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Your Editor Spouts Off

Your Editor Spouts Off

©2000, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2000, Spring). Your editor spouts off. Transgender Tapestry, 89, p. 6.





Your Editor Spouts Off

By Dallas Denny 


Every once in a while we see a half-assed letter to the editor in a newspaper or magazine and would like to just go off —like this!—Ed.


Letters to the Editor
The Providence Journal
7 August, 1999




Should medical professionals at great financial expense to their uninsurable victims, be allowed to perform sex-change operations wherein a lesbian or a gay man ends up trading a malfunctioning mental state for a malfunctioning physical state attractive to unsuspecting heterosexual victims?


Helen L. Ribb
Johnston [RI]


An Open Letter to Helen L. Ribb


Dear Ms. Ribb:

Mark Twain once said it’s better to keep silent and let others think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and have everyone know for certain. He didn’t say anything about telling the whole country by way of an ignorant letter to a newspaper.

First, let me say that’s quite a sentence. But if it’s a disaster grammar-wise, it’s even worse from a factual standpoint. I’m not sure you got anything right. Let’s dissect it a bit, shall we?

I’d like to know why you refer to the “victims” of medical professionals. Surely you meant “patients.” Did you have a mind fart, or did something unmentionable happen to you at the hands of a physician? Curious minds just want to know.

I’d also like to know to what “great expense” I and other transsexuals put others. I paid for my own sex change, thank you. I have an otherwise good insurance policy, but it does not reimburse sex reassignment procedures. So pardon me here, but what burden, exactly, am I putting on other policy holders or on nontranssexuals my doctors might have treated? Are you saying my genital nip and tuck might have caused my plastic surgeon to pay less attention to his other clients, causing someone to miss, say, a nose job? If so, oh, the horror!

Somewhere in that convoluted sentence you ask whether medical professionals should be allowed to do sex reassignment surgery. That’s a good question. Who, exactly, is going to regulate these doctors? You? Big government you are probably otherwise against? What’s the problem there? Sex reassignment harms no one. It’s not as if anyone’s asking you to put your genitals on the line. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you’re so concerned about mine. Are you by chance a closet transfan rather than a letter-writing wacko?

Then there’s the gay or lesbian thing. Most gay men and lesbians would be horrified at the thought of having their genitals altered. You’d probably be shocked to know a goodly proportion of transsexuals are heterosexual before surgery and don’t change their sexual orientation afterwards. This means that however attractive they may be to “unsuspecting heterosexual victims,” the doctors are actually “making” gay men and lesbians. What’s that, you say? You don’t like that either? Well, aren’t we just the perfect little homophobe. Do you have, um, issues? If so, call me and I’ll help you with your coming out.

Malfunctioning mental state? I don’t consider there is or ever was anything wrong with my mental state. I can, after all, string words together to make a coherent sentence. I’m proud, proud, I tell you, of being transsexual. I wasn’t dysfunctional as a man. I was a damn fine man. I just didn’t want to be one, and that, Ms. high-and-mighty from Johnston, RI, was my decision, and none of your business.

And finally, physically nothing was malfunctioning before, and nothing is malfunctioning now. When you got your degree in transsexology did you not read that chapter? As Kate Bornstein once told Geraldo, “The plumbing works, and so does the electricity.”

Didn’t they teach you anything up there in Rhode Island, either about transsexualism or about making a fool of yourself in public?

Someone’s ambidysfunctional here, but it’s certainly not me!



Dallas Denny