My grandfather was deeply mentally ill. He spent nearly a year in a psychiatric institution after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder; he heard the radio talking to him. He became suicidal. He spent years battling the condition, until he was prescribed lithium. For the next several decades, the medication brought his mental illness under control.
Nothing would have been crueler to my grandfather than had society told him that his delusions were correct -- that the radio was, in fact, talking to him; that the curtains were indeed threatening him; that he was normal, and that it was the stereotypes of the world inducing his paranoia.
Yet that is the view of the anti-science left that this week declared former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner a woman. Vanity Fair led the way, featuring Jenner wearing a one-piece corset, Photoshopped and made up beyond nearly all recognition. The 22-page profile of Jenner insists that everyone call him Caitlyn, addresses him as "she," and explains that despite the fact that Jenner has all male genitalia and all male genetics, he is in fact a woman -- even though the writer explains his own confusion as to gender pronoun usage.
Jenner freely admits that he had doubts right after having his face surgically altered in a 10-hour procedure, but that a counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center explained it was just the painkillers talking (it would be illegal in California for a counselor to explain to Jenner that he requires serious mental illness treatment beyond bodily mutilation). Jenner also admits that he is doing a reality television show about his sex change for the money: "I'm not doing it for money. ... If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. [I have] house payments and all that kind of stuff."
It's cruel to allow a mentally ill person to exploit himself in public, but the political left is happy to do so in order to perpetuate the pseudo-scientific nonsense that a man can magically turn into a woman. Their agenda: If men and women are the same but for hormone therapy, implants and repeated surgical intervention, then all disparities between male and female can be attributed to societal biases. And those societally created "gender constructs" can be corrected only by massive government intervention, including re-education of children. Bruce Jenner is merely a tool in this quest for redefinition of gender.
Thus, the White House hailed Jenner as a hero, with presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett tweeting, "Nice to meet you, @Caitlyn_Jenner. The brave choice to live as your authentic self is a powerful example to so many." Except that Caitlyn certainly isn't Jenner's "authentic self," any more than the "authentic self" of an anorexic requires constant liposuction. Surgery is not the solution to mental illness. The post-surgical suicide rate among transgenders remains 20 times higher than that of the general population.
As Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, wrote last year, "'Sex change' is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."
And promoting mental disorders hurts no one more than those who suffer from such disorders. Delusions ought not be supported, let alone celebrated. They ought to be treated.