April 28, 2012

Transgender and the mind and body conundrum


An instinct for soccer.
Given the strong criticism om the very idea of using Jung for studying the transgender psyche, I think it is time for me to make clear what I mean about the interaction between mind and body and terms like "the inner woman" and "the inner man".

Can instincts and archetypes generate symbols?

In the discussions at this blog wxhlup has repeatedly criticized  me for arguing that crossdreaming may have a biological core.

Her argument argument seems to be that crossdreaming is an expression of symbols, semiotics or language, and instincts have no language. Instincts cannot be expressed in symbols, and therefore they cannot influence the way we think about ourselves and others.

Because of this, the argument goes,  it makes no sense to talk about "an inner woman"  or "inner man", as I do, or about  instincts or archetypes that shape the way we see the world. Instincts and archetypes are not cultural and therefore cannot be translated into language or symbols.

Similarly the biological base cannot generate the desire to be a man or a woman, since both sex and gender -- according to this line of thinking -- are social constructs and social constructs only.

If I understand this line of thinking correctly, this also means that Jung's idea of primordial biological patterns or archetypes influencing the content of dreams, myths and fantasies, must be wrong.

These symbols are not produced by the human body, but by the "language games", "schemata", "belief systems" or "semiotics" of human culture. They are produced by the "cultural software" and not the "biological hardware".

The role of symbols

I have actually learned a lot from the kind of post-structuralist philosophy wxhlup is so fond of. I have no doubt the cultural belief systems we grow up in wields enormous power over our way of understanding the world. That is: Our words and concepts and the word views they are part of, forces us to think in certain ways.

My deconstruction of the "autogynephilia" narrative of Ray Blanchard is indebted to the postmodern philosophy of Michel Foucault, and my constant nagging about the differences between the genders being negligible as regards abilities and personality traits is also based on this way of thinking.



We see what we are brought up to see, and not what is really there. Normally it is only those that are forced onto the narrow path are, in the end, able to see the suppression and the terror.

Still, I absolutely refuse to let Foucault, Butler, Deleuze and the lot free me from one prison, only to  put me into another. And that is exactly what happens when these philosophers become the only guides to understanding sex and gender.

These thinkers have painted themselves into a corner where it is simply impossible to even consider the effect biology has on the mind. Butler would not be  able to recognize an instinct if it came with an hammer and hit her on the head, simply because she lives in a world where only language may produce meaning.

(My instincts constantly hit me in the head. That is the problem.)

Judith Butler does, for instance,  a brilliant analysis of how our view of not only gender, but also biological sex, is socially  constructed. And if you read, as I have, the history of biological research on sex, it is easy to see how these researchers have been caught up in the prejudices of the day.

But the fact that experts and scientists have projected their own prejudices onto the canvas of human bodies, does not prove that your gonads have absolutely no effect on your behavior or the way you look at the world. Personally I think the effect is minor, if not close to zero, but Butler's theory does not prove this. All she can prove is that our understanding of sexual differences are influenced by the dominating cultural beliefs.

The role of instincts

I find it extremely hard to believe that the symbolic mind cannot be influenced by the instinctive body.

After all, add hormones, alcohol, caffeine, morphine, or a severe disease to a human body, and he or she starts seeing the world in a different way. She may become depressed. She may become euphoric. She may hallucinate. She may find it hard to think coherently. What seemed impossible yesterday, suddenly becomes child's play.

And yes, drugs and disease may trigger avalanches of symbolic content, ideas, images and fantasies. I know this, as I once had my own journey down into hell, caused by a severe infection mixed with morphine provided by the hospital. It is not that the hallucinations I had  were not using imagery fetched from my life and my culture. Of course they were! But the fever and the drugs caused my mind to produce seriously weird mash-ups of those symbols, images and stories.

To me it is obvious that the psyche is influenced by what takes place in the body. I have seen the change of a diet change the whole mentality of a man! And if caffeine can make me think differently, you can bet a an instinct can.

Instincts contain information

Instincts (or fixed action patterns as they are called now) may not contains symbols or language, but they do contain information. The mind will try to make sense of this information. That is the bridge between instincts and semiotics.

We know of newly hatched chicks whose instincts make them run for cover when they see the silhouette of a hawk, but not the shadow of a pigeon. The chick has never seen a hawk before and has no theory of hawkness, but the instinct does drive it to action. "Danger! Run!" (cp. the work of Nikolaas Tinbergen).
Semiotic overload

Walter B. Cannon described the flight or fight response where a perceived threat automatically triggers a long rage of physiological and psychological reactions preparing an animal or a human being to escape or attack.

The threat triggers the instincts which again triggers the physiological reaction, which are mirrored in the feeling of fear. The feeling is conscious. The feeling immediately becomes "semiotic", that is part of that human being's understanding of the world and how it works.

The instinct triggering this fear and anger cannot be observed, but it perfectly clear that a man threatened by a lion or another human being translates this feeling into some kind of narrative or threat analysis in order to make sense of it all -- unless, of course, the threat is a forbidden urge or feeling that is taboo and must be denied.

If that happens the individual is likely to attribute the threat to someone else. The fear is projected or it is denied completely. At that point fear is turned into angst or anxiety -- i.e. a feeling of fear that sees no immediate threat. Still, there is no denying that the instinct and its effects triggers the production of  symbolic content.

The games that we play

Both pups, kittens and young human beings love playing hide and seek. In the animals it is obvious that the young ones are training for adulthood. Knowing how to hide for predators and how to catch prey is absolutely necessary. Their instincts drive them to try out this behavior again and again. Indeed, it brings them much pleasure. It is fun. This is what life is about.

I  find it very hard to believe that  human children are completely different from the animals in this respect. Oh sure, the human kids put their basic need into a cultural context. They are cops and criminals, cowboys or Indians. But they share the most of the genes of their furry counterparts and even in this day and age escape is an instinct that may come in handy.

By the way, both dogs, cats and obscenely  well paid grown men take much pleasure in chasing balls. The men have developed a complex set of "semiotic" rules and rituals around this basic instinct, but to me at least this is clear proof of instincts influencing human behavior.

The "catch the thing that moves" instinct leads the human mind to develop symbols and theories to explain and contextualize this behavior.

Beyond the the simple moves

The question is, of course, whether instincts, archetypes or directed biological drives  may generate more complex psychic content. Does it, for instance, make sense to say that archetypes  generate characters and action lines in myths and fairy tales?

Secondly, does the symbolic content production (i.e. thoughts and ideas) triggered by these instincts show any kind of consistency across cultures and individuals? In other words: Is there a relationship between the inborn instinct and the content patterns produced?

Jung certainly think so. I think it is perfectly possible that he is right.

To give an example: When it comes to more advanced children's games, like hopscotch, we find archetypal patterns similar to the ones found in fairy tales.

I have seen kids play hopscotch in many countries. If you ask the kids (or their parents, for that matter) what the game means they will just shrug. It is just a game.

What they are doing, though, is replaying the myth of man's journey from the normal world up to the celestial heaven and back again. The hopscotch pattern is a church and a tempel. The game reflects the archetype of the hero and his journey from normal life to the world beyond -- that is a world where every truism is questioned --  and back again.

For each level they reach, it becomes harder to succeed, just as in real life. This is a pattern repeated in many modern role playing computer games. They are mythical and archetypal, and the most obvious explanation for why people are drawn to such drama, is that it satisfies some kind of inborn instinct or archetype. My analysis of the Japanese animated movie, Ponyo, points in the same direction.

Many transgender people are forced onto the hero's journey whether they want it or not. But they have an access to an inner  "guide" that helps them navigate this chaos. Jungs point is that the games and the myths express this underlying and basic pattern in various ways.

Hopscotch pattern (Wikipedia)
There is no hopscotch chalk drawing programmed into the archetype of the hero's journey, but there may be a drive towards self-reflection and a need to discover the unconscious part of the psyche.

This drive will be quite similar to the "archetype" found in the seed of a tree: Make leaves and branches in this way! Then make seeds!

The main difference is that as human beings we have developed a language that makes it possible to illustrate and talk about the effects of such archetypes.

Indeed, this exactly why we are not completely in the power of instincts and drives. We have ways of controlling their effect on our lives, but that does not mean that they have no effect.

The archetypes do not contain symbolic content

I do not mean that there are fairy tales embedded in our genes. What I mean is that there are simple behavioral patterns, drives that drives us towards certain ways of behaving. The myths, dreams and fairy tales are the mind's attempt at making sense of these drives.

The reason the same motives pop up in fairy tales all over the world is that all human beings share certain life experiences. Everyone know the concept of the journey, which is why the mind easily use the journey as a symbol when trying to grasp the effects of the hero archetype.

Jung was very clear about this: The archetypes do not contain symbolic content in themselves, but they do influence the psyche to produce symbolic content, so that they psyche becomes able to grasp what the archetype is about.

He writes:

"Again and again, i encounter the mistaken notion that an archetype is determined in regard to its content, in other words that it is a kind of unconscious idea (if such an expression be admissible). It is necessary to point out once more that archetypes are not determined as regards their content, but only as regards their form and then only to a very limited degree. A primordial image is determined as to its content only when it has become conscious and is therefore filled out with the material of conscious experience."
(Collected Works 9, par 155.)

Inner woman

When I use the word "inner woman" about the inner lives of male to female crossdreamers, I do not mean that they have an internal instinct that contains a strong sense of color coordination, a desire for expensive French handbags and an urge to stay chained to the kitchen stove.

Of course not!

The terms "inner woman" and "inner man"are just shorthand for whatever it is that triggers the avalanche of transgender identification, being that an association with cultural feminine values, body dysphoria or crossdressing fetishes.

The terms "inner woman" and "inner man" point to the belief that there is some kind of inborn set of factors that makes them experience themselves as women, or men, or gender queer.  Then they try to express that side of themselves by using symbols found in their surrounding culture.

This set of factors may be grounded in a biological factor or -- much more likely -- a large number of factors.

But even if this is so, that alone cannot explain the complexity of the various transgender conditions. The symbolic and cultural side of man always plays an important part in how this condition is played out in a human beings life, and since each and every one of us has a unique life trajectory, not one of these incarnations are alike.

The idea of "a woman trapped in a man's body" makes sense as a metaphor. But it can not be understood literally, that is, as if trans women embed a kind of internal "Eternal Woman" that contains all the various feminine traits and behavior the Pope, Michelle Bachmann or the Taliban think is God given.

But there may be something that triggers the deep felt sense of being a woman, or -- which is just as likely -- which influences the way we place ourselves in relationship to other people.

So let me just make this perfectly clear: The idea that the instincts are unable to generate symbolic content in the mind is as meaningless as saying that the external world cannot influence the conscious or unconscious psyche.

The fact that the I cannot observe the external world (Das Ding an sich) directly, does not mean that it is not there, or that it has no effect on my understanding of the world. And the internal world is as real as the external. In fact, seen from the view point of the ego, the instincts are part of the external world.

(By the way, it was not biology that inspired Jung to develop the theory of the archetypes, but Immanuel Kant's idea of inborn categories used to interpret the world.)

Navajo sand mandala
Do we need the biological basis for archetypes?

Still,  wxhlup would be right in asking why Jung needs a biological basis for the archetypes. It is possible to develop a theory that makes them the end product of socialization and culture.

For instance: Motherhood is ubiquitous in all human cultures, due to the simple fact that breastfeeding is a natural process that requires a special relationship between the child and its mother.

You do not need a biological explanation for the similarity between the mother goddesses of the world.

In the same way you could say that the archetype of the trickster (the mischievousness coyote in Native American folklore and the jester in Medieval Europe) will appear everywhere, because cultural and dogmatic repression requires figures who can express the true  uncertainty of life.

Or maybe the visual similarity between Indian, European and Native American demons are caused by cross-cultural influences.

Western mandala, a rose window, a symbol of the Self
Maybe. This will actually not make much of a difference when it comes to using the archetypes in the interpretation of the transgender condition. You can still use the concepts to interpret the effects of the unconscious  mind has on our understanding of ourselves.

The geometry of the mind

It should be noted, though, that Jung (and others after him) have found cross-cultural similarities that are hard to explain without some kind of biological anchoring.

This especially applies to the use of geometric, non-human, figures to symbolize the whole of the psyche.

You find mandalas in China, India, Europe and among Native Americans, where they all use them to illustrate the balance between different forces in the world and/or in the psyche.

Personally, I have not finally finally concluded as regards the biological basis for Jung's archetypes -- although in my studies of art, myths and my own mind I have found much that point in that direction.

If there is such a basis it cannot be reduced to a banal one to one relationship between -- let's say -- genes or regions of the brain -- and the individual archetypes. This is because the archetypes blend and overlap.

Eastern mandala, Buddhist sand paining
In other words: The complexity of the world of archetypes can only be explained by a similar complexity in their biological basis.

Back to the "inner woman"

What wxhlup finds so disturbing is that I believe that there is a biological trigger behind the male to female crossdreamer's dream about being a woman or the female to male crossdreamers urge to be on  top in bed.

But the truth is that the term is useful even if you believe that the transgender condition is produced by the mad interplay of symbols and of signifiers and the the signified.

Even if there is no real difference between the masculine and the feminine in reality, it is a fact that we -- as transgender -- react to a cultural context that insists that these concepts have meaning. On our hero's journey the terms may help us grasp who we are, and who we are not, even if it is by transcending them.

As the Buddha will tell you, at the end of the journey you will have to abandon all concepts.

More posts in the psychology series.

By the way: Thomas Dolby has written a great song about the point where drives meets the semiotics of desire.

Urges

Appendix: Reading post-structuralist philosophy

I hesitate to put up a list of recommended post-structuralist books on sex and gender, because -- seriously! -- you will probably need some kind of  university course in philosophy to make sense of them.

Still, they are worth the effort, so I include some references to books that may help you understand relevant post-structuralist thinking on sex and gender.

Michel Foucault: The History of Sexuality
Judith ButlerGender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity 
Judith Butler:  Undoing Gender
Judith Butler: Bodies That Matter: On the discursive limits of "sex"
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia 
Eugene W. Holland: Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis
Chrysanthi Nigianni and Merl Storr: Deleuze and Queer Theory 
Claire Colebrook and Jami Weinstein (eds): Deleuze and Gender

11 comments:

Jogita said...

Jack,
I think you can yourself tell the answer to this. When you refer to your "inner woman", do you mean to signify that you have a inner sex identity that is female?
Or do you mean that you have an overwhelming urge to participate in things that are deemed as socially feminine? For example,maybe you get excited about sitting in a woman's beauty parlor simply because it is fashionable?

Jack Molay said...

I experience an inner sex identity that is female.

That, however, seems not be the case with many other male to female crossdreamers, who clearly express that this is all about sexual excitement and excitement only.

It could be -- of course-- that their excitement associated with the idea of sitting in a woman's beauty parlor is just another way for a repressed identity to express itself, but until someone has proven otherwise I prefer to accept their own judgment.

Other crossdreamers feel that the traditional male/female dichotomy is too stifling, and refuse to chose one or the other.

Others again, have developed a sex identity that is in harmony with their body sex, but enrich that identity with behavior and desires that culturally is allotted to the opposite sex.

That tells me that there must be a lot of different factors that causes crossdreaming -- in its many versions and disguises.

My point here is simply to say that it is perfectly reasonable to argue that one or more of these factors have a biological basis.

Deborah Kate said...

Jack, I encourage you to resist pressure to conform with postmodern orthodoxies. Such resistance may seem like swimming against a tide greater than oneself, but in fifty years time the postmodernists of today are likely be considered the old guard radicals react against, whereas perhaps Jung will be hailed as a forefather.

Unlike scientists, the postmodernists do not support their ideas with substantial evidence,
so there is nothing about them that compels belief.

The notion that biology influences character is quite plausible. The postmodernists haven't disproved it, they've just disdained it.

I agree with you that we are far from knowing the causes of crossdreaming. Until we do (if we ever do), biology should not be dismissed as a possible influence, and meanwhile it is good to study the subjective experiences of crossdreamers with respect.

The concept of 'inner woman' can be a valuable one if it helps the individual crossdreamer, regardless of its incompatibility with postmodern dogma.

Julia Serano writes a good essay in the Gender Outlaws collection (ed. Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman), in which she expresses her impatience with those who smugly recite a mantra of 'gender is performance':

"If one more person tells me that 'all gender is performance,' I think I am going to strangle them.

Perhaps most annoying about that soundbite is the somewhat snooty "I-took-a-gender-studies-class-and-you-didn't" sort of way in which it is most often recited, a magnificent irony given the way that phrase dumbs down gender. It is a crass oversimplification, as ridiculous as saying all gender is genitals, all gender is chromosomes, or all gender is socialization. In reality, gender is all of these things and more. In fact, if there's one thing that all of us should be able to agree on, it's that gender is a confusing and complicated mess. It's like a junior high school mixer, where our bodies and our internal desires awkwardly dance with one another, and with all the external expectations that other people place on us."


It'd be good to see you back at Crossdream Life forum when you've got a moment, Jack.

Deborah xx

Jack Molay said...

@Deborah

Thank you for your comment! This is exactly how I feel about this.

It is not that there is nothing to learn from philosophers and researchers like Butler and Deleuze. There is a lot to learn from them as regard, socio-cultural mental structures, power, political and cultural suppression and the way we think and learn.

They are, however, blind to their own intellectual lock-in.

By focusing on language and symbols they have managed to gain important insight into how "semiotics" shape the way we think and behave.

But if all becomes language and undifferentiated "desire" or libido, it is -- in fact -- impossible to prove or disprove whether biology plays a role.

That is: If the theory says that all is language, the answer to the question of whether biology plays a role is found in the theory itself and not in any life experience we may have or any observations we may have made.

The reason for this philosophical lock-in can be traced all the way back to David Hume, who basically demonstrated that it is impossible for us to have any direct observation of the world as it is in itself.

The philosophers then retreated to phenomenology (studying the world as it appears to us), and then to semiotics (the structure of linguistic systems).

They have tried to include the body in their philosophy, but then as it is approached by language. This is after all what they are trained to do.

And for some peculiar reason they seem to take Freud's basic philosophy for granted, even if they criticize him.

The reason for this, I believe, has to do with their own personal background, and the fact that semiotic systems cannot generate the dynamics of lived flesh and blood.

Guattari and Deleuze see this. Indeed, their philosophy is all about the dynamics of constantly changing lives. I even believe they accept the need for "archetypes" (in their philosophy called "habits"), but their writing is so dense that most readers do not see it.

Which leads us back to your point of post-modern text book philosophy becoming a problem for many transgender people. A philosophy that is meant to be liberating, becomes oppressive.

Deborah Kate said...

^ Excellently put, Jack! xx

Jogita said...

@Jack
Is there any specific correlation between the inner female that you mention and the concept of third-genders?
I know many western people don't like the idea of non-binary genders. However, non-binary genders have been a regular phenomenon in many non-western cultures.
So seen in that light, do you think you would be comfortable being identified as Hijra or kathoey of Asia if given a highly dignified space there?

Jogita said...

Although I would also like to mention that I don't equate transgenderism with homosexuality even though most ladyboys of Thailand or Hijras of India for some reason are seen exclusively into men,atleast formally.

Jack Molay said...

@Jogita

"However, non-binary genders have been a regular phenomenon in many non-western cultures."

Indeed, although I see that there is a lot of discussion regarding whether they are truly a 'third gender' or a way of accepting the the fact that some people have traits of both genders.

The Navajos called their gender benders two spirited, meaning that they have both a male and a female spirit.

But that does not mean that (some of?) the two spirited identified completely with one of these sexes. Maybe the term was used to handle the fact that the mind was female and the body male.

I was asked by another crossdreamer the other day whether I would consider myself androgyne, and my immediate answer was no, I do not understand myself as some kind of in-between.

My inner identity is female. My outer persona is male. But neither of them adhere to the traditional gender stereotypes. (This was what I was trying to illustrate through the Ponyo post).

"So seen in that light, do you think you would be comfortable being identified as Hijra or kathoey of Asia if given a highly dignified space there?"

I think my own choice has to be interpreted within my own culture. This also applies to India. I believe class (or caste) will influence your ability to become Hirja.

The great thing about India and Thailand is that they actually have concepts that can be used to interpret gender variety, but as you point out, these are very much based on the misconception of mixing sexual attraction with sex identity. There are no lesbian kathoeys, to my knowledge.

Moreover, I think the respect the Indian and Thais feel for these groups is somewhat mixed.

For instance: The Buddhists believe the Kathoeys are men trapped in a female spirit. In short: They are possessed. They do not really respect their inborn female sex.

The Hirjah may be tolerated -- accepted even -- but they are also feared as outcasts with magical powers.

Many of them are organised in gangs, giving out blessings to those who pay and curses to those who scorn them.

This is not meant as an accusation. They do what they have to do. But I think they remain in many ways outcasts.

wxhluyp said...

What I have disagreed with is the extent that your preconditions(or mediating forces) resemble fully formed cultural symbols, not that they do not interact at all.

The "inner woman" is an example, which feels particularly unhelpful for newcomers who believe in the simplistic gender mind-body discord. Perpetuating an ideal symbolism of inner identity, instead of abstract conditions of mediation. I myself do not feel like a gender, no affinity beyond prior investments.

Also the possibility (and likelihood) that many cultural symbols that are assumed to be totally biology based (and then symbolically correlated) due often to lazy evolutionary psychological perspectives, are rather symbolic creations. Where mutation has simply indirectly made these structures more efficient. I would especially emphasize this when we are talking in terms of an "experienced gender", where it seems that any biological preconditions are much too abstract for a meaningfully substantial "inner gender" or “inner identity”. Self identity of any kind is a social semiotic, and a biological reaction supporting it can at best be abstract in its relation to it. It seems that the genetically transferable FAP should work in that same way as fetishistic imprinting. Though with species of a more complex behavioural FAP, it would be important that the general capacity for thought is to the level that it doesn't decontextualize the FAP. A point I have been trying to make is to the extent that culture forces biology to react to it, and how culture takes the driving seat, often replacing biology in many respects as a predominant form of mediation.

Also I claim that fetishism (arousing ideas/structures) is not addressed in itself, is treated wrongly as a symptom of "something else", or is simply ignored.

"Unlike scientists, the postmodernists do not support their ideas with substantial evidence,
so there is nothing about them that compels belief."
Yes because everything logical must be observed, otherwise it is relative, or even false by default! Science of course is not prone to any sort of false semiotic or ideological presuppositions! This theory-bashing going on is unjustified and the scientism is ridiculous. The theoretical work on identity, information and genesis are correct in themselves, and it is true that there are ways which this area is mediated in order to survive. For those with a science-centric slant, or a phobia of theory beyond the mediocrity of Anglo-American work, I would recommend De Landa.

If the only consistent experience of crossdreaming is arousal, the most helpful science can be is to test theories on the mechanism of fetishization, not the narrative/experience of the form arousal takes.

wxhluyp said...

Invested networking identities, self & gender identities etc... A culture, or a constructed way of thinking that is incommensurable to biology, yet beneficial to survival. A biological reaction in support to networking identities can at best be abstract indirect mutation(s).

If the semiotic/neurological structure/sequence is simple enough, an imprint/FAP can occur. Generally the greater the capacity/complexity of thought, the less stable the more complicated imprinted sequences can be. The stronger the culture, the less complex the FAP. A sexually imprinted singularity (fetish) should be the same process as a FAP.

Trying to locate or anchor these symbolic constructions substantially within biology is largely in vein. Any adaptations which help to proliferate such cultural symbolism, will be abstract, and in themselves shouldn't bear any meaningful resemblance to the cultural symbolism.

Kelly Jameson said...

In it's purest form the universe is information stored and transported in the material universe whose pupose is to learn and by doing so aquire more information. (grow/expand)

For the universe to sustain itself there must be reproduction of the animate material universe but to grow (learn/change) this material must be finite (mortal)

If there was nothing but reproduction than limits would be placed on how much information could be aquired (vegetation versus insects versus animals equals high forms of learning complexity/ability/potential)

For humans to evolve as the universe dictates they must move further and further away from instinctual reproduction (sex) so their energies are focused on the creation of knowledge, we learn as part of the learning universe.

This process changes the relationship between the sexes and the relationship with self creating two conflicting needs, one to reproduce and one to learn.

The living universe through evolution has and is creating variations on the pure expression of heterosexuality in it's efforts to pull the human animal farther away from it's instinctual roots to serve the information gathering function of the living universe.

We are part of a much larger organism that does not want us only to be instinctual so changes the material design (evolution)to facilitate this.

When the human population reachs a critical point where extinction is no longer a threat these changes will excelerate and you will see more complex patterns and an explosion of knowledge, something that started hundreds of years ago but now is reaching a critical stage for the next leap forward.

Asexuality, Transgendered,Gay,ect..
are all the same thing, movement away from the programmed sex response you see in nature.

Reproduction is necessary but it creates an obstacle to the universes higher purpose which is to learn and we are caught between the conflicting needs of the universe.