Normally, an article on a scientific subject should not mention the personal views of its author (even if he is not a professional scientist), because only objective facts, and not personal beliefs, matter. But in our times, when the obscurant totalitarian leftist ideology is attacking and overwhelming science and rational thinking on all fronts, I have to begin from stating my own views to avoid speculations.
First of all, I am a devoted atheist. Moreover, I am a transhumanist who strongly supports the idea of upgrading the human body by means of cyborgization and genetic engineering. Thus, I find nothing wrong or "sinful" in the very idea of modifying a human body and of "going against nature" in general (if it is done with a rational goal and in a rational way). Moreover, I am antisexual who believes that sex (in all meanings of the word) should be of no value for sentient beings. So, I am sure that everyone must have a right (and I would like to use this right myself) not to mention his or her sex in any context except for when needed for pure medical reasons. I am not annoyed by being a male and using male pronouns, but I am annoyed when I have to specify my sex in any non-medical form or document. "What's the difference, why do you care?!" Nowadays, when biometrics is in use, it is not needed even for security identification, let alone for, e.g., creating an online account.
But I utterly reject the so-called "gender" and "transgender" ideology (a significant part of the aforementioned leftist totalitarianism) which aggressively enforces dogmas that a man can change his sex and become a woman (or vice versa) and should be treated as a woman by everyone just because he wants it, that there can be "transgender males" who still become pregnant and give birth, that there are more sexes (or "genders") than two (I heard they counted 8 already!) and that even the words "man" and "woman" should not be used anymore (e.g., see the aggressive attacks of "transgender activists" against Joanne Rowling). All this has nothing to do with science and reality.
First of all, how sex is formed? Actually, there ARE creatures - like clownfish - which indeed can change it, and even multiple times (but even they do it not "by choice" but due to environmental conditions). But, unless you are a fish or a reptile, that's not about you (and even changing your name to Nemo will not help). For all mammals, including humans, sex is determined at the moment of conception by the combination of sex chromosomes. The human sex chromosome is always X in female gamete (egg) and can be X or Y in male gamete (sperm). Since every cell in human body, excluding gametes, has a diploid (double) set of chromosomes, the combination (inherited from the initial zygote by the whole organism) can become either XX, which means female, or XY, which means male. Again, this combination is created at conception and imprinted in every cell of our organism for the whole life. To "change sex," one X chromosome should have been replaced with Y, or vice versa, in every single body cell, which is definitely impossible, at least at the current level of science and technology.
Thus, no surgery, even combined with hormone therapy, can turn a man into a woman or vice versa. There are no "transgender women" - there are castrated men with prosthetic vulvae, non-functional breasts, no womb and no ovaries. There are no "transgender men" - there are women with prosthetic penises, cutoff breasts and no testes. And by the way, when such a "man", who remains a woman, demonstrates it by giving a birth - that's a real crime against the baby who develops in abnormal hormonal environment. This is as bad as drinking, smoking and using illegal drugs during pregnancy. (While it is possible to surgically remove the uterus and ovaries, such "men" usually do not do it. Why, if they hate the very idea of being a woman? And especially - why giving a birth if you are a "man?!") Again, removing sex organs (e.g. in case of cancer patients) does not turn a male into female or vice versa, and creating sex organs (not just prosthetic imitations of them) is beyond current technology. The real sex change is just not possible.
What makes people consider themselves "transgender" and seek for "sex change?" The reasons can be physiological or psychological. The first ones are disorders of sex development (DSD) - a group of rare diseases in which patients indeed do not develop into normal male or female. Some of them are chromosome diseases, when extra sex chromosomes are added to the normal set, resulting in XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXXY or XXXXY combination (despite of many X, all these patients are, in fact, males who lack masculinity, because Y is defining for being a male). In other group of conditions, a patient with a normal chromosome set still does not develop normally according to it (for various reasons like abnormal level of hormones or abnormal reaction to them), resulting in XY male looking like a female or vice versa. There is also a very rare condition of chimerism, where twin embryos, male and female, fuse in uterus into a single organism. In some cases, DSD patients have both male and female features (true or pseudo, like an enlarged clitoris looking like a penis), sometimes combined with other health problems. In other cases, without special testing nothing wrong is detected till puberty, or even in adulthood (e.g., some female sport champions occurred to be males after chromosome test). In many DSD cases (while not in all of them), surgery and hormone therapy may indeed help, not just creating a cosmetic effect, but actually fixing the condition However, these people, commonly known as "intersex", are not true "transgenders." The treatment they receive (if they feel that they need a treatment) mostly returns them to their true (chromosome based) sex, not the opposite. Some of them may prefer to be considered neither man nor woman, and that is also understandable (while challenging to English language which does not have pronouns for that case). Anyway, DSD are disorders (while the censors of the new "politically correct" totalitarianism try to ban this definition as they did with homosexuality already, or with the term GID, see below), diseases which are definitely not norm and cannot alter the definition of norm, just like the existence of people with less (or, in very rare cases, more) than two legs does not alter the definition of human beings as bipedal creatures. Humans as a specie have 2 legs and 2 sexes, period.
The true "transgenderism" is based on another kind of illness, a psychiatric one, which is called "gender disphoria" (gender identity disorder, GID - the aforementioned censors succeeded in changing the term to remove the word "disorder," but it still is a disorder - no political censorship can change the medical fact). It is very similar to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also called dysmorphophobia, which is an obsessive idea of aversion to one's own body or some aspects of it, not based on real flaws or severely exaggerating them. E.g., a BDD patient may disgust his legs so much that he wants them to be amputated - not because they are really ugly but because he hates the very idea of having legs (but only for himself; he sees nothing wrong in other people's legs, just like "transgenders" usually see nothing wrong in other people of their own sex which they want to change). Probably, gender disphoria can be considered just a form of BDD. It is not based on something real - it is just a delusion, which may take really farcical forms. E.g., I've met a person who called himself "a transgender lesbian." He was a normal man who had sexual attraction to women. But he got into his head that he was actually a woman, and as his sex drive obviously contradicted that idea, he had no choice but to consider himself "a lesbian."
Of course it is not ethical to laugh at ill people, but that does not mean at all that we must consider them healthy and normal and their illusions real. If a person with megalomania thinks he is Napoleon, that does not mean that others must "respect his choice" and call him "sire" and "Your Majesty." Absolutely the same is the situation with a man who thinks he is a woman and demands to be called "she" (or vice versa). If you think the comparison with a paranoid megalomaniac is exaggerated - OK, there is even more precise one. There are lots of devoted fantasy and RPG fans who call themselves and want to be elves, dwarfs, orcs and so on (there are also "furries" who consider themselves animals). But that does not mean they really are or can be. If you were born a man, you cannot become a woman (or vice versa) just like you cannot become an elf or an orc - even with the help of decorative surgery which will make you look like one. Moreover, currently many so-called "transgenders" demand to be acknowledged as members of the opposite sex even without any surgery or treatment - just because they "believe" they are! Thus, a man may enter female bathroom just because he says he is a woman! What can be more absurd - and more offensive both to real women and to common sense - than that?! How can a mentally sick minority receive a right to assault the normal majority and to attack normal people for "discrimination" if the latter disagree to acknowledge pathology as norm and delusions as reality?
If you want to be, or believe you are, Napoleon, extraterrestrial, elf, orc, dragon, superhero, member of the opposite sex - that does not mean at all you really are or can be one, and that does not mean at all others should believe you really are or behave as if you really were. This is absolutely obvious. Otherwise I believe I am a billionaire, so give me my castle, my yacht and my airplane. What do you mean by "I don't have money?" It's discrimination! You must respect my choice!
I don't have money, thus I am not a billionaire, even if it makes me upset. "Transgender man" doesn't have Y chromosome and male organs (prosthetic ones, just like counterfeit money, do not count), thus she(!) is not a man. Period. Nothing to discuss.
Actually, not all "transgenders" have a real mental disorder. Aggressive propaganda of transgenderism makes many people, especially young, believe that they are "transgenders" - while they just face the regular psychological and social challenges of their age. (E.g., a shy boy who cannot get a girlfriend may think: "What if I am a girl myself, and that's the source of all my problems?") And that makes "transgenders" ideology especially harmful and dangerous, often destroying the entire lives. Many people who "changed sex" in their youth change their mind later, but it is too late. "Sex change" surgery mutilates the body irreversibly - you cannot just do it one more time to get everything back.
Moreover, "transgender" ideology is, actually, misogynistic! Because it instills into women who suffer from real discrimination, sex offenses and so on, that they don't need to struggle against all that - they may just change sex, become males, and all women problems would be no more their problems.
Again, I support the idea that sex is insignificant and men and women should be treated equally regardless of their biology. But this is not the idea of "transgenders." They insist that sex IS significant and that they should be treated as if they belonged to the opposite sex. That sex is a matter of choice and can be changed. This is just not true. Maybe someday science will give us an opportunity to change bodies like we change clothes now - but currently it is impossible, and we must respect reality, not the "right" of an aggressive deviant minority to attack the normal majority. Actually, the key point of the leftist totalitarian ideology of "political correctness" is making pathology a norm and norm a pathology (as one of their ideologists, Herbert Marcuse, openly declared in his work "Repressive Tolerance") - and that makes this ideology the most destructive and dangerous in all history of our civilization.
So, the conclusion is:
- Sex is defined at conception and cannot be changed, it is just impossible with current technology;
- Humans, as all mammals, have two sexes, and any deviation from it is not a "new sex" (or "gender") but a pathology - physical or mental disorder;
- Pathology should not alter the definition of norm or be acknowledged as norm, and all attempts to do so for ideological reasons have nothing to do with science;
- Ill people deserve respect, but only until they demand to acknowledge their disorder as norm and their delusions as reality. If you believe in something, it does not mean it is real;
- Stating that ill people are ill is not an offense or promotion of hate. It's just stating a fact. Assaulting people for stating that IS an offense and promotion of hate;
- The ideology of "political correctness", and "transgenderism" as a part of it, is not just anti-scientific, but aggressive, totalitarian, counter-productive and dangerous - for youth, for women and, eventually, for the entire society.