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An Open Letter to Doug and Carla Alcorn

Dear Mr and Mrs Alcorn,

First of all let me extend my condolences on the death of your daughter Leelah on December 28 2014. I do so as a parent who could not even begin to comprehend the pain of losing one of her children

I am, as your daughter was a transgender woman, and I would ask that you believe me when I tell you that it can be and most certainly is at times a living hell. A hell made not by any vengeful deity, but rather a hell made by other human beings, who, like yourselves prefer to torture others by your words and actions.

You may cling to the notion that Leelah was actually a confused boy you named Joshua at birth, but in reality she was your daughter.

Your daughter Leelah 

Difficult as that concept may be for you to grasp, she deserved better from you as her parents.  She deserved your unconditional love and support, not love and support conditional on your view of the ordered world; Not conditional on your religious beliefs; Conditional only on the fact that she was your child, a child who craved only your love and acceptance.

Both of you let her down badly.

Many people are calling for you to be prosecuted on the basis that it was your actions which led to your beautiful daughter being made to feel so worthless, so absolutely desolate, that she decided to end her own life. Can you imagine the fear and sadness she experienced in those last moments of her young life?

A life so needlessly ended.

However personally I do not believe you should be prosecuted, and let me tell you why. It is not from any position of sympathy for you, because beyond the common decency of feeling for your loss, I have none. Rather I think about Leelah. My heart breaks for her, and I feel her loss intensely, as do many others throughout the world who did not have the privilege of knowing her in person. Beyond that any prosecution would turn into a media circus which would distract attention from the greater tragedy of Leelah’s death.

Having said that don’t get the impression that you have a get out of jail free card , because believe me you do not. Both of you are responsible for your daughter’s death as if you had physically pushed her under that truck because you may as well have by your despicable treatment of her.

Leelah was your child. She should have been able to count on your unconditional love and support, but she couldn’t. Instead you demeaned her at every chance. You abused her in the worst way possible. You destroyed her fragile spirit, and for what? So you could stand up and tell everyone how much you believed in your god. How good you were. How much you loved your child.

Had you really loved her, you would not have contributed to her death. She is beyond you now. You cannot hurt her any more and that is the only consolation in all of this.

Neither of you realise the gift that you were given in Leelah and you let that gift slip through your fingers. That is the tragedy that you now have to live with for the rest of your lives.

Janice

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BREAKING NEWS…. BagBrennan is in Love!

Yes, it’s true. The Gender Identity Witch is in love!

Allision heartI know it’s a bit early for Valentine’s Day, and I have a lot to do on this first day of the year 2015, but when I woke up this morning it suddenly occurred to me why Cunthy Brennut is so preoccupied with transgender people, and trans women in particular.  And I think I know why she seems so focused on my Facebook friend Allison Woolbert (CEO of the Transgender Violence Tracking Project and  Executive Director of the Transgender Human Rights Institute, a 501(c)(3) tax deductible organization dedicated to advancing the acceptance of transgender human rights), doxxing her, misgendering her, and devoting what must be literally hours of her day arduously ensuring that Google searches for Allison show links to her own sites on the first page of results.

I believe that Cunthy BagBrennan, of TERF Gender Identity Witch infamy, harbors a secret and undying passion for Allison Woolbert.

Let me tell you why.

  1. First of all, Allison Woolbert is an amazing woman, so that someone would develop such feelings towards her is not particularly surprising.  Allison has many admirers.
  2. Allison Woolbert conceptualized, developed and implemented the first and thus far only comprehensive tool for tracking all types of violence committed against transgender persons internationally, including discrimination, microaggressions and suicide — incidents the Transgender Day of Remembrance project has taken no interest in collecting information on or memorializing thus far. This is only one of Allison Woolbert’s many accomplishments, but it is one that has gained her international recognition and has likely triggered a primitive rage reaction in the Bag, creating an emotional conflict between her jealous infantile feelings of hate and her enduring admiration and love (immature and primitive as it is; perhaps “primary process thinking” would be a better term”) for Allison.
  3. The Bag is the epitome of the word “bully.”  Do you remember the bullies back in elementary school?  Well, I mean the socially misfit and emotionally immature heterosexual boys who picked on the girls that they liked? I’ve heard it speculated that Brennut is a closet trans man. Maybe she (or he?) is, maybe she (or he?) isn’t. It doesn’t matter to me and it’s not my business. But the behavior is clearly that of a stereotypical emotionally immature little boy who has a crush on a girl. That’s right, masculine behavior which the Bag professes to abhor.  It’s so sad. Pathetic, really.
  4. Many have theorized that the COCKroach is not a lesbian at all, as she professes to be, but is actually heterosexual; it is further theorized that she presents as a pretendbian lesbian in order to preserve her role as the Chief COCKroach-in-charge of the TERF fundamentalist group that claims to be radical feminists. Why else would she be so preoccupied with penises? Jeez, it seems that every word out of her mouth is “dick.” It makes me wonder whether she craves the real thing IN her mouth.
  5. In order for the Bag to have dick and Allison, i.e.  in order to maintain psychological congruence with her heterosexual (or gay trans man?) identity, the Bag must continue to insist that Allison — a woman — is actually a man.  There is simply no other way that the Bag can have both dick and Allison! The Bag must fantasize endlessly about Allison having… well, we don’t need to go there. (OMG, now I feel as though I’m going to throw up. BagCOCK fantasies — the material nightmares are made of.)

You see? It all makes sense!

Unfortunately, due to the Bag’s pathological and infantile narcissism, and several apparently undiagnosed and untreated personality disorders (my many years of experience as a licensed, clinical psychotherapist and my observations of the Bag’s behavior have led me to these tentative conclusions) manifests itself absurdly as pitiful personal attacks in order to gain Allison’s attention, and when that fails, pathological cyber-stalking behaviors.

Perhaps instead of attacking the poor woman we should pity her. I mean, if she were your sister, wouldn’t you be absolutely humiliated by her  behavior and be motivated by her obvious need for psychiatric treatment to get her help? Maybe we should start a GoFundMe account for getting the Bag psychiatric treatment.

But then, the success rate for treating personality disorders is not very high.  And sociopathy, which is a condition 0f brain biology — and is not a psychological condition as it was formerly thought to be — is essentially untreatable. Besides, I think I’d rather spend my money on more important things. Like paying for ice water for the other people who belong in hell. Or perhaps for jock straps for post-SRS trans women.

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RIP Leelah Alcorn

Leelah Angel

If you don’t know who Leelah Alcorn was, I’m sure you haven’t crawled out from under a rock just to read my blog. Just in case, Google her name to read about her tragic suicide. Get some tissues first because the story sucks.

But the purpose of this post is to pass on information to verify that the accounts of the torment  — psychological torture, actually — by her parents is absolutely true.

Read this, then please go to Transgender Graphics’ Facebook page by clicking on the picture to post your note of thanks to Mr. Davis for his support for the transgender community:

Leelah Davis post

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Don’t forget to click on the picture to post your note of thanks to Mr. Davis for his support for the transgender community.

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To report any incident of violence towards a transgender person anywhere in the world, please do so at the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal here.

 

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A Simple Way to Support Trans People

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For more information about gender and pronouns, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-specific_and_gender-neutral_pronouns

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Okay, so I said I wasn’t going to write in this blog anymore because nobody was reading it. Well, I wanted to post this message in a decent format and in a place where I can post it again if I want to, so…

CIS PEOPLE:  This is for you:

When you see or hear someone using incorrect pronouns to refer to a trans person, here is a real-life example of how you can address this:

Using correct pronouns

 

That’s all.  It’s simple. Do it.  It’s easy, it’s free, it takes almost no time and it’s the right thing to do.

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I also posted the following, again for the purpose of education:

 

Misgendering poster

Picture courtesy of  Transgender Graphics’ Facebook Page 

 

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Related Articles:

Pronouns: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

pronouns

This post may piss some people off.  If it pisses you off, please click on “About”, choose “This Blog” and read that page, particularly the last part about the purpose of this blog being my documenting my journey in understanding transgender and intersex issues and attempting to normalize the experiences of cisgender people to encourage them to take a similar journey.

I am being open and honest about my experiences and feelings, as ugly as some of them may seem to some of you.  I’m a 55  year old cisgender  woman who was socialized at a time when transgender people essentially did not exist:  I have biases that I am trying to unlearn and am working to own my cisgender privilege.  But I’m only human and 55 years of no information and misinformation is a lot to unlearn and it takes time; any cisgender person reading this needs to know that their feelings — their uncomfortable feelings of confusion, embarrassment, tentativeness about asking questions at the risk of offending anyone, etc. — are normal.  It is difficult knowing someone as one gender, learning they are another and then adjusting to their transition, using the correct name, pronouns, etc., and transgender people need to realize that when we screw up it’s not always due to malice.

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I have a transgender friend I met online 2 years ago before she came out publicly as trans.  So I knew her by her birth name (I will use the name “Ron” —  not her actual birth name) and her picture on Facebook was of a middle-aged, balding, male-bodied person.

I was involved in conversations when she chose her new name (I will call her “Carrie” — not her real name), and in private all of our friends called her by her new real name.  But in public I could not do that, and her name still showed up as “Ron” and her pic was still of that same middle-aged guy.

Obviously, I would never out anyone, but I felt very uncomfortable calling my friend “Ron” and I knew that doing so would also make it even more difficult for me to see her as a woman as she transitioned, so I started calling her by her last name. This may sound weird to some, but seeing the name “Ron” accompanied by a male-bodied picture made it very difficult for me to see Carrie as a woman.   I had to see my friend Carrie as a woman and I had to do everything I could to force my mind to ignore or forget information that might make me not see her as the woman she is.

I was “there” when Carrie came out publicly and it was a relief to be able to call her by her real name all the time.  She changed her Facebook profile pic to a female picture, but it was a cartoon character, not a picture of her.  So I have not been able to get that male-bodied pic of a middle-aged balding “man” out of my head, and with the name “Ron” associated with that pic in my head, it has been an onerous task getting the pronouns right when I talk to people about Carrie (without using her name, of course) and her transition.  I would never deliberately misgender someone, but as a visual person, that picture has been stuck in my brain for 2 years and I have not been able to get it out.

Well today I finally saw that Carrie has posted pictures of herself on Facebook (and WordPress). Hallelujah!   I realize that this is my issue and not Carrie’s or any other trans person’s but my difficulty with getting pronouns and gender straight in my head with conflicting visual cues is a valid experience and it gives credence to families’ and friends’ struggles with “getting it right” when someone they’ve known for many years comes out as trans.  It is difficult for us cis people to “transition” with your transitioning for very real and understandable reasons that have nothing to do with transphobia, so please be patient with us.

Seeing what Carrie really looks like now makes me pretty confident that “Ron” and the image of “Ron” will quickly fade and I will no longer have any difficulties with pronouns when it comes to Carrie (and she looks great!)  Carrie, if you see this:  I wish I could express how confused, conflicted and guilty I have felt about my difficulties seeing you as a woman… all because of that stupid picture.  ♥ 

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Another Hateful Bigoted Moron ~ sigh ~

Richard Land wanted poster

 

Christo-Nazi Moron Richard Land Says “The Ultimate Rebellion Against God’s Creation Is Transgenderism”

Reblogged from Women Born Transsexual

Snake oil peddler and professional bigot for Jazzus makes yet another  statement aimed at conning money from the sheeple who hang on his every stupid word.

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For a good overview of transgender children and the media’s bigoted refusal to acknowledge their gender identities, see the following article in TheGuardian:   “Transgender children know their identity. Bigots in the media don’t

 

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So, You Call Yourself an Ally?

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I think it can be frustrating for communities when allies of that community, when they’re questioned or challenged, or critiqued, say, “Hey, wait a minute, don’t critique me, I’m your best friend, I’m an ally.”  It’s like when white people point to the number of black friends they have, or men talk about the “binders full of women” that they’ve hired.

Marc Lamont-Hill
Author
Journalist
Columbia University Professor

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More than once, a gay white man has angrily accused me of man-bashing and even called me a homophobic gay-bashing bigot (!) when I’ve pointed out their cisgender, male white privilege and the fact that most of the LGB…uh T civil rights movement has been focused on the rights of cisgender gay white men and has largely benefited cisgender gay white men, while largely neglecting issues affecting non-cisgender, non-male identified and other “queer”* individuals who do not identify as “gay,” and people of color.  Here are words of enlightenment from a gay cisgender white man who actually gets it… with a description of how he got to “getting” it.

*The word “queer” is in quotation marks because I grew up in an era when this word was considered a slur. While I realize that younger people have chosen to “reclaim” the word and recognize that it does have its usefulness as a descriptor, I still have some discomfort in using it.  

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The following has been reprinted in its entirety from the Advocate:

Op-ed: What Not To Do, When Calling Yourself a Transgender Ally

Jeff Krehely, the chief foundation officer of the Human Rights Campaign, discusses the importance of transgender advocacy, in light of the recent controversy surrounding Janet Mock and Piers Morgan.

BY JEFF KREHELY

FEBRUARY 07 2014 8:00 AM ET

The first thing an ally needs to know is that listening comes first. Following the recent controversy around Janet Mock’s appearances on Piers Morgan Live, this is the one message I hope self-professed allies can take away.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure they are.

Here’s what happened. Morgan hosted Mock, an incredible transgender advocate, on his show Tuesday night to discuss her autobiography, Redefining Realness. In the course of so doing, Morgan focused a good deal of the interview on her gender confirmation surgery, and the disclosure of her gender history to her boyfriend. Text on-screen said she “was a boy until age 18.”

To Morgan, the interview went off without a hitch. But Morgan, while an advocate of legal rights for transgender people, doesn’t seem to have a whole heck of a lot of understanding around the lived experiences of transgender people. Twitter, on the other hand, does. And transgender women of color and allies spoke up.  

Mock reappeared the next night.

And it just got worse. In the follow-up interview, Morgan and a panelist essentially boiled it down to this logic: she talks about these subjects in her book; we talked about it. She was biologically male at some point, so calling her a boy is fine.

As Mock so astutely noted, sometimes well-intentioned and good people can be really offensive. And many of you reading this right now may still not get how offensive Morgan’s line of questioning, and lack of inquiry about other parts of her life, really is. But keep reading.

Being good, well intentioned, or liberal doesn’t mean you get it. And it doesn’t make you an ally. I know something about this myself — having worked in social justice for more than 15 years, I’ve had to do a whole lot of work to get to the ally point.

I was a 27-year-old openly gay man when I first met someone who openly identified as transgender. He was the boyfriend of a colleague of mine. And he was incredibly forthright about his journey and provided me with my first opportunity to understand what “gender identity” was all about.

I felt supportive, but I didn’t get it. And I wasn’t all that inclined to believe that his challenges were particularly wrapped up in mine. At that time, what are now known as LGBT organizations were very much about the L, the G, and sometimes the B.

Most white gay men like me — even liberal ones — didn’t have much incentive to pressure LGBT groups to expand their agenda, especially as the right-wing led efforts to outlaw our right to marry. Because of my own privileges, that was my main cause and my sole source of oppression in 2004 America.

A couple of years later, I stumbled into a professional LGBT job. And even though I could be hired with very little cultural competency when it came to transgender people, things suddenly came to a head. In 2007, gender identity was dropped from the House’s version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the LGBT movement declared war on itself.

I didn’t yet understand how keenly transgender people needed workplace equality. But the political wonk in me saw the fissure that had happened. And I knew if we couldn’t come together as a movement, we might as well surrender to the far right.

I was an advocate, but I wasn’t an ally.

But in the course of my work — directing research at the Movement Advancement Project — we decided to do a deep-dive on transgender issues. That meant a partnership with National Center for Transgender Equality and the Transgender Law Center.

We approached this research as we did all other projects, which meant that the first step for us was to interview and listen to advocates, researchers, and others who were squarely in the issue space. We spent several weeks reading pretty much everything that had been written on what transgender people go through in our country, including many first-person accounts of the struggles, strengths, and resiliency that define the lives of so many transgender people.

Mara Keisling at NCTE and Masen Davis at TLC were both incredibly patient with my learning curve, and it was clear to me they had had spent many seconds, minutes, and hours explaining transgender issues to other people like me. I was also struck by how effortlessly and sincerely they supported and understood LGB issues.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in doing this research, I finally understood what it meant to be an ally. I could suddenly see the common connections among the LGB and the T, as well as appreciate the stark differences and the many gradations in between. I also naturally felt a responsibility to treat transgender issues with as much — actually, probably more — passion as I did LGB issues.

Which is not to say that I’m an expert on all things transgender, or that I can ever really understand what it means to move through our culture as a transgender person. But I do know that almost every transgender person has to fight to be seen for who they truly are. And that transgender people — especially transgender women and even more so, transgender women of color — face harassment and violence in living authentically.

So back to that line of questioning. When CNN chose to label Mock “a boy for 18 years,” the network was complicit in denying Mock’s own truth — that she never identified as a boy. When Morgan dwelled on her disclosure to her boyfriend — without the addressing the fact that many transgender women have a legitimate fear they’ll be beaten or killed at the point of disclosure — they perpetuated the transphobia that fuels this violence.

Today a reporter wouldn’t think to ask my husband and me, “Who’s the wife?” But a network can still continue calling Mock a boy without blinking an eye.

I was an advocate for legal rights long before I was an ally. And being an ally is a continual process. As the conversations between Piers Morgan and Janet Mock are endlessly debated on Twitter, it strikes me that self-proclaimed transgender allies — which Morgan consistently asserts he is — need to step back and make sure they’ve done their homework.

It takes time and it doesn’t make for great ratings. But it’s the kind of work that creates change and — ultimately — liberation for all.

JEFF KREHELY is the chief foundation officer of the Human Rights Campaign. Interested in becoming a better ally to the transgender community? Check out HRC’s FAQthe National Center for Transgender Equalitythe Transgender Law Center, and the Trans People of Color Coalition.

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Emma on “60 Minutes”: Grading the Parents & the Media

girl & butterflies

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This is a story about Emma, a trans girl, mostly told by her mother.  I first saw this on Suzan’s blog at http://womenborntranssexual.com/2013/06/22/emma-60-minutes/.  After the video I have posted “grades” for the parents and the media regarding their behavior and apparent attitudes.  (Preview:   The media passes, but barely.)

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GRADES:

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Parents:  A

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Media: D

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Discussion:

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Parents

The parents get an A+ for being totally supportive of Emma and honest and open about their experiences with Emma’s transgender status, particularly in such a public forum.  The only fault I found with the mother is her reference to Emma not being “normal,” although this may be a language difference (there is a substantial difference between American English and Australian English)—she may have meant “not conforming to the ‘norm’ or the average, in which case she would be using “normal” as a statistical term.

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Media

Oh, where to start?  The media gets a passing grade for covering the story at all, not over-sensationalizing and not acting like total morons.  However they need to:

  • STOP misgendering Emma by referring to her as a “boy.”  Emma has never been a boy.  She has ALWAYS been a girl.
  • STOP misgendering Emma by referring to her as the parents’ “son.”
  • STOP misgendering Emma by referring to her by her birth name.  Her name is “Emma.”  Have some respect and call her by her name.  Do YOU like people calling YOU by an incorrect name?
  • STOP, STOP, STOP misgendering Emma by using incorrect pronouns, and   
  • *F*F*S*  it is not “in her her head.”  Emma’s gender as a girl is real and it’s not going away.  Is YOURS?

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As I mentioned, I should have given the media an “F” for these behaviors.  I begrudgingly gave them a passing grade for covering the story, not being totally insensitive and not being complete assholes—only partial ones.

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BEING TRANSGENDER — 1 Butterfly Dead, 2 Women Physically & Sexually Assaulted but Survive… This Time.

Normally I just post news items like these on my Civil Rights pages.  But learning about 2 such incidents in a single day got to me…. (To view the Civil Rights page click on CIVIL RIGHTS—duh!—at the top of my blog and select the continent, country and US state—as applicableyou are interested in.)

Thanks to Suzan for bringing these 2 unfortunate incidents to my attention on her blog Women Born Transsexual , and to Lexie, from whose blog The Guerrilla Angel Report the translated version of the Swedish story was copied.

Oh, be sure not to miss the questions I posed at the end of the post; comments welcome and encouraged as always. 🙂


Transgender woman sues D.C. police, U.S. marshals

A transgender D.C. woman alleges in a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service that she was improperly placed with male prisoners after a 2009 arrest.

Patti Hammond Shaw of Southeast Washington said she turned herself in to officers at the Sixth District station on June 18, 2009, after she received a letter that stated there was a warrant for her arrest for filing a false police report. Shaw claims that she showed officers her identification that proved she was legally female, but they placed her in a cell in the men’s section. She further alleges that male prisoners “asked to see her vagina, breasts and buttocks.”  CONTINUE at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/07/03/transgender-woman-sues-d-c-police-u-s-marshals/

Rapist acquitted in Sweden because intended female victim turned out to be transgender

Note:  The original of this article was written in Swedish; this translation was obtained from “Lexie Cannes“‘ blog The Guerrilla Angel Report.

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Örebro (Sweden) District Court Judge Dan Sjöstedt acquitted the rapist because the transwoman had no vagina, the planned rape would have been impossible to carry out. [I’m constructing this from a Swedish translation into English]

The attacker brutally beat the victim and ripped off her pants in an attempt to rape her. A witness rushed to the scene and intervened. The police came and arrested the attacker.  CONTINUE at:  http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/rapist-freed-in-sweden-because-intended-female-victim-turned-out-to-be-transgender/

Questions:

  1. Were the actions of the police in the first article right or wrong?  Why?  Does the fact that Patti provided documentation stating that she is legally a woman make a difference? Why or why not?  Does the fact that Patti underwent sex reassignment surgery 10 years before the incident make a difference? Why or why not?

  2. Assuming the translation was accurate… Was the District Court right’s decision right or wrong?  Why or why not?  Does the fact that the unidentified victim has no vagina make a difference?  Why or why not? What do you think about the concept that rape is not possible without a vagina?  Does the fact that the victim is undergoing hormone therapy (and probably has for some time, as her body has likely gone through  significant changes, e.g. breast development etc. After all the attacker did mistake her for a natal woman.) make a difference?  Why or why not?  What if she had not yet started hormone therapy?  Would that have made a difference?  Why or why not?

  3. What is a “woman”?

  4. Go back to your response to #3  and I have a question for you:  “Says who?”

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