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obfuscation

There is no such thing as a conclusively true transsexual. In fact there is nothing in the chromosomes or brain scans of a person who transtions and you will likely find nothing different about them beforehand. At least this is the case today with our current technology.

The brain scans being performed on some transsexuals have been biased because their brain chemistry had already been altered through the ingestion of hormones and so we ended up where we started.

Most of the background noise on the internet involves discussing what the different typologies actually do and how they behave but very little touches on the actual lack of science on the subject.

One of the more prominent examples is Kay Brown's site "On the Science of Changing Sex" which gives an inordinate amount of time and space to describing the differences between early and late onset transsexuals and how they differ but offers nothing about what actually causes gender dysphoria in the first place.

We know virtually nothing about why someone feels compelled to transition. The rest is just based on behavioral differences mostly centered around sexual orientation and how that affects the decision making process. After all she follows Blanchard and his two typologies which are explicitly divided by just that. Continuing to beat a dead horse around this distinction smells more to me about establishing a hierarchy and predominance of one over the other rather than trying to understand motivation which is far more important.

Brown goes to great lengths to make a clear distinction between feminine trans kids and the more masculine and less easy to understand (at least for her) older transwoman who more often than not was previously married to a woman. But that is not the more important question at hand is it?

All this static and talk leading away from what should be the root question, and on that front, we are no further ahead than when Hirschfeld coined the original term.


Comments

  1. I have long forgotten details but there have been differences found deep within the primitive part of the brain. Sadly the studies done inHolland or Belgium are not a huge sample and when you know that the subject has to be dead before the microscopically thin shavings of the brain are examined.

    These studies were started more than ten years ago and were of subjects who , not unusual for the time, had never taken hormones to eliminate any possibility of them causing change. Now that hormones are more readily available it must be harder to find subjects willing to off to join the study.

    Who can enumerate the human differences? We are not clones, nature works in quite the opposite way seeking changes. We can not understand why an individual feels driven to follow a belief system or political party as we can understand why some are born with attractions towards a partner of a particular gender.

    I have come across a number of transsexuals who have been blind from birth, hard for that to not help prove that there is a real issue many of us have to deal with.

    If someone woke after an accident, eyes covered and body constrained by casts, how would they know what their gender was? Clearly it is not a problem for them so why should anyone think it is different for us!?

    Your "Brown" person is clearly biased or not very bright. Countless tens of thousands have had to find a life in a world determined to denigh our existence and find what comfort they can. They are not to know that a lifetime of a body being distorted by such a strong drug as testosterone and playing a part against our true feelings is a heavy burden to carry and eventually, given the chance some of us break free.

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    1. Thanks for your well thought out response Coline. Just so you understand this blog is never about denigrating anyone's transition but merely about examining facts as they exist today and the truth is that we have very little. I agree with your statements about testosterone and how they can wreak havoc on a brain that might be wired to want to be the other sex.

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  2. Have you ever heard the expression about, "the blind leading the blind"? You fit that description to a "T". Because you have never met, nor have a clue what it is like to be a "true transsexual", and because you know deep in your heart that clearly you are not one, you arrogantly declare that such and individual cannot exist.

    Month after month you continue to "beat that dead horse" that is Blanchard and his theories as though you can find no other foil with which to convince yourself that you are anything other than a cross dressing man. Who are you trying to convince besides yourself? Are you so ashamed of who you are?

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    1. Not in the slightest I am meerly pointing out facts. We have nothing conclusively scientific to hang our hat on I am afraid. I am also not against transsexuals nor against people transitioning. What does fascinate me however is how much of this subject is purely subjective and in the end up to the person themselves to decide

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    2. There was nothing in my post meant to be insulting but you seem to think that the term "cross dressing man" is somehow a derogatory term. I assure you it is not for me.

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  3. Of course there are transsexuals but my point was more about the illogic in trying to categorize them and then try to establish some sort of supremacy structure when we clearly don't have the science to be able to do so.

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  4. HI Joanna,

    I'd like to start by saying how much I appreciate and enjoy your writing. I find you very well spoken and interesting! Perhaps that's an example of confirmation bias but hey, I like it. :-)

    Not to put too fine a point on it but I have a disagreement with one phrase, "mostly centered around sexual orientation." From what I have studied and in my experience our gender's relation to sexual orientation is very unclear. I suppose we intuitively assume that cisgender people are most commonly attracted to their opposite sex, and therefore transgender people are more commonly attracted to the same birth sex. I don't believe the statistics support this.

    Keep up the good work! I always look forward to reading your posts.

    Emma

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    1. Hi Emma the orientation issue is one that typically but not always divides transsexuals into heterosexual and homosexual. Blanchard's patients fell overwhelmingly into either camp with the rest being assexual or bisexual. Please note that I am referring here to orientation prior to transition which in some cases reverses after transition. Some remain open to both men and women partners.

      My point here is that orienration is a filter for gender dysphoria but not a key element in causing it. Depending on your orientation your mode of proceeding will tend to vary with homosexuals transitioning sooner.

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  5. "Depending on your orientation your mode of proceeding will tend to vary with homosexuals transitioning sooner."

    Again, totally wrong and based yet again, on your highly biased misinterpretation Blanchard's paradigm which you regularly discredit. Sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with sexual dysmorphia.

    "There is no such thing as a conclusively true transsexual." Perhaps I misread. As for some "structure of supremacy", that is yet another of your straw men, constructed to somehow obfuscate the differences between cross dressing men, and that tiny, tiny percentage of women born with a total and complete psycho-sexual inversion.

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    1. I have never said that dysphoria is caused by orientation. However the orientation of a person can affect the decision making process of whether to transition and how early it is done. I believe dysphoria happens at the time of conception.

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  6. It is entirely possible that there are different biological causes (and, hence, different biological classes) of people with our condition (which I define as deriving a sense of well-being from presenting in something other than one's chromosomal gender). But the science is not there yet, nor is it particularly close. At this point, "true transsexuals" are nothing more than people who are dissatisfied with their lives in the real world (their social/economic/romantic status) who derive some measure of self-esteem from putting down other tg people.

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    1. I can't say I don't disagree with you Monica...

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  7. It drives me up the wall when people say 'late onset transgender', no one says someone is a 'late onset gay man' or a 'late onset lesbian' when they later in life come out.

    It is understood and accepted that they had been suppressing their feelings.

    The Black Hole of gender therapy and understanding, is what 'coping' mechanisms people develop to deny/hide/run away from/suppress/etc their transgender feelings.

    But people, especially those who grew up in a very hostile times and places, often do that to a greater or lesser extent. This can carry on for a long time until they break down.

    People like Kay brown have just internalised the oppression of the old gatekeepers, who only let people through if they met an absurd set of criteria. They basically had to meet a 16 year old boy's wet dream of what a female was:
    - Stupid and superficial.
    - Disorganised and barely coping.
    - Extremely feminine (and sexy) presentation and behaviour to the point of being a cartoon like woman ...and far more so than 99% of cis women.
    - If they work then as a super stereotypical female occupation (Beautician, hairdresser being not intelligent enough to be, say, a nurse).
    - Sexually promiscuous and available.

    As one gatekeeper said back in the late 90s "I let through those I'd like to go to bed with".

    If Kay wants to identify with that sort of misogynist crap that was forced on her, then fine. But don't attack others who reject such sexist nonsense.

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    1. tell us what you really think Lisa...LOL. spot on and well said

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  8. The Black Hole of gender therapy and understanding, is what 'coping' mechanisms people develop to deny/hide/run away from/suppress/etc their transgender feelings.

    There was great FB thread awhile back and many of us were explaining how we coped during our 'acting as a man' period. And so many were so similar, even the many attempts at self curing by having a 'hyper masculine' period (some trans men report a similar 'hyper feminine' period).

    Dangerous but totally absorbing sports. Demanding (and often intellectual) jobs, many going into the military, mentally demanding (non physical) hobbies and so on.

    I know why I did all that, it was because I could so get into things, get so totally absorbed in them that my dysphoria went away....while I was doing them that is.

    In my case my 'coping' (etc) mechanisms required massive amounts of intellectual, emotional and physical energy. I finally ran out of steam in the end and just couldn't keep it up any longer.

    At that point you accept yourself or end it.

    The saddest one I read was the person who said that they joined the military "because I hoped some enemy would kill me".

    That's the thing about gender dysphoria, it never goes away, the best you can manage are short periods of relief until you transition.

    I remember a time when I was a workaholic, massively into scuba diving and 4WDing...living with a person I loved with all my heart. And I hadn't had any 'feelings' for ages, I was cured at last…….

    Then, on my honeymoon, standing in the shower one day, it all came back to me ...... and I cried.

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    1. I hear your story Lisa. This not an easy thing to cope with for anyone. We manage the best way we can and finally we must come to some sort of equilibrium or we literally go mad. I am glad that you have come to a place where you can be yourself and have found peace.

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