Confession: I Was the One Assigning Sex at Birth

As a pediatric intern I frequently was the first person to examine a baby after birth.  On many occasions I encountered a penis or vulva and erroneously assigned the baby to the sex of male or female, respectively, without much thought.  I now plead in mitigation that, at the time, the option of a “sex assigned at birth,” was not available; so, like the guards at Nazi camps, I went along with the boy-girl thing because that was what I was commissioned to do, however unpleasant it was for me personally.

There is a problem with the expression “assigned at birth,” though, and I cannot take full responsibility for making these babies boys and girls.  Someone else may have been involved in the assignment. This has been left to our imaginations. As a Christian sympathizer, I have to assume that it was God who made the assignments, as the penis and vulva had been created long before I had the opportunity to see them. This hypothesis, however, would mean that God made erroneous assignments of the wrong gender to babies who would grow up to be transmen and transwomen. I was taught that God does not make mistakes, but maybe there are exceptions to even this rule.

And I cannot completely rule out the possibility that the assignment was made by the obstetrician, who, after all, had seen the baby first.

Honestly, I was never comfortable with the expression “assigned at birth,” because it seemed to me that in most cases the assignment had been made once the chromosomes lined up in the embryo, sometimes a bit later for intersex babies. But in any case, God was busy making the assignment long before I had a chance to do so, and I doubt that It would welcome any adjustments by me. (I have been praying for guidance concerning God’s personal pronoun preferences, but until I receive an answer, “It” will have to suffice.)

Still, as a pediatric intern, I may have exceeded my intended role in producing an AFAB (assigned female at birth) or AMAB.  At the time I would have been very insistent about the assignment, going so far as to place it on the birth certificate, notwithstanding complaints from colleagues and parents denouncing me as a transphobe if, perchance, they had known what that was. My radical convictions at the time would have placed me in the especially ugly species of primate who create the CAF(M)AB -- the coerced assignment of female or male at birth. Yes, there really is such a thing.

But I am an easygoing guy, trying to conform to the latest social trends, to anticipate them, and to get a jump on competitors seeking the moral summit ahead of me. Moreover, I am one to take my transgressions seriously. Here I have committed another number nine: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  What could be a greater sin than to tell a baby girl that she is really a baby boy?  So, I must seek forgiveness and atone for straying so far from the path of righteousness.

How shall I pay for the sin of gendercide?  One possibility would be to find all those people I had wrongly assigned and apologize to them, both to those transgendered victims whose destiny never materialized, and to those who successfully made the transition despite the barriers I had placed in their way.

But that would be impractical.  For one thing, I have no idea who they are. For another, most of them are probably still in New York, which, I am told, has become a very dangerous place, to which I ought not return.

But the perfect solution came to me in a flash. Providence is directing me to adopt the imperative of accurate birth assignment as my life’s mission, to promulgate its proper application in all things medical.

For example, if I examine a young baby and discover a kidney problem, I will refer to this as the organ assigned at birth. What do I know? This baby may want to replace it with a liver someday. I do not know how to do that, but once the importance of a new surgical procedure is widely known, there are many brilliant and skilled surgeons who can develop it.

Upon my counsel, the surgeons will refer to scalpels as the “product assigned at manufacture.”  The surgeon may need a clamp at some point. The transitioned scalpel will be perfect for that.

But most important, by far, is assignment of the organ “brain” at birth. Many of my progressive friends behave as though this organ should have been a gall bladder. (A gall bladder may reduce the diarrhea flowing from apertures near the brain, such as the mouth.) Following her organ-affirming operation, my friend will be a trans-organ person, more specifically, a “person with a gallbladder in her head,” or, if the gall bladder was accompanied by stones, as is often the case, she will be a “person with rocks in her head.”

Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out why I have so few friends.

The reader will be pleased to learn that Dr. Dillon gave up pediatrics after his internship. Your children are safe.

Image: Pixabay

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