No one is born into the wrong body

A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body.

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  1. Vladimir Horowitz, world famous pianist, said there are only three types of pianist: Jewish ones, gay ones and bad ones. Was he made to feel bad about his love and was electroconvulsive therapy a follow up to that? Should we just ditch people who have had severe treatments, hormones &c?

    • I don’t see any suggestion in the above talk that people who have had severe treatments or hormones should be ‘ditched’. There’s no evidence that they work, anyway, though people who have undergone them may need therapy to deal with the trauma, although the same might well apply to anyone who has been subjected to trauma, regardless of the cause or reason. During much of Horowitz’s lifetime, homosexuality was not only widely considered a sin, but was also illegal, and the penalties could be severe, so it’s hardly surprising that Horowitz attempted to alter his sexual orientation ‚Äď he lived in a very repressive time, and his religion won’t have helped, either. In this day and age, however, being gay is no longer considered a crime and, in many countries, at least in the West, gay people are free to marry and to be openly gay. This being the case, the fad for claiming to have been born in the wrong body and, especially, the vilification by its adherents of people uncomfortable with the idea that you can just claim to be whatever sex you fancy, is at best slightly ridiculous, and at worst cult-like and cruel. I don’t think Horowitz was right about pianists, either. ūüôā

      • Thanks Lila. I grew up in a music world which tended to have men and women more equal than in society in general. I wonder how Charlie would have reacted. There has just been the 200th birthday of top pianist/composer Clara Schumann who supported her family by playing after her Robert died. Conductors of orchestras were normally men which is getting less the case. I hate to feel that men tend to have to work through difficulties that women may avoid. I read Rachmaninoff want Horowitz to play his 3rd concerto faster. He left out a bit of the cadenza to facilitate that. I don’t know if this woman team of Yuja Wang and Xian Zhang do that. Definitely good for a 26-year-old. Would boys want to become women to emulate such? As Yuja says to make the music live. Though trying to be different to do that probably wouldn’t work.

  2. From a FB post by Wayne Dynes, editor of the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (1990)

    “The current sense, reported by many trans people, that they have, respectively, a female soul trapped in a male body and a male soul trapped in a femaie body, is not a cultural universal but an acquired motif. The origins of the motif have been explored by my late friend Warren Johansson in the text that follows. Among other things my mentor Warren was an accomplished Hebraist. He shows how the thinking of the rabbis of former centuries could be creative and influential. This piece is intricate, despite its short length, and merits close attention.


    This term refers not to literal incarceration or confinement but to an aspect of gender dysphoria Рthe idea that a human body can contain, locked within itself, a soul of the other gender. In their adhesion to this self-concept, many pre-and postoperative transsexuals unknow­ingly echo a theme that has an age-old, though recondite history.

    An important advance was achieved by the pioneer in the struggle for homosexual rights Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1824-1895). Ulrichs formulated the notion that the Urning (as he called the male individ¬≠ual attracted to his own sex) was endowed with anima muliebris corpore virili in¬≠clusa, “a female soul trapped in a male body.” He took the concept from the two-volume work Eros: die M√§nnerliebe der Griechen (Glarus and St. Gall, 1836-38) by Heinrich Hoessli. This Swiss homosexual writer had in turn pur¬≠loined it from an article in the Munich Allgemeine Zeitung that dis¬≠cussed the kabbalistic belief in the trans¬≠migration of souls (Hebrew: gilgul naphshot).

    Foreign as this idea is to the ra¬≠tionalistic mind of the twentieth century, and to the Biblical and Talmudic periods of Judaism as well, it is first mentioned by Saadiah Gaon (882-942. Gaon, the spiritual leader of Babylonian Jewry, rejected it as an alien doctrine that had found its way into Judaism from the Islamic cultural milieu. Yet the belief in transmigration took firm hold in the earliest center of Kabbal¬≠istic thinking in Spain, Girona in Catalo¬≠nia, and the notion that a female soul might be reincarnated in a male body is first expressed by Jacob ben Sheshet Gerondi (about 1235) in a work entitled Liqqute smkhhah uphie’ah (Gleanings of the For¬≠gotten and Unharvested), printed at Ferrara in 1556. Later, Isaac ben Solomon Luria (1534-1572), the head of the kabbal¬≠istic center at Safed in Galilee, made it an essential part of his doctrine. His oral teaching was incorporated in a book writ¬≠ten by his disciple Hayyim Vital between 1573 and 1576 entitled Sha’arhagilguh’m (The Gate of Transmigrations).

    According to the Kabbalists, the ultimate destiny of the soul is – after de¬≠veloping all those perfections the germs of which are eternally implanted in it – to return to the Infinite Source from which it first emanated. Another term of life must be vouchsafed to those souls that have not yet fulfilled their destiny in the nether world and have not been sufficiently puri¬≠fied for the state of reunion with the Pri¬≠mordial Cause. Hence the soul must in¬≠habit one body after another until after repeated trials it is able to ascend to the “palace of the Heavenly King.” In the second half of the thirteenth century the Zohar had declared: “All souls are subject to transmigration.” Luria further taught that as a rule, the souls of men transmigrate into the bodies of men, those of women into the bodies of women; but there are exceptions.

    The soul of the patri¬≠arch Judah was in part that of a woman, while Tamar had the soul of a man (a fanciful interpretation of the story in Genesis 38: 12-26). Tamar’s soul passed into Ruth, so that the latter could not bear children until God had imparted to her sparks from a female soul. Some Kabbalists considered that the transmigra¬≠tion of a man’s soul into the body of a woman was a punishment for the commission of sins, such as man’s refusing to give alms or to communicate his own wisdom to others. The wide diffusion and reception of the Lurianic version of the Kabbala ensured that many Jews of a mystical bent would entertain the belief down to modern times.

    Metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls, is a characteristic theme of Indian thought, from which the Jewish motif just discussed may ultimately derive. Some Hindus today explain male homosexuality by saying that the individual had previously lived as a woman.

    Ulrichs’ formulation, strictly speaking, applies only to the “subject homoerotic” – the individual who feels himself a member of the opposite sex and plays the female role in relations with members of his own sex. As a scientific theory such a notion, because of the mind-body dualism which it entails (not to mention the belief in reincarnation, which has been relegated to the realm of the occult), has no solid basis.

    Yet the reiteration of Ulrichs’ views in the work of later homosexual writers kept them alive into the twentieth century, and may have contributed to the rise of the practice of transsexualism and its underly¬≠ing belief system, which Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) never encountered even in the enormous body of casuistic material that he assembled in his lifetime.

    Pre- and postoperative transsexuals cherish the belief that some quirk of nature has con¬≠fined them in bodies of the wrong genital sex. In the Hollywood film Dog Day After¬≠noon (1975), which was based upon a real incident in Brooklyn a few years earlier, the character Leon asserts that “My psy¬≠chiatrist told me I have a female soul trapped in a male body,” and more re¬≠cently even advertising has taken up the theme, as in a telephone company poster with a cartoon character declaring “I feel that I’m a 516 trapped in the body of a 212.”

    In this way a doctrine of medieval Jewish mysti¬≠cism entered the folklore of the gay subculture, passing thence into American popular culture as a metaphor for a profound state of al¬≠ienation.”

    • The connection gender identity ideology has with religion and mysticism is very interesting Alison.

      On a similar theme, I came across an article ‘The Americanization of Mental Illness’ which shows what we would term ‘social contagion’ with conditions such as amok – seen in some Southeast Asian cultures – where men have been known to experience an episode of murderous rage followed by amnesia. There is also koro, which is the belief by men that their genitals are retracting into their bodies. In the Middle East there is zar, a condition marked by dissociative episodes of laughing, shouting and singing.

      In Europe in the 1890s there were men who would walk in a trance for hundreds of miles with no knowledge of their identities. There was also hysterical-leg paralysis that afflicted thousands of middle-class women in the late 19th century.

      There is little doubt that rapid onset gender dysphoria is a case of ‘social contagion’ as it was not seen 15 years ago, and now there are hundreds of cases in NZ, often in social clusters.

  3. Lila wrote: “I don‚Äôt see any suggestion in the above talk that people who have had severe treatments or hormones should be ‚Äėditched‚Äô. There‚Äôs no evidence that they work, anyway, though people who have undergone them may need therapy to deal with the trauma, although the same might well apply to anyone who has been subjected to trauma, regardless of the cause or reason.” And they may need some way to regain dignity, now it is pointed out that people of authority, who had access to the hormones, have treated them possibly wrongly.

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