Opinion » Letters

Ignorance isn't bliss


John Donegan is fortunate that, as far as I know, there are no state laws that make it a crime to be ignorant. Else, he'd be in danger of being incarcerated.

His diatribe ("A medical miracle," June 9) about Merck's decision to update its legendary "manual" to reflect 21st century thinking by replacing "gender dysphoria" with "gender incongruence" is his latest contribution to the "Best of 1970 political thought."

After all, it's been almost 50 years since the American Psychiatric Association stopped calling homosexuality a mental illness. (Likewise for the other "LGBTQ" categories.) Now, Donegan emerges to inform us that Merck's failure to get that half-century-old memo was a good thing, not a sign of Merck's ignorance.

In response to Merck's joining the current century, Donegan spins his intellectual top all the way around to conclude that the manual's change is a harbinger that the "Twittersphere" will become the basis for scientific thought.

Nevermind that studies show that half of transgender teens report a suicide attempt during their lifetime; the percentage is 30 percent for transgender females.

It is no reach at all to conclude that such self-hating is a response to bullying and discrimination practiced by people who, like Donegan, consider one's being transgender an "affliction," rather than a reflection of who the person really is.

On a more frighteningly transparent psychological level, it remains an ongoing mystery that Donegan, and the bulk of conservatives who share his beliefs, fail to realize that their backward "if you're not like me, you're sick" thinking reflects their own fear that they too may be "different." Deep inside, they're terrified.

Ain't that a hoot and a half?

Will Powers


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