The Trans Question

Question from Fraser:

Is it okay to be trans?

Answer by SmartLX:

From an atheist perspective, why wouldn’t it be?

So many of the condemnations of transgender people are rooted in the essentialist idea that God (or whoever) deliberately created two genders and the apparent gender at one’s birth is one’s divine destiny. Without this idea we are left with fairly simple facts.

Gender is in most cases determined by chromosomes, with most of us possessing either XX or XY. Transgender people’s brains have not received the usual effects of this, six to eight weeks after pregnancy, leaving them with traits putting them much closer to brains of those of the opposite gender. In a sense, they literally have a man’s brain in a woman’s body or vice versa.

There is nothing they can do about their brains, but they may choose to change their bodies or at least outwardly adopt a transgender identity. This is a far more honest expression of who they truly are than to simply accept the gender they were assigned at birth. If others have strongly negative emotional responses to this, they may try to rationalise them with the aforementioned essentialism but in the end it’s their own problem, until they start to attack trans people. When these attacks are justified using religion, atheists have an opportunity to point out that using religion to police the actions of others is counter to any secular society.

One thought on “The Trans Question”

  1. It’s OK to let each and every human being live their life however they want to live it, as long as they do so without interfering with the rights of another human being. As “being trans” doesn’t conflict with anyone’s freedom of speech, or freedom or assembly, or right to the pursuit of happiness, then I can’t possibly see anything wrong with it.

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