Australian Govt Booklet Tells ‘Gender Diverse’ Teens to Consider Sex Change Surgery

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 12:41 am, April 23, 2017
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The state government of Victoria in Australia had funded the production of a guide encouraging “gender diverse” teenagers to undergo hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Created by a government-backed youth organization called Minus18, the “OMG I’m Trans” booklet encourages young people to embrace their “gender identity” and provides them with tips on coming out, speaking to doctors, and other issues.

The freely available guide revolves around the topic of gender, and says that having to deal with gendered expectations is “all a bit bullshit.”

“When we’re born we’re assigned a sex, it’s written on our birth certificate and then all these things – the TV shows we watch, our schools, the toilets we use – shape how we feel and how we’re supposed to act. But that little piece of paper doesn’t always align with how we feel about our own gender,” it states.

“For a lot of people gender might not be strictly male or female,” the guide continues. “I could be somewhere in between, or something else entirely! I have friends who experienced gender more fluidly, it can shift and change over time.”

The guide contains an entire section on medical transition despite repeatedly stating that gender is by no means biological, and that the gender assigned to you at birth is nothing more than “a little piece of paper” that assigns arbitrary expectations to people based on their genitals.

Medical transitioning, it explains, allows for transgender persons to “feel more comfortable in their own skin and that it can have a “big impact on the way a person expresses their gender.”

“Medical transitioning isn’t about ‘fitting in.’ Sure, that can be part of it, but it’s really about doing what helps you feel most comfortable personally,” reads the guide. “Surgeries and other treatments are just tools to help achieve what feels right to you, and shouldn’t ever be seen as essential to being a ‘real’ man, woman or anything else.”

So why go through with it if gender’s simply the matter of presentation that can “shift and change over time” then? The guide glosses over that part, and instead provides readers with details on how to approach doctors, where to go, and how to undergo both hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

The following section, titled “why passing is bullshit” proceeds to say that wanting to be recognized for the gender you present yourself as “reinforces the idea that there’s a ‘right’ way to be male, female or any other gender, and that’s actually a bad thing.”

“Whether you strongly identify male, female, non-binary, or don’t have a need for labels at all, the most important thing is to do what feels best for you,” it concludes.

It raises the question as to why the Minus18 would produce a guide encouraging young “gender diverse” people to undergo medical treatments and surgeries while decrying the whole point of doing so—or why the Australian government paid for any of this.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

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