October 19, 2004

by Joe Sobran

     I have no idea who "Diane" is, but his e-mail 
message sounds angry with me. In fact, Diane says he is 
"deeply offended" by the "pure bigotry" of my column of 
September 21, "Equality Run Amok," which he finds 

     You may think "Diane" is an odd name for a guy, but 
that's Diane's point. He claims to be a woman, "simply a 
woman," and identifies himself, in case you haven't 
already guessed, as a "transsexual."

     Sorry, Diane, but you aren't a woman; you're a 
mutilated man. And you aren't a "transsexual," because 
there's no such thing. Let me know when you get pregnant, 
and I'll reconsider my position.

     Diane informs me that he is "legally a woman" -- 
which I don't doubt, the law being what it is these days 
-- and is so identified on his baptismal certificate. He 
also says he's been married to his "husband" for 20 years 
and is a "practicing Catholic." Sure. He must belong to 
John Kerry's parish.

     By way of enlightening the sons of darkness, Diane 
explains (sigh!) that I'm confusing transsexuals with 
transvestites, homosexuals, drag queens, and such. 
Transsexualism, he assures me, is "not a choice."

     News to me! I'd have thought that if anything was 
elective surgery, it was ... well, that. But according to 
Diane, one is born transsexual -- a woman's brain trapped 
in a man's body, and so forth -- and only later decides 
whether to have the doc bring them into alignment. 
"Supportive studies and research," he goes on, "is [sic] 
giving strong support to this [view]." That's always the 
way with supportive research, isn't it?

     Wait, there's more. Diane, writing in late October, 
warns me that I may tip the election to Kerry. It seems 
that many in the transsexual community are leaning to 
President Bush, but are put off by Bush partisans like me 
-- "transphobic bigots," he calls them -- who preach 
"hate" and make "unwarranted attacks" against them. And 
if the 2004 election is as close as the 2000 election, 
the transsexual vote could make the difference.

     Well, here it's my turn to be deeply offended -- by 
Diane's presumption that I'm a Bush partisan. I've 
repeatedly said I consider George W. Bush one of our 
worst presidents ever. Why do so many transsexuals harbor 
the stereotype that we transphobic bigots are 

     I don't pretend to speak for the entire transphobic 
community, but my own strong belief is that transphobia 
is not a matter of choice. I was born this way, and there 
is nothing "wrong" with it. We are all children of God, 
and labels don't mean anything anyway. I very deeply 
respect Diane's belief that he is a woman, which is his 
constitutional right as an American, but when he tries to 
legislate that belief on others by having the government 
legally certify him as a woman, I draw the line. That 
judgment must be left to each of us.

     I know many people who consider themselves women, 
and I rarely argue the point with them. Most of them are 
confident and comfortable in their womanhood and require 
no corrective surgery. Many of them marry and have 
babies. If Diane had ever had a baby, I'm sure he'd have 
mentioned it. That would have provided him the perfect 
illustration of my ignorance of transsexualism.

     There are always weird people here and there, but we 
live in the age of the aggressively abnormal -- people 
who are ever ready to pounce on you for believing what 
everyone has always taken for granted, like the existence 
of two distinct sexes. The simplest common sense, or even 
a quip, is now called "hate."

     It would seem to follow from Diane's account that 
transsexualism must also occur among animals -- a sow's 
brain trapped in a boar's body, a hen's brain trapped in 
a rooster's body. But if so, veterinary science seems 
unaware of it and is doing virtually nothing about it. 
Maybe the supportive research is still in the early 

     One of my favorite lines from the classics has 
always been "Nothing human is alien to me." After 
pondering Diane's message, I'm not sure I can say that 
without qualification.


Read this column on-line at 

Copyright (c) 2004 by the Griffin Internet 
Syndicate, www.griffnews.com. This column may not 
be published in print or Internet publications 
without express permission of Griffin Internet 
Syndicate. You may forward it to interested 
individuals if you use this entire page, 
including the following disclaimer:

"SOBRAN'S and Joe Sobran's columns are available 
by subscription. For details and samples, see 
http://www.sobran.com/e-mail.shtml, write 
PR@griffnews.com, or call 800-513-5053."