On the Science of Changing Sex

Dubunking Transsexual & Transgender Myths

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on October 20, 2019

phrenologyThere are a number of misconceptions, misinformation, disinformation, and even outright lies swirling around social media regarding transsexual and transgender people, our caregivers, and the consequences of our medical care.  This post is an ongoing effort to dispell and debunk them with actual scientific evidence.  I will update this post as I research issues.  (Please be patient)

Note that some myths are actually transphobic propaganda, not merely mistaken ideas.  Much of that propaganda is directed at hurting transsexual children, teens, and their families.  I deal separately with those in a separate essay.

MYTH:  Hormone Replacement Therapy & Puberty Blockers Cause Sterility

This is a complex matter, in that while currently taking such medications, one is indeed rendered infertile.  But then, so are women who are taking contraceptive medications.  However, if one stops taking them, fertility returns (provided that no surgical removal of reproductive organs has occured).

References:

https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/2019/endo-2019—ovary-function-is-preserved-in-transgender-men-at-one-year-of-testosterone-therapy

https://www.medpagetoday.com/endocrinology/growthdisorders/41733

MYTH:  Men Who Date & Marry Transwomen Are Closeted Gay (Perhaps Bisexual), Never Straight

This would seem at first glance to a true and common-sensical, based on superficialities.  Many hold this to be self-evident.  It it repeated as true in popular entertainment and by lay people on social media.

But reality is far different.  Actual research into the matter has shown that there are two populations of men that date & marry transwomen, both heterosexual.  One group is what are called in the transcommunity “chasers”, men who avidly seek out transwomen, especially young pre-op transwomen.  The other group is simply straight men who meet and fall in love with a given transwoman, in spite of being transsexual.

GAM“Chasers”, scientifically labelled “gynandromorphophiles” (GAMP) would seem to fit the description of “bi” in that they seek out people who both have intact male genitalia and an overall female form, called “gynandromorphs” (GAM).  However, true bisexual people would also be attracted to the male body form, that is masculine body and personality.  However, research measuring actual sexual arousal to images of nude masculine men, feminine women and young feminine pre-op transwomen do NOT show this pattern.  Instead, these men are preferentially attracted to women and pre-op transwomen, with far less arousal to men.  The opposite pattern is found in gay men.

Note carefully:  Gay men do NOT find transwomen to be very sexually arousing.

The second group that may date a given transwoman is very unlikely to seek out other transwomen should their relationship end.  They are, as Dr. Green in his 1974 book on transsexuals, “Gender Identity Conflict in Children and Adults” wrote,

“The men who fall in love with and perhaps marry women who are themselves former males, by and large, have known their partners only as women.  Their prior sexual experiences have been only with females.  They consider themselves heterosexual and their relationships heterosexual.  To varying degrees they are consciously and unconsciously aware of the biologic status of their partners, but it would be simplistic and would furthermore blur generally accepted definitions to call these men homosexual.  Rather they are men who respond to the considerable femininity of male-to-female transsexuals, ignoring the dissonant cues of masculinity.”

Reference:

K. J. Hsu, A. M. Rosenthal, D. I. Miller and J. M. Bailey, “Who are gynandromorphophilic men? Characterizing men with sexual interest in transgender women”
http://d-miller.github.io/assets/HsuEtAl2015.pdf

Myth:  Transwomen commit crimes at the same rate as men

This is based on only one study in Sweden.  However, most people who cite that study fail to note that though the rate they found is closer to men than to women, it is NOT the same as men at 80% the rate of men = men have a 25% higher crime rate than transwomen.  When citing a study, it is critical that one use the actual data, not a glib misleading paraphrase of the text.

Reference:

Dhejne, et al. “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden” (2011) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0016885

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The Sneaky Plan to Stifle Trans Science

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on September 11, 2019

Kay BrownIn the ongoing effort by autogynephilic transwomen to silence those who research and present evidence of the two type taxonomy, a new phase has been entered.  They are now publishing and pushing “ethics” position papers that work on the laudable tendency of people to not “offend” people.  But when science and education are deemed “offensive” to a group that does not want certain well established facts to be known, that’s not being inoffensive to them.  Its granting them the power to censor.

Even more destructive, granting one self-described “marginalized” group the power to censor the science, in this case at a least, also can further marginalize another.  Specifically, we know that there are TWO etiological paths for male bodied people that leads to intractable gender dysphoria.  One can NOT understand those two paths if the very nature of one of those path is deemed “offensive” and censored.  Further, the needs, indeed the very existence, of the unique etiology of the other group, requires that these paths both be fully researched and described.

The most recent development is publication and dissemination of a document listing words and concepts that are to be censored as “offensive”

Thus, it is shameful and hurtful, that this effort to stifle science, science education, and open discussion is being attempted.  It would be even more shameful if it succeeds.

Further Reading:

How to Ruin Sex Research

Reference:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iHodSA16oP0itTjZPkB5tslBjMHOiMdy9lt9zmTPKPs/mobilebasic

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Transgender Sexual Predators

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on July 27, 2019

Kay BrownRecent news about a non-op transgender male bodied individual demanding women, who perform very intimate grooming services for female clients, provide it for him, and then making official complaints about them for “discrimination” if they don’t, has caused a serious kerfluffle for the trans communities.  So, let me state in this editorial, with no equivocation, I do NOT support this person nor his actions.  (Yes, you read that right; I will not offer the courtesy of using feminine pronouns for a male sexual predator and bully attempting to use the cover of being a transwoman.)

For a pre-op / non-op male bodied person to demand, using the force of law, to be allowed to, in effect, expose himself to non-consenting women is the action of a sexual predator, period.  This behavior is identical to a public ‘flasher’.  It is one of the four “Courtship Disorders” that include paraphilic rape, frotterism (rubbing one’s penis against non-consenting people in public), and voyeurism (Peeping Tom).  This behavior is a paraphilia that seeks, requires, non-consenting participants and is by definition a sexual offense.

The various transcommunities should, nay, must denounce this behavior and any and all individuals who attempt it.  Further, we should recognize that this is an abuse of non-discriminational laws.  We should support changes in law to end such abuse.

Further Reading:

Dangerous Thoughts

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How Many Trans Folk Are There, Really?

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on July 19, 2019

female_scientistIf we are to meaningfully discuss the impact of trans people in society and public policy recommendations we need to know how many transfolk there are.  For this we need to define who we mean and who we don’t.  This is a topic I’ve explored before, but it is worth going into greater detail.  I’ve remarked before that we need to have very clear definitions and about the problems that occur when we don’t.

The media and the press often talk as though “transgender” = “transsexual”.  That is to say, that there is an assumption that those who identify as transgender are all socially transitioning from one social sex to the other, prescribed cross-sex hormones, and either have or would strongly consider, if affordable, surgical interventions.  Nothing could be further from the truth, as the vast, in fact, a super-majority, of such self  identified transgender people have not, nor do they wish to, permanently socially transition, nor are they gender dysphoric.

We also need to know how many people fall into each category, as it directly effects policy and politics, from school bathroom use to potential medical transition services demand in the military.

In a 2016 paper exploring this very issue, spelling it out in the title, “Prevalence of Transgender Depends on the “Case” Definition”, paraphrasing their results,

“27 studies provided necessary data for a meta-analysis to evaluate the epidemiology of transgender and examine how various definitions of transgender affect prevalence estimates and to compare findings across studies that used different methodologies, in different countries, and over different periods.  Overall estimates per 100,000 population were 9.2 for surgical or hormonal gender affirmation therapy and 6.8 for transgender-related diagnoses. Of studies assessing self-reported transgender identity, the estimate was 871; however, this result was influenced by a single outlier study. After removal of that study, the estimate changed to 355.”

transmapThese numbers tally very well with those from another study using US Census and Social Security data in which name and sex were changed in various US states.  In that study no state had more than ~10 per hundred thousand.  Note that this study was not included in the meta-analysis conduced by Collins, et al.

These numbers also tally with the several order of magnitude larger estimates of those who self identify as “transgender”.

One of the most enlightening results of the Collins study was that though there was a slight increase in the number of gender dysphoric cases in a given clinic over time, there was no increase in prevalence over all.  That is to say, there is no “epidemic” of gender dysphoria.

Given that we can’t demand that people who self identify as transgender stop doing so, I recommend that we as a community and in science studies differentiate gender dysphoric individuals by resurrecting and reclaiming the old fashioned, but very useful term, “transsexual”.  Only those who permanently social transition with some medical interventions should be so designated.  Those who wish to conduct sociological studies of non-gender-dysphoric people who self identify as “transgender” should so specify in their publications.  Given the large disparities in the numbers, without an operational definition of “transgender” or “transsexual”, a given study is almost assured to be about non-gender-dysphoric people.

Further Reading:

The New Math:  Using US Census and Social Security data to estimate the number of transsexuals in the United States.

Getting Lost In The Crowd:  The problem of conflating self identity as “transgender” with prevalence of gender dysphoria.

Reference:

Lindsay Collin, Sari L. Reisner Vin Tangpricha, and Michael Goodman, “Prevalence of Transgender Depends on the “Case” Definition: A Systematic Review” (2016) Journal of Sexual Medicine
http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.02.001

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Who Would Date Transgender People?

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on July 1, 2019

female_scientistA very recent paper by Dr. Karen Blair and R. A. Hoskin received a bit of publicity in both pro and anti- trans publications.  BOTH mischaracterized the paper and its findings.

But before I go into the paper, I have to make some strong editorial and political statements:

All acts of sexuality and romance should be joyously consensual.  No one may coerce, by force or by emotional blackmail, anyone to participate in any sexual or romantic activity.  To be even more specific; No, you may NOT berate people who won’t date or have sex with transfolk into doing so.  No, you may NOT call such people “transphobic” just for not being attracted to you or other transfolk.

On the flip side; No, you may NOT call transfolk respectfully seeking to date non-transfolk “rapists” or “rapey”.  No, you may NOT use examples of transfolk lashing out in frustration (no matter how unkindly) as exemplars of all transfolk’s behavior or attitudes.

The first thing to understand about this new paper is that it is a byproduct of another study and was not conducted to test any hypothesis.  The manner of obtaining its subjects was more typical of a convenience sample and may have some bias to it.  Specifically, there were many young people who were in college.  So, this study is an “exploratory” study and was never intended to find out “why” people feel they way they do about transpeople, only whether they would “hypothetically” be interested in dating transpeople.

In reporting responses, Blair et al., use the sexual orientation of the subjects compared to the post social transition identification as either “congruent” or “incongruent”.  That is to say, if a straight man said that he would date a transwoman, that is “congruent” with his sexual orientation.

Response categories by sexual and gender identity.
.                                                       Exclusionary N (%) Congruent N (%) Incongruent N (%)
Bi/queer/non-binary                   56 (48.3)                    40 (34.5)                20 (17.2)
Lesbian women                           79 (71.2)                    10 (9)                      22 (19.8)
Gay men                                        108 (88.5)                  10 (8.2)                   4 (3.3)
Heterosexual women                 388 (98.2)                  6 (1.5)                     1 (0.3)
Heterosexual men                       206 (96.7)                  3 (1.4)                    4 (1.9)

Given some of the friction found between some gynephilic transwomen and a certain element of the lesbian community, the data from the study is perhaps surprising.  Ten percent of the lesbians indicated that they would consider dating transwomen.  Doing a bit of math, given that lesbians comprise a bit over ~1% of women and 9% are willing to date transwomen = 0.1% of women, while post social transition gynephilic transwomen are only 0.04% of socially identified women, there are more than enough willing lesbians as there are lesbian identified transwomen; a happy coincidence.

Interestingly, happy circumstances occur for every one else as well.  There are more people in each congruent and incongruent category to allow every transperson of every sexual orientation to find a willing partner.  It may be a more arduous task for transfolk to find willing partners, but there is no shortage.  Far from transfolk being shut out of the dating (and marriage) market, we are very much welcome in it.

Further Reading:

Going to the Chapel

Reference:

Blair, K.L. & Hoskin, R.A. (2018). Transgender exclusion from the world of dating: Patterns of acceptance and rejection of hypothetical trans dating partners as a function of sexual and gender identity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
https://www.drkarenblair.com/s/blair2018.pdf

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The Transsexual Brain Sex Gallop

Posted in Science Criticism by Kay Brown on June 13, 2019

phrenologyA year ago I wrote an essay in response to an article that clearly cherry picked its citations to argue that recent brain sex research shouldn’t be used in evaluations of transsexual etiology.  I pointed out that it represented a change in strategy by autogynephilic transwomen from attempting to use brain sex research to bolster the claim that all transwomen had feminized brains to a strategy of attempting to claim that brains aren’t sexually dimorphic so that no one would notice that the latest brain scan studies on transfolk support the two type taxonomy of transwomen.

Well, it looks like I was right – as another article by Simon(e) D Sun [sic], this time in Scientific American Blogs, attempts to tell the very same misleading story, even right in the subtitle, “Actual Research Shows that Sex is Anything But Binary”.

It reads as a Gish Gallop running headlong away from the two type taxonomy while setting up some amazing strawmen and logical disconnects that the author hopes the reader doesn’t spot,

Let’s just take the most famous example of sexual dimorphism in the brain: the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (sdnPOA). This tiny brain area with a disproportionately sized name is slightly larger in males than in females. But it’s unclear if that size difference indicates distinctly wired sdnPOAs in males versus females, or if—as with the bipotential primordium—the same wiring is functionally weighted toward opposite ends of a spectrum. Throw in the observation that the sdnPOA in gay men is closer to that of straight females than straight males, and the idea of “the male brain” falls apart.

Say What?  Ummmm….  So Sun turns a classic example of a sexually dimorphic brain feature that has been feminized in a class of people whose very sexuality has been feminized, who are known to have more female typical gendered behaviors as children… and somehow that gets flipped to demonstrate that the “Idea of the male brain falls apart”.  Ummmm… No!  Just No.  This demonstrates just the opposite, that there is a very strong correlation with a female typical feature and female typical behaviors in both male and female bodied people.  That argues for a sexually dimorphic brain with behavioral correlates.

Then, Sun cites studies of transsexual MRI brain scans but completely fails to mention that they are from two separate etiological types and as such do NOT support the thesis of a non-binary, non-sexually dimorphic brain.  Sun is counting on the reader not knowing this key fact.

It is disappointing to see articles this poor.  Sun, stop using phony science articles to justify ignoring the two type taxonomy.

Further Reading:

(Cherry) Picking The Transgender Brain

Review of Brain Scan Research

Further External Reading:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/stop-using-phony-science-to-justify-transphobia/

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“ROGD” As An Epiphenomena of Parental Grieving

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on June 12, 2019

TransSupportDiscovering that one’s child is gender dysphoric, for what ever reason, evokes parental distress.  How can it not?  The spector of one’s child going through pain is bad enough.  But to “lose” the child that one thought one had, as though they were dying, and yet that child isn’t dying but may metamorphize into another, a stranger, a changeling?  Even for parents who believe that they are liberal, tolerant, accepting of LGBT people, that “loss” is still real.

These parents grieve for the child that they thought they had.  The grief is real.  It hurts.  Even as they love their gender dysphoric child, they still grieve.

Which brings us to how grief is experienced and expressed.  Although often questioned, the Kübler-Ross model is still generally useful if we disregard the notion that one goes through it in a linear progression.  Instead, the “stages” can be experienced in a wicked jumble.  They are denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and (hopefully), acceptance.

Parents of gender dysphoric children will exhibit all of these emotions and expressions.  But now, with the internet to allow parents to very quickly find each other, these personal expressions can take on social expressions.

Unlike the actual death of a child, a child who is gender dysphoric and wanting to socially transition is still standing there, day in, day out, so the grieving stage of denial has no easy check, their child could be mistaken, it could all be just a phase, a fad, a social contagion.  It could be this false malady that other parents are all talking about, Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria… and it should be treatable!  It will all be OK.  My child won’t grow up to be one of those people.

EOFR3sFXkAEA8WW-2But the child still stands there and still insists that they feel this awful disconnect between their body, their social expectations, their sexuality, and what they dare to dream for their future selves.  The parents feel frustrated, and the next stage of grieving comes to play, anger.  Anger at the child, but that isn’t the real problem they say to themselves, it must be someone else’s fault.  It must be all of that stuff on the internet.  It must be all of that Transgender Ideology that has gotten into their innocent heads, causing Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.  Those People are to blame.  And when those people won’t take responsibility for hurting their child, well, it’s time they were castigated for it on the internet!

But sometimes, the parents need to bargain.  Oh… couldn’t we find a therapist to fix my child.  Shouldn’t there be some sort of therapy allowed for my child?  Why is conversion therapy no longer legal?  Surely I’m allowed to determine what is best for my child?

Then the sadness strikes and they look to the internet to find advice on how to cope with a transgender child, how to deal with a transgender child.  Fruitlessly searching for those magic words that will make the pain go away.

And maybe, just maybe, they will finally reach acceptance and learn to celebrate the child that they have, rather than continue to grieve the loss the of the child they thought they had.

Parents in online fora grasping at the concept of ROGD as they worked their way through their grieving for their gender dysphoric child.  It is not their child’s etiology.  But as reason for castigating transfolk and an imaged harmful “transgender ideology” it serves the purposes of a number of transphobic constituencies to take advantage of grieving parents.

Further Reading:

Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria and Parental Denialism

Shameful History of Reparitive Therapy of Gender Atypical Youth

Essay on Parental Internet Search Strings

Advice to Parents of Transkids

Further External Reading:

What I Didn’t Understand About The Stages Of Grief — Until I Was In Them
by Caila Smith

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Richard Green, M.D., J.D. (1936-2019)

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on June 5, 2019

Greens bookDr. Richard Green passed recently.  How will we remember him?

Joe Herbert published an obit in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, a journal that Dr. Green founded.  As one would expect, he lionizes Dr. Green.  I can’t join him.  Dr. Green’s career is not quite as faultless as Herbert would have it.

I first became aware of Green in early 1975, when Dr. Norman Fisk recommended his book, Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults, to me during my first intake evaluation interview at the Gender Dysphoria Clinic at Stanford.  I drove to the book store right afterwards to buy it.  Although interesting and informative in general, one particular passage had the greatest emotional salience for me,

“The men who fall in love with and perhaps marry women who are themselves former males, by and large, have known their partners only as women.  Their prior sexual experiences have been only with females.  They consider themselves heterosexual and their relationships heterosexual.  To varying degrees they are consciously and unconsciously aware of the biologic status of their partners, but it would be simplistic and would furthermore blur generally accepted definitions to call these men homosexual.  Rather they are men who respond to the considerable femininity of male-to-female transsexuals, ignoring the dissonant cues of masculinity.”

family

Those very words, read when I was 17 years old, gave me hope that my dearest wish, to live in society accepted as a woman, to find and marry a straight man, hopefully to also adopt children, just might be possible, in spite of my own mother’s words of encouragement that “No man will ever love you, you know.”  Fortunately, Dr. Green was right, and my mother quite wrong.

Herbert points out that Green and his colleagues at UCLA were working with gender atypical boys believing them to be transkids, future MTF transwomen.  This wasn’t an unwarranted assumption given the standard transsexual narrative, based on the life arcs of homosexual transsexuals (HSTS), but assiduously aped by autogynephilic late transitioning transwomen to improve their chances of slipping by the ‘gate-keepers’.  But in longitudinally following these youngsters, the majority did not persist to become transsexual, but developed into gay men instead.  Herbert praises Green for changing his hypothesis to match the data, as a good scientist should.  Thus was born the ‘sissy boy syndrome’ and the acknowledgement that gay men have gender atypical childhoods.

However, this glosses a key fact.  Green and his colleagues believed at that time that they were working with young transkids.  Yes, I just said that earlier.  Let me repeat that, because it is key to my concern with not forgetting an ugly truth.  Green and his colleagues (most notably Rekers) at UCLA were trying to “cure” transsexual children to make them grow up to be masculine straight men.  To do that, they engaged in the most vile, despicable, “therapy” experiments conducted on children to date.

Lately, it has become unfashionable and even illegal in some polities to conduct “conversion therapy” to attempt to change one’s sexual orientation.  But a few (and that’s still too many) now argue that it is still proper to “encourage” transkids to “accept” their birth sex.  The problem is two fold.  First, where is the line between reasonable acknowledgement that most gender atypical kids are ‘pre-homosexual’ not ‘pre-transsexual’ and transphobically devaluing the lives and needs of transkids?  Second, where is the line between listening attentively and supporting youth to become the best versions of themselves and implicitly, and even explicitly, telling them that both gender atypicality and gender dysphoria are morally unacceptable?;  Or even more explicitly, telling them that being transsexual is a less than acceptable outcome?  (Don’t quibble, this is in fact what is the underlying value system motivating these therapists.)

Dr. Green is complicit in fostering this implicit devaluing of the lives of homosexual transsexuals in favor of desisters as the better outcome.  Yes, I argue that a morally neutral position regarding desistance vs. persistence is the only acceptable one.  Let desisters naturally desist.  Let persisters naturally persist, providing medical technology as requested by individuals making informed decisions as they mature to become the best versions of themselves.  Holding the position that desisting is the desired outcome tells both transkids and the adults we become (yes that includes me) that we are the undesirable outcome. That we are the “failures”.  This is socially and morally a despicable value to hold.

Further Reading:

Shameful History of Reparitive Therapy of Transgender and Gay Children & Youth

Reference:

Herbert, J., “Richard Green M.D., J.D. (1936-2019)” Archives of Sexual Behavior (2019)
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-01474-3

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Autoandrophilia vs. Autohomoerotic Sexuality

Posted in Editorial, Female-to-Male by Kay Brown on May 15, 2019

female_scientistIf you are paying attention to the latest discussions regarding sexology of female bodied gender dysphoria you may have come across a debate in which some of the old time sexologists have quibbles about the concept of autoandrophilic transgender sexuality.  Oh, let’s spell it out, Ray Blanchard had once upon a time flat out denied that autoandrophilia exists, largely because he, as many other sexologists asserted, believed women never have paraphilias…. but then evidence poured in… OK… he says so some women have paraphilias (masochism being the most common)… but that still doesn’t mean that gay or bisexual identified transmen are autoandrophilic… they just have autohomoerotic fantasies of themselves as gay men.

Sigh… I say tomato, you say tahmahto…

Seriously, recent research has shown that autogynephilic males can experience essentially the same thing as Interpersonal Autogynephilia, in fact, many of them do, having fantasies in which they are lesbian.  And no, one can’t say that they aren’t the same thing.  Frankly, if males can experience autogynephilia as the result of an erotic target location error, by simple symmetry, we would expect that females can also experience autoandrophilia as a result of an erotic target location error.

Need proof that women experience an erotic target location errors?  Consider amputee “devotees” and “wannabees”, people who are both sexually attracted to amputees and want to become an amputee.  While most are men, there are women.  Are we to say that female wannabees experience a different phenomena just because they are female?  Seriously?  I prefer to use Occam’s Razor and avoid unnecessary sexist ideology.

Back to autoandrophilia in androphilic transmen, we see the same sex ratio, very few such transmen compared to autogynephilic transwomen.  And again, by Occam’s Razor, if we know that female bodied individuals can experience an erotic target location error as rare as amputee wannabee, then we fully expect to find it in simple androphilia as autoandrophilia.  It might “look” different than what we find in males, but it’s still there.

Further Reading:

Essay on Androphilic Transmen being Autoandrophilic

Essay on Amputee Wannabees and Erotic Target Location Errors

Further External Reading:

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2017/08/02/lose-a-leg-find-yourself

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Camille Paglia Is NOT Transgender

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on May 3, 2019

Kay BrownHave you noticed that more and more the mainstream press is using the term “transgender identified” or describes someone as “identifies as transgender”?  They didn’t used to do this; and for good reason.  Journalists have twigged to the fact that many people who are lately claiming to be trans aren’t.  The most notable example is Camille Paglia, the “feminist” who isn’t.  Camille Paglia is claiming to be transgender so she can troll actual transfolk, just as she trolls feminists.

I’m sure that journalists have noted that Ms. Paglia never presented in the least bit gender dysphoric, not now, not ever.  Her appearance is perhaps on the marginally tomboyish side… a look that was common for many women back in the late ’70s and ’80s from when her fashion choices were made.  At best, she might be taken to be a “soft butch” as Leslie Feinberg would likely have described her.

Does Camille bind her breasts?  Does Camille use testosterone?  Does Camille even present as a man?  Does Camille even have a man’s haircut?  Is Camille even the least bit gender atypical in behavior, mannerisms, etc.?

What self respecting actual transperson would write of transfolk like this, as she is paraphrased in a recent The Atlantic essay,

“You are either born male, female, or deformed (physically or mentally). Trans people are mentally diseased and often violent. If they are not able to accept the reality of their disease and cope with it they must be removed from society by any means necessary. Some might argue that the high suicide rate among those suffering from this severe mental disease is nature correcting itself. Camille Paglia is a transgender person who was able to accept and overcome her mental disease. Be like Camille.”

Read that bit of text again, especially the part “must be removed from society by any means necessary”.  These are words we would expect to be coming from the alt-right, not a transperson.  If she were speaking of removing Jews ‘from society by any means necessary’ and claimed to be Jewish but has no Jewish ancestors, what would your conclusion be?  When confronted by seeming contradictions, one should look to the most likely explanation based on actual behavior rather than identity claims.  Camille is trolling transfolk.  Claiming to be transgender herself is part of that trolling.

Why would an academic troll transfolk at all?  Well, because it garners attention.  Consider that Jordan Peterson was a little known second rate academic psychologist with very puerile philosophic notions until he leapt to the world stage by pointedly insulting transfolk in a viral video.  Trolling transfolk is very popular among people who have nothing much else to contribute to modern thought.  The real trans population is too small to politically defend itself and thus make for an easy and exotic target to troll to gain notoriety.

Do I support efforts to remove Camille from her academic post?  No.  Do I support calling her out for her transphobic trolling and false claims of being transgender?  Absolutely!

Claiming to be trans does not make one trans.  Being transgender is not like being a Republican or Democrat which are identities that one earns by self appellation.  One simply is trans in the same way that one is gay or lesbian.

Camille Paglia is a transphobic troll, not transgender.

Further Reading:

JK Rowling and The Transphobic Big Lie Machine

Essay on people, mostly teenagers, falsely claiming to be transgender

Further External Reading:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/camille-paglia-uarts-left-deplatform/587125/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/11/camille-paglia-using-puberty-blockers-on-children-is-a-crime-against-humanity/amp/

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