Jun 27, 2015 abc commented on My Whole Life I've Been Asked If I'm a Girl or a Boy.
I was glad to see the writer get to "I'm basically female outside and male inside." I think the idea of gender as a spectrum is too limiting - the continuum concept seems to assume that an individual occupies one point on that spectrum, or maybe a moveable point that varies according to circumstances, but a point nevertheless.

I think people should feel free to occupy simultaneously multiple points, and on any number of spectra, not just one. And, of course, to move around.
Jul 1, 2014 abc commented on About the Word "Tranny".
It would hurt a lot if someone called me a tranny.

It hurts me when I hear people use the word even if they're not referring to me. @2, if you think that words only hurt if I allow them to, you can consider yourself lucky. I guess maybe you just don't understand what some other people's lives are like.

If I were told I was doing something that hurt people, I'd stop, but apparently some people are different.

Still, I don't want to police anyone's use of any words, though I'd ask people not to use it with me.
Nov 7, 2012 abc commented on God Said, "Hey".
A used copy of a Lamott book fell off the bookstore shelf at a time when my best friend was dying and I had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness (yep, still have it). At some level I can agree with this reviewer's comments. But I guess it depends on whether you're looking for things to criticize or for things that might help.

No, I don't believe in a personal god, a being who cares about me, nor do I think everything happens for a reason and all will be well in the end. Nasty shit happens to people who don't deserve it, like my friend, and I don't think it's because of any lord who works in mysterious ways. But Lamott piqued my curiosity when I saw a quote from her - "You know you've created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do."

I think she offers some thoughts and perspectives that are worth some consideration without having to buy into her idea of a higher power. Perhaps not, though, for an adolescent who wears all black and is too smart and too cool for pretty much everything.
Aug 30, 2011 abc commented on Last Days.
#8 - exactly right on.

You said it was awful but that wasn't near enough of a warning. Please — next time.... give a warning more in proportion to its horribleness, which is about as horrible as it gets. Please.

Seriously — I picked up the Stranger to read idly over a slice of pizza, having made a quick stop on the way to work. Oh my ....

Thank God for benzodiazepines, but I think it'll take more than that to give me a few hours of nightmare-free sleep tonight.
Jun 30, 2011 abc commented on Trans Advocates.
Background (some readers are unfamiliar with it) -

A guy named Ray Blanchard in Toronto proposed that there are two types of male-to-female transsexuals: the "homosexual" type, feminine boys who transition young rather than face the fact that they're gay, and "autogynephilics", men who are erotically obsessed with the idea of themselves as female, who are allegedly not feminine, transition late, prefer female partners, and are not, in Blanchard's view, women in any sense (even if Blanchard et al. are ok with physical treatments).

In short - if you're an mtf trans person, you're either in denial or have an autoerotic paraphilia.

J Michael Bailey is a Blanchard acolyte at Northwestern in Illinois, who has based his "research" on anecdotes about people he met while hanging out in gay bars.

He has pissed off many mtf trans women because he insists that if they say they don't fit either of the Blanchard models, they're lying. Trans men (ftm) are not dreamt of in Bailey's philosophy. Maybe they would complicate matters too much.

Dreger has been a diligent defender of Bailey. Given the Blanchard/Bailey/Dreger assumption that the experts (them, it turns out) know you better than you know yourself, to start off with the Tommy the locomotive story reads to me like a deliberate, condescending provocation. Certainly let's not put kids on an irreversible path when they're less than 10 years old, but everyone I know with a trans identity (male or female) says they were aware of it by that age. We need to listen to these kids, to let them teach us about themselves.

I can agree that in a better world people could claim whatever gender identity they felt was right for them, without a need for surgery or hormones. But I'm not sure that would entirely eliminate everyone's need for physical modification.

@7 - being a woman is not just a matter of not having a penis.

@21 - clear thinking, well expressed. thank you. (recognizing of course that what works for you might not work for some others.)
Jun 30, 2010 abc commented on Doctor Treating Pregnant Women With Experimental Drug To Prevent Lesbianism.
#19 wrote "To what degree do we embrace science as truth, and to what degree reject it? Do these decisions change when we don't agree with the results?"

You misunderstand. Science is fundamental research with no predetermined outcome; the goal is to expand our knowledge and understanding. This isn't science, it's technology: using a particular method to achieve a specific outcome. We accept or reject any given technology by balancing the desirability of the outcome and the severity of the risks.

Those who want to geek out on this stuff (21-hydroxylase deficiency) can read

http://tinyURL.com/26lxzuv (The Online Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease)

http://tinyurl.com/27343l4 (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man)

http://tinyurl.com/2fn6obr (Merck Manuals Online Medical Library)

The last of these says "Dexamethasone is used only in postpubertal adolescents and adults." They write that this drug has been associated with conditions such as adrenal suppression, immunosuppression, myopathy (problems with muscle development), problems with kidney function and salt balance, Kaposi's sarcoma, and psychiatric disturbances. A list of adverse reactions is here: http://tinyurl.com/2csp6hz.

On the website of the people who are doing these experiments, they write "Dr. New maintains contact with all children treated prenatally, and has found not permanent adverse effects of treatment on mother or fetus. Thus, with nearly 20 years’ experience, the treatment has been found safe for mother and child."

But Alice Dreger, Ellen K. Feder, and Anne Tamar-Mattis wrote "In the Q&A period, during a discussion of prenatal dex treatments, an audience member asked New, “Isn’t there a benefit to the female babies in terms of reducing the androgen effects on the brain?” New answered, “You know, when the babies who have been treated with dex prenatally get to an age in which they are sexually active, I’ll be able to answer that question.”

The Merck website says that dexamethasone has a category C pregnancy risk factor. pregnancy.org describes category C this way: "Studies in animals have shown an adverse effect but no studies have been done on pregnant women or no animal studies have been done and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women."

Jun 26, 2010 abc commented on Dear Science.
Some girls in the U.S. of A. get clipped because somebody thinks their clitoris is too big. There's someone doing "research" on these unfortunate kids, checking for post-surgery sensitivity using cotton swabs and vibrators — on little kids.

Jun 26, 2010 abc commented on The Tea Party Tranny.
It shouldn't be necessary to say here that many trans people are very much offended by the term "tranny." If someone told you it's ok to use, then it's ok when referring to them. If they told you it's ok to use when referring to other people, they're wrong. Don't use it to refer to anyone who hasn't told you it's ok to use with them. And being trans yourself does *not* give you the privilege of referring to other people as "trannies."

Dean Spade's guess that "The vast majority of trans people don't ever have surgery" is just that - a guess, albeit a reasonable guess. But since no one knows how many trans people there are (many people never come out), then any of these statistics - like: x% of trans people attempt suicide - are pure inventions.
Jun 12, 2010 abc commented on There Will Be a Worldwide Protest of BP Tomorrow.
So for those of us who don't do "Facebook", are there any other ways to get information about this?
Mar 25, 2010 abc commented on Transgendered Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna Betrays His Community.
Dan, the point is not whether you're a trans-hating "beegoat" or not. It's not up to me to gaze into your eyes and see your soul, and then make a statement about who you *are*. I'm only commenting on what you said — like many trans people, I'm offended and hurt that you would think that saying that is transgender is an insult.

You can argue all you like about why we shouldn't be hurt, but that won't change the fact that we are. Irrational, perhaps, but why should my feelings have to follow your logic? If you were in a crowd and accidentally stepped on someone's toes and s/he cried out in pain, would you launch into a disquisition about why s/he shouldn't hurt, because you didn't intend to hurt her/im?