The more I write more opinion columns for Daily Xtra​, the more I attention to how other columnists do their job. One common method is to be needlessly inflammatory, substituting rhetoric for reason while ignoring the arguments of those who disagree with you and generally using logical fallacies to advance an agenda that your audience already agrees with. But you can also make logical arguments founded on well-cited data - and you can combine it with passion and wit. If you do it well, you should change the minds of your own readers. Or at least advance the dialogue with people who disagree with you.
So I try to make sure that every column I write is based in a combination of past study and present research. I know it works if it challenges my assumptions to the point where my conclusion is no longer the same as when I started writing it. And I like to think that this is why I hold my opinions. Because opinions can be facts, or they can at least be well-grounded in facts. But we forget this.
When we see that we can prove how transuranic elements decay, but we can't ultimately answer prove what god(s) want(s) us to do with our genitals or if ze/they exist(s), we conclude that particle physics and gay rights are totally separate realms of argument, subject to different rules. It's true that the morality of an action cannot ultimately be logically proven. However, the components of an argument that reach a moral conclusion *can.* Thus, while it is reasonable to take a pass on the issue of divine interest in our groins, we can prove whether or not gay marriage affects particular social indicators. And while we know how plutonium turns into other elements in very dangerous ways, we cannot prove the morality of eating it - we know the latter is lethal to the diner and probably everyone around them, but we can't actually prove it's wrong. 
The reason I don't agree with a lot of culturally conservative viewpoints is not one of mere bias. I grew up in a conservative area where these viewpoints were the vast majority. I know them. When I moved, I saw the arguments for and against various issues, and realized that usually, especially on cultural issues, the left simply has stronger arguments. Often this was because the left had arguments that engaged with the right while the right had arguments that engaged with little other than re-stating a baseless opinion.
That there is no quantifiable social detriment to gay marriage, and that there is no evidence to support that trans inclusion will have a detrimental impact on quality of life is part of why these causes tend to win in court, even before judges with contrasting politics - because judges are called upon to meticulously and publicly justify their opinion, and when your entire professional body of work is weighed on that basis, it's harder to go off the rails.
So I believe it is a columnists' job to construct arguments that are sound, grounded, relevant and interesting. And the more I look at other people in the field of punditry, I wish that other columnists covering issues relevant to human rights would do their damn job too.
Failing that (see, this is where the wit comes in), I would be happy to see less dutiful columnists address particle physics, or neurology, or paediatric nursing with the same reckless knee-jerk usually-conservative abandon that they treat human rights. Because I would actually enjoy reading someone's take on what Leviticus says about Bohr's model of the atom, or how they just weren't raised to believe in spindle neurons, or how we can alleviate respiratory ailments by just having a stronger work ethic. That would still be illogical, but at least it would be creative.
"You can get Xtra West there. It comes in every couple of weeks." I say to her.

She's a fag hag and says she's been missing her circles in Toronto.

"I might be in the next one: i was interviewed."

"About what?"

I relay the story with Lu's. How it opened, and wouldn't admit transsexuals or intersexuals, and how the Femininjas protested, did outreach. How they held out, but changed. How they lost a lot of volunteer support, and aren't doing so well now.

"Great. Another service for women closes." She says.

And so a very difficult conversat
Edited for length )

I cannot leave this conversation be. Something in it hurts more than I expected. I am reminded of how far I am from home. I wonder what this bodes for the remaining school year. I feel very tired. Angry. Listless. I wonder how long change will take. I think about the practicality of engineering a different kind of human being. Or an artificial intelligence that sits on your shoulder and all it does is call you on your bullshit - and maybe calculate tips and remember telephone numbers.
Remember that post on why I think the process for being approved for sexual reassignment  surgery sucks?

Someone wrote some pretty strong objections,  then vowed never to return. Well enough, but I wanted to take this space to respond. Normally I don't engage in flame wars - and this is no exception. I'm writing this because these are the usual round of objections that I hear over and over and over. It's not the first time I've heard them and it won't be the last. And at some point, you may hear them too. So I see the need to process them publicly.

I've seen too many people walk on the RLT half way through.

It separates the women from the men. And hat if they had got what they wanted first, then decided it didn't work?

Its there because in the early 70s there were a lot of quacks handing out SRS to anyone who could pay, and there were suicides. A lot of them.
People got srs who shouldn't have. Closet homosexuals with religious guilt who though surgery would make them straight women. Transvestites who confuse their comfort of dressing with their core identities, mentally ill patients with dissassositive disorders and other identity issues, and even criminals on the run.
A year to be sure is NOTHING. Noting at all. From the time I told my therapist to the time I hit the table was 18 months. It wasn't that difficult. You spend your life knowing this is what you need, but you can't wait a year to be sure? If you are having a hard time with a government system don't count on a state system, or a national health to help you. It won't. We are supposed to envy YOUR health care system, what a joke.
I hear so many cry "BUT I WANT IT NOW" "I CAN PAY" they sound like straight male crybabies. There is a reason you can't buy drugs that will hurt you, or of you are unfortunate enough to live in Canada, play with dangerous toys. You may think you know, but till you are THERE you don't KNOW. You may think you do, but you don't.
This is a one way trip, and there is only one way to be sure. living it for a year clears the doubts. You need to see what its like when its not a game or a costume. That's what the RLT is. And if you cannot see that you are a close minded child who wants his lolly NOW.



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