In the National Post for saturday, Oct.2/99, David Frum writes:
" … Gender-identity disorder - gender dysphoria to give it its formal name - is a mental illness. People who suffer from this illness will often seek to mutilate themselves. These acts of mutilation are euphemistically called sex-change operations, but they are no such thing: Our sex is encoded into our genes and is unalterable. A “sex change” is, bluntly, a castration (of men) or a hysterectomy (of women) combined with plastic surgery.
"Gender dysphoria is hardly a unique illness. Extreme depressives, the autistic, schizophrenics, and other mentally ill people often express their distress by taking knives to their bodies. Where gender dysphoria IS unique is that it is the only mental illness whose victims have persuaded their government to pay for this self-mutilation: In the United States, “sex changes” can be subsidized by Medicaid; in Britain and canada they are paid for by the NationalHealth Service and Medicare.
"It is more than a little shocking to discover just how threadbare the psychiatric literature on gender dysphoria is. The theory that surgery is the right way to treat a man who wishes to be a woman is supported by the flimsiest and scandiest of research. So why do we do it? … "
Also in this article is a preceding bit on the teacher in Antelope, California, who may be the fellow who was at the start of this thread … it says here his performance reviews were satisfactory and by all accounts he was an able teacher -
"…over the past few years, however (his) behaviour has become increasingly bizarre. Last may … he announced in class that he believed himself to be a woman. He told his students that when class resumed in the fall he would be wearing woman’s clothing and makeup. He would change his name … He intended to use the female staff washroom. Within the year, he would undergo surgery to amputate his penis and implant artifical breasts.
“(The teacher) gave interviews to the local press about his intentions , provoking some alarm among students and parents. In August …the county school board voted to suspent (him) with full pay. (He) has since filed a legal challenge to the firing, catapulting him from local celebrity to national controversy.”
Now, I dunno the rights and wrongs, the ins and outs of this issue, but I am not 100% certain I would want this, at best, seriously disturbed man should be teaching my children.