Archive | May 2015

Michael Bailey Is A Danger to Trans Kids – Those Kids Know Who They Are

Recently, on another forum, some individuals were defending Michael Bailey’s utter BS that Bailey was using to defend reparative therapy being used on trans kids. There are a lot of problems with Michael Bailey’s nonsense, not the least of which is that he may be nearly as bad as Zucker up in Canada.

Bailey claims that 80% of all trans identified kids never transition and settle into their lives as their birth sex. But the 80% figure is, as Bailey admits, decades old. It is also highly flawed. The core flaw in that study? Children were being actively discouraged from their gender identity (reparative therapy) and Bailey and his henchmen failed to followup after age 18 to see if these people stayed in their birth gender their entire lives or if they subsequently transitioned as adults. I personally know two older transwomen who Bailey claimed to have “cured”. They said they simply felt oppressed, faked it, waited til they were older, and transitioned when they were out of their parent’s (and Bailey’s) control.

Subsequent advances in diagnostic techniques now allow much clearer distinction between what the profession refers to as “gender curious” children and children who are actually transgender.

Two separate recent studies followed two groups of children who were identified as trans using modern diagnostic criteria. One was in San Diego through Rady Children’s Hospital. The second was in The Netherlands. Both groups were followed for over 10 years, and in both groups, 100% of children identified as trans early on chose to transition and live in their identified gender.

Here is info about the Dutch study. There were 55 participants. All transitioned and are happy.

Here is the California study involving Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. There were 42 participants. All transitioned and are happy.

In short, Bailey is a quack. He’s full of nonsense. He deliberately quotes outdated statistics. He ignores the last 20+ years of neurobiological research that says this is a medical condition that cannot be reversed or “cured”. And he remains an advocate for conversion therapy, which every major medical and psychological organization in the United States says is immoral and unethical because it consistently leads to increases in suicidality.

Bailey is simply pushing his reparative therapy agenda, just like Zucker.

Siding with Bailey is dangerous, because anyone who does is lending credence to his “reparative therapy for trans kids” argument. And if anyone believes that works, they can tell it to Leelah Alcorn.

Looking Forward To July

FFS is now behind me. I’ve left the tape behind, a few days early, but my nose feels great and reading other rhinoplasty recovery guidelines, a full month of taping was a bit on the overly cautious side anyway.

So now it’s preparing for July, for GCS and BA, and to try to enjoy Thailand a bit before and after the surgery, as conditions allow. I’m planning to buy 3-4 Kaftans, I think. Loose, flowing, easy to don and remove, these should make most days after surgery much more bearable. Bangkok’s weather sounds a lot like Houston’s – hot and humid. I’m hoping there’s plenty of shade outside because I’d like to sit outside the cottages and enjoy the fresh air.

I have another facial hair removal session for early July,  Thursday, July  2nd, since businesses are closed July 3rd to celebrate July 4th, which falls on Saturday this year. That’s a couple weeks before I fly so by the time I leave for Thailand, I’ll have some idea of how much facial hair is still left. I plan to make the next appointment for early to mid September, then another possibly for early November but we’ll see what the schedule allows.

I’m considering going home to visit my siblings this Christmas. I’ve not been there since we buried Mom, in 2012. A lot has changed since then, obviously, and I’ll have to ask if I’m wanted back there or not. I don’t expect any negativity, but we’ll see. I’ve been sadly surprised before. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, they say.

Trans people are becoming more and more visible each day in the US. And we’re winning more and more legislative battles, even while Republicans try to throw more and more legislative obstacles in our way. Yet now we have high tech companies backing us too, threatening and actually following through on those threats to take business elsewhere if Republican states openly enact bigoted laws. Indiana got a rude shock and is now spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars trying to repair their idiocy. Personally, I hope they continue to fail and people remember what Mike Pence and the Indiana GOP actually did until they are driven from office, and state wide LGBT protections are implemented there.

I know that Texas is sweating bullets too.  Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and several Texas businesses, Apple Computer in Austin, Dell Computer in Austin, and others are threatening to cancel Texas business expansions and even consider relocating should the Texas legislature enact anti-LGBT laws. Suddenly many anti-LGBT legislative proposals are getting tied up in committee. The GOP won’t openly oppose them, just quietly kill them, which will have to be enough for now. But make no mistake, Republicans will try this again and again and again unless we remove them from public office.

So the “transgender tipping point” from last year into this year seems real, and it’s a good thing too. More and more children are being diagnosed and helped at young ages. My therapist and I mused together that within a century there may not be any adult transitioners left. That getting the “wrong” socialization may stop happening, as children are diagnosed early, allowed to socially transition young, placed on hormone blockers, then allowed to complete transition medically at the age of 18. Those children will never suffer biological development that fails to match their inner selves. They’ll never have to unlearn one gender role and relearn a new one. In fact, they will nearly be as “stealth” as might be possible in a high tech society, with only trace information about their earliest years hinting they were ever anything other than the man or woman they show to the world. It gives me hope for trans kids tomorrow. Assuming the religious Christian Taliban doesn’t take over first, of course.

And finally, I need to find a real tablet, netbook, or notebook computer to take to Thailand. My phone was sort of trying to use for 10 days in Guadalajara. I’ll want a bit more convenience than that for a month in Thailand.

In a sense, I am now approaching the medical end of my transition. The facial hair may be done by year’s end or early next year. The other medical procedures will all be complete. The legal steps have been taken. I live and work day to day as myself finally, and I am happy doing it. I still think about losses I’ve experienced but those people made their own choices. All that I can do is go on living my life, and I plan to do just that – living finally, instead of merely existing.

FFS Done, Back Home, Musings and Preparing for July Now

I’m back home from Guadalajara, still pretty swollen and bruised, but the surgery went fine. I’ll be taping my nose every four days until May 22nd, when I can stop. The bruising and swelling should be mostly gone by then.

Dr. Cardenas and I chatted and he suggested I give this 12-18 months to fully heal but that I may want to consider a facelift at my age to go along with the FFS work that was done. I could see even before surgery where that  might work out well for me, and given that we did some jaw and chin contouring, there may be a bit too much loose skin on the lower face for the long term. We’ll see.

I can tell how much the lower face is still swelled just by trying to smile. I can’t smile a completely wide smile because the swelling just blocks it from happening, but it’s getting better each day as the swelling continues to go down.

I did a profile pic just for myself today. I think the brow ridge is much improved, though he might have reduced it a tiny bit more. In any case, it looks a lot more feminine to me now. And I can see the difference. My old brow jutted forward enough that I could see the brow just by looking up hard. Now that’s not an issue at all. I think my eyes look more open and I even with the tape, I can tell the nose is much improved. I’m eager to see everything once the swelling is cleared up and I can remove the tape finally.

So now I need to begin preparing for July and GCS. That’s the next big thing. I’m going to rest for one more week then begin stairs 4-5 nights per week as my exercise routine for preparing for July. The bike is comfortable but the stairs really push me and that’s what I’ve done in the past to get ready for mountain hikes with my brother. It really is challenging but definitely makes a difference in a few months time.

I saw the Bruce Jenner interview while I was in Mexico. I felt it was handled very well, considering where transgender knowledge is for the majority of people, and probably for Diane Sawyer as well. I think the support from family was very important to express. When they said “There’s another way”, I almost cried. So many families simply turn their backs on transgender family members or even reject them, sometimes violently. For Jenner’s children to be so supportive and accepting is a wonderful example. Let’s hope that people take it to heart.

And, in a stunning statement (stunning to me), Rick Santorum made the following statement:

“If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,” Santorum said to reporters Saturday at the South Carolina Republican convention. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are.”

Given Santorum’s harsh anti-gay and anti-marriage equality stances, this surprised me. Most right wing “Christians” reject transgender people as part of the overall “LGBT agenda”. I’m always amused by that claim as I have no idea what that is. Can one of you conservatives mail me a copy? I seem to have missed the handouts.

The EEOC keeps moving forward, including transgender people under “sex discrimination” lawsuits and handing out fines and other punishments to businesses that insist of mistreating transgender employees. This is good, so far as it goes, but we still need a trans-inclusive ENDA for other areas of life, such as medical care and housing.

I’m in a good place right now as the pains of the past continue to recede. I know that I didn’t close certain doors, others did, so it’s their problem if they want to reopen those doors or not. As for me, I continue to move forward with my life. If someone wants me involved in their life, that’s their choice. And if not, their failure to include me won’t deny me my happiness or satisfaction with my own life.