Comments

  1. RGB says

    I am not understanding what’s going on here… If one’s body tells them they are male, WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY EVER WANT TO GIVE BIRTH!? Males don’t do that. Just like a woman to want it all minus the consequences.

  2. Mike says

    I hope the story is not true and if it is I hope that the law is repealed. But either way, it has nothing to do with gay people and it is wrong for Towleroad to constantly post stories about people who want to surgically correct their bodies as if that has anything to do with what gay people do. Stop promoting stereotypes, Towleroad.

  3. Urmensch says

    @STICK, If you think this is out of character for the Swedish government then you are ignorant of the reality.
    Swedes have a self-image that they try to spread that is at odds with the actual situation.
    Eugenic ideas had a role in this, but there were also economic reasons. In the latter part of the last century many European newspapers carried stories of forced sterilisations in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Austria and Belgium, as well as Sweden, but the Swedes had the highest per capita rate of forced sterilisations.
    The Swedish concept of folkhem was the foundation of decades of peaceful labor relations, far-reaching social reforms and unprecedented economic growth.

    The dark side to this model was the harsh demand for conformity. People who didn’t conform to the ideal were not welcome. This included the disabled, and even in some cases, women judged to be too promiscuous were sterilised.

    Sweden is changing, but there are still laws like this on the books that are a leftover of harsher times.

  4. Brian says

    This topic has no relation to me or my interests as a gay man and continued coverage of such issues will diminish, significantly, the frequency of my visits.

  5. QJ201 says

    Every state in the US has different rules for changing your gender legally. This is no different than what some states require (e.g., full “bottom” surgery), whereas in New York, no surgery is required, just letters from doctors.

  6. Rin says

    If you believe you are “male” really truly in your heart of hearts then you can’t get pissed if someone calls you on it and asks you to remove your female ovaries.

    This makes me think that maybe, deep down they aren’t sure that their body is “wrong”.

    I don’t believe people feel male or female. Our bodies look a certain way, but our minds are infinite and infinitely different. If more people were allowed to think outside the box as to what defines men and women culturally we wouldn’t have people forcing their bodies into uncomfortable surgeries and hormone therapies.

    Women can dress like society says men should dress and like women (or men) and vice versa. People believe they have to physically and on paper “change gender” because they gravitate to CULTURAL identifications of gender.

    This whole debate will either set the feminist debate back millions of years–okay, well thousands by saying the female gender is all about lipstick, liking pink, high heels, liking boys, and wanting to play with dolls and that only “men” are allowed to like short hair, sports, girls, etc.

    I wish we would just allow people to be individuals and then no one would be confused about “what they are”…because they would be themselves.

    You don’t need labels to be “you”.

  7. Max says

    So… socialist model Sweden might not be Utopia after all?

    Mike and Brian, this story has relevance to the T in LGBT, as well as to friends and allies of the T.

    Jamal49, your comments are consistently ignorant, and you of all people have no credibility to determine what makes a man.

  8. Philippe Landman says

    The previous comments chill my heart.
    Here’s an old but I think very appropriate saying regarding the “nothing to do with me” attitude I perceive:
    When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing, for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, there was no one to stand up for me.

  9. cranky1 says

    I’m really tired of being bombarded constantly on this site with transexual issues and problems. They have their own dedicated sites, but apparently the gays (oh I’m sorry the LGBT’s) cannot do the same.

  10. Markus says

    He is the cutest transgender I have seen so far. Adorable. And those eyes. Ooh la la. He is definitely a man trapped in a woman’s body. And that man has broken out.

  11. Brian says

    I don’t get this story either. S(he) wants to be legally recognized as a man, but wants to keep female reproductive organs that produce female hormones and continue to keep her body female? I understand there is often a disconnect between sex and gender, but usually a person seeks surgery and hormone therapy in an attempt to align their sex to their gender. Sounds like s(he) wants to have her cake and eat it too. One can’t be biologically female AND want to STAY biologically female, and legally call herself a man.

  12. ryan says

    Since apparently it needs said, there are some of us gay men that come here that are interested in and supportive of trans issues. I don’t know why so many people feel the need to segregate their own personal issues from those of trans people, but please stop acting like it is only your personal pet issues that matter.

  13. Ozymandias71 says

    First of all, some of the comments above are just ridiculous – its’ ‘LGBT’, not ‘LGB and T somewhere completely segregated away and out of sight’.

    Secondly, I expect to find draconian laws like this in a Theocracy or 3rd world banana republic – but Sweden is neither of those things, and I’m completely shocked that a progressive nation would harbor such a law.

  14. Urmensch says

    To those who ask why would he want to keep his ovaries if he wants to become a male, surely that is beside the point.
    Why should the government have the final say over what one does with ones own body.

    Perhaps in the future he will want children that are biologically connected to him. Using his own egg, with a surrogate if he identifies as gay, or even giving birth himself should be his decision.
    What does it matter that biologically born men cannot get pregnant or give birth? Nature is not some god whose laws have to be obeyed. We break with nature all the time.
    Claiming that ethical conclusions can be drawn from nature is a form of the naturalistic fallacy, and saying it is somehow not right for him to not want to be sterilised is just another version of this.

  15. Ricco says

    CRANKY and MIKE are tired of Towleroad posting stories about transgender issues. Really!? Now that some rights are trickling in for you and your loved ones, you are not willing to champion the rights for transgender people?

    Obviously there are gay people who are no better than straight people, who are not concerned with equality, as long as they are not the ones being denied.

    Apart from CRANKY and MIKE Transphobic rants, the idea of a transgendered man keeping his uterus is total BS, like having it both ways. Men do not have uterus’ . . . mmmkay?

  16. Charlie says

    I think what the government is saying is that if you want us to legally change your gender then you have to have gender reassignment surgery. In Sweden I wouldn’t be surprised if this is covered by you health insurance. Infertility is a by-product of gender reassignment surgery. It would seem to me a misnomer and inflammatory to call this sterilization. Someday they might be doing penis and womb transplants. They’ve done faces.

    I am quite old (over 60) and really don’t understand this thing about people who say they are transgender but they don’t want to have gender reassignment surgery. I was discussing this with an acquaintance who is transgender (and had surgery many many years ago) and she told me she can’t understand this either. So understanding this is likely an age thing. I am definitely too old to spare any outrage over this.

  17. says

    I’m actually rather embarrassed by some of the comments on this post. This website is already very skewed towards gay/white/male/cisgendered interests; these interests are also my own.

    I do, however, very much value the support that my trans friends have given myself and the queer community as a whole. I am happy to use my place as a (relatively) more privileged member of society to reciprocate the support that they provide for us. This is the same support that we gay white men have received from our straight allies. It’s been enormously important in our ability to live freely, and I feel it’s the least we can do to pay it forward.

  18. Paul says

    Thank you Andy for posting about this.

    As a gay man I am interested in knowing when people are being sterilized for not conforming with the sexual majority. I think people need to remember that it wasn’t too long ago that men were chemically castrated for being gay.

    What I don’t like are comments on posts from people who don’t see why other people should be able to live their lives without giving up a part of who they are. I’m not transgendered so I am not sure, but living as a man isn’t just about what parts you have but what image you project into society. Why should he be labeled a female simply because he doesn’t want to be sterilized when it would preclude any chance of having a biological child of his own, which for some people is important.

    So thanks again for bringing light to this issue. Even though it affects someone else in some far off place, I know that it could have been me if I was born in an earlier time.

  19. Brian says

    I still do not understand how T got lumped in with me. Is it now LGBTQ? I am not saying that I don’t agree that these are valid concerns for the T group but the equation of gender reassignment issues with my same sex relationships borders on saying that my issues need ‘correction’ as well.

    I do not like it.

  20. Thimmy says

    I’m sorry, but I do not see the issue here. The laws here in Sweden states that if you want to change gender, then you actually have to change gender. With surgery. So, no you can’t become male and still keep your ovaries and vagina… that’s not what a man is.

    Now I can see that there could be outrage if you want to have transgendered in your ID or passport and this is denied. But if you want to be a gender, you have to be that gender.

  21. Locutus of Board says

    I care about transgendered folks and I wish them the best as far as equality etc.. but i don’t have anything in common with them and I don’t read gay blogs to read about them either!

  22. Dan says

    @THIMMY: As I understand it, the issue is that gender and sex are two separate things. Gender is a social construct, usually defined by the masculine or feminine roles and traits we take on. Sex is (typically) considered the physical, biological state. One’s sex does not define one’s gender. So, in fact, you CAN keep your ovaries and vagina and identify as being of the male gender.

    “But if you want to be a gender, you have to be that gender.”

    And that’s the crux of it–he *is* that gender. He *is* male, regardless of his physical form. And he contests the idea that his reproductive rights should be taken from him in order to *be* male.

  23. BobN says

    “I still do not understand how T got lumped in with me.”

    Why don’t you ask the anti-gay bigots. They don’t see any difference. Heck, for most of the last few centuries they considered YOU just like them.

    As to the question of why would this man want to keep the reproductive organs he was born with? Perhaps simply because they’re the only ones he has or will ever have.

    And, lastly, any government that can tell you to radically alter your physiology can tell you who you can marry.

  24. mo says

    As I understand it, Sweden isn’t saying, “You have to give up your ovaries and get a peen before we’ll recognize you as male.” Sweden is saying, “Okay, we’ll change that F to an M, but first, you have to let us go in and cauterize your fallopian tubes.”

    It’s not about changing gender, it’s about eugenics–about intentionally sterilizing an ‘undesirable’. It’s wrong simply on principle.

  25. Pochocla says

    It’s the first time that I read a trans man pleading his case of keeping her woman side. So it’s not like he is forced to do it, unless he wants legal recognition. So it would be to be legally recognizing a man who can give birth. Mmm… I see her strange case. But not totally convinced. Certainly it pales in comparison to the injustices faced by trans in other parts of the world. Medically speaking don’t have information about how the masculine hormones a trans man take can affect a forming baby, it should be contemplated or at least researched if there is not enough background.

  26. piminnowcheez says

    What I don’t understand is why the hell the Swedish government thinks anything good could come from a policy like this. Why on earth would the state want to be the fertility police, whether for people with gender identity issues or anyone else? I don’t get who’s supposed to benefit.

    And sweet jumping Jesus, all you atrocious queens bitching about the affront of having to read trans-related news: if you really can’t see how the civil liberties of OTHER SEXUAL MINORITIES relate to your gay-but-not-trans selves, then you don’t deserve any of the freedoms won on your behalf by those who went before you. A little self-awareness, please.

  27. Trevor says

    I feel compelled to say sorry to our trans brothers and sisters, for the ignorant and pathetic views some people feel they need to share.
    Its so fun to get to exclude someone and so easy to forget how it feels.

    As far as this story goes, i dont think a complex surgery that can ruin your ability to feel sexual pleasure should be required for the government to respect how you want to be identified( I say this assuming they want you to be sterile as well as having an accurate looking new set of genitals). Surgeries like this are very expensive(possibly covered in Sweden i dont know), and should only be done when and if the person getting said surgery feels the quality of life improvement mentally is worth the physical risk.

    i think there are way more terrible people in the world who should be sterilized besides someone who is just looking for some respect.

  28. Dreidl says

    Queer 101: Gender identity, morphological sex, and sexual preference are not all the same thing. There are plenty of queer transpeople. The enforcement or norms about which sexes are encouraged or punished as a result of connecting with which other sexes affects ALL LGBTQ people.

    One can be a gay man with a female body who prefers sex or relationships with men (with male, or female, or intersexed bodies, just to make it all more interesting).

    Equality is not a zero-sum game – queer people will not be more accepted by trashing trans people. Read Gayle Rubin’s essay “Crossing the Line” for a cogent explanation for horizontal hostility among the sex/gender oppressed. We must stop doing the oppressor’s work for them.

  29. JustGay says

    Some people seem desperate to squeeze the straight people’s issues (I mean, the trans women, men) as one of our first flags of battle. Sympathizing and supporting is one thing, another is forcing us to assume them as our very own. I don’t think trans can understand a gay person in full and in the same way I don’t think gays/lesbians can understand straight-trans in full as to adopt a full confrontational opinionated stand. And if that is not forced enough, some delusional folks pretend that we can afford to swallow and apprehend all the little subtleties of the endless varieties of the trans cases, and in consequence to dictate elaborated postures on what the laws should say or allow. Imagine what it must be for the hetero folks then. If we as gays are vilified for not having the full grasp of the whole trans mumble jumble, I can’t imagine what is left for the heteros. And by the way, being insulted by straight people, whether trans or hetero, won’t make us more supportive, au contraire.

  30. terry says

    This ia tough one but a man can not bear children and if you wish to truely live your life as a male then you should accept that you can not bear children. Likewise when a male decides to live their life as a female they know they will not bear children. Sexual realignment involves not being able to reproduce. The gay community asks a lot when we ask others to allow us to live as men but still get pregnant. Is an M or F on a license what makes us who we are? If you say yes then sacrifices will be worth it to you. If I were trans I would just want my rights and if I kept my penis I would not mind using a men’s room so long as others wouldn’t beat me because I had a female appearance. After all, I only want to take a piss. For purposes of law enforcement your license should reflect your genitalia. Now if we could only ensure that the cops wouldn’t be the threat.

  31. says

    There’s something fishy here. A draconian, totalitarian policy in enlightened,liberal Sweden? In 2012? Head-scratchingly anachronous and incongrous and totally out of whack with what Sweden have stood for in the last 100 years.

  32. ShawntheSheep says

    I am disgusted at the ignorance and selfishness expressed in the comments section. You have to be truly unimaginative to not understand how gay and transgender rights might be interlinked. I suppose this would be like an African American saying they don’t understand why the discrimination faced by Latino immigrants is any concern of theirs.

    As human beings, we should be concerned about government infringing on people’s rights. But as fellow sexual minorities, we should be especially concerned with the government issuing edicts on what someone has to do in order to be considered a certain gender. Let’s look at this another way. What if the government suddenly decided that if your voice was not low-pitched enough that you had to take hormones before you could be considered a male? As a fairly masculine gay man, I suppose I can just adopt the attitude of some of the commenters and not worry about such things. We can just keep dissecting ourselves into smaller and smaller groups and only be concerned with ourselves.

  33. louie says

    the categories ‘gay’ and ‘trans’ are no more related than ‘black’ is to ‘trans’ or ‘disabled’ is to ‘trans.’ i think it’s time that gay men question why gay organizations in particular are tied in with trans issues. there are no other minority communities that constantly go out of their way to fight for the rights of an unrelated group. i have nothing against trans people, but if we are morally obligated to concern ourselves with discrimination against trans people, are we not also obligated to concern ourselves with the rights of immigrants, women, racial minorities, etc?

  34. Trevor says

    @ louie, its called adding your voice to the choir, strength in numbers etc. why do any straight people bother siding with gay people?

    trans people are some of the most abused people in the world, shunned apparently even from other sexual minorities(which is what we are and what they are thus the connection)!

    Including trans people in the fight for equal rights doesn’t hurt us, and it doesn’t make you transgendered if that’s what your fear is.

    On a different note, just because a story is on a gay blog doesn’t mean it directly relates to gay men. People who run blogs post things of interest. No one is forced to read a story, and please don’t feel compelled to comment.

  35. HoHo says

    Supportive Straight People!

    As you can see, support from person to another can only be justified if they have anything in common. For that reason, many gay men feel they should be spared from hearing about the transgendered. So please, don’t bother expressing your support for us in any way. We are different from you, therefore you don’t have to support us, or even to hear about our plight.

  36. Pochola says

    I’m so over with the “YOU MUST” about the trans folks, that the only voice I’m tempted to utter is of disdain. But in the other hand is not the trans folks’ fault, it’s the self elected, self entitled “activist” who really think they can voice their opinions upon the entire gay/lesbian community and anyone disagreeing must be called names –usually the SAME NAMES bigots use against us- to punish into shame and force us into submission. Don’t waste your time; we are used to be considered disgusting creatures. Whatever, if you think understanding is a bridge you build with anger you will surprised that it never works. If anything, it’s like building a wall instead, and a high one.

  37. Gregv says

    It amazes me how many commenters jump to assumptions about this person rather than listening with an open mind and letting him decide what is best to do with his own body.
    Most women have breasts and a vagina. Millions of women are flat-chested. Should they all be forced to have silicone implants too? If a man loses his penis due to cancer, should we not allow him in the men’s room anymore even though he identifies as male?
    Rin: He doesn’t say anything in this video about which sex he is attracted to or what kind of hobbies he has or what his favorite color is or anything like that. He has always felt male psychologically; I wouldn’t presume to know why. He clearly looks male too, and would look strange (and maybe even cause alarm) if he were to go into women’s facilities.
    @Terry: For “purposes of law enforcement” our ID should reflect our genitalia? I don’t know about you, but I have never in my entire life had a police officer checking transit passes or doing a driver’s check stop asking to see my genitalia. My genitalia is none of his business.
    I can only imagine what it is like to be trans and to be confronted with prejudice every day. But it is easy for me to imagine that someone in this guy’s shoes would multiply his difficulties in life if he had to hand a card to every nightclub doorman or roadside police officer exposing the very personal information that he has a vagina. That’s nobody’s business but his own. Andnobody should be forced to have a painful and unnecessary operation just in order to fulfill someone else’s expectations about what his naked body should look like just so that he can function in society.

    To those complaining that there is a transgendered issue here: is this your first time reading this blog? This is not a gay-only blog. It’s a blog with “homosexual tendencies.”. It ‘s got a lot of gay content, but there is also content about straight people, bi people, trans people, intersexed people, asexual people, science and technology, silly viral videos with talking dogs and waving bears, black civil rights pioneers, national disasters, architectural wonders, and anything else the blogger personally finds interesting and wants to share.
    Towleroad is successful because tens of thousands of readers find any number of these topics interesting in addition to the content on gay issues.
    Why click on a story and then complain that you’re reading it?

  38. GregV says

    “…but if we are morally obligated to concern ourselves with discrimination against trans people, are we not also obligated to concern ourselves with the rights of immigrants, women, racial minorities, etc?”

    @Louie: Yes! I definitely believe that we are ALL morally obligated to stand up for fair treatment for EVERYONE. The great civil rights leaders always understand this principle and are not out for rights only for themselves. Towleroad never fails to report on important threats to groups such as those you mentioned, and I would hope that gay people (at least those who “get it”) would be first in line to oppose any attempt to take away the right of women or blacks or anyone else… inluding trans people.

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