I used to think it was wrong when I was a Christian. This was because I thought people were born into their bodies to learn the lessons of that life (i.e. what it was like to be male, female, black, asian, etc). So to me, gender reassignment was going against god's plan for their life.
I don't think that way any more. I don't see any problem with it at all as long as they have had the necessary psychological evaluations and medical treatment. Gender reassignment is not reversible from what I know about it and my main concern is ensuring they are not getting into something they will later regret. I remember there was a documentary on HBO some years ago about transgender people and one of the people they interviewed regretted going through the process but they were pretty much stuck.
My only question would be about the ethics of telling future partners that you had gender reassignment since a) not everyone is okay with this and b) it affects plans for childbearing.
I'd also be interested in learning what causes people to feel at odds with their gender. Is it purely a psychological condition or is there a physiological component that contributes to the need for gender reassignment?
Depends on why people undergo gender reassignment.
Usually people think of transgenderism. But you should read up on intersex conditions. There are a number of medical conditions that result in things like ambiguous genitalia or the presence of both kinds of sex organs. That needs to be surgically corrected at some point. For example some people with XY chromosomes have a genetic mutation that makes them insensitive to androgen. They thus develop into women, but there are some anomalies with the reproductive organs like the presence of testes in the body.
Transgenderism is usually understood to be more of a psychological problem, but there is some evidence that such people usually have brain structures more similar to their desired sex.
I agree... To say that surgical intervention is "necessary" for intersex individuals is to make a bald assumption about who they are/should be. When really, the decision for or against surgery needs to be made by the person themselves.
"Genderqueer" is a term I've never heard before, so I had to look it up. I'm glad I did..as it makes complete sense.
I'm physically/sexually a woman, but do not feel like one. Nor do I take kindly to the idea of being treated like a female by the western definition. I feel like I am a gay man trapped in a woman's body, who would ultimately prefer to be completely genderless.
I don't think there is anything wrong with it. It's their body and they can do what they want with it. If they are truly unhappy with the body they were born with, and they would be able to live a happier life as another gender, then I don't see any reason why they should be stuck being miserable. If I woke up as a man tomorrow, I wouldn't be able to change back fast enough! Its not exactly the same thing, but I think we can all agree that being stuck in another gender that didn't match our minds would be a very unpleasant way to live.