Transgender Rights is the "New Civil Rights Movement" - TIME magazine


This is indeed a banner year for those championing LGBTQ issues:

I am actually a bit surprised - I had thought that the gay marriage discussion would lead to a wider discussion on legal rights and non-traditional relationships, and as such the next “civil rights movement” would be for equality of domestic heterosexual partnerships to married spouses. Unmarried heterosexual domestic partners greatly outnumber gay domestic partners - married, in civil unions, or without formal relationship - and so the impact is larger in terms of things such as hospital visitation rights, survivors’ benefits, health insurance coverage, etc. I do question the justice of a companies’ recognizing and providing insurance coverage for unmarried same-sex partners of employees but not for unmarried opposite-sex partners of employees (my employer has a policy for covering same-sex partners but will allow opposite-sex unmarried partners on a case-by-case basis).

Well, let’s see where this “movement” goes. If nothing else it will bring a broader face to the transgender movement, which if the local movement is anything like the national, primarily means men who identify as women.


I read that article this morning, and I thought it was interesting. I figured trans rights and activism would be next, because it’s something that everyone, including the gay community, is known for shunning. And, it’s really all that’s left.

I’m not sure I’d agree that unmarried rights are next, because those people have the option of marrying at any time. When I lived in a state that didn’t allow gay marriage, my then cohabiting boyfriend’s employer had a policy similar to the one you described. They extended benefits to same sex partners, but to opposite sex one on a case by case basis. Even though we may have qualified, we didn’t even ask. We could marry for those benefits, while the gay couples couldn’t. It didn’t seem right for us to complain.

There’s also a lot of talk about a possible poly movement, but I don’t see that either. There aren’t enough of them, poly isn’t an inherent orientation, and it would be an enormous logistical nightmare for employers and the government. I just don’t see it.


I didn’t know that the gay community shunned transgender persons. I had thought that the label LGBTQ would include everyone, period.

I see your point that unmarried cohabitating heterosexual couples can marry and receive benefits, where that option isn’t necessarily legally open to same-sex couples. At the same time, it seems preferential - the gay couple may not (depending upon the policy of the company) have any intention of marrying even if it were legal. The qualification for giving benefits to a same-sex couple is co-domiciling; to a heterosexual couple, marital status (which presumes co-domiciling, I suppose).

I don’t think that a realistic option, either. When I hear talk connecting gay marriage to legalizing marriage between any number of people, I immediately think of the broadness of the law rather than the application. In other words, if the law states “between any consenting adults” that leaves room for abuse - a group of roommates may “marry” to gain benefits from one person. It’d be more correct for a state that allows gay marriage to describe in the law “two consenting adults above the age of consent unrelated by blood or marriage, and provided that neither spouse is currently married to another spouse”.

If the law does allow gay marriage, I’d rather it leave it to a rule of two adults, instead of allowing orientation to be the guide. Biological gender is easily recognizable and can be a matter of record, while what constitutes an actual orientation is subject to change, both on a personal level (ie, my friend who used to think himself straight but now considers himself gay) and as a professional definition. It’s not impossible that polyamorous may be considered a defined orientation by psychologists.


The label includes everyone, the community does not. It’s kind of a fracture in the gay community even with some activists. Many gay people feel the same confusion and revulsion towards trans that many straight people do, and there are gay bars and other establishments where trans aren’t welcome. I’m not talking about fun drag queens, but people who actually identify as something other than their biological sex and seek to live that out. Many trans people find it easier to date people who identify as heterosexual rather than homosexual because of how unfriendly the community can be. Now, this is changing, and fairly quickly, but it’s still the case in many areas.

Among activists, there’s kind of the question of how much to include trans people. It’s easier to change the public’s heart on homosexuality than transsexualism, and including trans people in campaigns, legislation, etc can be politically risky.


You seem to have some insight I do not:

so I’ll ask, do you think the aversion has to do with the more “out” nature of transgender persons? What I mean is, I know gay couples who drive audis, mow their lawns, take their dogs to the park and do things very similarly to how straight couples do, while the image of transgender persons is often someone who flaunts their sexuality. Not that there aren’t out-and-in-your-face gays, but it seems there’s a considerable group who just wants to live quietly, fit in well into a suburban or urban lifestyle, and I wonder if these are bothered by someone who seeks more attention. Or I guess that’s a bad reflection of drag queens upon transwomen (to offer a differentiation between those who dress the part and those who live the part).


I agree with everything here except for the bolded. Bisexuals still struggle mightily for acceptance. Bisexual women, in particular, are targets of violence because they’re thought to bring diseases into lesbian communities, among other things.


I think it has more to do with the stigma attached. If a gay man dates a tman, he sexual orientation may be called into question-an experience that can be both humiliating and insulting. There’s also the lack of understanding. Let’s face it, being gay is easier to understand than someone who says “I was born a man, became a woman, and I identify as a straight woman”.

Also, trans people tend to be more reserved about their sexuality than homosexuals because of the aforementioned stigma, and the ease of blending in post transformation, especially if the person is in a hetero relationship.

Much has been written about the tension felt by both sides. I found a good article on HuffingtonPost about why LGB issues need to be separated from T issues, but I can’t get to the desktop page from my phone to post a working link here. I’ll try later.


Within the gay community, I completely agree. When we’re talking about broader society, I don’t think so. Bisexuals tend to blend in better than homosexuals (because they often date the opposite sex), and they are receiving all of the legal benefits of the gay rights movement.


I wonder what those individuals within the gay-rights movement and trans-rights movements will do once the main grievances of their causes have been addressed. Given the enthusiasm and passion behind the former movement (and it seems like the latter movement is rapidly catching up), I would imagine that within a decade it will be hard to find domestic, state sanctioned challenges to either causes. I wonder if the machinery behind both movements will dismantle, or whether they will continue search out enemies so that they can remain relevant.

In the case of race rights and woman’s rights, both movements still have issues that need to be addressed and so we’ve never seen what an activist does in the aftermath.


Transgender people rarely describe it as that; that is more accurately a description of how others interpret it. Usually it’s “I’ve always been this sex, but there was an error in in-utero development of my genitalia/I have the wrong genitalia, and I need to correct this.” But that is also significantly harder to understand to your average joe than “I am physically attracted to this gender,” and your point stands.

I totally agree with doing this from a Catholic perspective too. Unlike homosexual physicality, which is and has been always barred by natural law, the Church allows for surgeries for transgender individuals who have no other recourse to end their distress. There is also no doctrine on the legitimacy of the condition, though a biological/in-utero cause of it, if discovered, would seem to qualify them under the broader ‘intersex’ category. And transgender people are already known to have some brain structures of the sex they identify with, irrespective of whether they have taken hormones or not.


Quite sad. This is not a civil rights issue just as same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue.

The same way radical gay activists pushed their agenda on the American Psychiatric Association to ignore years of study and published reports to make what was a disorder in 1973 not a disorder a day later, by vote.

I discount any suggestion that the LGBT community was not unified in its efforts to promote transgendered persons to the APA and used lobbying to make what was a disorder till recently, not a disorder today.

"BOSTON — The term “gender identity disorder” has been eliminated from the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s official guide to classifying mental illnesses, known as the DSM-5.

“Whereas previously a man who “self-identified” as a woman (or vice versa) could have been classified as mentally ill, now the DSM-5 uses the term “gender dysphoria,” which means it is only a mental illness if you’re troubled by this self-identification. Elated activists in the “LGBT” community had lobbied the APA for the change for years.”

Read more:

The next step is something disconnected from the LGBT community. The new name is designed to confuse people. It is “minor attracted persons” and there’s nothing wrong with them, according to the experts. I don’t want to derail but just google the term.



Within the gay community, I completely agree. When we’re talking about broader society, I don’t think so. Bisexuals tend to blend in better than homosexuals (because they often date the opposite sex), and they are receiving all of the legal benefits of the gay rights movement.


This is totally false. Please retract that statement.


Oh no! I’m sorry! Yes, that’s what I meant, of course. I didn’t make myself very clear because I was in a hurry and typing on my phone, but the part in quotes was worded that way because that’s what too often, the average joe hears.


When has the devil ever been known to simply say “meh, I’ve had enough. I won that round, no need to be greedy…” ???

Society’s push to sanction and justify that which God Himself has told us should not be sanctioned or legitimized as part of His healthy plan for all mankind is never ending. We should respond compassion and the light of Christ, not promotion of that which requires our compassion.


Keep in mind this article was posted by the Catholic News Service, NOT the NC Reporter. It is merely archived on them.

The Vatican document’s specific points include:

– An analysis of the moral licitness of “sex-change” operations. It concludes that the procedure could be morally acceptable in certain extreme cases if a medical probability exists that it will “cure” the patient’s internal turmoil.

So my post is completely accurate.


I understand the stigma that the B and the T face even from the LGBTQ community, but it’s harder to see the civil rights angle for the B. The T face issues in housing, employment and possibly services, as well as many things bureaucratic where one’s birth gender and self-identified gender disagree - I imagine that something as simple as a traffic stop for a broken tail light could be intensely problematic for a transwoman with an ‘M’ under gender on her license.

I’m having a harder time seeing what the civil rights angle is for bisexual individuals, though, that’s distinct from the gay marriage movement. In many states, bisexuals may marry someone of either gender without legal difficulty, and if they face an issue in housing or employment, it seems to me that it would be a shared difficulty with gays and lesbians, or a non-issue altogether (if the bisexual person is with someone of the opposite sex). Is there something I’m missing - and I’m asking charitably, please don’t take my comments to mean that I doubt there’s something of specific concern to bisexuals. I’m just missing it.

I’d also say that, oddly, bisexual women are highly-desired by straight men (who, for some reason, deem them exciting partners) and often by straight women (who see them as ‘liberated’ in an additional sense). So I understand that there’s stigma against bisexual women in general from lesbians, and perhaps even of bisexual men who blend in well into the community. Could it be that LGBTQ is an appelation whose time has past, that at one point all had a common interest but now the LG are fighting for what the B have to a higher extent, and the T are fighting for something different? It almost seems a fracture within the movement.

The validity of the below was doubted:

I also doubt its validity. My understanding of moral theology is for people to live according to the role that their birth gender assigns, whether in a chaste relationship or in celibacy. Perhaps there is an allowance for a therapeutic purpose for such surgery (ie, cancer) that would cause as a secondary effect gender reassignment, but this would only be allowed on the basis of therapeutic relief of a life-threatening condition.

This category is also not recognized by the Church. I don’t know if psychology recognizes it as a condition, innate or otherwise.

I think the research (especially that done in Australia that was published in February this year) shows more a difference of degree than of type, ie greater reliance on a given part, rather than structures that exist in women’s brains but not in men’s. What I find interesting is that some differences are attributable to the presence of hormones at a specific level, and environmental pollutants are known to emulate these hormones. Research has found that certain chemicals common to plastic are found in higher levels in infant boys with traits that are more feminine, ie reduced length of perineum. Is it possible that the increase in LGBTQ identification is linked with environmental pollution, and if so does such a condition remain innate, or would it be considered a disease?

Given the current climate, I think that my question would not be taken seriously by scientists; nevertheless, I am curious about the connection.

I think this was true then; I wonder if it’s true now. The alliance may be fracturing after some 40 years of association.


As the poster notes, this isn’t connected to the LGBTQ community, either. But I think it interesting to comment on, since it was offered.

I do hope this term is advanced by only a few. In this fallen world there will always be evil men. But treating the behavior specific to “minor-attracted persons” as normal is only inviting disaster. I accept that adults can and will consent to do what they wish with one another, and I pray daily that they convert their hearts and seek salvation. But these pose no threat to me or my family. I cannot say the same for a “minor-attracted person”. Last year as we played with my children at a park, an older man walked through, stopped and took pictures of my 4-year-old. When I followed him, and asked him to email me the photos he just took, he took off. When I reported it to the police, they asked me to look at photos of registered sex-offenders, and I identified the photo of a man who happened to live a few blocks from the park. I filed a complaint, the police visited, but the photos were already gone. If I see that guy again, I’ll take pictures of him, too.

But that’s aside the point. We’re talking about the linked article, civil rights specific to transgender individuals, and I think related conversation to LGBTQ persons in general is relevant as well.


Not only would it wreak havoc with social norms- who gets to go to what bathroom, should teachers be allowed to cross-dress, should the new Ken doll come with a dress on, what’s wrong with sending little boys to school in dresses, etc- but it would be grave disservice to trans people to celebrate their psychological disorder.


The link you gave is National Catholic Reporter, which states is source as CNS. I couldn’t find the CNS article. If I’m not mistaken, the US Bishops have asked that the National Catholic Reporter drop the “Catholic” from its name because it (NCR) misportrays Catholic Teachings and has told outright falsities.

In any case, the words “could be morally acceptable in certain extreme cases” are reminiscent of Benedict’s XVI’s musing that gays using condoms might be acting morally. It’s completely out of context with what the Church actually teaches.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit