june 2022 – goodnews editorial

gender wars

When I was little, there were essentially four sexual orientations. One was a man, a woman, a homosexual or a lesbian. As a sub-variant, some people liked both sexes. Among the homosexuals were those who liked to dress as women, while certain women wore men’s clothes. They were transvestites. During the Olympics, in the 1950s through the 1980s, beefy-looking women from Iron Curtain countries seemed to have an advantage over more feminine competitors and were tested. If they had enough female hormones, they were waved through and kept their medals, if not, goodbye! Since antiquity, we’ve known of the hermaphrodite, a wonder introduced to a larger audience in Federico Fellini’s Satyricon (1969). It is estimated that about one in eighty-three thousand children is born with both a vagina and a penis. Once it had the means to do so, the gynaecological profession determined the sexes of these children for them. Fortunately, this presumptuous habit is on the way out. There are a significant number of known cases of hermaphrodites who have given birth. To change one’s gender, one must swallow countless hormone pills and undergo invasive surgeries; one must see a psychiatrist, and there’s a lot of paperwork involved. No one would change their gender on a whim, it is too painful and lengthy a process. That a former man should have an advantage over other women man in sports seems random. Aren’t  the hormones doing their job? If they can make breasts sprout, aren’t a few measly muscles easily reformed? Well-trained cis-women are rightly proud of their physical prowess. Why, then, should transgender women be excluded from women’s sports teams? Do we really want reduce this complex question to the sexual characteristics we were born with? And while we are at it: it’s pure ostracism not to integrate the Paralympics and the Invictus Games into the «normal» Olympics. We’re all in this together.
I hope you’ll enjoy the summer days ahead despite our disquieting times.

   Susanne G. Seiler

P.S. The 2nd Psychedelic Salon in Basel brought great guests, young and old. Our lounge is still open on Thursdays from 2 – 6 pm, with an increasing number of evening programs attached. Please feel welcome!


Low cirrocumulus clouds in the west.
War in the east.
Lift teabag from cup.
Add milk.  Ask if it is happiness
or pleasure you prefer.
Watch the storm churn to the surface.
Shadows gather in the valley below.
To count them is to know their many shapes
cannot be counted.
They must be numbered among.

   Suzanne Buffam

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