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  •  tipped and rec'd (3+ / 0-)
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    mconvente, kyril, evergreen2

    because you're you and I agree with much of it.

    However, because of the t and r, I have to add...I think the cultural debate over who is worthy of being real and not real in their gender is inescapable, and it deeply influences how we read the science.  There are trans folks who say "I'm real because of the way my brain developed" and there are trans folks who say "I am not real and it is all a cultural construct" and a whole bunch of positions betwixt and between.  Many of these views are held by people who are very smart, well educated in the sciences, and with excellent credentials.  But what I see...what it feels like...is that the pain of living a life where everyone tells you that you are a crazy fake is so overwhelming, that we often enlist the science to respond to essentialism.  

    Two things I think are important to add...

    1. Variation in expression of sexual characteristics between individuals in other mammalian species.   We don't know the why or how in many cases.   Nature seems to have a continual gradation between genders.  Why should people be any different?

    2. Trans people hack the expression of our genomes.  We won't be the last to do this.  The way we do it will probably, in 100 years, seem breathtakingly crude.  But after almost two decades on hormones, when I say "I am a transsexual woman" I'm not saying "I am really a girl in a german shepard's body" or even "I believe certain things about queer rights and individual dignity".  I'm saying...I am, biologically, a transsexual woman.  A product of nature and mind.  And this is not simple.  Everyone argues about whether we are real or not real, but the thing is, we are still living these lives which medically, biologically, sort of don't exist.  At this point, whether my brain started out as the boy or girl model is of considerably less interest than the brain I have now.  

    Of possible interest, if you haven't seen it...
    http://www.questioningtransphobia.com/...

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 07:33:54 AM PDT

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