Originally posted at The Spectator
The Sixties was way too chilled for today’s stiff, authoritarian transpolitics. Back then people did what turned them on. Gay men donned dresses because it made them feel good. Gender-bending was a laugh, designed to cock a snook at social mores. In contrast, today’s transpolitics takes itself ridiculously seriously. Using iffy scientific claims and waving turgid PhD theses, trans activists claim some people are physically one gender but mentally another and they need therapy, drugs and sometimes surgery to enable them to become their true selves.
What a striking difference with the lipstick-stained gender-benders of the Sixties. Where those drag queens stuck two well-manicured fingers up at authority, by refusing to be manly and instead advertising their effeminate streak, today’s trans activists appeal to authority; they rely on it, in fact, especially medical authority, which they constantly cite to prove their identity is real and their every drug, nip and tuck is necessary in order for them to become the gender their nerve-endings tell them they are. It’s sad, and needy, a hunt for pseudo-medical validation of their desire to play at being women, where those Sixties queens just did what they wanted and had a hoot, regardless of what doctors or squares or any other figure of authority thought of them.
Indeed, the early gay libbers argued against the idea that they had a medical condition (the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a mental illness until 1973). Today’s trans activists insist they have a medical condition, and demand both medication and unflinching global sympathy to deal with it. What a bizarre turnaround: from kicking against the psychologisation of one’s sexual interests to demanding the psychologisation of one’s gender identity.