OPINION | Letter | Mar. 13
Letter to the Editor: March 13th, 2013
Published: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Regarding “Editorial: Sex reassignment surgery” (Monday, March 4, 2013)I am pleased the Editorial Board came out in support of “sex reassignment surgery.” The endorsement to 1) go beyond limitations set by insurers and 2) support trans Princetonians as part of our institutional commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive community should be applauded. However, a few points should be addressed. Princeton is exploring insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery, better known as gender confirmation surgery. Gender identity disorder was changed to gender dysphoria in the DSM-V to be more accurate and move away from pathologizing trans people. Considering the national efforts behind developing appropriate language regarding trans bodies and identities, both the language used and the meaning behind the words matter significantly. Although many students were pleased to see a supportive article, some were hurt and upset by the language. I encourage more dialogue about this on campus. The dissent offers an inaccurate conflation of gender, sex and sexuality; a reference from 1979, which does not account for 30-plus years of research about the medical necessity and positive effects of surgeries; and a citation by a widely discredited academic. The sentiment and research cited all contradict the positions of the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and many other national organizations. Princeton was recently ranked as a top university for transgender students. We have made great progress, and we still have some way to go to make our campus a warm and welcoming place for trans Princetonians. Unfortunately, the dissent and onslaught of offensive comments by readers overlook this reality.Debbie BazarskyLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center Director
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