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From the Edge: Editorial

 by Megan Irwin  published on Thursday, October 27, 2005

Megan Irwin<br>SPM/issues/arts/694608
Megan Irwin
SPM
 

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Figuring out your identity is part of what college is about. Finally free from the social hell that is high school, we're free to re-invent ourselves as we choose. For some of us, this re-invention is superficial. I for example, dyed my naturally blond hair brown, ditched my high school friends and declared myself a new, more serious person.

Obviously, discovering who you really are takes a lot more than just changing your hair color or finding new friends. Often finding your identity is a struggle and sometimes a painful one -- especially when the people closest to you aren't willing to accept the change. Take the experience of Jacie, the subject of this week's cover story (Get It Out, 8).

She's endured great difficulty to become who she truly is. This is a little complicated, but bear with me; Jacie was born a man, but identifies as a woman and is undergoing surgery so her anatomy matches up with who she is on the inside. In other words, she's a transsexual. Talk about a difficult transition. I mean, how do you tell your parents? I had a hard enough time admitting to my dad that I got a tattoo freshman year, and when I did, he wouldn't speak to me for a week. I can only imagine what the coming out process must have been like for Jacie, and I truly admire her courage.

She's been through more than just the struggle of admitting and accepting her identity -- she's been through a controversial type of therapy called reparative therapy. Reparative therapy seeks to reverse sexuality, or turn gay people straight, often citing Biblical reasons to renounce homosexuality. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the long-term psychological effects of this process. But regardless of whether reparative therapy works or not, I'm troubled by the thought of therapists condemning people to a fiery afterlife instead of helping them figure out how to cope with this one.

Megan Irwin is the Editor in Chief of SPM. Reach her atmegan.irwin@asu.edu.



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