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Showing posts from May, 2015

The next phase

I've had to teach myself to be a transgender person. It's been like a second puberty for me.

After so many decades of fighting it feels good to embrace who I am but it has taken a while to work out the kinks and it's been a bit like using muscles that were left to atrophy from disuse. So much has changed inside and yet its happened so slowly I almost didn't realize just how massive its been. The transition from feeling I was letting everyone down to accepting that I can be myself and still meet my parental role and be a partner to N has been like jumping the grand canyon but in slow and painfully drawn out slow motion.

I thought I would leave this blog behind after that but no I still have things to say, albeit with less urgency. I no longer need to write but still feel I want to. I am still fascinated by the science (or lack thereof) and on the social changes that are happening all around me almost daily.

The world that I knew as a young teen has disappeared and has b…

Crossroads

Sandra Lopes has offered a long and very thorough synopsis and analysis of the work of Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence in a recent post on her blog. It was well written and researched to be sure and it offers a nice summary about where we have come and where we are going with the science behind the causes of the transgender condition. I urge you to read it here.

The fact is that we are once again a crossroads between the mental disorder/trauma model of the Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence triumvirate and the biologically rooted gender identity that most transgender people prefer to espouse.

I have made no secret that I favour the school of Benjamin and Vitale but primarily because I have found the BBL work to be shoddy, mean spirited and thoroughly unscientific. It never addresses other scientific work such as the John Hopkins Cloacal exstrophy study nor the mistaken theories of John Money who thought that a gender identity could be acquired through socialization; an assertion which has…

The Gendered Self

Back In 1965, John Money of John Hopkins thought that gender self identification was largely a matter of socialization and he counselled David Reimer’s parents to raise their child as a girl following a botched circumcision where the majority of his penis was accidentally severed. As I have written previously in this blog, David Reimer (raised as Brenda) eventually resumed living as a male once he understood his origins but tragically committed suicide in his thirties.

A New England Journal of Medicine article dating back to 2004 chronicled the genital reassignment surgeries performed on patients suffering from Cloacal exstrophy which is a severe birth defect that occurs in approximately 1 in 400,000 live births. One of the most pronounced characteristics is severe phallic inadequacy, or the complete absence of a penis in genetic males. Historically, doctors have treated cloacal exstrophy by surgically altering, or "reassigning" these babies as female.

John Gearhart, M.D., …

the next frontier

Many transgender people talk about an inner female identity that they can trace to their earliest memories to and, while I cannot argue with their sentiments at all, this may or may not be an accurate portrayal of what is truly going on.

Most of us learn to take cues from our parents, teachers and peers about which type of gender behaviour is acceptable or not for our birth sex. To what degree certain traits are genetically encoded and which can be attributed to socialization can be put into question because from an early age we learn to conform to expectation and many keep their secret desires to themselves once they experience disapproval.

There are masculine women and feminine men who are not only at ease with their gender expression but with their physical bodies and yet for the transgender person there seems to be something else going on. The argument for an innate female identity can be argued back and forth however, in the complete absence of genetic proof that would allow us …

Under the magnifying glass

One of the interesting things about the Bruce Jenner story is that it has rallied a large number of people to express their opinion on a matter they cannot relate to personally. As a former Olympian and (of late) reality television personality, he becomes by default the most high profile person to come out as a transgender with the stated intent of transitioning; and doing so very publically.

I must admit that I was hesitant to watch the Diane Sawyer interview because I feared that it would be tabloid fodder but my curiosity got the better of me and I began viewing it with the mindset of switching off my television if it degraded to such a level. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did ABC treat the subject with a high degree of sensitivity, but that Bruce Jenner came off as likeable and sympathetic.

Much of his story resonated with me because I saw parts of my life in his.

Now with the program behind us, the internet has been full of stories about his next steps and atte…