Archive | January 2015

Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity

More brain evidence. This is added to the “One Stop Trans Brain Research List” I have going.

Kira Moore's Closet

Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity

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Our sense of belonging to the male or female gender is an inherent component of the human identity perception. As a general rule, gender identity and physical sex coincide. If this is not the case, one refers to trans-identity or transsexuality. In a current study, brain researchers were able to demonstrate that the very personal gender identity of every human being is reflected and verifiable in the cross-links between brain regions.


While the biological gender is usually manifested in the physical appearance, the individual gender identity is not immediately discernible and primarily established in the psyche of a human being. As the brain is responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions, several research institutions worldwide are searching for the neural representation of gender identity.

In a study under the guidance of Rupert Lanzenberger (http://www.meduniwien.ac.at/neuroimaging/) of the University Clinic for Psychiatry and…

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An Unexpected But Perfect Gift

Two years ago in December, my mother passed away unexpectedly. She was in her late 70s but had COPD issues due to a lifetime of heavy smoking but otherwise members of our family tend to live well into our 80s and 90s. So mom’s passing was unexpected and I can honestly say that even at my age, I miss her greatly every single day.

Mom never had much. Abandoned by my father when we were still small children, plus health issues she had mid-life made life tough on our family but Mom kept us together. She raised us, loved us, and was thrilled as each of us grew to adulthood. But for herself she never had a lot. One thing she did have was free and clear ownership of her home from her early 50s onward.

It was a small home in a small town in eastern Ohio. It wasn’t worth a lot. She had little savings. Plus it took us two years to sell that house. Because of her financial situation, my guess at the value of the house, legal fees, funeral expenses, house maintenance while we waited for it to sell, etc., I didn’t expect to get much from my mother’s estate.

Anything would have helped, of course, but I expected a few thousand dollars total.

Before I go further, I’ve budgeted out about $15,000 for my trip to Thailand for my gender confirmation surgery. I’ve waited a lifetime for this and could wait a few more years as I saved the money.

So imagine my surprise when I was informed that I and my siblings would each be receiving approximately $16000 as our last gift from mom.

I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes today, looking heavenward, and repeating “Thank you, mom”. For even in death, her last gift to me turned out to be perfect.

Leelah Alcorn – Her Death and Facing Human Monsters Among Us

People are trying to whitewash what Doug and Carla Alcorn did to their child. I’m having none of it. They chose to be religious bigots. They chose to ignore medical and scientific fact in favor of 6000 year old superstitious nonsense. As surely as Leelah was their child, they also killed their own child with their words and by sending their child to therapists who practice a form of therapy that is considered “unethical” by both the AMA and the APA. They helped kill their child by authorizing three times the dose of Prozac recommended for children, when Prozac itself is proven to increase suicidality in children.

I will not stand by and submit to the nonsense being spewed by Carla Alcorn about “unconditional love”. If that’s what love looks like, then that kind of love kills.

I will not excuse James Dobson and his hypocritical motto “Families: where life begins and love never ends” because his transphobic rantings fueled the Alcorns extremist positions. For Leelah Alcorn, Dobson’s advice as “Families: where life ends and love never begins.”

I will not stand by and excuse them for their role in this because the culture around them “brainwashed” them. They had a choice and they deliberately chose scientific ignorance over medical fact.

It’s time to end this religious superstitious nonsense. It’s time to make reparative therapy a felony crime, including when practiced by “religious” therapists!

As a nation, we no longer tolerate lots of fundamentalist nonsense. We no longer allow women to be sold to the man that raped her to be forced to be his “wife”. We no longer tolerate “curse of Ham” religious reasoning for racial bigotry. There are lots of fundamentalist extremist ideas to which this nation has already said “NO!”

Now it’s time to say no to Reparative Therapy – a form of psychological abuse and torture intended to force someone to conform to gender and sexual stereotypes. It’s time to ban reparative therapy and make it a nationwide federal felony. And it’s time to prosecute and imprison every barbaric monster who insists on practicing this superstitious nonsense.

And to close, I’ll go one step further. We need to prosecute the therapists who helped kill Leelah Alcorn.. Punish them. Because they still think what they did was right and that, in itself, is a horror and a wrong that a respectable society should not tolerate.

Please sign the petition for Leelah’s Law, to ban reparative therapy throughout the entire United States. It’s time to strike back at the human monsters among us and remove them from civilized society. Let’s pass Leelah’s Law so no more children face Leelah’s fate. And let’s prosecute the Alcorns and the therapists who took part in this religious killing. It’s time.

The Myth of Post-Op Regret And Suicidality

There is a popular myth going around that attempts to quote from this 2003 Swedish study:

Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden

People using this study do so selectively. Let me explain the statistical manipulation going on with gender surgery detractors and the myth they try to construct.

First they note that general population rates for suicidality are around 1.6% in the United States. Then they note that suicidality rates for post-op transsexual people are about 4.1%. They then claim that since this is “hundreds of percent higher” that surgery does not work.

But let’s talk about the reality. What is that reality? It is that the pre-op suicidality rate for transsexuals is 41%!!!

Yep, that’s right. Pre-op rates of suicidality for transsexuals are 1000% higher than post-op rates. How do we know this? From the UCLA Williams Institute study Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults. (Warning! PDF!)

And the Swedish study actually supports gender surgery. Their conclusion?

This study found substantially higher rates of overall mortality, death from cardiovascular disease and suicide, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalisations in sex-reassigned transsexual individuals compared to a healthy control population. This highlights that post surgical transsexuals are a risk group that need long-term psychiatric and somatic follow-up. Even though surgery and hormonal therapy alleviates gender dysphoria, it is apparently not sufficient to remedy the high rates of morbidity and mortality found among transsexual persons. Improved care for the transsexual group after the sex reassignment should therefore be considered.

Note what is said very, very gently and in careful scientific language: “This highlights that post surgical transsexuals are a risk group that need long-term psychiatric and somatic follow-up.”

So what detractors are doing is selective statistical selection to “prove” their biased point. When we take the entire picture, we see that gender surgery actually reduces suicide rates to 1/10th of what they were pre-op. And, as the Swedish study concludes, what trans people need is more support, not because they are trans, but because too many people in society today are just ignorant assholes.