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Showing posts from July, 2015

A congenital disorder

Calie over at T-Central featured an entry today from a blog where the writer promoted the idea of transsexualism being a congenital birth disorder. While it is hard to argue with the premise that it is indeed a type of biological condition (a notion I actively promote in this blog), you will note that many of the entries in the rest of the blog take great pains to make the distinction between those suffering from a true medical condition and those she refers to as the gender variant or transgender.

There is only one thing wrong with her premise however: it is entirely unproven.

You will find no medical journal, authoritative book or scientific research which makes any sort of clear dividing line. Even Harry Benjamin, who arguably had the greatest exposure to this condition given his long and extensive patient history, had trouble making clear cut distinctions between patients. The best he could do is fashion an approximate categorization based on the intensity of the dysphoria they ex…

the transgender brain

There is no conclusive evidence about the origin of gender dyphoria but one thing that seems to be clear is that the condition is not tied to overt femininity. Like in the non-transgender population, there are more feminine and less feminine people in our group. It does seem to somewhat line up with sexual orientation where the most effeminate boys would otherwise just be gay men.

But there are other people who are neither overtly feminine nor masculine who suffer from dysphoria and some might typically invest much energy trying to "man up" in order to avoid suspicion and to try and cure themselves of their condition.

One thing is clear: there are very effeminate men and very masculine women who do not suffer dysphoria and are perfectly happy with who they are. Therefore I think that the assertion that a male to female dysphoric having an intrinsically female brain is false. What is more likely is that the brain has been sufficiently feminized to create a conflict. But why f…

defining your own sense of gender

I wanted to post this story to show how a strong sense of who you are can make all the difference. While I know not everyone will want to present as female with a beard, this individual proves that you can earn even grudging respect by simply being yourself.

I might have preferred that they use the term gender outlaw than transgender woman in this article as this person has opted for no hormones or surgery but the point still stands: that you can define yourself on your terms.

Please go here for the story.

Out from the shadows

Kristen Beck and Caitlyn Jenner through their notoriety are showing us a different side of being transgender. They both came out in public and transitioned before our very eyes. Now they actively trying to serve as role models for all the different generations of transgendered people who fear being seen in public or being shunned by their families for simply being who they are.

In the past transgendered people would either live in the closet or hurry up and physically transition so they could blend into society. Those were the only options available back then.

Today even androphilic transwomen like Andreja Pejic and Janet Mock are transitioning publicly and embracing their nature instead of being ashamed of it. They want everyone to know that they weren’t born as genetic females and they are proud of the journey they have chosen for themselves.

This new way of seeing transgendered people has been hard fought and it will continue to tread new ground through public education, legislatio…

vigilance and education

if you wanted to see why transgender people need to educate themselves on how their situation is understood and perceived at the scientific, governmental and societal level, look no further than the video below for confirmation.

You won't be able to educate ideologically driven people like the woman arguing against Allyson Robinson during the interview but it's good to have the facts in hand when people accuse you of being mental ill. To her credit, Ms Robinson does a fine job of remaining calm when dealing with the profound level of ignorance of her fellow debater who seems to stem from the earth is flat crowd. As Allyson points out, her detractor might have been happy to fight for segregation back in the day and I find it hard to argue with that suggestion.

To insinuate that young children might be psychologically harmed though being taught by a transgender teacher is bad enough but to somehow incorporate the issue of genitalia into the discussion points to how low some of t…

Julia Serano on AGP

Prompted by one of its cheerleader's tweets about its denial among trans people, Julia Serano has written another blog entry on Autogynephilia. It’s no secret that I am a no fan of this crackpot theory if for no other reason that it has absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever and that none of its biggest proponents (with the exception of Anne Lawrence who seemed to like it as an explanation for her own impetus for GRS) has any firsthand experience with dysphoria.

As I have often repeated here: gender dysphoria is not driven by a sexual component but rather takes it on as an aspect when we enter puberty.

People like Ray Blanchard, Michael Bailey, Anne Lawrence, Alice Dreger and Kay Brown (who makes sure that everyone understands she is an androphilic transsexual woman in her blog) all subscribe to this pseudoscientific mess and all must have their reason for doing so. But any scientifically minded person with half a brain (and yes I include myself in this list) can dissect throu…

Undoing the damage

If gender variance is just another anomaly among the miriad found in nature then many of us have suppressed ours at the expense of our well being and happiness.

Think about it.

If left to your own devices and with no intervention, your gender expression would have been based from the start on whatever made you comfortable. It was only when you were interfered with that your dysphoria had its true origins. A situation that need not have existed if you had been permitted to simply behave as you wished.

The erratic purge cycle that many of us went through was our earnest attempt to conform to the dictates of our society. This self imposed torture produced the effect of having us think we were mentally unstable for doing something which for us was perfectly natural. Yet we believed that we were weak for succumbing to behaviour we were taught to believe was aberrant.

The more you invested energy fighting your own natural impulses and failed, the more you thought that you were a lost cause …

A complex fusion

Most if not all of you also trace your gender issues back to your earliest memories. You have struggled with them and perhaps have now made peace and found a solution for yourself that has either eliminated your dysphoria outright or at least made it more manageable.

If you are a heterosexual gender dysphoric then at the time of puberty a permanent connection took place between your attraction to being female and your sexual intentions towards them. That connection has become permanently fused to your psyche.

When we began our sexual awakening at puberty we developped an interest in the opposite sex or perhaps in members of our own sex. This became an instrumental step in how your dysphoria would be managed going forward. If you were heterosexual you would attempt to reconcile the two but realize that it was probably best to repress your female tendencies in favour of attracting a mate. If you were homosexual the path forward seemed more natural and in harmony with your sexual desires…

Iran

I was watching a documentary on Iran where gender reassignment surgery is permitted and actually sanctioned and paid for by the government. The thinking behind this is that homosexuality is not permitted by the Qur'an and so the alternative is to have these young men be sexually reassigned into women.

The heart breaking part of all this is that many of these people are not the least bit gender dysphoric and yet they undergo the procedure only to satisfy the demands of their religion. The alternative is that they be stoned to death for practicing acts of homosexuality.

Dressing as a female is also not permitted because according to one cleric being interviewed for the documentary this only causes social disruption. Therefore the only alternative open to these misfits is the state sanctioned surgery.

One young woman who had been ostracized by her family grudgingly agreed to the surgery and, although clearly an effeminate gay male from the start who would have been happy not tamperi…

Alice Dreger

Monica sent me a link to Alice Dreger’s webpage where she answers questions about Ray Blanchard’s Autogynephilia theory. I thought I would comment on it.

In the text Dreger mentions that AGP denotes being sexually aroused by the idea of being or becoming a woman but also later states the following:

“a “philia” is by definition just a sexual orientation. I think which ones count as pathological is ultimately a social definition. Some have tried to argue that any philia that couldn’t lead to procreation is pathological. You can make that argument, but I think it is a social argument, as is true with so much of disease categorization in medicine, necessarily”

Well right off the bat we have a problem because if one’s orientation is towards oneself then why is a gynephilic gender dysphoric interested not only in women sexually but also in marrying and having children?

To answer my own question: it’s because gender dysphoria competes with normal sexuality instead of being an orientation in …

Game face

It’s not about clothes but in part it is.

The interesting thing is that presenting as Joanna makes it easier for me to express myself in a way that is quite foreign to the way I normally do. N brought this up to me the other day by asking me if my male persona was a fabrication to draw attention away from my transgender nature and, although I answered quickly that it was not, perhaps I was a bit rash.

I think we all learn to develop a game face that serves us well. Our true selves are not really out there for everyone to see but more a modified version that gets us through the daily routine without needing to think too much. The rest is left to our most private and inner most thoughts because truly being yourself would mean being vulnerable to a point that society is far from being ready for.

We learn this lesson early on in life when an innocent slip of the tongue is met with jeers and ridicule and it humiliates us into silence. Hence forth begins the development of a shield that all…

Safe house

The beginning of the second half of the twentieth century saw the introduction of crossdressing social groups which catered to the needs of men who needed to express themselves as women. Society was such that there was no other recourse for these men to employ other than what amounted to secret societies where they could dress and behave as they pleased; far from the prodding and judgemental eyes of the general population and most importantly from their own families.

To the younger generation of today this seems like a strange concept but there was no other way to proceed. Consider that the drag balls of the early part of the century where homosexuals could express themselves in private had been subject to raids and arrests and in many if not most states it was a legal offense for a male to wear women’s clothing. Indeed some of Harry Benjamin’s earliest patients carried letters from the good doctor that they were under his care and supervision and were permitted to be dressed in such …