Archive | August 2014

One Stop Trans Brain Research List

The following list of links is to demonstrate that there is a very large body of evidence pointing to brain differences beginning in utero as the fundamental cause of most instances of transexuality. Part of the resistance to the brain-sex theory comes directly from Dr. Anne Lawrence who critiqued two early studies in this area (clear back in 2002) but who has a personal vested interest in arguing a different basis as she has based her entire career on that different basis. This list is not even close to comprehensive.

General Neurobiological Studies, Abstracts, Articles, and Commentary
Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden
Variants of Gender Differentiation in Somatic Disorders of Sex Development: Recommendations for Version 7 of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care
Androgens and the evolution of male gender identity among male pseudo-hermaphrodites with 5-alpha reductase deficiency
On the quest for a biomechanism of transsexualism: Is there a role for BDNF?
Transgender Science: How Might It Shape the Way We Think about Transgender Rights
A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity
Regional gray matter variation in male-to-female transsexualism.
White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study.
White matter microstructure in transsexuals and controls investigated by diffusion tensor imaging
The microstructure of white matter in male to female transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A DTI study.
A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality.
Sexual differentiation of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in humans may extend into adulthood.
Specific cerebral activation due to visual erotic stimuli in male-to-female transsexuals compared with male and female controls: an fMRI study.
Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids.
Intersex, brain differences, and the transgender tipping point
Sexual differentiation in the developing mouse brain: contributions of sex chromosome genes
Update on the Biology of Transgender Identity
Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain
Cortical activation during mental rotation in male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals under hormonal treatment.
Gender Orientation: IS Conditions Within The TS Brain
Increased Cortical Thickness in Male-to-Female Transsexualism
Prenatal Exposure to Female Hormones: Effect on Psychosexual Development in Boys
Sexual differentiation of human behavior: Effects of prenatal and pubertal organizational hormones
Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology,
Brief Report: Female-To-Male Transsexual People and Autistic Traits
Dr V. Drantz Lecture: Myth & Science of Sexuality
Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus
Discordant Sexual Identity in Some Genetic Males with Cloacal Exstrophy Assigned to Female Sex at Birth
The role of androgen receptors in the masculinization of brain and behavior: what we’ve learned from the testicular feminization mutation.
Regional cerebral blood flow changes in female to male gender identity disorder.
Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation
“Prenatal hormones versus postnatal socialization by parents as determinants of male-typical toy play in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia”
Disorders of sex development expose transcriptional autonomy of genetic sex and androgen-programmed hormonal sex in human blood leukocytes.
Sexual differentiation of the human brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation
Changing your sex changes your brain: influences of testosterone and estrogen on adult human brain structure
Clinical Implications of the Organizational and Activational Effects of Hormones
Dichotic Listening, Handedness, Brain Organization and Transsexuality
Biased-Interaction Theory of Psychosexual Development: “How Does One Know if One is Male or Female?”
Increased Cortical Thickness in Male-to-Female Transsexualism
Prenatal exposure to testosterone and functional cerebral lateralization: a study in same-sex and opposite-sex twin girls.
Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol(DES) in males and gender-related disorders:results from a 5-year study
Chapter 5 of The Transsexual Phenomenon
Prenatal phthalate exposure and reduced masculine play in boys
Brain gender identity
Current Thinking on the Etiology of Gender Dysphoria
Gender Differences in Human Brain: A Review
Begging the Question: Autism in Trans Men
Largest Study to Date: Transgender Hormone Treatment Safe
Hormone Therapy and Venous Thromboembolism Among Post-Menopausal Women
Transsexual Gene Link Identified
Transgender: Evidence on the biological nature of gender identity
Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity
Transsexual differences caught on brain scan
Brain Mapping Gender Identity: What Makes A Boy A Girl?
Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus
The (bi)sexual brain: Science & Society Series on Sex and Science
Transsexual gene link identified
The catastrophically bad New York Times op-ed on transgender research, debunked
Charlie Rose: The Brain Series – Gender Identity (an hour long video)
Think Like A Man: Testosterone Treatment Allows Transgender Men To Think And Talk Like A Man
(Note that the above article title is problematic in that it implies trans men are not men so only talk “like” men. But the hormonal research is interesting.)
(Patho)physiology of cross-sex hormone administration to transsexual people: the potential impact of male–female genetic differences
Homosexuality may be caused by chemical modifications to DNA This is important because it ties back again to hormonal in utero differences driving white matter brain structure differences.
High-Dose Testosterone Treatment Increases Serotonin Transporter Binding in Transgender People
Sex Hormones Administered During Sex Reassignment Change Brain Chemistry, Physical Characteristics
The brains of men and women aren’t really that different, study finds – This study actually reinforces the neurobiological understanding of being transgender. I explain this here, in New Brain Study Reinforces Neurobiological Explanation of Being Transgender
Sex biology redefined: Genes don’t indicate binary sexes
A Systematic Review of the Effects of Hormone Therapy on Psychological Functioning and Quality of Life in Transgender Individuals
Androgen Receptor Repeat Length Polymorphism Associated with Male-to-Female Transsexualism
Blurred lines: Human sex chromosome swapping occurs more often than previously thought
Young Adult Psychological Outcome After Puberty Suppression and Gender Reassignment
Sex isn’t chromosomes: the story of a century of misconceptions about X & Y
Removing transgender identity from the classification of mental disorders: a Mexican field study for ICD-11 (Note that this study shows that transgender mental health issues are not because we are transgender, but because people are cruel and inhumane to transgender people generally, resulting in widespread social rejection.)
Sexual differentiation of the human brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation. “Although the crucial question, namely how such complex functions as sexual orientation and identity are processed in the brain remains unanswered, emerging data point at a key role of specific neuronal circuits involving the hypothalamus.”
Is There Something Unique about the Transgender Brain? Imaging studies and other research suggest that there is a biological basis for transgender identity
Study shows that trans women who have access to GCS and FFS have quality of life and suicide rates comparable to the general population.
2017 Chinese Transgender Population General Survey Report
Familial Sex Reversal This is an interesting study about how widely variant sex genetics truly is.
Testosterone Treatment in Trans Boys provides Measurable Improvements in Quality of Life

Miscellaneous and Useful Documents For Trans Individuals

For convenience, the DSM-5 clearly states, gender dysphoria is not a mental disorder.

Gender Dysphoria Explanation for DSM-5

The following link helps expose why the autogynephelia diagnosis is pure garbage, which means Bailey, Blanchard, etc., are basically full of nonsense. (Because women get aroused thinking of themselves as women too.)

Autogynephilia in women.

Studies, Articles, and Commentary About Trans Children’s Sense of Gender Identity
Gender Cognition in Transgender Children
Update: Gender Cognition in Transgender Children
Transgender Kids Show Consistent Gender Identity Across Measures
This Is What Happens To Transgender Kids Who Delay Puberty (Study next line below)
Young Adult Psychological Outcome After Puberty Suppression and Gender Reassignment
Transgender teens become happy, healthy young adults
Allowing Transgender Youth To Transition Improves Their Mental Health, Study Finds
Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are
Center For Excellence for Transgender Health: Youth: Special Considerations
Mom Fights for Controversial Medicine for Transgender Youth
Free to be themselves
Perth Year 3 student in transgender row after school cross country run
“80 percent change back”
A New Study About Transgender Kids Proves Something Majorly Important
STUDY: Transgender Kids Are Not ‘Confused’ About Their Gender Identities
Study: Trans kid’s gender implicit; govt report condemns conversion therapy
Good Outcomes With Early Transition in Transgender Youth

Thoughts in Mid-August

Today’s entry is a little more mundane. On Monday, August 11th, I came out at work to my co-workers. HR and my boss have been with me for this ride for a few months now as things have slowly moved forward. With that milestone now achieved, the next step is to see a lawyer and get the legal name and gender change done via the courts. I’ve waited this long for various reasons but now the reasons to wait are gone and over. All that remains is saving up the fees necessary for court and the lawyer and off we go, hopefully in late September or early October. Once that is done, update driver’s license, social security, then update work records at which point I will be allowed to present female full time at work.

Of course it won’t end there. There will be bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and other accounts that all need changed. I half wonder how people will take it when I change my name and gender on LinkedIn. There are a lot of former co-workers who I’ve not informed who are connected to me on LinkedIn these days. And then there’s the old Facebook account. Do I close it entirely? Keep it to keep an eye open towards old school friends from years ago when I was younger? I’ve only come out to a handful of those with whom I grew up, aside from my siblings. I’ll probably let that account sit quietly but I reserve the right to change my mind.

Progesterone continues to apparently work its magic slowly. I doubt I’ll ever have a big bust line but I’m very much filling an A cup now. I’d be really happy with a B cup and ecstatic with a C but I don’t think C is a reasonable expectation. After being lazy most of the summer, I’ve begun a dedicated walking program on the treadmill in the evenings. My goal is to get back to 170 (I was 173 recently) then begin losing weight down to about 155. If I can lose 1-2 pounds per month I can be there by next summer. I just need to keep working out. Once I’ve been walking again for a few weeks, I’ll begin adding some P-90 workouts to my regimen as well.

After the legal work comes looking for the stem cell treatment for my scalp to help further with hair regrowth, then all my savings will be either towards finishing facial hair removal or towards GRS. It now looks very unlikely that I will be able to get this done via insurance so now Thailand becomes a very attractive alternative destination.

I sort of have a dream and I don’t know if I can achieve it, but that dream is a B cup or C cup, lose enough waist to get down to about 28 inches there, enough of my own hair back that I don’t need to wear a wig (though I’d still likely do so in certain situations), after GRS to find the perfect grape colored one piece swimsuit. I’ve often dreamed of walking up to people I used to know on a beach somewhere and just saying hi, then watching the confusion. I’ve had even more wicked thoughts that amuse me to no end but I won’t post them here. My closest friends know about them.

I was recently asked a question, when did I know I couldn’t go back to “him”? Honestly, it was when I told my spouse, I knew where I was going. I had already looked over the precipice and almost ended it all before and I didn’t want to go back down that road. I knew where that road ended. But if I had ever had second thoughts, those second thoughts were destroyed forever by those who once said they loved me. When they were done, there was no “him” to return to, as they had turned their backs on me, spoke about me behind my back, and taken my grandchildren from me as well. You might say that their hatred, bigotry, and cruelty sealed the deal, nailed the door shut, and built a brick wall to hide the door. My happiness is with other people now. My happiness is forward.

As for everyone else, it’s been reassuring to experience so many supportive people in my life – friends, siblings, co-workers. That one disappointment remains my own children, and wondering what I did that they turned out like this.

Random Thoughts on Patriarchy, Gender, and World Views

Recently, at another online forum where I participate, a woman named Paula mentioned how other people’s perception of her changed as she went from self-identifying as a cross dresser to identifying as transgender then transitioning to live as a woman full time. As a cross dresser she found herself often disdained, even called “pervert” by some but as transgender transitioning the reactions generally became either empathetic or pity. Her post gave rise to lots of thoughts for me on this, but that forum is probably not the place for such a posting or discussion so I’ll do it here.

Our society is deeply wrapped up in its own creation – the gender binary. We’re taught that this is “normal”, so much so that it requires scholars actually digging for and interpreting what was obviously right in front of the faces of people in the past. For example, many ancient middle eastern societies recognized 3, 4, 5, and even 6 genders. The Code of Hammurabi has a section governing the fair treatment of “male daughters”. Native Americans embraced transsexual people as being of “two spirits” and often gave them elevated status in the tribe.

Yet in today’s society, largely shaped by its Judeo-Christian heritage, a heritage that is obsessed with male dominance, patriarchy, and two genders, people tend to see anyone outside the binary “norm” as problematic in different ways.

The gender binary you see in western civilization today is not “normal” for homo sapiens when viewed across history but it is “normal” within the context of our own civilization. I take some small comfort in that knowledge that our society itself is aberrant but I still have to deal with our current society which has self-defeating and crippling ideas about gender.

Having never publicly admitted to being a cross dresser, despite cross dressing most of my life in private, I’ve not had the experiences that Paula has. Yet it does not surprise me. The reaction to trans folk, especially transwomen is obvious. It’s either “you think you’re a woman” (as in the speaker does not actually believe it but goes along with you out of pity) or “you are a woman” (so there is some empathy, including over how difficult this must be) or “you’re a male no matter what you do” (which is outright rejection of your self-identification). But with cross dressers there is something else – “you’re a guy but you like women’s clothing?” which is seen as weird, hence the disdain.

What I find most amusing is those women, cis or trans, who even directly experiencing this yet continue to deny the impacts of patriarchy on women. But hey, there are people who still deny climate change, who deny the bad effects of smoking, and even deny that the earth is round so I guess this shouldn’t surprise me. People will defend their world view even violently rather than accept data that invalidates their world view, usually because their world view is part of their greater identity socially in some group. Risking their world view risks their place in their own social circles, hence the rejection of factual data that contradicts that world view.

In conclusion, it becomes obvious how deeply and badly gender binary patriarchy has shaped our current society, how crippling it is for those of us outside its norms, and even gives insights into how we might begin to change this. Changing a society’s deeply held gender beliefs is not something we will accomplish in our lifetimes but it is something we can work towards so that people someday can be who they are without fear of rejection or ostracism.