Otherkin – The Transgender Conundrum

otherkin-transgenderThe Politics of the Fringe. Transgenders in public bathrooms, Otherkin, and the like. Despite what conservatives may say, the real problem is not about sexual predators or voyeurs … no the real problem is the practicality of accommodating every tiny minority without impinging on the freedom of the vast majority of people. It is a Classical Liberal problem.

While gays and lesbians make up about 5-7% of the population, those experiencing gender dysphoria only make up about 0.3% of the population, and only a fraction of those actually choose to live life as the opposite sex or undergo hormone therapy or surgical sex change.  As such, we are, in essence talking about an issue that effects maybe 1 out of every 2000 people. Which is a very very small minority.

It is reasonable to ask whether it is really practical for our public policy to accommodate every tiny minority out there. The reality is that it is probably NOT practical.

tocqueville-effectLumping transgenders in with the Gay and Lesbian community is a little intellectually dishonest. Gender dysphoria is a very different issue, and the number of those affected is a tiny fraction. Even many of my gay friends are uncomfortable with including transgenders in the LGB community, because they feel it undermines the legitimacy of their cause.

For instance, there is also a small minority of people who identify as Otherkin. They actually believe they are cats or mermaids trapped in human bodies. Would it also then be reasonable to force Target to put kitty litter in bathrooms for these people?

At some point, you have to accept the fact that we can’t accommodate every tiny minority. Not without disrupting life for the other 99% of people. It is just not practical.

Those who argue it is practical, are arguing for the Doctrine of the Minority.  They are placing vague notions of “equality” over the rights and freedoms of the vast majority of people. Because such “equality” entails measures that are disruptive or create inefficiencies.  It is a veiled yet subtle anti-Liberal stance. Or as Tocqueville argued two centuries ago:

“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”

The reality is that you cannot have both complete equality and complete freedom. Those two things are incompatible.

A simple commonsense solution would be to encourage more unisex bathrooms, where possible. Engaging in social shaming of who is “intolerant” of who, or arguing about who should be more “uncomfortable”, is counterproductive.

Moreover, it really shouldn’t be the place of massive corporations like Target and the NCAA to try to force people’s elected representatives to behave in ways they see fit. Such actions undermine the principles of Western Liberal democracy. That power belongs solely to the individual people who elect those representatives.

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