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Brains of Trans People are Different

Brain scans showed differences in transgender people’s brains
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/01/26/scans-show-difference-in-transgender-brains/

Scientists have found differences between the brains of some  TG/TS people and those of cisgender people.  Like  intersex conditions, I suspect—I predict—that eventually we will learn that virtually all transsexualism has a physical, biological basis; I am already convinced that there is absolutely no psychopathology involved in being trans.  These opinions are not based on any particular scientific studies, just experience, a bit of research, clinical intuition and history.  I believe that “Gender Identity Disorder” and “gender dysphoria” are social/psychological constructs that were created by doctors for the sole purpose of  “explaining away” something they didn’t understand (with the secondary benefit of creating a diagnostic code under which to bill insurance companies for psychotherapy and other medical services), much as homosexuality was historically labeled a “mental disorder” until scientists realized that sexual orientation appears inborn and immutable in most cases  and although not the norm, sexual orientations that are not strictly heterosexual are perfectly normal. 

What causes someone to be TG/TS?  (I intentionally did not use the word “born,” as there is a segment of the TG/TS who report that their awareness of their transsexuality happened later in life; nor did I use the word “become…”)   There could be a myriad of  causes, from all of the causes already currently known for intersex conditions to anomalies in brain structure, differential exposure to hormones, anomalies in brain development either pre- or post-natal…  maybe exposure to some type of toxin or pathogen, genetic mutation, one or more of these things in conjunction with a genetic predisposition or some combination of any of the above.  Perhaps non-intersex transsexuality does not represent a single phenomenon (like intersex conditions, for which specific physical etiologies have been identified), but several medical “disorders” that happen to present in the same or similar way; that would explain the difficulty in arriving at a single cause.

The following article about brain structure was published a year and a half ago, but I thought it was quite interesting and certainly germane to a discussion about the concept of all transsexuality being purely physiological in origin and attributable to a specific anomaly or anomalies in the person’s brain (since that is where  gender identity “lives.”)

Scans show difference in transgender brains

by
26 January 2011, 1:52pm

A team of scientists has discovered differences in the brains of transgender people.

The researchers, at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain, believe their technique could help doctors identify transgender people at an early age, giving them more options for treatment, such as delaying the onset of puberty.

According to New Scientist, the study looked at the white matter of the brain and its structural differences in men, women and female-to-male transgender people.

They used MRI scans on the brains of 18 trans men who had not started hormone treatment with 24 men and 19 women.

The results showed that trans men – those born biologically female but living as male – had white matter where it is usually found in male brains.

This is thought to be the first time that scientists have been able to show that trans men’s brains are masculinised.

In another study, they compared the brains of 18 trans women – born male but living as female – with 19 men and 19 women.

The trans women’s brains showed that the structure of the white matter was halfway between a typical male and a typical female brain.

Antonio Guillamon, who led the research, said: “Their brains are not completely masculinised and not completely feminised, but they still feel female.”

The study will be published in Volume 45, Issue 2 of the Journal of Psychiatric Research next month.   http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/01/26/scans-show-difference-in-transgender-brains/

The original study Transsexual Differences Caught on Brain Scan was published  in New Scientist on 1-26-2011 by Jessica Hamzelouhttp://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20032-transsexual-differences-caught-on-brain-scan.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

RIP Seçil Anne

reprinted from: GAYSTARNEWS
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/another-trans-woman-murdered-turkey130712

Another trans woman murdered in Turkey

Violence against trans women in Turkey continues as Seçil Anne is stabbed to death in Antalya

13 July 2012 | By Anna Leach
Secil Anne, trans woman murdered in Antalya, Turkey, this week

The onslaught of violence against trans women in Turkey has shown no sign of abating with the tragic news that another was murdered this week.

Seçil Anne, a trans sex worker, was murdered where she lived in Antalya on the southwe

stern coast of Turkey on Tuesday night (10 July). She was found dead at her home at 11pm by police after her friends alerted them when they couldn’t reach her. Her throat had been slit and face slashed.

Turkish trans activist Kemal Ordek said that dozens of trans people gathered outside Seçil Anne’s apartment after hearing of her murder.

The local police said they had started an investigation and were checking CCTV cameras near Secil Anne’s home and interviewing her ex-boyfriend and close friends.

In June around 100 residents gathered in Altındağ in Antalya to protest the presence of transgender sex workers in their neighborhood. They warned that they would get violent if the police did not resolve the problem. It is not know if Seçil Anne, born Neşe Dilşeker in 1966, lived in this area.

The circumstances of Seçil Anne’s murder are almost identical to that of Derya Y, a transgender women who was stabbed to death in Altındağ in February 2010.

The Trans Murder Monitoring project shows that Turkey has by far the most reported murders of trans people in Europe, with 23 reported from January 2008 until December 2011.

An anonymous blog post on the alarming situation in Turkey said this week that the murders are ‘only the tip of the iceberg’. The post published on the Birds of Paradox blog said:

‘While this violence is to be condemned in the strongest possible terms… As well as the reported murders, many other hate crimes against transgender people (transphobic crimes) go unreported, ranging from verbal abuse in the street and the workplace through muggings, beatings and rape.

‘Perhaps worst of all is the attitude of many government agencies, many of which seem unconcerned at the extent of transphobic crimes. This has the result of enabling the rates of these crimes to escalate, because they send the message to the general population that it’s acceptable to display such prejudices – even against members of the authorities themselves.’

In April transgender woman Michelle Demishevich was attacked in an incident that she believes was to intimidate her into not testifying at a trial over an earlier attack.

RatFems, AKA Fauxfeminists: Quit Your Lying ‘Cause We’re Watching You

The following post was reblogged from Suzan’s blog Women Born Transsexual.   Note:  “AFAB” means “assigned female at birth.”

Julia Serano has been Targeted for attacks by the RadFem SCUM

07/07/2012 — Suzan

Reposted with permission

First of all embracing SCUM and Valerie Solanis kind of marks people off as nut jobs.

Prior to going on to becoming famous for shooting one of the 20th century’s most important gay male artists (nearly murdering him) Solanis wrote a screed titled The Scum Manifesto.

The RadFem hagiography would have people believe Valerie Solanis was a misunderstood genius with impeccable feminist credentials and not a zoned out homicidal maniac from Alphabet City.

I know there was a movie that tried to paint her as someone cruelty abused by Andy Warhol and the people of the “Factory”.

Reality: She was an abusive stalker.

While SCUM Manifesto has a few viciously funny observations in it it is mostly the blathering of a mentally disturbed person.

After Valerie Solanis was released from prison she wound up dying of exposure while sleeping on a roof top because none of the feminists who lauded her wanted to actually be within pistol range of her.

Oddly enough Solanis wasn’t all that anti-transsexual/transgender or I should say the movie, I shot Andy Warhol, portrays her as being not all that anti TS/TG as it shows her being a friend of the late Candy Darling.

Well, fast forward and the radfem bigots have blogs that invoke Valerie Solanis’s screed.

Like Valerie they are both truth and sanity challenged.

But this blog and others among the radfem and their dubiously claimed intersex male ally Nicky (Komododragon) have embraced Valerie as some sort of icon; they are using this blog and others to attack Julia Serano.

Well not just Julia Serano, but JOS  at Feministing too, as well as a whole range of  highly reputable TS/TG bloggers who have had the audacity to say that the misogyny faced by TS/TG women and transkids is the same misogyny faced by assigned female at birth women and girls.

Unless one is incredibly privileged access to abortion and birth control are not the only issues faced by women today.

This is obvious enough to women who aren’t partners in law offices that defend some of the scummiest corporations in America.

Otherwise the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act wouldn’t be such a big deal.

If women weren’t being fucked over by those Wall Street Banks and Firms defended by the law offices of the above mentioned radfem, then women wouldn’t be out there as part of Occupy.

One has to wonder why the radfems, who sound identical to the Christo-Fascists and radical right, cropped up now to disrupt feminism which is engaged in fighting against the right wing/Christo-Fascist War on Women.  Especially since many TS/TG women are also feminists.  Some, like this Blog regularly keep people abreast of the right wing attacks on reproductive rights.

Julia Serano wrote a serious book that showed the intersectionality of transphobia and misogyny.  A lot of us read it and said, “Fuck Yeah!”

Everyone knows that according to radfems TS/TG women are nothing but mindless fembots controlling the fashion and cosmetic industry forcing women into a subservient position all .001% of us, sort of the same way the Jews supposedly control the world and are responsible for all the evils of the world.

Somehow Julia found time from her busy schedule of perpetuating the patriarchy to write this book that caused a lot of TS/TG sisters to come to the conclusion that transphobia was misogyny directed at a tiny minority group of people who are women in spite of not being assigned female at birth.

Of course the radfems whipped out the disingenuous charge that TS/TG women were some how raping women by taking hormones and having operations that allowed us to feel at home within our very own skins.

Never mind how feminism has chided those who use rape as a metaphor for actions other than actual rape.

Or that TS/TG people can and are often the victims of rape, assault and murder.

Radfem transphobic bigotry is identical to right wing racism and antisemitism, a whipping up of hatred and bigotry using exaggerated claims and  collective guilt.  The same sort of bigotry one finds behind Jim Crow and Apartheid laws.  The same sort of hatred and bigotry one found behind the Nürnberger Gesetze:

The Nuremberg Laws (German: Nürnberger Gesetze) of 1935 were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating antisemitism as a form of scientific racism. There was a rapid growth in German legislation directed at Jews and other groups, such as the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service which banned “non-Aryans” and political opponents of the Nazis, from the civil-service.

The lack of a clear legal method of defining who was Jewish had, however, allowed some Jews to escape some forms of discrimination aimed at them. The enactment of laws identifying who was Jewish made it easier for the Nazis to enforce legislation restricting the basic rights of German Jews.

The Nuremberg Laws classified people with four German grandparents as “German or kindred blood”, while people were classified as Jews if they descended from three or four Jewish grandparents. A person with one or two Jewish grandparents was a Mischling, a crossbreed, of “mixed blood”.[1] These laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans.[2]

The Nuremberg Laws also included a ban on sexual intercourse between people defined as “Jews” and non-Jewish Germans and prevented “Jews” from participating in German civic life. These laws were both an attempt to return the Jews of 20th-century Germany to the position that Jews had held before their emancipation in the 19th century; although in the 19th century Jews could have evaded restrictions by converting, this was no longer possible.

The laws were a legal embodiment of an already existing Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Yes I am comparing the thinking of the radfems to Nazi antisemitism.

Not only are they attacking TS/TG women but any AFAB women who support us including those feminist bloggers.

Ironically I have reason to believe that several of the “radfems” are in fact self hating post-op transsexuals who also hold AFAB women in contempt.

RatFems on Pussy Patrol at RatFest 2012!

rat  (răt)
n.

1.

a.  Any of various long-tailed rodents resembling mice but larger, especially one of the genus Rattus.
b.  Any of various animals similar to one of these long-tailed rodents.

2.   Slang

a.   A despicable person, especially one who betrays or informs upon associates.
b.   A scab laborer.

3.   A pad of material, typically hair, worn as part of a woman’s coiffure to puff out her own hair.

Note:  I posted part of this as a comment on Suzan’s blog Women Born Transsexual back in May.

Dear Ratfesters,

I am a cisgender woman.  I don’t give a rat’s ass whether YOU like the word “cisgender” or not—it’s how I identify MYSELF, and I don’t accept other people’s labels.   But how will you know… for sure…  that I am a cisgender woman  if I show up one if your Ratfests?

Does the RatFest Pussy Patrol plan to inspect my body to make sure I have the “right” genitals.  Or perhaps do DNA testing to make sure I have 2 X chromosomes?  Or maybe look  for scars to make sure I’ve not had GRS? Still, how will you know… FOR SURE?

What if I have Klinefelter’s Syndrome (47, XXY, or XXY syndrome) in which a person is typically considered “male” but who may have 2, 3 or even 4 X chromosomes (and at least 1 but up to 5 Y chromosomes) and whose secondary sex characteristics can be ambiguous?  How about de la Chapelle syndrome (also called XX male syndrome), in which I may have male genitalia but an XX karyotype?  With either of those disorders I’d have 2 X chromosomes.  Wouldn’t having 2 X chromosomes make me a woman?  Maybe I have Swyer syndrome (XY gonadal dysgenesis)—with what appears to be a female body but without breast development (because I have no ovaries, although I do have a uterus), with an XY karyotype.   Having a uterus… wouldn’t that make me a woman?  Alternatively, I could have androgen insensitivity syndrome, in which I may also have the appearance of a woman but the XY karyotype of a male.  If I look like a woman, wouldn’t THAT make me a woman? If you only count X chromosomes you’d be in trouble if I have Turner Syndrome, in which a female has only 1 chromosome (an X).  Tell me, would I be a man because I only have 1 X chromosome or a woman because I have no Y chromosome?  If I am a woman would you be defining me by what I look like or by the lack of a Y chromosome?   Wait!  Lack of a Y chromosome… wouldn’t that be defining a woman based on something she lacks?!!!  I could really add to your trouble if I have Turner mosaicism, in which the other X chromosome is missing in some cells but not in others!  I suppose you’d become even more confused if I had Triple X (Trisomy X), Quadruple X (Tetrasomy X, 48 or XXXX), or XXXXX Syndrome (Pentasomy X, 49 or XXXXXX) in which I would have 3, 4 or 5 X chromosomes, respectively.  Ho,  hum.  

Intersex conditions can also result from 5-alpha-reductase deficiency (a genetic mutation affecting hormones necessary for the development of male genitalia, XY karyotype only, may also present with female genitalia) or  aphallia (congenital malformation in which the penis or clitoris is absent; XX or XY karyotype); Addison’s Disease (a rare, chronic endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient steroid hormones, resulting in enlarged clitoris and shallow vagina or ambiguous genitalia in girls);  Fraser Syndrome (an autosomal recessive congenital disorder that results in a micropenis in a boy or an abnormally enlarged clitoris in a girl);  acquired clitoromegaly (abnormal enlargement of the clitoris, which, in an adult woman,  is generally due to endocrine hormonal imbalance such as that seen in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS);  progestin-induced virilisation (fetal masculinization of female external genitalia due to pre-natal exposure to androgenic steroids); 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency (a rare genetic disorder that affects testosterone biosynthesis and produces  impaired virilization of genetically male infants and children and excessive virilization of female adults, which can result in ambiguous external genitalia or complete female external genitalia at birth, regardless of karyotype); congenital adrenal hyperplasia (any of several genetic disorders that result in the excessive or deficient production of sex steroids, which can cause ambiguous external genitalia and/or alter the development of primary or secondary sex characteristics); penile agenesis (a birth defect in which a boy is born without a penis, often as a consequence of testicular agenesis); or tetragametic chimerism (the fertilization of a male and a female nonidentical twin ovum in a very early phase of development results in a mixture of tissues; chromosomal karyotypes will be male in some parts of the body and female in others; most chimeras composed of both male and female cells probably do not have an intersex condition, as often most or all of the cells of a single cell type will be composed of a single cell line, i.e. the blood may be composed prominently of one cell line, and the internal organs of the other cell line, so if the sex organs are homogeneous, the individual will not be expected to exhibit any intersex traits; may present with ambiguous genitalia, or both male and female genitalia in rare form of intersexuality formerly known as “true hermaphroditism“).

Would female genitalia make me a woman?  How about the lack of a penis?  Lack of testicles?  Lack of facial and body hair?  The presence of ovaries?   Breasts?  And how would you define me if my genitals are ambiguous or if I have both male and female genitalia—if I’m intersex?  Is it determined by how I was raised?  Is that fair—that some male doctor may have made a bad judgement call and labeled me a “boy” and my parents, not knowing any better raised me as a boy “because the doctor said so” but I’ve always known that I was a girl?

So… will the Ratfest Pussy Patrol require me to strip off all my clothes, or what?  Or  does the Ratfest Pussy Patrol plan to check my chromosomes?  You Ratfesters may have to check various parts of my body.  You might need to examine my body VERY closely.  And how are you going to know… FOR SURE?   Maybe my clit is really a dick.  Or maybe my clit is enlarged to the point where it is mistaken for a dick.  I could be a trans woman who just wants to expose myself to you or I could be a cisgender lesbian with the hottest body you’ve ever seen!  If you took that last sentence seriously, you really are a transphobic bitch.

You RatFems make me prefer to deal with ignorant, homophobic, christian fundamentalist bigots—at least they’re not hypocritical liars and are consistent with their ignorance and hate.  Who died and left you in charge of the dictionary and the right to define what a “woman” is and is not?  Who gave you the right to make arbitrary decisions to exclude people you don’t like, based on stigma, blatantly false information and flat out hate and ignorance?  Who gave you the right to lie about being inclusive of trans women when there are digital records of you stating otherwise?

There is no doubt that men have historically marginalized women. But women are also oppressed due to gender identity, race, religion, social class, perceived attractiveness, sexual orientation, and ability. No one is equal until all are equal, including trans women.  You RatFems call yourself feminists?  Ha!  My father—who hurls the words “liberal” and “feminist” at me as though they are bad things, lol, but with the vitriol usually reserved when people use slurs—is more of a feminist than you are because he believes in equal rights for all human beings.

Trans women are WOMEN.  If you RatFems pulled your heads out of your asses, took some time to educate yourselves on the subject, opened your minds and got to KNOW some transgender women, you’d know that.

There is a special place in hell for women who oppress and marginalize other women.  Have a WONDERFUL day.

Somebody to Love


The following post is reblogged from Suzan‘s post “Somebody to Love” from her blog Women Born Transsexual.

Somebody to Love

07/03/2012 — Suzan

I was thirteen when my parents first busted me for dressing up.

I learned a lot of new mean sounding words that night, words that were a lot meaner even than sissy.

I learned that it was expected that I would grow up queer and that expectation was reason enough for my parents to start withholding love and affection.

I was such an obvious transkid every  move I made, every thing I liked was cause for suspicion.

I got busted a lot over the next few years.

In 1962, I was 15. They found my clippings of April Ashley’s tabloid biography. They confronted me with it and I came out as transsexual for the first time.

My parents told me at that point:

“If you decide to be like that when you grow up, no one will ever love you, not a man, not a woman, not even queer men or women… No one.”

I was already experiencing the intense loneliness of being a small town transkid.

But I grew up cute and it was the era of free love and if there was one thing I found in great plenitude it was people to have sex with if not give me love.  CONTINUE…

I Remember When Being a Radical was a Good Thing…

Image


When will we learn to stop eating our own?!!!

The RadFem Crocodile Tears and Lying Claims of Persecution

06/30/2012 — Suzan, Women Born Transsexual

When you are partner in a law firm that represents some of the most irresponsible and reprehensible Wall Street Banks and Financial Institutions you are not one of the common people.

You are the problem and not the solution.

When you and another lawyer write letters to the UN urging them to not extend basic human rights protections to transsexual people then you are more like a Nazi than representative of any progressive movement that has ever existed.

This makes any claims to being a feminist highly dubious.

Targeting a minority group that world wide comprises a tiny fraction of humanity (some where between one tenth and one quarter of one percent of all people) and blaming that tiny minority of people for all oppression of women and for both misogyny and the perpetuation of the patriarchy bears a strong resemblance to the behavior of anti-Semites who want to blam e the Jews for all the problems and oppressions suffered by anyone in the world.

This is one of those What The Fuck propositions.

How in the world can a tiny oppressed minority of people who have often endured serious physical and emotional abuse muster such a level of power as to be able to oppress 50% of the world population? 

I mean I could see it if this tiny minority were among the wealthiest of the wealthy, like the people the above mentioned lawyer works in the service of, but way too many of my sisters and brothers have live lives of poverty and deprivation.

Many of us have been so abused we suffer PTSD and yet we are told to suck it up, that we are only imagining the horrible abuse we endured as kid and as adults.

Or worse yet we are told we deserved the abuse because we are transsexual or transgender freaks.

Nearly forty years ago the APA removed  political diagnosis of mental illness form gay and lesbian. Then a little over thirty years ago they created an equally political diagnosis of mental illness and stuck it on TS/TG people.

Now the radfems are using that APA perpetuated fraud to beat up on TG/TS people with  the same zeal their religious right and Tea Bagger allies do.  The same way their allies uses fraudulent studies to perpetuate anti-gay/lesbian bigotry.

Lately the hate group that calls itself  “Radical Feminists” have taken to confronting TS/TG people verbally abusing them and demanding their exclusion from women’s events and the lesbian community. during the 1990s and until recently TS/TG women were welcome at Dyke Marches.  Now Radical Feminists are demanding our exclusion.

If TS/TG women refuse to passively  submit to the verbal and emotional abuse heaped on us by the radfems they try to label us as violent.

This is fucking Nazism.  Just like the number the Nazis ran on the Jews.

From Raymond/Daly onward these people have called for TS/TG people to be eliminated and denied medical treatment and we are not supposed to be angry or point out that we will meet violence with violence.

The radfem’s expectation that TS/TG people will not react badly to having all sorts of repulsive and dehumanizing verbal abuse hurled in our faces is unreasonable to say the least.

This is like expecting African-American people to passively submit to white racists who insist on addressing them with the “N-word” and heaping other sorts of racist abuse upon them without lashing out.

Most people are not Martin Luther King or Gandhi.

People who have suffered a lifetime of abuse and who have gained self respect and pride thorough uniting with other TS/TG sisters and brothers are likely to react badly to being verbally and emotionally abused by radfem bullies.

I saw where Cathy Brennan was upset that the Michigan Women’s Music Festival has finally taken the side of decency and humanity by recognizing the rights of TS/TG people to attend.

Now Brennan claims this makes her feel unsafe.

The MWMF isn’t infringing upon the radfem’s rights by refusing to go along with the radfem’s bigotry.

Harming others by exercising your bigotry is not a human right.

People have as a human right the right to be treated equally and be protected from bigotry.

Now I’ve been beaten by police for refusing to move during non-violent actions, I’ve also fought the police during other actions.  I am not a pacifist nor will I allow someone to actually physically abuse me.

But letting these pseudo-feminists goad us into threats of violence is unwise, as they use these words against us.

Better to expose them for the bigots they are.

References:

http://www.hudsoncook.com/section.cfm?section_id=5#consumer
http://radicalhub.com/2012/06/29/why-i-wont-be-going-to-michfest-this-year/

<http://roseverbena.tumblr.com/post/26155909826/do-you-really-expect-civil-discourse-after-attacking>
http://pretendbian.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/so-if-you-react-to-feminists-like-you-are-mentally-ill-are-we-supposed-to-ignore-that-just-checking/

“Effeminate”: How Words Kill

Note:  I know that I have written in previous posts that the word “transgender” is usually preferable to “transsexual,” and that the word “transsexual” is usually considered offensive.   However, after speaking with Suzan (and others) and doing some research of my own, I am realizing things are not so simple (they rarely are…); I will address the “‘Transgender‘ vs. ‘Transsexual‘” debate in a future post.

In my readings and research about transgender/transsexual (TG/TS) issues and my interactions with transphobic people, I have  become very aware of the role of misogyny inherent in transphobia.  Considering the number of trans women friends I have, the high incidence of violence directed towards trans women is particularly disturbing to me:   I dread the possibility that I will one day be lighting a candle for someone I know at the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and the idea of it being for a friend is devastating.

The following post on “Women Born Transsexual,” by Suzan addresses how use of the word “effeminate” adds to trans-misogyny and she makes a very good argument for eradicating the word from one’s vocabulary.

Click on link:
Respect for Others and Words Meant to Belittle or Degrade: “Effeminate”

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