I recently wrote a question on a controversial topic, transgender hormone medication. I knew it was controversial and tried to focus on the least controversial aspect of the question, medication, as well as be as correct in my terminology as possible, so that I did not unintentionally offend the group I was asking about.
As Kingledion commented
You can't close a question because the topic is controversial. The question is adequately scoped, about worldbuilding, and not rude or offensive. The question is about medicine and not current world politics. Even if the answer is 'there is no way to do it,' it is still a valid question. It should stay open.
I really don't mind the downvotes as I expected some, due to the controversial nature of the question. I also tried to be as friendly and open to all comments/answers made, as possible. However, I didn't get answers that answered the core question.
I think I found a workaround. I am hoping to create a new rephrased question with a less controversial example. I need help in figuring out if and how to acknowledge the previous question without too much negative response (from all sides).
I've tried to write the main part of the question in such a way that others with controversial questions may find it useful in their second attempts. The next section is just a bit of background on my particular issue.
Some of my characters are transgender, and I wanted to know if they would have access to the sort of hormonal medications that we know how to create now, without access to what I presume are high precision chemical processes and machines. Googling was not helpful for this information, so after some hesitation, I turned to World-Building SE. I was focussed on how to describe my character's mannerisms/temperaments and physical descriptions, in my fictional far future world. Far future in time, but with a pre modern infrastructure. This was all story based and a matter of opinion, so I tried to focus the question on the crux, what medicine would they have access to, the rest I could decide at my own pleasure. I needed to know if I can describe more of the modern physical changes that we can create with HRT or if I have to rely on purely historical precedents.
I made the mistake of including a one liner at the end, were I attempted to convey that ''I know it's controversial, please don't respond with answers saying it's controversial''. I seen that before on some questions. I know it didn't come across as intended and even though it was edited out early on, I know this put some people off, and I will accept that. That is not what this meta-post is about.
I think I have figured out a way to workaround the controversial subject matter I was so focussed on. I can change the question to be about menopause in men and women and what hormone medication they would have access to in my scenario. No controversy there, as everyone in the world is affected by menopause at some point in their lives. I can then just infer across to my actual controversial subjects of interest. I can even use the menopause answers for my older characters, that I hadn't fully worked out yet as I was so stuck and focussed on my particular problem.
Now my conundrum. The original question was put ON HOLD at one point as being 'too broad', so would this change not be making it even ...boarder? And more importantly, would it not be marked as a duplicate?
I don't want to edit the original question so drastically. I think it would be disingenuous to the transgender community to do so, and others may see it as a complete rewrite of the question even if the core question is exactly the same. Some won't answer such a drastically altered question which would invalidate the few answers I did manage to get.
So I think a fresh question is the way to go.
If I do create a new question, it could technically be marked as a duplicate (as the core question is the same and I probably will use most of the same wording for my thinking).
I also don't really want to hide the original question if I create a new question. If I mention that the question is a rephrasing of the original, I run the chance of some people vtc/downvoting again purely because of previous bias/duplicate etc and seeing it as sneaky or something. Then again, if I don't mention it upfront, I risk people thinking I'm trying to hide from my previous question, which I'm not, which is why I'm here.
So what do I do? I have several interconnected questions on how to do this:
edit the original (I really don't like this option)
- remove the controversial example and replace with a different example.
- do I explain why and refer to this meta-post or just edit carte blanche style?
create a new question with mention of previous question
- mention the controversial question in the new question and argue that it shouldn't be marked as duplicate?
- how, as a brief aside at the beginning/end or a detailed explanation?
- do I reference this Meta Post?
create a new question with no mention of previous question.
- don't mention the controversial question in the new question so as not to bring attention to the previous controversial response?
- don't mention the original question/meta post in the new question but do mention it in a comment after posting?
If I do create a new question:
- should I completely reword it so it looks nothing like the previous version
- or can I use some of the same structure and wording from my thinking process as before?
I possibly may try the sandbox for actual help with the question itself, at the moment I need Meta input on how to deal with the procedure of if and how I should go about the rewriting of controversial questions