My Dad Was Transgender. Why I Still Think Gender Can’t Be Changed.
by Denise Shick
Maybe parallel universes really do exist. Maybe, as my husband and I hiked through the deep, dark forest a few years ago, we somehow crossed through a portal, a stargate into another dimension—a universe that, superficially at least, looks quite similar to the one I’d known most of my life.
I almost hope that’s true. I’d like to believe it, because in the world I now inhabit—which outwardly resembles the one I remember—everything seems to have been turned inside out and become utterly bewildering.
Yes, I find myself wanting to believe that weird matrix explanation and to resist the more likely truth that the world I grew up in could have changed so completely.
I’d like to believe that somewhere back there the world I accidently exited still exists—that world where gender was a fixed biological fact, determined at conception.
But no, this is not the Twilight Zone; it is not an inexplicable parallel universe.
This is 21st century America, and, according to an ABC news article on guidelines recently handed down by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education:
There is no obligation for a student to present a specific medical diagnosis or identification documents that reflect his or her gender identity, and equal access must be given to transgender students even in instances when it makes others uncomfortable,according to the directive.Yes, we really do live in a nation in which our government tells us girls and boys should be able to share restrooms and locker rooms. We really do live in a culture that values transgender rights over basic morality and children’s safety.
But the very hard reality in this topsy-turvy world is that transgender people are hundreds of times more likely to attempt suicide than the general U.S. population.
And what does our enlightened culture do about this very sad statistic?
My father gave in to his make-believe transgender impulses and became Becky.
Well, we make it easier for people to transition to this sad and depressing lifestyle. Helping them struggle down the hard road of facing reality is just too judgmental; it’s better to let them move into a make-believe life in which they face a 4-in-10 chance of attempting suicide.
My father gave in to his make-believe transgender impulses and became Becky. He’d spent most of his life dreaming of making that transition. When he finally left his family and got what he’d long desired, he still wasn’t fulfilled.
He considered suicide, but, thankfully, resisted. But later, pumped full of unnatural hormones and chemicals and adorned in women’s clothing, he died a sad, confused, forgetful, and regretful old man.
I missed Harold, the one who, during his periods of resisting his impulses, treated me as a father should treat his daughter.