By Kathy Mandigo
I have been extremely gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response I have seen to the essay I wrote, My Disservice to My Transgendered Patients, which was published on Radfem Repost. Thank-you to all who took the time to send a comment, whether anonymously by way of a blog, or personally by other means.
A common theme that struck me was the expression of thanks for my bravery, appreciation for my courage as a health care professional to speak against the wave of transgenderism that has swept our society.
I would say that, as I wrote and submitted the essay, I, too, thought I was taking a chance. It took me many years to figure out my own position; when I realized that I disagreed with the prevalent medical view, it took time for me to sit with that and understand it; once I felt comfortable with what I had sorted for myself, I decided I had an obligation to make that disagreement known. This lengthy process speaks to the pressure to conform, and to some reluctance, even fear, about going against the tide and possibly facing uncomfortable consequences.
The reality is that, to date, there have been less than a handful of negative comments, and they generally missed the points I made and were sent by anonymous people known for being professionally negative on the internet. I have not taken such comments seriously.
That isn’t to say there isn’t cause for fear. I know Canada is a different country than the US, that Canadians tend to yell at each other less (though we are working on reducing our civility) and we have fewer guns at large (though one of my medical school professors was murdered).
However, I believe it is important for each of us, as we can, to speak up for our beliefs, with our real names in our real lives. If we fear losing our jobs – are those the employers we want to support with our efforts? is that an environment in which we want to spend so much of our waking hours? If we fear losing family members – if they would leave us over this, I would venture to say they will leave us anyway, if not over this then over something else; meanwhile, we are withholding from them our true selves, our true thoughts, and our example of standing up for what we think is right. If we fear losing our friends – are they truly friends if we can be censured for our honesty?
I suspect a big factor in people feeling afraid to speak out on transgenderism is that they see others being afraid, others using pseudonyms, and from that they assume such protection is necessary.
In my experience, to date, it is not, and, in my experience, I am standing taller and feeling more seen and validated than I ever have in my professional career.
That being said, I have not had any comments from my personal colleagues, I assume most likely because most of them haven’t seen the essay, and others already knew my thoughts. I look forward to my colleagues whom I know to feel as I do to speak out, to increase our numbers and make our voice stronger. I look forward to my colleagues having an honest public discussion as health care professionals about what, exactly, we are doing, and whether any of us want to continue down this path.
When we stay hidden, we give our power away. Having seen the truth, living a lie diminishes us. Don’t all of us, when hearing of atrocities far from us in time or place, want to believe that, had we been there, we would have met the challenge and stood up for what we believed was right? Those of us who are early to see the lie have the responsibility, and honour, to light a different course and provide guidance, and perhaps, by our actions, we will bring relief to some who otherwise would have continued to suffer.
When we speak our truth, we feel our integrity expand and solidify. We find new friends, with whom we can breath deeply. We discover how very proud we have made some of those who love us. And then it gets easier to be a bit more courageous the next time, and the next, to the point where it no longer feels like courage, but simply doing the necessary thing, and we wonder what ever held us back in the first place.
The more of us who speak out against transgenderism, as real people with real jobs and real families and real friends, the sooner we can halt at least this faction of the gender industry and the atrocities being rendered in the name of gender dysphoria. Then we will have more energy and attention to turn to other, vital issues.