I was never a ‘good boy’ or, for that matter, a ‘good man.’

Not by dominant standards — I hated sports and hunting and fishing and was not big or strong until a remarkably late date. Thankfully, the silly idea of transgender never popped into my head. I never took it into my noggin that I’d be a better girl or woman than a boy or man. When I encountered gender ideas in Lawrence Durrell’s work — he wrote absurdly of there ‘actually’ being four or five sexes — I rolled my eyes and read on. And somehow I learned that failing to live up to some standards didn’t mean that I had to accept defeat completely, or despair of my very existence. I came to realize that not being particularly handsome or impressive was other people’s problem more than mine — and I was appreciative that people tended to like me despite my obvious flaws. At least they thought I was funny and capable of thought.

So the rise of ‘gender dysphoria’ has puzzled me to some extent. Obviously something is going on. I came to know some transitioning men-to-women when I was a young adult, and sympathized. But I realized right away that most of these people didn’t pull it off well. Going from being a passable man to an ugly woman didn’t seem like a step forward to me. Some of this seemed to be a strange way to handle being gay: a man “becoming” a woman wanted to engage in sex acts with men in a more natural way, and a fake (ahem) vagina allowed this. More interesting and disturbing were the men who wanted to be lesbians! Recently I learned that the late novelist Iris Murdoch thought of herself as a male homosexual in a woman’s body. I think this scenario is mentioned somewhere in her novels, too.

I wonder how much of this is a result of a lack of “self-acceptance.” To me it is simpler: sex is nature, and choose the roles you want, sure, but never lie to yourself about nature. If you are a male who doesn’t like your penis, say — or a woman who hates her breasts — don’t lop them off: live with them. None of us are perfect.

Trans activism seems perverse to me — a defiance of truth, an attempt to make outrageous fantasy become reality, hell or high water — but I could be wrong. Still, I remember the cautionary tales, like those of Dr. John Money. Or the de-transitioners discussed on The Daily Wire.