By Dr. Julius Berkshire-Yoweri MD, P.h.D.
Some people have never heard of the trans-differently-abled. They are a community of special people who are forced to live with body parts that are not truly part of them. They are at the center of the world’s next great civil rights struggle. Many thoughtful observers believe that their struggle is the most important, and also the most difficult of all civil rights struggles. A trans-differently-abled person, is a normal person, who was born into a body with parts, organs or appendages that are not truly part of who they are. The unwanted part simply isn’t a part of them, as they see themselves, and as we must see them too!
Not being trans-differently-abled, I cannot imagine how hard it must be to live that way. Some have an arm or leg, that their entire lives, they have known wasn’t truly theirs. Society is still very intolerant toward those who feel they were born with body parts that do not rightfully belong attached to their bodies. Even many progressives refuse to recognize trans-differently-abled individuals as normal sane people, worthy of their respect and compassion. They are people, human beings, who are just like us!
In order to correct the mistake that occurred at their birth, or, as some claim, in fetal development, a body part or parts must be surgically removed. For those who have a hard time understanding their plight, imagine if you had been born with an extra arm or leg. You might feel that this unnecessary body part was often in your way, you would no doubt feel near constant annoyance at its unwanted presence. I would bet that you would even be grateful, if a doctor offered to surgically remove it for you! Now, if you can do that, you can at least begin to understand how the trans-differently-abled feel!
There is a great deal of diversity within the trans-differnetly-abled, or TDA community. Some TDA individuals were born with eyes that they shouldn’t have, or an arm or leg, or sometimes two arms or two legs that don’t belong to them. Some were born with fingers or toes they shouldn’t have. A person may have an unwanted nosed attached to their body, or two testicles, when they know that they should only have one. On the other hand, some rare TDA individuals actually have three arms or three legs, yet were only born with two! Unfortunately, to date, those TDA individuals who require an additional body part, have not been able to obtain one. No one should make assumptions about TDA individuals, every situation is unique and special.
“My so-called left arm isn’t really mine. It was never a part of me. I always felt it wasn’t supposed to be there, my right leg, it’s the same thing! My entire life I’ve been forced to live with these awful things. I swear to God, if someone doesn’t remove them, I’m going to kill myself. I won’t live this way!” Joseph explained, teary eyed, to his mother and father one day.” Joseph’s admission took great courage, yet his parents were confused. At first they didn’t support their son’s needs. It was only after several months of intense discussions with their son, and with a family therapist, that Joseph’s family came to understand. Their son had body parents attached to his body, which were not his, yet were attached to him from birth. In order for their son to be whole, those unwanted body parts had to be removed! Only then could his healing begin. Only then, could he truly be the person he is supposed to be.
Unfortunately, for legal reasons Joseph’s family hasn’t been able to have his surgery conducted within the United States, their home country. They are currently consulting with a doctor in India, who has agreed to do the surgery. Unfortunately, this doctor is hesitant to reveal any board certifications or credentials, for fear that he could lose his medical license, should his identity become public. Something is very wrong when governments and even medical regulatory bodies refuse to help TDA children. Joseph’s story, sadly, isn’t unique. There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of other children just like him, in the US alone. There is no telling how many children have this condition around the world. Estimates from sociologists indicate that anywhere from eight to twenty percent of the world population is TDA, and some TDA individuals do not even know they are TDA yet!
Why do so many doctors refuse to let TDA individuals live as they truly are inside? Why does this condition threaten or scare so many people? The answer is hard to understand. What makes a person hate trans drag queens? What makes a person hate a peaceful religion like Wahhabi Islam? Why would a person hate peaceful migrants, coming to his or her country in order to enrich it and bring love to it? We may never truly know. There can be no rational explanation for the phenomenon of TDA-phobia.
Dr. Marvin L. Zhaganandar of St. George Nevada has been arrested. His so-called crime? Responding to the needs of a patient. Ron Smith came in for an arm amputation. Dr. Zhaganandar carried it out. For this reason, Dr. Zhaganandar has lost his medical license, and now languishes in jail. Progressives need to call their congress person or senator, and demand that Dr. Zhaganandar be released. He is a medical doctor. Doctors are not criminals! His only crime is caring about his patients. As a thoughtful and compassionate individual, he simply couldn’t allow his patient to continue suffering from an unwanted arm. As a professional of conscience, Dr. Zhaganandar took bold and decisive action, he did what he knew was right!
No individual should be forced to live with an arm, leg, eyes, ears, genitals, or any other part or organ attached to their body that was never truly part of them. A candle light vigil will be held outside of the St. George Nevada Correctional Facility, were peaceful progressive protesters will demand Dr. Zhaganandar’s release. The protest will be held one week from today beginning at 4:45 PM. Individuals of all races, colors, creeds, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and species will be present. An interfaith council comprised of Priests, Pastors, Rabbis, and Sheikhs will offer joint prayers for TDA rights, and lead an interfaith group protest outside of the National Cathedral in Washington DC.
The American Medical Association continues to refuse to recognize the reality of TDA individuals. The American Psychological Association has voted down every motion to recognize TDA are a legitimate medical condition for the past two years. Many ignorant doctors have even gone so far as to say that those who are TDA are “mentally ill,” and should seek professional psychological help. What could possibly be more hurtful or more discounting? However, there is hope. In the 1970s the APA also claimed that homosexuality was a mental disorder.
The twittersphere is exploding now with stories of courageous and brave TDA individuals. A younger more enlightened generation is beginning to take notice of their plight, and more importantly, to get involved! The next civil rights struggle may have just begun, but its outcome is assured. We will have victory for TDA rights! Intolerance, bigotry, and prejudice have no place in the practice of medicine, or in criminal statutes which penalize those who help the most vulnerable in our society. TDA pride-world-wide!
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