South Dakota Top Blogs

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sex and the confused persons

State legislators are toying around with legislation [HR 1057] that would criminalize people who deal with sex change medications and surgery.  It would make it  a felony to perform gender-related medical procedures on someone under 16.  This is a matter of a bunch of semi-educated rubes deciding that they need to impose their manure-booted expertise on when and how to do brain surgery.  That is literally the case because gender issues involve the brain.  But those issues need better brains than the combined intelligence of South Dakota legislators, who would better concern themselves with proctology.  Because that is the area where their heads seem to be stuck.

College professors, of which I once was one, come across young people who have gender identity problems.  In their role as academic advisors, they have students who occasionally seek their help regarding such matters.  An adviser in such situations is caught between two obligations. The first is to provide advice and guidance that will help students succeed in their academic studies.  And when students are in turmoil about some gender matters, their studies are affected.

The second obligation is to refrain from giving advice and guidance on matters that fall outside one's areas of expertise.  There are seldom people on campuses who have knowledge of all the implications involved in transgender issues.  That includes the student counseling services.  So, the best an advisor can do is direct the student to some competent help. And that is difficult when there is no competent help around.

Fortunately, instances where such help is need are rare.  But when they do occur, there is an aspect of desperation involved.   In cases I know about, the young people were referred to medical and psychiatric resources that could help them understand the complicated issues and make informed decisions.  The point is to give people the chance to build productive and satisfying lives, not to find a reason to punish someone  for indecision about sexual identity.   

Only one legislator at the Cracker Barrel session of area legislators opposed the bill.  Sen. Susan Wismer, D-Britton, was reported by the Aberdeen American News as the only one to speak in opposition:  '"All I know is that God made all these people," Wismer said, also noting they weren't meant to suffer about how God made them. "We make them suffer every time we contribute to these culture wars."'

The rest of the legislators were fervently in favor of saving the genitalia of young people from scalpels and other instruments of genital reassignment.  Nothing brings on the legislative rage in the South Dakota like LBGT and transgender people being left unpunished.  While the associated school boards have intelligent and humane proposals for handling gender issues, the legislature loses its collective mind at the thought of where transgender kids might choose to go toity.  Probably because of the rural nature of South Dakota, the legislators seem to envision gender reassignment in terms of guys in manure bespattered boots hacking away at calves and pigs with sharp castration blades.  The legislature does its hacking with dull laws.  They enjoy watching different people suffer.

As South Dakotans with pets and livestock know, the gender of animals can be fixed.  But the legislature is proving once again that you can't fix stupid.


larry kurtz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with my good friend Lar to some degree but would advise those dealing with gender issues and their families to leave S. Dakota. They suffer on multiple levels while annually being used as a distraction from the real issues in the state. Minnesota for example would be a healthier environment to thrive, prosper and contribute to their thriving economy and state.

Porter Lansing said...

The unconstitutional regulation of the L.G.B.T.Q. community has never been about preventing harm to anyone, but rather to eradicate and erase L.G.B.T.Q. people from the frozen soil of South Dakota ... and that's been Fred Deutsch's motive since moving to Watertown.

Roger Beranek said...

Larry, its hardly an equivalent to take a newborn with genitalia that did not fully form with respect to one of the 2 sexes and with parental consent attempt to assign it to the one of those 2 sexes that, to medical knowledge best fits. Versus taking a preteen child that has fully functioning genitalia and is clearly one biological gender, and then because of body dysmorphia subject that child to surgery and hormones that will physically never function quite like the target gender with a result of no fewer suicides among those with gender dysphoria that in those that never have the surgery. This is not an identity problem, the suffering they deal with doesn't make it one.

Patti said...


Intersex is a different subject. I know a transgender woman who was born with ambiguous genitalia, but had surgery done on her to make her appear male. She knew she was different, but didn't find out that she had her reproductive organs removed until later in life and had tests done her that indicated she was intersex.

Do you remember going through puberty? It is no picnic for all of us who go through it. It is particularly traumatic for transgender kids, to get the body you hate. No surgery is done on kids in South Dakota, why people keep saying that? IT IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE. Puberty blockers just put puberty on pause so kids have more time to figure stuff out with their family.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States