Feedback archive Feedback 2013

George Jamieson / ‘April Ashley’: A ‘model’ life for the ‘gender reassignment’ brigade?

Wikipedia.org April-Ashley

In response to ’s landmark article on ‘transsexualism’ this week, Male and female He made them, correspondent Tony B., from France, submitted this comment:

Born George Jamieson in 1935, he had gender reassignment to become April Ashley and has had a successful career as a model.
Gender reassignment is not always a failure.

One of CMI’s web editors relayed that comment to Dr Wallace for her consideration as to whether or not to publish/respond, and included the observation that …

“It seems to me from the Wikipedia entry1 that George/‘April’’s life, by my reckoning, has been a mess++. E.g. ‘married’ for the umpteenth time, ‘she’ nevertheless ‘lives alone’.”

Dr Wallace responded:

A brief internet search reveals there are scores of transsexuals, in all walks of life, ‘successful’ and otherwise, some with gender reassignment ops completed, some not. Most post-gender-reassignment transsexuals are satisfied with their surgery. My patient David, who had a male-to-female sex change, may not have had any issue with his lifestyle and post-op body, and may well have lived out his years ‘successfully’, had the Lord not intervened, transformed his heart and changed his mind.

Without God, we are precariously and perpetually on the precipice.

The high death rate in this population is likely due to numerous factors that embroil the vulnerable in this lifestyle choice. Early life experiences can lead to a lifetime of confusion, gender dysphoria and dysmorphia, with possible biological and psychological issues confounding the picture.

We don’t live in a perfect world and we do not always do perfect things. Without God, we are precariously and perpetually on the precipice. This includes staring death, mental turmoil and disease in the face every day. This is so distant from the perfection intended and accomplished by our Lord at Creation, and is a direct consequence of Adam’s sin.

As far as gauging the ‘success’ of a life is concerned, Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 10:36 “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Gender-reassignment surgery works for some. But, is it like placing a ‘Bandaid’ on a cancer?

Thus, in response to Tony B., despite the outward trappings of worldly success, a person can be far removed from the eternal success we have in the Lord, washed clean of our sin. Tony’s quoted transsexual, April Ashley, is himself quoted:

“For me it was clear-cut. When the doctors in the loony bin told me, ‘Go away and be gay,’ I said, ‘I’m not a homosexual. I want to be a woman.’ But some people do get confused. I have known quite a few who committed suicide after the operation because they realized they’d made a terrible mistake.”2

Thus, I agree. Gender-reassignment surgery works for some. But, is it like placing a ‘Bandaid’ on a cancer? If the popular press is to be believed, this poor man suffered terribly with obvious hormonal issues, hypocalcaemia needing calcium infusions, a treacherous early life including being beaten by his mother, being brutally raped by a room-mate, suffering a dishonourable discharge from the military, not developing secondary sexual characteristics, until finally finding relief by the surgeon’s knife. Then, he was found to have non-fusion of the growth plates after X-rays ordered by a judge at his divorce proceedings, pointing again to physical and hormonal flaws.3

This certainly provides justification for treating gender dysphoria as possibly hormonal and environmental, rather than promoting the notion of someone being born in the wrong body.

Children are vulnerable to societal confusion and are harmed by the fluid, genderless world view being promoted today. A revolution of gender deconstruction is occurring, based on subjective feelings, and this undermines objective reality. Gender identity originates in the home, and parents can guide their children in the right direction, thereby alleviating emotional distress later on. Gender confusion may still occur but parents can help normalize identity by affirmation of gender-appropriate behaviours. Disconnection from the same sex parent, that is a loss of connection by a male child to their father, can lead to gender confusion. A male child with a physically or emotionally absent father, or a hostile one, may bond to his mother and sisters, identifying closely with females. He is thus deprived of the essential role modelling that shapes his own masculinity. Studies seeking to elucidate a causative factor for gender dysphoria have reported separation from parents or parent, depression in a parent,4 and emotionally absent father as potentially causative factors.5,6

Rekers reported “ … there was no father figure in the homes of 75% of the most (gender) disturbed and 21% of the least disturbed. This compared at the time with an average rate of father absence of 12% in boys of a comparable group in the USA. In those cases where the father or a father substitute was present, he was described in 60% of cases as being psychologically distant.”5

Di Ceglie suggests that parents who have a strong desire for a child of the opposite sex and, not necessarily deliberately, reinforce gender-inappropriate behaviour.7

These issues are further explored in this article here. Parents seeking understanding in how best to manage gender identity in their children may find this helpful, however, CMI does not necessarily endorse all the content at this link.8

The new sexual orthodoxy, enshrined in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s document entitled, "Protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity",9 includes a list of previously little known gender-identities, providing a veritable smorgasbord of options for the gender-challenged individual.10

While we know from Scripture that there are two sexes, we are now forced to accept several ‘genders’. Is this not an attempt to undermine family, marriage and our identities as created by God?

In Psalm 139:13–16 we learn that we are each fashioned by God, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, ”For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.”

This quote from Voltaire seems apt, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Published: 13 October 2013

References and notes

  1. April Ashley, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Ashley, acc. 9 October 2013. Return to text.
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/6637773/April-Ashley-50-happy-years-for-sex-swap-pioneer.html. Return to text.
  3. Juul, A., The effects of oestrogens on linear bone growth, Hum Reprod Update 7(3):303–13, May–Jun, 2001. Review. PubMed PMID: 11392377. Return to text.
  4. Stoller, R., Sex and Gender: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity, Science House, New York City, 1968. Return to text.
  5. Rekers, G.A., Swihart, J.J., The association of gender identity disorder with parental separation, Psychol Rep. 65(3 Pt 2):1272–4, Dec 1989. PubMed PMID: 2623124. Return to text.
  6. Rekers, G.A., Mead, S.L., Rosen, A.C., Brigham, S.L., Family correlates of male childhood gender disturbance, J Genet Psychol. 142(1st Half):31–42, Mar 1983. PubMed PMID: 6854278. Return to text.
  7. Di Ceglie, D., Gender identity disorder in young people, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, vol 6, 458–466, 2000. Return to text.
  8. http://www.pureintimacy.org/h/hope-in-a-world-of-gender-confusion. Return to text.
  9. www.newsweekly.com.au/docs/2010/sogi-discussion-paper-ahrc.pdf. Return to text.
  10. There’s also an interesting summary entitled ‘Gender Bending, Let Me Count the Ways’, by Babette Francis, the National and Overseas Coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., a pro-life, pro-family NGO which has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN, at:http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/gender_bending_let_me_count_the_ways#idc-cover, 2011. Return to text.

Helpful Resources