Studies indicate gender is all in our heads

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies show that transwomen and transmen have important neurological characteristics that resemble their gender identity more than their assigned gender at birth.

–Leo

Surprise, you’re going to be a father!

In September, Kayden, a gay transman, discovered that he is pregnant. Although still equipped with his original female parts, Kayden was not one of those transmen who was trying to become pregnant. Naturally, this happy incident is changing his life. Through videos, Kayden and his husband are sharing their experience with the public.

–Leo

Link

Trans Student Attacking Girls in School Restroom! Or, you know… not.

All weekend I saw the incredible internet headline proclaiming attacks made by a transgirl student upon her female cis-gender classmates in the school lavatory. The story claimed that the classmates were not allowed to defend themselves because the transgirl had the right to use the girls bathroom. Turns out that the story is not only incredible but it is false.  

The real story is of a couple of witch-hunting parents creating an internet media storm in order to attack a child and all trans* people in general. Kudos to Cristan Williams for tracking down the facts.

 

–Leo

Tona Brown, violinist and mezzo-soprano

Today I awoke to a world filled with challenges both public (the government is still shutdown) and personal (can I make room in my life to finish my python class?) but I happened upon a ray of sunshine in the story of Tona Brown.

Tona Brown is an African American Transgender violinist and vocalist who has performed for North American and European audiences. She began playing the violin at the age of 10. Soon, Tona was winning music scholarships and competitions.

As an adult, Tona Brown has performed the National Anthem before President Obama. This honor makes Tona the first transgender person to perform for a US president while he is still in office.

Read more about Tona Brown, watch her youtube series and enjoy her music on itunes.

This is how things are done in Texas

After years of participation in International Leather SIR/boy contests, the board of directors announced that transmen are no longer welcome as contestants. Participation in International Leather SIR/boy will be limited to cisgender males. The board of directors noted that the law in their home state of Texas does not require the inclusion of transmen as it does other minority groups. The board of directors expressed their desire to return to the old days of exclusive gay cisgender male participation.

Hey, Leather transmen, maybe it is time to produce your own inclusive Leather community contests?

–Leo

Transgender theology professor asked to leave Azusa Pacific University after coming out

Professor H. Adam Ackley, who taught at Azusa Pacific University for 15 years, was asked to leave after he came out as a transgender man. Prof. Ackley noted that the university officials were concerned that “donors, parents and churches connected to the university” would not understand his transgender identity.

–Leo

There’s no such thing as transgender culture wars

San Francisco, Ca Anti-Trans Violence Rally

San Francisco, Ca Anti-Trans* Violence Rally

And you can quote me on that.

It all started when I woke up this morning and turned on my computer. I rubbed my eyes and saw an article entitled, The Transgender Culture Wars. “What, there is a transgender culture war and my friends and family did not tell me?” The article is written by Prof. Anne Hendershott and appears to have been inspired by Pvt. Chelsea Manning, Don Ennis and this year’s bathroom debates. Like any good academic, Prof. Hendershott did her homework and found credible critics (including Pope Benedict XVI) of the trans* experience and she gives us their views. The professor’s main concern seems to be expressed in her subtitle:  “Serious discussion of gender-identity disorder is becoming increasingly politically incorrect. Soon it will disappear altogether.” I can’t speak for other people, but it’s likely that I will always discuss gender identity dysphoria/disorder because I am a man of trans experience. Respectful discussions are always welcome here. Name calling and other disrespectful behavior is not welcome. That’s pretty simple, eh?

Thanks for addressing a challenging topic, Prof. Hendershott, because the genie is out of the bottle and will not return. What I find most interesting about your article is that it relies heavily on research of male to female transsexuals. Since transsexuals come in two flavors, male to female and female to male, why is there no research or comments concerning female to male transsexuals in your article?  Furthermore, trans* individuals exist in cultures much older than the US, so the argument that “our cultural and historical conditions” create transgender people seems weak to me. Lastly, I take offense at this “transgender culture war” concept that you promote.  I am “over and done” with the 20th century use of the word “war” to describe conflicts and challenges that are not wars.  A war is fought in a particular place where there is death and destruction on all sides.

Unfortunately, in the 21st century actual warfare occurs all too frequently all over the world.  So let’s stop pretending that our challenging national discussions are “wars” of any kind. This unfortunate word usage diminishes the lives of those caught in the line of fire as combatants and bystanders.  I know the genie is out of the bottle on this issue, too, but I just have to say: there is enough war without creating more war.

Most trans* folks I know are like most other folks: we want to be good neighbors. We do not want to be pathologized, criminalized, demonized or victimized. In order to accomplish this goal we must live as our authentic selves and be treated with fairness in all aspects of society.  If we did not stand up and say “here I am” this society would not treat us fairly.  If we did not stand up to be counted we would remain the uncounted and discounted victims of violence and inequities that this society can dish out. Perhaps those who want to understand trans* folks (and not some monolithic “transgender culture”) need to speak to us directly and not rely on “experts” to understand us. I encourage everyone to get to know trans* people (and any person you think is different from you). Maybe then you and I will not feel the need to create another war before we agree to be neighbors.

–Leo

Go Shindo, Japanese world boxing champ comes out as transgender


In May of this year, Go Shindo won the WBC female flyweight title from Hungarian champ Renata Szebeledi. Recently, Shindo announced that she is transgender. Shindo, assigned female at birth, is living with gender identity disorder and identifies as male. Shindo decided to go public so that her story could be inspirational to others living with g.i.d.

–Leo

American Bar Association publishes first Transgender Law guide

The guide entitled, Transgender Persons and the Law, was written by transgender lawyer, Ally Windsor Howell. The guide is a legal treatise and addresses a wide variety of laws and court cases that affect transgender people everyday.

The guide is designed to educate lay people and legal professionals. However, because the guide is regularly priced at 129.95, Transgender Persons and the Law will not be accessible to everyone. Legal professionals who want to defend the rights of trans* people should definitely have this book on their shelves. I believe Transgender Persons and the Law will be the first of many such treatises because, where trans* citizens are concerned, the law has a long way to go to deliver the justice enjoyed by non-trans citizens.

–Leo

 

Transgender man’s petition to be recognized as legal parent denied by Japanese court.

In Japan, an unnamed transgender man has been denied the right to be the legal parent of the infant that his lawful wife gave birth to through artificial insemination. Although the man is registered as male and the couple legally married in 2008, the court ruled that the child cannot be adopted by the father because they are not biologically related.

–Leo