to distinguish what was learned, even unconsciously, from what was determined genetically. That was an enormous first step, as every aspect of a human being was believed to be tied to sex. Everything from pink to blue blankets, dolls to trucks, were considered to be part of a biological predisposition. If you were a boy and you liked to dress up, then you were inevitably destined to be gay, a word that was whispered if spoken at all in the 1950’s. Instead, there were code words used that only those who were supposed to understand them and did. Very few individuals would “Come out of the Closet “ and, if so, at great peril.
The development of the field of gender was designed to discover how much of these preferences were genetic and how much socialized from that first blanket. We know any of the answers, especially concerning the blankets. The field of gender is now 50 years old and has discovered much, including that sexual orientation cannot be changed by therapy or surgery or any other value based schemas. It is a given. The growing field of epigenetics does show clearly that the some genes, but not in altering basic sexual orientation. We are simply born that way.
On the cultural side, gay marriage has been legalized in many places in the world and gay people are just being given the opportunity to lead regular normal lives. These are simple human rights. While transgender are also considered human rights, they are, at the core, medical rights introduced by White Western Medical cultures. Gender was never meant to be interpreted as being in the "Wrong Body" or subject to medical treatment, which procedure began in the 1966. Fluidity is possible. Sexual attractions that develop are possible. There are so many terms available currently for sexuality that they soon must all morph into just that, sexuality of every imaginable kind.
Yet reinforcing the binary and demanding that one's body be altered to fit one's psychology is not scientific at all , but medical in the sense of following the dvelopment of huge corporations becoming billionaires. Transgender in the West involves multiple surgeries. This surgery is a way to make a small fortune for the medical establishment and for Big Pharma. As each of these 1.4 million  individuals and the many other transgender procedures become acceptable, should they undergo the procedures and, if so, they will spend several hundred thousand dollars, will suffer many side effects, as there are no long term studies on the effects of a lifetime of hormones or the complex surgery involved. Certainly there must be what medicine names “side effects,” such as cancer from a lifetime of testestosterone, estrogene and progesterone. One recent study has shown a strong relationship between autism and transgender . Shouldn’t such preliminary studies be followed for years before the surgery is performed. Who knows what the consequences might be? Especially for young children taking medications for decades.
Before White America and Europe existed, indigenous cultures on every single continent had the concept of three or even five genders and lived happily with these ideas. On virtually every continent, societies with more than two genders thrived. No one was cut or mutilated, as it was simply natural. No one profited from it and many of these transgenders were even revered and admired. How interesting that the issue has been monetized almost to the point of cultural hysteria in the West.
 Kaschak, E. (1992), Engendered Lives: A New Psychology of Women’s Experience
 Kaschak, E. (2015), Sight Unseeen: Gender and Race through Blind Eyes
 Williams Institute (2016), Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults, The New York Times
 Urquhart, E. (2018), Why Are A disproportionate Number of Autistic Youth Transgender