The Transgender Conundrum

August 3, 2012

Transphobia is rampant in the US. Transgendered and LGBTs are bullied and victimized at alarmingly high rates. How, then, to protect these people from physical harm and treat mental health concerns?

Is being transgender an identity, like being gay? Is it a disorder? If it’s entirely an identity, then there is no insurance coverage basis for surgical or hormonal interventions. If it is disorder or disease, there are those who will try to “cure” people whose best interests are served by being accepted and celebrated.

Moreover, the level of transphobia in the US is staggering; transgendered people are murdered at extraordinarily high rates. How, then, to protect these people from physical harm or from efforts to “cure” them without telling them that their most essential belief about themselves is an illness?

Here to discuss the transgender conundrum is Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree, which will be published in the fall of 2012. He is also author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. [A PhD in Psychology as of August 2013], Dr Solomon is a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell and Special Advisor on LGBT affairs to the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

Click here for a description of Far From the Tree[pdf].