Two distinct stories are making the viral Internet rounds this week. And they couldn't be more alike, or more different.
One is the video of a transgender girl (born male) opening up a box of hormones her mother bought for her. After years of therapy, a psychiatrist has prescribed the estrogen, and with tears in her eyes, the young teen was overcome with gratitude to finally get her wish.
The video has gone viral, with help from celebrities like George Takei.
How touching it is.
And it is. It's hard not to feel the emotion and gratitude of the video. Yeah for transgender! Yeah for the new sexual evolution!
And then there is this other story...
"Psychologist Blinds Woman With Drain Cleaner - Because She Wanted to be Blind!"
Jewel Shuping has dreamed of being blind since she was three or four years old. She would walk the halls at night with her eyes closed. By the time she was six, she was comfortable "being blind."
She has always believed that she was meant to be blind. She should have been born blind. It was her greatest desire to be blind.
She saw a therapist for years for Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a condition in which able-bodied people believe they are "meant" to be disabled. Her desire to be blind was so strong that in 2006 she decided to blind herself - by having a sympathetic psychologist pour DRANO into her eyes.
Most people feel what Shuping did was crazy. How could she mutilate herself like that? How could a therapist actually think this was the right thing to do?
But it begs the question- why is it okay for transgender persons like Caitlin Jenner to permanently alter their bodies? (And even herald them as heroes!) But Shuping is considered crazy? Isn't sexual reassignment surgery just as damaging and permanent as pouring Drano in your eyes?
Why is one okay and the other not?
Is it because one is about sexual desires? Why is sex okay? The thing that must be fought for?
Where is the line between "she should get what she wants" and "she's crazy?"