Gender Dysphoria In The Spotlight After Trump Bans Most Transgender People From Serving In The Military
Yesterday, President Trump signed a ban on most transgender people from serving in the military, reported the BBC. Trump made the decision after reviewing the Department of Defense’s report, which concluded that people with gender dysphoria pose “substantial risks,” “undermine readiness,” and “impose an unreasonable burden on the military.”
According to Psychology Today, gender dysphoria is the “strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex that results in significant distress or impairment.”
All across America, there are gender clinics, or gender identity clinics, that serve transgender or gender nonconforming individuals. These clinics are busy, and The Guardian reported that the waiting time can be as long as 12 to 18 months in the U.K.
In recent years, many insurance providers started offering coverage for gender-related medical procedures and treatments, per the Baltimore Sun. This, in turn, led to more people seeking help at clinics. The rise in demand has also correlated to a rise in the number of identity clinics. The Daily Signal detailed that there were 24 gender clinics in 2014, which swelled to 40 by 2015.
It’s not just adults that are receiving treatment, either. Specific clinics exist for children and adolescents, like the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic. Children around 11 or 12 years of age can be placed on pubertal blocking medication, which delays puberty from happening when it normally would.
The Daily Signal added that those as young as 16 can start cross-sex hormone therapy. And although it’s not recommended for those under 18, some as young as 16 have undergone breast removal surgery.
Meanwhile, the struggles faced by the transgender and gender nonconforming individuals are becoming more known and taken into account by mainstream society. For example, there are strong efforts all over the world to create and maintain gender-neutral spaces. Sweden, in particular, has made some notable changes to traditions. Swedish children attending government-funded preschools enter a no-gender zone at school, where teachers are considered to be “social engineers,” and the children are “hens” rather than “boys” or “girls.”
Teachers film themselves in the classroom and identify the ways they treat boys and girls differently, so they can stop doing so. In some cases, teachers separate boys and girls and lead them to do activities that seem opposite of what they normally would do. For example, boys learn to massage each others’ feet, and girls are encouraged to yell, “No!” This is not a new notion in the country as the government has sought to “counteract traditional roles and gender patterns” since 1998, according to the New York Times.