Editor's Note: Guest blogger Barbra Casbar Siperstein was the first transgender member appointed and confirmed to the Democratic National Committee, and is currently a member of the DNC Executive Committee and the deputy vice chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. In addition to being the president of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats, she's a published author, small business owner, veteran, and a grandparent.
It is true that gender affirming surgery is not appropriate or desired by all transgender people. I'm sure that some might disagree, but there is no silver bullet, no panacea in life for all people. Everyone is different and unique, some simple, some complex with all the shades and nuances in between.
The American psychiatrist Paul McHugh in a Wall Street Journal op-ed conveniently ignored the American Psychiatric Association policy in 2012 to stop classifying being transgender as a mental disorder. As we learn, as we educate, and as facts hold true, things change. The Earth is not flat, even though the findings by Eratosthenes were conveniently lost for about 1800 years. The Earth, moon and planets revolve around the Sun and although the Vatican arrested Galileo for espousing his scientific findings almost 400 years ago, there still has not been a full apology.
I'm not sure is there is a word to describe a physician who actively professes and works to deny a whole class of people what the AMA considers medically necessary treatment.
McHugh uses his platform to cast transgender people as confused, delusional and disordered. Perhaps he has not met the CEO who last year made $38,000,000 in compensation after leading a medical company that actually saves and improves the lives of the many while returning billions in added value to its shareholders? Has McHugh met the billionaire Army veteran, investment manager and philanthropist form Chicago? I'm sure McHugh did not meet the engineer who developed the code that enabled the development of personal computers and smart phones, although I will take the chance and assume that McHugh uses and takes that technology for granted.
Is the Wall Street Journal confused for publishing articles by a world famous travel writer and chronicler of the conquest of Mt. Everest?.
I'm not sure if it McHugh's agenda is based on willful ignorance or is a form of transphobia that is often related to a person's insecurity about their own gender identity. I frankly don't care about his demons; I care about the demonization, bullying and societal stigmatization of innocent and at-risk transgender people.