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“Dysphoria is in the brain. If you’re skipping over the brain and going straight to the body, you’re not helping trans people.”

I have oddly kept up with Buck over the years (thought he seemed very level headed and sincere). When I noticed the pivot from “transsexual” to “transgender” in society, his story and reaction to the current zeitgeist of this issue was something I kept an eye on.

I deeply appreciate someone like him speaking up on this issue in a time like this. One only hopes mainstream media takes note - it could help save a lot of grief in this nation.

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"When it comes to gender dysphoria, talk therapy is more important than anything else." A crucial question is how do we keep this treatment from being labeled as "conversion therapy"? The activists know that by using this term they are winning over most progressives, who are aware of harmful attempts to "pray away the gay." How do we make sure that children get the thorough evaluations and counseling that they need—real "time to think"—when trans activists control the narrative so successfully?

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Buck Angel is a producer of pornography and sells "lube" and other sex accoutrements on her platform. Earlier in life, she influenced many San Francisco butch lesbians to "transition." Lesbian bars disappeared, as men ideating a female persona started claiming to be lesbians. Working as a school bus driver, it is difficult to imagine Buck was not influencing the students. She appeared on the Howard Stern show and rode on a mechanical dildo in a state of undress in a public display. Buck is pulling the fleece over on the gender critical camp; if they take the bait and start believing this is an individual who will help children. I personally heard Buck on an interview a couple of years ago, conjecturing that a young woman entering Buck's porn world wouldn't have to be concerned about going to college. Please do your homework, it is all out there on the web.

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This is a really excellent article. I want to commend Buck for his courage and nuance on this topic. There’s a couple of points I want to push back on though: I think Buck’s perspective, which some might call “trans-medical” and which is shared by many trans people who are older and therefore sought therapy during a time when there was more appropriate medical safeguarding for transition, often fail to address the issue of trans people who go through all the appropriate therapy, guidance, test-run of social transition, but after it all don’t pass. Blaire White’s perspective also has this issue imo. It’s all well and good to say “I got proper care and so my transition is successful” but it seems like a LOT of what makes a transition a success is whether people buy it. Buck looks like a man in daily interactions, so it “works” for him, and for society. But what about if Buck didn’t pass? This issue is under discussed, imo. I have been calling Buck “he” bc he LOOKS male. The issue is that almost all trans women, and many trans men, DONT pass, and therefore requires constant effort to address with correct pronouns. These people expect and request a suspension of disbelief from others around them which crosses the line of controlling other people’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings. It’s an inappropriate imposition on people imo. So how does that work? According to Buck, should psychologists just recommend that basically no males transition, and that especially petite/small females don’t transition? What does the mental health of a trans person who has received comprehensive care but don’t pass look like?

Another qualm: “I did something even more radical than transitioning once my body changed: I became an adult film star” To me this speaks to how people who transition often have issues that are at their core about sex, not social aspects if gender at all. There is way too much discussion about the pointless and irrelevant aspects of “gender” like whether people perceive you as a man or woman in a board meeting when it really doesn’t (read: shouldn’t) matter, and not nearly enough acknowledgement of what is often at the root of gender identity issues for those with gender dysphoria: sexual shame and anxieties. I wonder how much sex therapy Buck had before his transition. I remember hearing an interview with him where he acknowledged he couldn’t even touch his vagina until after he transitioned. I have heard the same from other trans men (one who said he couldn’t even look at his external genitals until he “became a man”). This speaks volumes to me about the true issue at hand: the issue is a rejection of one’s self as a sexual being. The transition is an attempt to make it ok for someone else, some other you, to be sexual. The sex work is also an attempt to again control and therefore empowerment over one’s sexual self. That’s either good if you think all these things (body mod, sex work, transition) is good or neutral, but a problem if you perceive these things as self harm(which many psychologists who deal with trauma do).

Third: I think a lot of trans people assume a lot about and frankly fundamentally misunderstand that their experiences aren’t completely exclusive to them. This is the other side of the coin of assuming your experiences are universal. It’s naive, slightly narcissistic, black and white distorted thinking. I get that sense when Buck says, “…everyone from tomboys gently rejecting stereotypes…” “Gently rejecting” rubs me the wrong way. Is it that Buck genuinely doesn’t know that struggling deeply, and suffering terribly from gender expectations and biases is as normal for young girls as it is for young black kids to struggle deeply and suffer terribly from racial expectations and biases? He has no window into what it felt like for those other tomboys. Anxious girls who are smart, eccentric, autistic, or gay often struggle terribly with accepting themselves to the point of “anguish” too.

I’m really happy that Buck supports exploring these ideas before deciding if transition is tight. There are many different ways to resolve or cope with psychological anguish centered around one’s gender/sexual body parts. But Buck was a huge influence in youth transition today: going around to schools and selling his story as “born in the wrong body,” “finally my true self,” “was a sad girl, now a strong, sexy man), etc. Buck’s transition is his career, financially (“I’m a trans elder” translates into “Tranpa” merch). And while I understand everyone deserves to pay their bills, I think it’s good to be skeptical of a narrative someone tells about themselves when that person’s livelihood is dependent on that narrative.

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I strongly disagree that this post should be taken down. We don’t have to agree with everything Buck has done in his life or how he makes his money to appreciate his viewpoint on this issue. There are not that many F to M trans people that have long since transitioned and are willing to speak about their experiences. We hear much more from M to F transitioners. I’m neither a fan of cannabis nor a consumer of pornography, but I admire his resilience greatly.

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Buck Angel almost died from the testosterone causing necrosis in her reproductive organs. How many emergencies of this sort shall we tolerate, and continue to say that "for some, its a good choice?" No 'sex change surgery" is without complications. Also, just fyi, Buck is a big marijuana promoter as well. Very "alternative" lifestyle. As a retired teacher, I taught kids who inhaled a great deal of second-hand pot smoke, to their detriment. Buck has a shtick. If you want to be taken in by it, that is your choice. All of my statements are based on Buck's actual words. Isaac Uncooked YT channel, from a male detransitioner has a very similar skepticism of this individual.

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"Transition saved my life." im glad ur doing OK. but this statement is harmful and most likely false. most who "transition" would have been better off if they never had.

"i became deeply uncomfortable with my female body...i hit bottom." alot of people have drug addiction, psych issues and/or and hit bottom. blaming this on your body is addiction/psych issue excuse #5 billion. the problem with this lame excuse for your psych issues is that its harmful to claim disassociation with ones own body is healthy. this claim with no evidence to support it other than your own misconception harms others by fraudulently claiming "trans" helps. it doesnt. even if it worked for you. it doesnt for most.

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Beautifully written. This should be in the New York Times.

“Once I got sober, and got therapy, I also got clarity. I told the therapist I felt that I should be—no, that I was—a man, and, unlike everyone else I’d ever said this to, she said, “I hear you. I believe you.”

This makes the strongest case. Why do young people get so angry when anyone does anything they don’t 100% agree with? That’s a big tell. It seems to me that there definitely and obviously is a social contagion going on among young leftist kids. The internet plays a huge role here. And the therapy/mental health angle is beyond obvious: We know masses of teens today suffer from high levels of depression and other issues.

Clearly a small % of people are genuinely trans and have body dysmorphia and they should transition, but as Buck said: This should be done carefully and slowly with adult supervision and discussion. And not at age 16. None of this should be controversial...yet it is.

It’s interesting how the trans movement clashes with both feminism and the gay community. But also the Black community, which is ironic since that’s the Left’s sacred stone. Pew poll recently shows that 66% of Black Americans think sex is immutable and fixed at birth.

The young radical trans activists are on the wrong side of both history and commonsense.

https://michaelmohr.substack.com/p/some-surprising-data-on-black-americans

***

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’

https://michaelmohr.substack.com/

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Thank you for being you! From your lesbian sister.

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Ok, on the subject of levels of discourse here v. Eg Twitter, here’s a hilarious take from Kathleen Stock on the Twitter end of things: https://archive.is/XWYFR. As a teaser, this is how she closes her piece:

The bottom line is that there’s no social disincentive to behave badly online. Charlie might be nice enough to win a chocolate factory, but online he would probably be toast. Going nuclear in public about how evil someone else is will get you far more attention than any carefully worded message about the value of charity in interpreting others. Showing off about your glamorous social life will beat humility every time — just as complaining dramatically will beat quiet stoicism. I’m afraid the class sneaks and show-offs are in charge now, and in vain might we wish for Willie Wonka to turn up and turn them all into blueberries.

🫐🫐🫐🫐🫐

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As always Buck speaks a truth so many don’t want to hear. I am grateful for his sensibility and common sense words on the subject.

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This is a wonderfully lucid, thoughtful essay. If only everyone engaged in this conversation could be as well-reasoned and candid as Buck Angel. Of all the important points in this piece, this may be the most important: "Dysphoria is in the brain. If you’re skipping over the brain and going straight to the body, you’re not helping trans people." As a biological psychologist, I agree completely.

Indeed, all of our thoughts, desires, and beliefs are, in the end, in the brain... Including our gender identity. Further, the construction of this part of our personality is, by its very nature, complex. Often, this complexity is misunderstood or overlooked:

https://everythingisbiology.substack.com/p/there-is-biological-evidence-for

Thank you for this wonderful piece of writing. It is both informative and inspirational. Sincerely, Frederick

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Fantastic. Thank you Buck for your bravery. All well said

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One origin of the idea that transwomen actually are women and transmen are actually men: IDENTIFICATION: from identifying WITH to identifying AS.

Probably been said before, and in a way obvious. But some conventionally feminine gay male types - men with apparently inborn 'naturally feminine' personalities - famously have close relationships with women and vice versa.

In a joking but also serious way, they're 'one of the girls' - in personality style and, often, interests, even in views of men, whether straight or gay.

The company of women - especially women who match their seemingly natural behavior - becomes one important cultural setting for men who may have been ridiculed and ostracized for their behavior.

So the idea here is that these men IDENTIFY WITH women - that is, they identify something in themselves with similar qualities they discover in certain types of women.

A 'feminine style' becomes a shared social currency of behaviors and interests and responses to the world - something that can be 'exaggerated for effect'...and view of themselves...

...I repeat: AND VIEW OF THEMSELVES. That is, the idea is that - in varying degrees - certain gay men not only identify WITH women, but, in doing so, are, in fact, also identifying AS women - whether entirely consciously or not.

We have here, then, one origin of the idea of feeling that 'inside one is the opposite sex' - having the soul of a woman or a man.

Three thoughts here.

First, this idea of identity is not just personal but social - that is, it gels into an idea of 'inner self' through active modeling and social intercourse with the opposite sex...or, alternately, based on an individual's life goals, it does NOT gel into the 'inner essence' idea - some men and women may accentuate or subordinate or integrate into their own sex identity 'opposite sex' behaviors. e.g. - 'I'm a man who cries. Men can cry too.' In other words, you can't totally invent yourself, but people are not passive 'victims' of their personalities either.

(This, of course, returns us to one of Ms. Davis' themes.)

Second, although gay culture provides a kind of 'ideal setting' for some men to cultivate these identification-based relationships with women, there is no reason that conventionally feminine straight men could not cultivate such relationships too. Probably some men do - but in the kind of relationship I'm talking about, it's likely more frowned on socially, plus the sexual attraction factor can be problematic.

So third and finally - the case of gay men suggests something else, obvious but worth underscoring: feminine behaviors and the inner identification is not necessarily accompanied by body dysmorphia nor gender dysphoria. And here we come to Blanchard's theory that one transgender type is 'actually homosexual.'

I've already proposed that 'identifying with' contains elements of 'identifying as.' I can't say why some men and not others appear to shift wholly from 'identifying with' to 'identifying as.'

But to come back to my starting point: this shift - specifically in a relationship with body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria - may explain one way in which the 'born with the soul of XX versus XY chromosomes' developed: sure, it's an ideology - and may, as has been suggested, obscure or deliberately hide other transgender types. And no, that's not the same as belonging to the opposite sex biologically. But, I'm speculating, the ideology is partly grounded in a real 'identity formation' apparent in some gays and some transgender people.

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