Mercedes Allen

Uh oh

Filed By Mercedes Allen | May 05, 2008 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: American Psychological Association, DSM IV, J. Michael Bailey, transgender, WPATH

Editors' note: Frequent guest blogger Mercedes Allen looks at who's in charge of deciding the fate of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV.

A short time ago, I'd discussed the movement to have "Gender Identity Disorder" (GID, a.k.a. "Gender Dysphoria") removed from the DSM-IV or reclassified, and how we needed to work to ensure that any such change was an improvement on the existing model, rather than a scrapping or savaging of it.

Lynn Conway reports that on May 1st, 2008, the American Psychiatric Association named its work group members appointed to revise the Manual for Diagnosis of Mental Disorders in preparation for the DSM-V. Such a revision would include the entry for GID.

On the Task Force, named as Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Chair, we find Dr. Kenneth Zucker, from Toronto's infamous Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH, formerly the Clarke Institute). Dr. Zucker is infamous for utilizing reparative (i.e. "ex-gay") therapy to "cure" gender-variant children. Named to his work group, we find Zucker's mentor, Dr. Ray Blanchard, Head of Clinical Sexology Services at CAMH and creator of the theory of autogynephilia, categorized as a paraphilia and defined as "a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman."

Drs. Blanchard, Zucker, J. Michael Bailey (whose work has even gone so far as to touch on eugenics) and a small cadre of others are proponents of dividing the transsexual population by sexual orientation ("homosexual transsexuals" vs. "autogynephilic") and have repeatedly run afoul of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly HBIGDA), and openly defied the Standards of Care that WPATH maintains (modeled after the original SoC developed by Dr. Harry Benjamin) in favor of conversion techniques. Blanchard and Bailey supporters also include Dr. Alice Dreger, who re-stigmatized treatment of intersex, controversial sexologist Dr. Anne Lawrence, and Dr. Paul McHugh, who had set out in the begining of his career to close the Gender Clinic at Johns Hopkins University and has been one of our most vocal detractors.

An additional danger that gay and lesbian communities need to be cognizant of is that if Zucker and company entrench conversion therapy in the DSM-V, then it is a clear, dangerous step toward also legitimizing ex-gay therapy and re-stigmatizing homosexuality.

I am not familiar with others named to the Work Group. It would be worthwhile looking into any history with WPATH that they might have, to know if we have any positive advocates on board, or just more stigmatizing adversarial clinicians. They may be appointed primarily to address other listings categorized as "Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders," I don't know. They are:

  • Dr. Irving M. Binik, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Dr. Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam
  • Dr. Jack Drescher, New York Medical College, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY
  • Dr. Cynthia Graham, Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Dr. Richard B. Krueger, NY State Psyciatric Institute and Columbia University, NY
  • Dr. Niklas Langstrom, Karolinka Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dr. Heino F.L. Meyer-Bahlburg, Columbia University, NY
  • Dr. Robert Taylor Segraves, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland

The APA press release states that for further information regarding this, to contact Rhondalee Dean-Royce (rroyce@psych.org) and Sharon Reis (sreis@gymr.com), though it's possible that they may govern the press release only, rather than have any involvement in the decision to appoint Zucker. The APA itself is headquartered at 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington VA, 22209. Their Annual General Meeting is currently being held (May 3-8, 2008) in Washington, DC.

I'm poorly situated (Western Canada, with no travel budget) to lead the drive for this, which I see as a very serious danger to the transgender community. So I am calling on the various Transgender and GLBT organizations to band together to take action on this, and will assist in whatever way that I and AlbertaTrans can.

I am also calling upon our allies and advocates in the medical community and affiliated with WPATH to band together with us and combat this move which could potentially see WPATH stripped of its authority on matters regarding treatment of transsexuals.


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Mercedes,
I'll pass this onto the Board of TAVA and we will probably respond to this. It will severely impact our efforts to help transgender veterans get fair treatment in the VA. Thank you for the E-mail and this posting.

Great post, Mercedes (as usual). Thanks for the heads up.

I hope the lesser known people on the list are that way because they're fair-minded....

My analysis is as follows:

The Chair, Kenneth Zucker is best known for his "Reparative Therapy" to "cure" homosexuality, and for similar practices to make TS children gay instead.

Jack Drescher, also on the panel, is best known for his labelling of Reparative Therapy as Junk Science practiced only by Quacks. See
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh6v9aysfQI

Ray Blanchard - again, a member of Jurassic Clarke like Zucker. His Freudian views on Transsexuality are that it is a paraphilia, "autogynaphilia" due to upbringing.

Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis is a specialist on Neuroanatomy, and the difference between male and female brains, including transsexuals. She's done some good science.

Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg is an endocrinological specialist, who knows a lot about the role of pre-natal hormones on gender development, and is the only one who has knowledge about Intersex conditions.

Of the rest, none have any specialised knowledge about Gender.

Niklas Långström specialises in violent male sex offenders
Irving M Binik specialises in female orgasmic disorders
Robert Taylor Segraves specialises in sexual dysfunctions, impotence etc
Cynthia Graham specialises in sex therapy with respect to contraceptive use
Richard B. Krueger again specialises in sex offenders

In summary: some of the most fringe workers in the field are now in charge. There appears to have been no input from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Both Intersex and Transsexual advocacy groups are horrified by this turn of events.

Some follow-up information:

I've sent an email to Dr. Douglas Haldeman, who is on the Board of Directors for the APA and has been their point of consultation on GLBT issues. In the past, and under his recommendation, the APA has opposed reparative therapies ( http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/resolution97_text.html ) and clearly stated the harmful effects of such "conversion" treatment ( http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_changing.html ). Dr. Zucker's usage of "ex-gay" methods to treat children -- as well as his and Blanchard's continued defiance of the standards of care set out by WPATH should be effective points of concern for the APA, there.

Nerissa was also kind enough to forward the information on to a Board Member of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA was involved in the discussions that had "homosexuality" delisted as a "mental illness" in the early 1970s), who is a mental health expert working for the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

I suspect that the APA was primarily ill-informed about Dr. Zucker and company, and hope that this can be overturned in short order, before damage can be done.

By the looks of all the cross posts and comments going around, you've lit the fire, I can only hope it blazes hot enough for the APA to feel and react accordingly.

BEAR A-M Rodgers | May 6, 2008 6:42 AM

3 quick comments:

1. Horrified but not surprised about CAMH stooges... ummm.. doctors, on the "task force"

2. Harry Benjamin did NOT write the original SOCs or any version of them. A protege and commitee (board) developed SOCs based on Benjamin's research, but he was not part of it. Huge difference to those of us who have been dealing with both professional and personal aspects of SOCs (and GID) for 20+ years.

3. WPATH has no authority to dictate SOCs or anything else. HBIGDA has been used as a crutch by treating professionals, WPATH has made it easier to get letters for those who might not really want to transition. Regardless of your opinion of either, SOCs have never had official authority just implied acceptance for whomever needed them for whatever reason. Mecedes needs to do research before fanning flames. Readers need to check those facts before swallowing everything they read in an internet blog. The facts are bad enough without dirtying the water with poop and drinking it.

diddlygrl | May 6, 2008 6:54 AM

Kind of makes me glad I finished transition when I did.

It looks like we are about to go back into the dark ages once again, in respect to how the medical community treats transgendered people. I had thought that the stink raised about Baily's book would have discredited him enough that the APA would see that the man is full of it.

Talk about stacking the deck.

Neither Zucker nor Blanchard are medical doctors, "doctors" in the usual sense, only PhDs.

What I find most disturbing is the mixing and matching of those who previously were simply diagnosed as transsexual and now somehow are being labeled as a sub-set under that transgender masking non-biological social construct.
I was a patient of Dr Benjamin and know that his professional attitude as a medical practitioner was not in compliance with those who pander or advocate for the transgender model of identity. Transvestites were to grow into transgender as an identity. That is what and how it was proposed by Charles 'Virgina' Prince the full time transvestite publisher of 'Transvestia'.
Transsexuals (a valid medical term before the onset of tg'ism and the she-male porn users) were in search of correction and a strong driven need to bring their birth contradiction of physical sex into conformity with their inborn opposite brain sex. It is that simple and has nothing to do with sexual orientation or the fetishistic drives of the majority of the transgender identifiers.
I am not transgender or trans anything. I am a woman having gone through transition and then surgery over 35 years ago. I look at transgenderism as simply a cloak to hide under rather than a distinct medical condition which I, along with many others, prefer to call, 'Harry Benjamin Syndrome'. This is now the term many of us use and we do so in honoring the man who gave so much toward our being understood for what and who we really were and are.
I did not 'trans' my brain gender, that was inborn. I did 'trans' my sex so as to meld with my female brain.
Let the fetishists and the week-end thrill seekers keep transgender. I will not accept that term unless every other woman on the planet does as well. Never will it be added onto my reality as if I too should be identified with a 'trans' prefix that does nothing but limit my womanhood as being something not whole but an element under a leaky umbrella term suited best to describe delusionists.
Diane Kearny

Why do bigots get to decide how a medical process is sought?

They bring this up and fight so that transsexuals are not allowed any treatment, and the consequences will be terrible. I guess if they want all those "disgusting trannys" dead than they're getting what they want. :/ My disorder is very serious and I need something done about it. If you intend to have GID completely removed from the picture, what will they do? Pump me with emotion-altering medication? They can guarantee THAT will be killing off a lot of "disgusting trannys."

This game of Russian Roulette puts MY life on the line and I consider it a direct threat.

If Blanchard and Zucker screw with GID in the DSM-V, then HBS people will be screwed the most because they will say that you are nothing more then men who had a sex change to have sex with men. It's their belief.

The best thing is to have it removed all together, then we can all go our seperate ways and nothing will bind us. Without GID in the DSM-V, it could go a long way to legitimize HBS. Think about it. Stigmitize one group and we all get painted with the same brush. It's what the HBS people have been upset about for years.

- "Transvestites were to grow into transgender as an identity. That is what and how it was proposed by Charles 'Virgina' Prince the full time transvestite publisher of 'Transvestia'."

Some transvestites, as well as some transsexuals, as well as some others, identify as transgendered; some do not. Transgender does not necessarily denote transvestite. And saying someone is a full time transvestite is an oxymoron.

- "Transsexuals (a valid medical term before the onset of tg'ism and the she-male porn users... "

"She-male" is just downright offensive and derogatory regardless of the designation of a person's gender identity, and you should definitely know better, Diane. If you think a right wing bigot sees you any differently no matter how many surgeries you've had, or whatever alternative label you apply to yourself, you have another thing coming.

- "It is that simple and has nothing to do with sexual orientation or the fetishistic drives of the majority of the transgender identifiers."

You have no idea what the majority of transgendered identified people think or feel; and the fact that you claim that you do, says a lot more about yourself than the group of people to whom you ascribe motives.

No one knows how many trans people there are, so you don't know what a valid statistical sample is; and there isn't a readily identifiable population to survey from which to gather a valid sample. So basically, you just made that up based on your own biases.

- "Let the fetishists and the week-end thrill seekers keep transgender. I will not accept that term unless every other woman on the planet does as well."

Here's the thing: You don't get a vote about what anyone else calls themselves. You can call yourself a gorilla if you'd like. Or a Harry Benjamin Gorilla if you prefer. But you can't call anyone else a she-male or a tranvestite or a fetishist or delusional. If you give up your right to define yourself, perhaps you'd get a bye on it. Probably not.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 6, 2008 8:50 PM

Diane did you really think this was the right time and place to post an anti-transgender speech?

This looks set to ruin the lives of all transexuals HBS and otherwise. The HBS women who are yet to get their hormones and surgery will be denied it and sent to reparative therapy right beside the transgender people.

We need to set aside the differences and arguments between HBS and Transgender for this fight because bringing it up now is just wasting time and energy desperately needed to fight this. Lets fight this side by side and then we can argue all you want about HBS Vs Transgender once the fight is won, otherwise we all lose.

Everyone is needed in this fight. The HBS women who need their hormones and surgery to correct the condition they were born with. The Transgender transexuals need hormones and where appropriate to the individual surgery too. The rest of transgender and gender non-conforming people have a stake in this too because if the medical system starts forcing transexuals to conform to birth gender that is going to flow on to the crossdressers and drag kings and queens and effeminate men and butch women.

This will effect everyone who doesn't conform to gender stereotypes. It will be trotted out at every senate hearing, parliamentary debate, courtroom and talk show.

The HBS women will need the Transgender people in this fight. We'll need every single person we can get. Every possible ally. Leave the divisions and differences aside for this fight. Argue about the 'evils' of Transgender in other discussions fine but leave those problems at the door of this one so we can stand side by side. We have a mutual enemy and we need to fight them together.

Once we are sure that these people are removed from this comittee and not replaced by their ilk then we can argue about how we think GID should be defined, whose theories are correct and all the rest, when this fight is over.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 6, 2008 9:25 PM

So,
How do we fight this effectively?

Diane Kearny | May 6, 2008 9:53 PM

Batty,

When is the 'right' time to make it clear that those who need to have surgery to correct their sex are not the same as the elements under the transgender umbrella? When does the confusion end and when is the 'right time'?

I hope the ENDA never includes the 'trans' for it would simply place me and all others who had corrective surgery under the same definition of transgender identity. How then might we argue for separation and distinction and who then would even want to listen? I am not a fool and will not be trapped much like a fly in the spider web of confusion that is transgender.

I had my surgery in 1972 and not only did my conservative congressman aid me in the change of my documents but my church also changed my baptismal certificate which because of the transgender confusion those amendments are no longer allowed. When I walk out of my church I feel whole and not a fractured element that can always be found under the transgender umbrella. We need a distinct identity and one that does not mean we might be labeled as something that we definitely are not: a transgender mental disorder!

No problem back then convincing people that I had a medical problem and needed to have a correction and the only difference is that the delusionists under the tg banner now make it seem we are all a little bit alike. We did not need the fetishists then and we do not need them now.

I don't care what label they call themselves but to attach me to it is a travesty that I have come to know so well from many all over the world.
The following is part of our suggested Standard of Care that we presented to the APA and to other agencies. If you want the whole thing send me your email address and I would be only happy to send it to you:
***********************************************
Harry Benjamin's Syndrome was known in the past under many different names, transsexualism being the most common. However, Harry Benjamin's Syndrome is not transsexualism, at least not under the current definition of transsexualism provided by the ICD-10 which considers it a mental condition with a psychological cause.
As has been shown, Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome is a physical condition indicative of a fetal anomaly and to continue to categorize it as a mental condition is outdated and unfair; it wrongly denies patients with Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome essential medical care by placing them under inappropriate standards of care.

In 1980 Transsexualism was introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) and fourteen years later, in 1994 it was changed to Gender Identity Disorder (DSM-IV). It is supposed to be revised again in 2007.

We hope that the condition will then be renamed Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome for the reasons we explain in the next section. We propose these differentiated levels of diagnosis.

The personal and emotional impact of this announcement are high for me. Which seems to require that the degree of careful rational thought be proportional to that impact. I've cross posted Mercedes post & links, and have received a few responses. This has lead me to ask further questions of myself.

1) What & How: What can I do to have any impact on this and how do I go about exercising any options? As satisfying as expressing anger, frustration, disagreement or annoyance may be personally, I fear that such expressions will not be heard by anyone who needs to hear them. In the worst case scenario, they might be dismissed as an attempt by the "inmate" (me) attempting to take charge of the "asylum" (the APA in this case). Therapists do not routinely allow their patients to direct the methods or guidelines under which they deliver therapy.
Academic structures are at least somewhat susceptible to peer pressure. I assume "professional" sympathy and advocacy would be beneficial. Peraps my own GP and therapist to start, but there are other gender specialist internationally who might not be commonly identified.

2) Who & Where: Where and who provides accurate and necessary information in an accesible method and where do we refer to if we need or acquire information ourselves? As has been pointed out, partial and presumed information opens the door to discrediting information itself. The emotional and personal importance cannot be allowed to taint the information.

3) Can we define a commonality of impact beyond our personal interests? I do not presume that my right to define my gender identity is in any way "secured". If the medical basis for transition is removed, I do not expect any legal right to self identify to be maintained.
If GID is removed from the DMS are there other, unassailable legal protections in place? I would not want to rely on a presumption that such protections will continue to exist or that they would be entirely maintained as is.
Both Blanchard and Zucker base their "treatment" theories currently on implied "homosexuality" and that implication is very much additionally treated as a disorder which necessitates "Treatment"
Could their influence return homosexuality to an inclusion in the DMS?

I don't see any of these questions as being alarmist inherently considering how poorly my rights have been served by the current DMS-IV. The addition of two blatantly anti trans appointees to the work group does nothing to lend creedence to an expection of improvement of conditions.

The hair splitting over labels of self definition becomes meaningless if you no longer have the right to self define.

From: MonicaHelms
"The best thing is to have it removed all together..."

No, because then the medical community would not feel any obligation to treat us at all -- no reason to prescribe hormones (which could become deemed a "harmful" act), for example. In removing GID from the possibilities for diagnosis altogether, we leave things like dissociative identity a.k.a. multiple personality disorder as alternate conclusions instead, for those troubled trans folks seeking help or youth being pushed toward help.

I certainly realize that the existing DSM-IV entry and WPATH SoC are (and have been historically) flawed, but I don't think anyone realizes just how much they do afford us at this point in time. Existing legislative protections could conceivably even become invalidated (deemed unnecessary or unjustifiable), without a DSM acknowledgement of GID.

While putting together a PowerPoint presentation for medical professionals, it's sobering just how much it empowers us to say that "yes, this is an established medical condition, and this is how the medical community has realized that we need to be treated." It's much more effective than, "uh, yeah, I know there's nothing that validates me here, but I really need to be a girl..."

From: battybattybats
"Diane did you really think this was the right time and place to post an anti-transgender speech?"

There are two elements in this that can only be expected to betray entire populations of people who fall under the current GID classification. They are HBS and HRC. The former will not be happy unless the TS-Si get absolute free reign on writing the new entry themselves, and exclude everyone that they choose to. I don't see a need to debate that part any further.

and
"So, How do we fight this effectively?"

What needs to happen is that there needs to be an uprising that includes our national and international organizations, includes the stronger voice of our GLB allies, includes the respected voice of trans-aware professionals in the fields of psychiatry and psychology, all directed to the board of the APA and its governance. If the national GLBT organizations are unaware, make them aware. If they are inactive, add another voice calling them to action.

I have sent alerts to various places, from NTAC to the NGLTF to OII to egaleCanada to WPATH, but it may take more than one person's say so to make them realize that there is an issue (actually, I suspect that NTAC will already be at work on this, and OII has already become active).

I have not contacted The Advocate, because they've been indifferent to things I've sent them in the past. Perhaps if someone has a contact there that they can whisper to and say, "hey, there's a story here...."

Ashley Green | May 7, 2008 1:28 AM

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Another typo. NCTE. For some reason, NTAC's webpage seems to be gone.

It's a medical issue, not a pshchological issue. Keeping it in the DSM stigmatizes us forever. The first step in making it a medical issue is to remove us from the DSM. Ripping the bandage from the wound quickly will hurt some, but overall, we will survive. GID does not create transsexuals, nor will it stop treatment for us.

Already, too many doctors could care less about GID and more about helping us, and they won't stop helping us. Those who will did not deserve our business in the first place. We will survive without GID in the DSM. Let's stop using it as a crutch.

Diane Kearny | May 7, 2008 9:15 AM

Ashley,
Promise to not 'copy and paste' since you obviously do not want to read intelligent and relevant essays in fear of perhaps learning something. And I must be honest in saying that you compliment me by calling me a troll. At least you did not insult me by calling me transgender or worse still, a transwoman.
And what might you call relevant or is that a term not understood by 'trans' actors?
May I point out that many of us do not in any way identify with the acronym GLBT and find it ironic that most of the transgender are simply crossdressers/transvestites who are usually married to their spouses who share with them a number of children borne from a heterosexual union. The only fly in the ointment is that once in a while they sneak into their spouses clothes closet to find their thrills and demand I must accept them to be 'a little like me'. I live in the real world and not one of fantasy so how then might we be a 'little like'? Or do you mean that
'like me' you like a scotch and soda once in a while?
And Ashley if you take away the cover of transgender what might you identify as? Maybe I might understand you and what you are if not for that convenient transgender cloak that you and many other elements of the 'trans-club' hide under.
I know that I transitioned before the GID DSM affected those like me. I was not hurt by my not being classed under some dysphoric psychobabble and transitioned just fine having found after surgery acceptance and a wonderful life. But then we did not have the illusional identity that married us to the false dichotomy of the
'transgender' mix and match either. We knew what and who we were and were not searching for a 'could be or wannabee' inclusion.
Seems to me that so many favor being a 'trans' something rather than admit they really want not to trans their sex but only to once in a while
'trans' their brain gender to match their clothing or sexual options. Go to it but please do not jump on the bus taking those like me to another place...a life without delusion.
I know I am perhaps being simple minded but I will admit to love being a woman both mentally and physically without the delusionary baggage found so abundant under the Tg banner which is a non-medical construct offering no answers, only illusion.
Oops, did I offend anyone by my honesty in the face of their fantasy needs? I hope so!

Diane, we are trying to have a serious discussion here. Your comments only serve to make the issue worst. You may find more reseptive ears at an HBS site. 1972 is irrelivant in 2008.

Evangelina Carter | May 7, 2008 11:17 AM

As with all issues of this type that affect diverse and largely unconnected groups of individuals, any proposed change will generate fear. Fear mostly of the unknown. It is true that historically Blanchard and Zucker who ae not Doctors but researchers in the field of gender variance, have not been exactly friendly towards many sections of this particular community. We can only speculate at the moment as to what it is that this committe will come up with in the way of a new DSM (V) Perhaps it will have benefit though it is more probable that it will contain adverse conclusions for some groups and benefits for the rest.

As it happens none of it will affect me but that is no reason for me not to be concerned. There are those currently affected by the presence of their condition within the DSM that would probably benefit by the conditions removal though I rather doubt that any condition currently defined as psychological will be removed. It is much more likely that the recomended treatments will be changed as part of the standards of care for the various conditions.

Some here have called for a degree of unity among those whom are affected by the possible changes to let our feelings be known as some collective and united group of like minded patients of a flawed medical diagnosis. However, the reality is that for as long as I can recall the so called community has been at each others throats as treatment regimes that suit one section are applied by doctors to those who believe they belong in another medical diagnosis, psychologocal or medical. The creation of a united front is simply not practical let alone feasable.

My own experience in this field as a practitioner and a patient has me agreeing with some aspects of Blanchard and Zuckers work and disagreeing with other aspects of the work. I have also been in a position as a practitioner, of oposition to a patients diagnosis of themselves and my own diagnosis of what it is that affects them. This particular field is full of so called experts who self diagnose as well as diagnose each other. I have observed many tragic outcomes caused by such situations.

My own opinon for what it is worth is that there are several quite different conditions that exist that the DSM lV has attempted to cover some and one in particular has no place being treated as a DSM issue. In point of fact a few medical practitioners avoid making a psychological diagnosis and treat the condition as medical. Intervention by psychiatric pratictioners is not then required under medical ethics guidelines.

One thing is certain however, calling each other names and making personal attacks is not going to get Blanchard/Zucker off this committee. Perhaps if you all had opposed Anne Lawrence's inclusion in WPATH in the first place this may have been avoided.

Enough, already.

I'm a firm believer in the neurological theory, often called HBS, and that's because there's so much evidence for it, and none against.

But many of the proponents of HBS the movement aren't aware of the implications of neurological causation.

First, there is no such thing as a "male brain" or a "female brain". Brains are complex things, with many distinct interacting parts. Masculinity and Femininity follow a bimodal distribution, that is, there isn't a continuous gender spectrum, but a distribution with two distinct peaks. Men and Women are distinct, neurologically, but it's not that simple. I'll try to explain.

Say the brain only had 6 parts, instead of thousands. And say the spectrum of characteristics of each were simplified to M - strongly male, m - weakly male, n - neutral, f - weakly female, and F, strongly female. A gross simplification, but you get the idea.

Few if any MMMMMMs and FFFFFFs would exist. The violent rapist Mike Tyson might come close to being MMMMMM, but in any event, such people would be abnormal and not particularly sane.

Most women might be FFfnFm or fFffmf for example. I'm talking about women in general, not just TS women.

Now if the first character corresponds to the bit for gender identity, then anyone with F or f there is a woman, regardless of the rest. And suppose the last character is the bit to do with body image.

Most women would be FxxxxF, Fxxxxf, fxxxxF, or fxxxxf. But some might be Fxxxxn or even Fxxxxm. FxxxxM's probably don't exist, there's limits on how screwed up a cross-gendered brain can be.

So an Ffmfnn TS woman would be rather un-feminine, might even be lesbian, and might not think the risk and cost of surgery would be worth it. She can function adequately, not well, but adequately, despite masculinised genitalia. Probably anorgasmic, but no big deal.

If evaluating myself, I'd say something like fmFfnf. A gender identity not so strongly feminine that I couldn't do the boy act for decades. Some typically male traits - like many female engineers. An unusually strong maternal instinct. Sexually straight now my hormones are correct. Almost neutral as regards personal appearance, I look like an unmade bed and really should do something about that. And I could have lived without genital reconstruction if I had to, though it would obviously have precluded any sexual activity. I'm very glad I didn't have to live without it though! About as glad as I am that I'm not blind, and am not paraplegic, both conditions I could live with if I had to, but am glad I don't have to.

The point is.... if this is biological, which I'm convinced it is, then people will be affected in different areas and to different extents. There will be women who look stunning, are utterly feminine in their gender identity, but whose mannerisms will scream MALE unless trained out of them. There will also be old chooks like me, plain geek girl middle aged tomboys, whose general demeanour means that many can't believe they've had a transsexual past. Different parts of the brain, you see, I got a strongly feminised hindbrain, the bit that controls instinctive movements.

I'm technically IS rather than TS, and I know people best described as nfnMfn and the like. IS people to whom, unlike me, the whole concept of gender is really irrelevant. Not many, most IS people are M or F, but some aren't either.

Summary: while desire for surgery is a good metric, it's about as reliable as 46xx chromosomes are for determining who's female and who isn't. There are exceptions, distinct from the majority not desiring surgery who at first glance appear the same, men with a sexual transvestite fetish.

I can neither be as fanatic about surgery as the HBS political movement, nor deny that from the evidence, HBS is very real.

I know IS women with 46xx chromosomes and partly masculinised genitalia you see, who aren't so uncomfortable with that that they want to risk surgery that could leave them incontinent and anorgasmic.

I also know quite a few transvestite men who get a thrill from dressing up. The difference between them and women is obvious. I only got to know them so they could teach me to dress a rather too ambiguous body in female clothing, I'd never tried that before transition. TG they may be, but not TS and there is a difference. One requires medical treatment, hormones at least, the others don't. I think that's the best practical metric.

This issue is one where we need to be decisive and not divisive. The Transgender American Veterans Association board is formulating our plan of action as we speak. We have to act in a manner that will help our veterans, which will also help all of us. TAVA knows how to be decisive. We'll let you know how we respond to this.

In point of fact a few medical practitioners avoid making a psychological diagnosis and treat the condition as medical. Intervention by psychiatric pratictioners is not then required under medical ethics guidelines.

Evangelina, that may be irrelevant when we're talking about political and legal situations, which for good or ill are advised by the DSM.

Example: the Wisconsin Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act.

If late transitioners are all going to be classified as paraphiliacs in the DSM, along with fetishists, necrophiliacs and the like, what are the odds of us retaining the ability to change birth certificates, marry, or even legally access to hormones or surgery, no matter what medical professionals may deem necessary? Ray Blanchard may think we're still entitled to treatment even if so classified, but I think most legislators would differ.

The medical issues concern me. The legal issues terrify me.

If MassResistance and the like can say that "autogynaphiles are classified by the American Psychiatric Association as being similar to sadists and paedophiles", the situation for gaining or even retaining basic human rights is bleak. We've had some of this already as the result of the DSM-IV, but we've managed to rebut it. If it's explicitly stated in the DSM-V, we're toast. Even the Intersexed like me.

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Hi, Jennifer. I haven't heard from you in awhile. How's life treating you? How's the job? You still living in San Francisco, or did you move back to Alabama? We need to catch up.

actually Diane Kearny, according to the requirements for HBS, you yourself would not qualify for treatment.

By posting here under your name, and my maintaining contacts with your church you are not totally stealth, thus violating one of the key requirements for HBS.

other requirements that other posters may not be aware of...

- must have, or want, full genital surgery (medio does not count, must be full phallo), and chest surgery (for the guys) or facial surgery (for the ladies), regardless of ones personal health
- must be on, or want to take hormones, regardless of ones personal health
- must be heterosexual
- must be deep stealth, have no contact with anyone from before transition (including family)
- must have a 100% gender normative presentation (MANLY men, and GIRLY girls... nothing in between... if you're not working on truck engines or wearing a skirt and cooking all day you're not good enough)

If you miss even one of those, you are NOT HBS, and will not have access to treatment under an HBS system.

Zoe Brain, your "large amounts of evidence" consists of 4 studies, all of which done on less then 40 people (total, including the control group, only one of which contained any transmen and that study had exactly ONE transman in it. Add in the fact that all four have been tossed out due to amazing amounts of sampling bias and a very generous use of the word "trend"... the whole thing falls apart.

now there MAY be a relation, however there has been nowhere NEAR enough study done to base any kind of theory or treatment behind it.

Evangelina | May 7, 2008 5:18 PM

Kaitlyn, my dear girl I suggest you restrict your comments to things you know something about, otherwise as has just been the case, you end up looking like a bigotted idiot and I am sure that is not what you are.

I strongly advise you to do some research on definitions surrounding HBS and too this end you might like to visit the web site. Relying on hearsay and biased chat forum folklore has clearly not served you well thus far.

Diane Kearny | May 7, 2008 5:56 PM

Poor Kaitlyn,
You are so very misinformed. But then transgender is a term seen as a positive for the misinformed.
I use my maiden name, not my married name. And add to that the fact that I attend church as the woman I am and not as a characterization of the opposite sex. I am not like those who might advertise their fetishism in front of such places as the Vietnam Wall and make claim they are representing transsexuals.
Yes, I live a rather stealth life and that is simply because I live being accepted as the woman I am and not a tranny. I will even be buried when my time comes in a Veterans National Cemetery where I will join my late husband. Or would you and the other transgender demand I be out and join the transgender support clinics that the APA and even WPATH think a good meeting place for the peer groups of trans-folk. I few blood family left but I do have very close friends who know of my past yet cannot relate to that facet of my life for it is not what I am. My husbands family are not privy to the error of my birth but then neither are you. Zoe might, but you would not! Hard for you to understand perhaps but that is truth and not a fictional account driven by TG pretense.
Zoe is absolutely right on the research. In fact more than one BSTc study done and more studies by the Swedes in regard to genetic linkage to transsexuals. And the only holdup on further research is the transgender politico's would not like it and do not support further funding for it would not support a legitimacy for 'dressing up'. It would also remove their false attachment to those born with a medical condition separate from their own temporary urges and desires
The funding is held back in fear that support research would find that a man with a fetish is just that; has nothing to do with a congenital birth condition.
In the group I belong to quite a few are not heterosexual but are HBS born yet in same sex relationships. I know you don't understand what HBS really is so rather than deal with your ignorance I will just go back to my efforts in gaining separation from the misinformed so that I might deal with reality and not inclusion under a leaky 'trans' umbrella term.
And Kaitlyn, you attacked Zoe on the amount and number in the studies done that clearly indicate a fetal congenital anomaly explaining why a person is born with a body in contradiction to their brain sex. At least these are valid studies although limited but, even using all of the search engines available, I still cannot find one single study that defines transgenderism as anything but a non-biological construct.
It is a fact that those who are HBS born do remember those years before puberty realizing that they were born the wrong physical sex. HBS defines those who realized long before puberty that they were born the wrong physical sex in opposition to their brain sex. A transvestite cannot grow into being HBS; an autogynephilic is anything but a HBS born and doubtfully even a transsexual but simply a transvestite who needed to explore his/her fantasy to the extreme; puberty does not trigger HBS, it is inborn. An HBS born person is not nurtured as are many under the transgender banner but instead are a result of a natural anomaly that took place in the womb... a neurological intersex biological condition according to many professionals such as Dr Diamond and Dr Benjamin and not much different than Kallman's Syndrome, AIS, PAIS, etc.


Sorry Kaitlyn, I don't know where you are getting your information from, but you are quite wrong on several counts. First off, you presume to "know" that Diane is posting under her real name. Just because you think someone is, does not make that a fact. Just as Helms presumes to know who I am. Second, your surgical requirements are laughable. There has been some debate among those actually involved in advocating for the term Harry Benjamin Syndrome as to the proper requirements for FTMs, but there has never been any suggestion that a medioplasty is not sufficient. And the idea that all require FFS is laughable. Nor is there any requirement that one be heterosexual, have no contact with family (or others), and there is no requirement as to presentation. Are you making this stuff up, or have you been mislead by someone?

Sorry, but your facts, simply aren't.

I find it sad that some are so dismissive of the HBS view. While I realize that it represents a strong rejection (and quite effective rebuttal) of the "transgender paradigm" so favored by some here, that does not give them cause to be so condescending.

As to removing "GID" from the DSM, I have to agree that this would give many an excuse to no longer offer treatment. But, then again, it is true that GID is not necessary. In my own case, my therapist declined to put that diagnosis on my record. I was simply certified as needing surgery to correct my situation.

In a sane world...

There would be a psych condition, Gender Dysphoria, which can be caused by an Intersex condition (including the deduced HBS). Those with an Intersex condition but without GD don't need treatment: those with the GD need treatment for the underlying biological cause, and then the GD would go away, and be recognised as cured.

Treatment of the underlying biological cause, with hormones and in some cases surgery, is the only effective treatment in all but the mildest cases.

Some residual GD may be present due to deficiencies in the treatment - depression due to being unable to bear or father children for example.

There would also be various second-order co-morbidities that can be caused by living with GD for a protracted period. Not all who have GD have these conditions, and curing the GD may have little or no effect on these secondary effects - much as liberating someone from a rape camp may not give relief from the trauma experienced there.

There would be various differentiators to distinguish diagnoses, as now.

We're not that far away. But the more neoFreudian psychobabble that's added to the mixture, the more we'll have situations where those who don't need surgery (IS infants) are given it without consent, and those who do need it (TS adults) have it withheld. And all will suffer legal persecution based on false premises.

"Priveleges" and "rights" often seem to be entangled so deeply that its impossible to separate them. In practice, rights usually have at least some legal basis; priveleges are the individual benefits I can access by extending personally the application of my rights. Priveleges are often only assuptions I make about the scope of a right in my personal interpretation of how I exercise a right. Assumptions that may have no legal basis, but which also do not create enough impact to be called into question.

Without a legal basis, rights can and are denied all the time. Women in American have a legal right to abortion. I personally view this as an inherent absolute right of all women. Yet this is not extended as a universal, international right. This right, where it does exist at all, is frequently susceptible to a number of additional imposed and conditional restrictions, and even removal. Socio economic class and race set up various conditions for privelge access to this right as well.

I see gender "rights" (and the benefits of extended priveleges) as having significant parallels. But without the indisputable conclusiveness that women can assert in regard to reproductive biology. If the fact that a woman's right to control her own body/womb may be questioned, how can I feel certain my gender identity (which despite all the new evidence is no where near as conclusively defined), will not be questioned, revised or even removed?

The security of having completed transition, however long ago, will only remain secure as long as it has a legal basis. My objections and fears about the appointees to the APA work group are based on the inclusion of Zucker and Blanchard and the perspectives from which they view gender treatment. Blanchard labels all post operative (he makes no distinction for HBS women) as "men without penises" I find it conceivable that legal female status could be revoke, if his and Zucker's definitions of gender variance are accepted as even part of the guidelines of diagnosis.

At 57 years of age, the impact of any of this on me personally is really quite negligible. My emotional engagement may be purely selfish and egotistical. But I don't want my own confusions, conflicts, struggles and pains or my successes, joys, indulgences and accomplishments to have been for nothing more than my own gratification. I know I didn't get to the point where I could feel comfortable with my gender on my own. I did it on the efforts of many known and unknown others, sometimes enemies as much as friends. That comfort has been a great privelege I've enjoyed. I think it should be everyone's right instead.


Another serious discussion sidelined by the destructionists. It's obviously time to redirect our energies on this matter.

Battybattybats | May 7, 2008 10:12 PM

Zoe, interesting idea there that sounds like it would result in a seeming spectrum because of the number of variables. Sounds like potentially a neurological cause for what is called transgender to me as it would result in quite a wide range and many different gender expressions. That would make both viewpoints right and both wrong. A neurological cause, seemingly distinct yet also related groups with varying needs, a seeming spectrum.

As for the contuinuing HBS Vs Transgender debate.. good grief people! Try and be more respectful. I do agree that there seems a distinct neurological cause for some transexuals.

However the assumption that their isn't for everyone else and that everyone elses feelings are 'illusions' and that they are 'actors' is offensive and needless. (and those who object being catagorised by others as Transgender really shouldn't be catagorising others, thats a clear double-standard)

There's neurological evidence for sexuality too, so to assume there isn't for other things/gender or sexual is simply that, assumption. There was even a case where someone developed paedophillic desires after developing a brain tumour that ceased when the tumour was removed so that too could have a neurological cause (my source was a discussion on ABC Radio National, the science show I think but it may have been the psychology or philosophy shows that are broadcast imediatly after it).

Making lots of negative comments and implications about crossdressers and fetishists is itself quite bigoted. Whatever the cause they should be given the same respect as everyone else. Whether neurological or sexual it's still ethical. If it's just another of the complex neurological combinations as Zoe describes then it should be respected. If it's source is sexual yet still ethical like, say, being gay or lesbian, then it too needs to be respected!

So no matter who is right about the explanatory theory there is no excuse for looking down on or being offensive about crossdressers etc.

But changing the topic of this discussion from 'oh the horrors, someone who treats children with reparative therapy is in charge of the comitte to redefine GID, something must be done to stop the harm this will cause' to 'My theory is better than yours so everyone on your side is a bunch of -----' is counter productive to a ludicrous degree.

leaving this situation unchanged could harm all transexuals no matter whose theory is correct as to why they are transexuals. The point is people who need the surgery may not get the surgery if this person has an undue influence. Everyone has something to lose snd every voice is needed to speak out against it.

We don't have to agree on what viewpoint is right to agree that these people being on that comitee is wrong!

Evangelina | May 7, 2008 10:29 PM

A fair point Mercedes.

One has to wonder what was going on in the minds of the APA when they chose the committee members. These people are not fools and are not unaware of the feelings of many patients towards the two appointments we are discussing. The have to be aware of the feelings of patients towards them. We can only speculate. However who is going to make the protest to the APA?

Press for change in the UK are currently asking for someone with a medical background to take up the cause on their behalf; but it is hard to think of anyone in the UK who would be prepared to do it. The current leading UK practitioner is a Blanchard desciple and on the WPATH board.

Prof Milton Diamond may be a candidate but his views may not suit many of the TG community. So who else is there? I think This is a situation where interested parties should start writing individual letters addressed to APA asking for an explanation for why two of the most controversial figures among patient advocate groups have been appointed to review their care.

That, as Forest Gump would say, is all I have to say about that!

My sentiments exactly, Mercedes. It's amazing how quickly the "dogs of war" come nipping at your heels when the status quo is challenged. Of course, it has been my experience that gender different people are good at trigonometry. They know how to go off on tangents. As you can see here, some are so good that their tangents even go beyond three dimensions. Einstein would be stumped.

"Picture this. A lonely man, one who has never had any friends, goes through his daily routine, but today, something will be different. Today, his body decides it has had enough. Today, a change takes place. Today, his penis becomes a vagina. Because today, she has crossed over into . . . . The Trannie Zone." (Insert theme music here.)

it has been my experience that gender different people are good at trigonometry. They know how to go off on tangents.

LOL, Monica.

As a member of the edteam, I think it's awesome that there is so much spirited debate about this topic. It's clearly needed. But may I please remind you to remain adults about the dsicussion and refrain from the personal attacks?

Thanks in advance for making my job easier - deleting comments that violate TOS takes a lot of time.

from your own SoC
http://shb-info.org/id34.html

which I notice has very few doctors names attached to it...

some choice quotes:
"Persons born with Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome are born with male and female characteristics" (no transmen?)

"In order to properly realign the person’s body to its proper brain sex the treatment will include Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Sex Affirmation Surgery (SAS)." (notice the "WILL include" in there)

"The treatment of this condition includes HRT and SAS." (again with the forced HRT and surgery...)

"As an example, many girls with Harry Benjamin's Syndrome have clearly feminine physical forms and bone structure prior to starting HRT." (that policy is right out of the Clarke, refusal to treat transgirls who "aren't cute enough")

I could continue, however it is bed time and my husband has that "come hither" look.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 8, 2008 2:13 AM

Diane,
I just read this article http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90247842

Both of these examples sound as though they could be future HBS Women.

We have two therapists, one who agrees with the Transgender idea.. and Zucker.

Now just from this article it seems safe to say that the child with the Transgender accepting therapist will grow up to get full SRS if they feel they need it. Their needs as an HBS woman will be fulfilled.

The child treated by Zucker on the other hand...
if they are HBS they are clearly being harmed.

So really, who is the greater enemy of the HBS women of the future? The Transgender accepting therapist who seems to just let the child be themselves naturally so that a physical transition would be easy and possible in the future or Zucker who is trying to force them to be boys, to give up girl things?

Really Zucker is clearly an enemy of HBS. The Transgender accepting therapist, while not fitting exactly the HBS view, still allows HBS kids to grow up and become what they will become.

And it is Zucker right now who is situated to cause the most harm to the next generation of HBS women.

Irrespective of who is right and wrong in the HBS Vs Transgender argument, we have a common enemy in Zucker.

Fighting amongst ourselves is only going to distract us from fighting Zucker. It is going to weaken out capacity to defeat Zucker.

Think of the HBS girls yet to transition who may be denied that by this man. Think of the HBS girls who will suffer years of trauma because of this man.

Lets try an analogy. One of us is the USSR, the other the USA. Zucker is Nazi Germany. We can have a cold war afterwards, or even a hot one. But fighting each other long before we reach Berlin is not a good idea. We don't have to join out armies together, we can fight on different frontlines, but if we shoot each other while he is strong we weaken each other and thereby strengthen him.

Consider it a while. Read this while your thinking about it http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90229789

And think of those little HBS girls under Zuckers care. Think of what they will go through that you know won't work but will cause extreme suffering and harm.

Evangelina | May 8, 2008 9:27 AM

One of the most common accusations made by those in opposition to HBS is the clear and precise way it is defined. Fall within the definitions, you have HBS or have been cured of HBS. Fall outside the definitions, you do not have and have never had HBS. There you are say the detractors you are all elitists. HBS is a medical condition and as such requires quite precise symptoms in order to make an assessment of diagnosis on the condition. So in this respect it is no different to any other medical condition. It is patently obvious that you cannot have the symptoms of sclerosis of the liver and claim that you have lung cancer, that is of course quite ridiculous and no one would do it, well not anyone in their right mind would do it.

So why when a condition has clearly outlined symptoms and defined causes is that somehow wrong? I have to say it has me quite perplexed.

No where on the HBS web site or within the suggested standards of care does anyone say that those who fall outside the definitions should not get treatment for another condition. The treatment may well be similar. For example; you might take a course of antibiotics for a tooth abscess; similar treatment would be prescribed for an infected wound. However the need for the treatment is different. So it is really quite simple; if there is an absence of need for surgical intervention, then the cause is not HBS. Why is that seen as wrong? Yes in the standards of care that HBS advocates are suggesting, it is made clear that a strong desire for surgical correction is always present and this need should be met. If there is no desire for correction HBS is NOT present. Why is that wrong?

If an individual chooses to live their life appearing to society as the sex opposite to their birth, I really do not have a problem with that. However if they make a choice not to undergo surgical intervention then the cause of their choice is something other than HBS and should be treated in a quite different way to that which HBS is treated. Both conditions require a quite separate set of standards of care.

Let me quote what Kaitlyn said in her post. By the way I commend you Kaitlyn for taking the trouble to do some research.

"As an example, many girls with Harry Benjamin's Syndrome have clearly feminine physical forms and bone structure prior to starting HRT." (that policy is right out of the Clarke, refusal to treat transgirls who "aren't cute enough")

You have not made yourself quite clear here Kaitlyn but I gather from the tone of your post that you are critical of the assertion that along with a hypothalamus that has developed in a manner opposite to genitals there are other accompanying secondary sex markers. Physical characteristics that are more suited to the hypothalamus than genitals. There are probably also secondary sex markers that will be more aligned to the genitals. However the weight of the secondary markers will always follow the hypothalamus. Your criticism is presumably that you would be concerned that treatment may be withheld if the person was not “girly” enough or not “manly” enough. That is a fair point and you are right to be concerned. However, again nowhere on the web site do we say that we condone the refusal to treat. We do say however, that the treatment should be made for the right reasons and not for reasons borrowed from someone else’s condition. In other words do not ask for a lung transplant because you have liver failure.

You also state:

The treatment of this condition includes HRT and SAS." (again with the forced HRT and surgery...)

Why is that a problem for you? All we are saying is that if the individual does not seek surgery then they do not have HBS. If they want to live their life in the gender opposite to their birth then fine, but do it because they are “Transgender or transvestite” not because they don’t like that term and prefer to use a descriptive that is applied to a condition they do not have.

Those who do have HBS have just got to the end of their patience with being called something we are not. I daresay if someone began calling you a Parrot you’d pretty soon get fed up with it. Well so it is with those who have HBS we are tired of being called transgender. We do not hate those who identify as transgender, we do not seek to deny you treatment we just ask that you seek it for your reasons and not ours.


Over the years, I have observed the behavior of several women who started transition back in the 60s and 70s, before the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care were first established (1979.) The gatekeepers back then were all men and they had a very male attitude for those women who wanted surgery. This attitude translated to various restrictions that have long since been discarded.

Back then, a person had to look female without facial surgery, had to have a small built, had to be a professed heterosexual, had to quit their jobs, move to another part of the country, not get a job until they were approved for surgery and couldn't reveal their past to anyone. It's as if the gatekeepers were the Borg making sure we assimulated correctly into the collective.

I have heard of horror stories of how those gatekeepers would browbeat the women into jumping through all the hoops, threatening to withhold hormones and surgery. You don't tow the line, you're screwed. This was a form of brainwashing that was unique to our people.

This constant brainwashing and threats have messes with the minds of those women to the point that they lash out to anyone who crosses them or who don't follow the teachings of their gatekeeper gods. Some famous TSs who transition back then tell the tale.

Wendy Carlos (who didn't change her job) gets hostile to people who just want to thank her for being a pioneer. Rene Richards (became very public) regrets what she has done and recommends psychodic drugs instead or surgery. Lynn Conway has done a lot of good things, but I heard from people who have dealt with her personally that she starts ranting and accusing a person that they "consider her a man," even if the disagreement is not trans related.

I don't blame any of these women for how they act today. It isn't their fault. The gatekeepers screwed with their minds and we are now seeing the negetive results of that. HBS is an offshoot of those early gatekeepers. The one thing that I smile about is that in 20 to 30 years, all of those women who suffered at the hands of those gatekeepers will have passed away and those trans people who are being born today will be far more accepting and understanding of everyone's situations. I would love to see it, but I was born 50 years too early.

Diane Kearny | May 8, 2008 10:51 AM

Diane,
I just read this article

Both of these examples sound as though they could be future HBS Women.

Di> No, both examples are what appears to be HBS born children.

We have two therapists, one who agrees with the Transgender idea.. and Zucker.

Di> The problem as I and many others see it is the term transgender to begin with. Children are born with either a primary female brain gender or a male brain gender. Their anatomy might be the opposite sex but gender is not a variable except for those who might see trans-gender as being a correct term applicable to those not HBS born but nurtured as Zucker puts it.
Zucker is not much different than Money in that he thinks gender (brain sex)is something acquired after birth and can be changed through manipulation. Most of us know how that disaster ended up.

Now just from this article it seems safe to say that the child with the Transgender accepting therapist will grow up to get full SRS if they
feel they need it. Their needs as an HBS woman will be fulfilled.

Di> You confuse transgender with HBS. Not the same.

The child treated by Zucker on the other hand...
if they are HBS they are clearly being harmed.

So really, who is the greater enemy of the HBS women of the future? The Transgender accepting therapist who seems to just let the child be
themselves naturally so that a physical transition would be easy and possible in the future or Zucker who is trying to force them to be boys, to give up girl things?

Di> Again you seem to use the transgender mix and match model and add HBS to it. HBS is not an element under the transgender behavioral identities.

Really Zucker is clearly an enemy of HBS. The Transgender accepting therapist, while not fitting exactly the HBS view, still allows HBS kids to grow up and become what they will become.

Di> I agree Zucker is an enemy of HBS but also an ignorant man.
I listened to his long winded regressive talk when I attended the transgender symposium in Chicago last year.

And it is Zucker right now who is situated to cause the most harm to the next generation of HBS women.

Di> The harm is already being done not only by the Zucker types but from all who seem to think that the HBS born should be treated as a sub-set
under the transgender banner. One is medical and the other obviously includes gender variants some of which are behavioral and others who simply want to express their blatant gender deviance.

Irrespective of who is right and wrong in the HBS Vs Transgender argument, we have a common enemy in Zucker.

Di> Common??? How so? HBS born need a medical solution. An evaluation by a competent psychriatric specialist should be a matter
of course but only to determine if actually HBS born or transsexual.
That should be the end of their involvement except if the patient requests help in moving past the initial turmoil caused by the
contradiction of physical sex to brain sex.
Most transgender want a politically driven privilege as I see it and the majority would never want to change their sex except perhaps those post surgical who identify as autogynephiles who self admit to being
transgender fetishists as does Lawrence one of Zuckers 'friends'.

Fighting amongst ourselves is only going to distract us from fighting Zucker. It is going to weaken out capacity to defeat Zucker.

Di> Where were the 'us' when we fought against the inclusion of 'us' under the transgender banner. No, as long as we are added to the
confusion generated by the social construct of transgenderism there will never be a favorable outlook for HBS born. How about those who
replaced HBIGDA with WAPTH without even a discussion with their own members or those directly affected. The transgender spit in the
face of every HBS born and even many of the transsexuals when that happened and for their own reason. It served their purpose to have an
organization geared to their needs all the while ignoring ours. Zucker, Blanchard, Lawrence, Dreger and many others influence WAPTH far
beyond Zucker alone and most of them I know actually agree with him.
If you want progress, get rid of the whole board at WAPTH and turn it into a real transgender support group and when doing that leave those
searching for surgical relief to form a group dealing specifically HBS and transsexual needs.

Think of the HBS girls yet to transition who may be denied that by this man. Think of the HBS girls who will suffer years of trauma because of
this man.

Di> Where were the voices in the past when Zucker was practicing his dictatorship? Why now the concern? Perhaps only now because of his being able to rant from the board room of WPATH which might even affect those who demand privileges that parallel actual HBS and TS but who have no desire or need to be physically the opposite physical sex.

Lets try an analogy. One of us is the USSR, the other the USA. Zucker is Nazi Germany. We can have a cold war afterwards, or even a hot one.
But fighting each other long before we reach Berlin is not a good idea.
We don't have to join out armies together, we can fight on different frontlines, but if we shoot each other while he is strong we weaken each
other and thereby strengthen him.

Di> Separate fronts are fine with me. That is my wish. Not to join with the confusion generated by transgenderism but to fairly and effectively make aware to all that being born with a condition is not the same as acquiring a behavioral pattern later on in life. That is the goal and message of all the HBS organizations all over the world.

Consider it a while. Read this while your thinking about it http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90229789

Di> I have not only read like stories but lived through it as a child.
I know how it is to feel alone and physically abused by my peers only because I was 'different' and be refused help by Johns Hopkins because I was too young for treatment even if parents would give consent. I do know how later I came to be directed to Dr Benjamin who did not confuse me with those who now identify as transgender. I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE HAVING LIVED THROUGH IT.
Diane

And think of those little HBS girls under Zuckers care. Think of what they will go through that you know won't work but will cause extreme suffering and harm.


battybattybats battybattybats | May 8, 2008 10:53 AM

Look, as someone who suffered years of physical pain, worsened illness and loss of quality of life because doctors couldn't seperate out Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitus from Ross River Fever, recurrent viral infections and dysphoric depression (I just had the CFS/ME, but many researchers are still having their data skewed wildly by not screening out those with dysphoric depression etc) I'm rather sympathetic to the whole HBS thing, even though the way it is expressed seems often to come across as downright hostile towards and an excuse to be bigoted towards those who consider themselves transgender but do not fit within a simple binary model. I'm sure not every HBS person does this but thats often the impression that the way some discuss crossdressers et al gives.

From my understanding I do not see why it is so important to split the one from the rest as I don't see that an HBS sufferer and a transexual who also requires surgery differs in any way in what treatment they need or the causation, seeing as insuficient research has been done to difinitively state that they have seperate causes rather than just alternate models of explaining the same phenomena, one narrow in definition and the other not.

I have experience there too. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Same condition? Neither as a name or medical definition works very well. (oh and for anyone reading this that has the impression that CFS is like feeling tired all the time, one study found it is the suffering equivalent of the last two weeks of dying of cancer, but lasting 18-months to many years. I've had it more than 16 years, though diagnosed as such for a lot less than that)

Each are rather a catch-all term for what may well be a range of related but different conditions with evidence of changes in cerebro spinal fluid, loss of quality of celular replacement (a number of people lose heir fingerprints.. think what the same phenomena is doing to their hearts!) long-term damage caused by brain swelling, epigenetic changes involving immune function and energy production inside the very cellular level of the mitochodria and more appearing in much but not all of those with the condition. Both appear to be post-viral infection physiological responses that take far longer than the initial infection to dissapear (18-months+, often years) and sometimes remain permanantly.

The difference? One seems to have less exhaustion and cognitive impairment and more physical pain and stiffness of joints and the other the reverse. Both share the same range of symptoms, but are divided on quite arbitrary definitions of proportion. We could easilly grab a portion of the sufferers of fibromyalgia who suffer no 'brain fog' whatsoever and call it a seperate illness by making the lack of brain fog a neccessary part of the definition. We could even decide it only counts if the person is wheelchair bound or bedbound.

We'd still be splitting hairs.

However people with various depression subsets who feel tired all the time and share most of the rest of the common symptoms but not all or the cause will get better with regular aerobic excercise, people with CFS/ME/FM will get profoundly worse and may even die if forced too far. So when, because of the skewed data, it became standard advice to doctors to get their CFS patients excercising it was a serious problem.

I certainly don't dissmiss the posibility that there is something in the idea of HBS and I'm all for letting people determine and identify however they want to, but I don't yet buy that it is totally medicaly seperate. The line drawn seems too arbitrary. When sufficient neurological studies have been performed to ferret out which transgender(and HBS etc) phenomena is neurological in causation and whether any are not (certainly Zoe's post on neurology is intriguing and just may well validate all transexualism HBS and not, perhaps even all transgenderism, as variations of the same phenomena) then we will have the answer and we can put this argument to rest.

But if an HBS person is treated as transgender and some transgender people still need HT and SRS then I don't see how the HBS people are being failed by that, they'll get their HT and SRS as it will be seen that they still need it. Sure not all TG people need SRS though some do. Just as not all CFS/ME/FM people need wheelchairs arthritus medications, vitamin injections or restoration of gut flora but some do.

If on the other hand it was more like CFS sufferers going from being moderatly active to wheelchair bound for years or suffering heart damage because they were forced into a treatment only appropriate to people with depression then I would thoroughly understand. Say, if all transgender people and HBS people were treated as if they were all just one transgender sub-set, like crossdressers so no-one got HT or SRS, then there would be a great point.

But as I keep saying, and I must admit to becoming very confused as to why I have to keep pointing this out, this topic isnt about the merits of one explanation over another. This topic is that someone who disagrees with all of us is in a position of power that will effect Transgender and HBS alike in a really bad way.

The HBS people could win their argument here or lose it and neither outcome would make the slightest difference to Zucker and what Zucker could do to everyone.

Wouldn't it make, maybe just a tiny hint of sense, just at least a little bit, to debate elsewhere (even elsewhere here at Bilerico, but in another topic all it's own) the pros and cons of HBS as a medical or cultural distinction from Transgender and to actually work here together in this one formulating tactics and strategy for activism to get Zucker off that comittee?

Or is there something remotely to be gained by turning this discussion away from Zucker and focusing entirely on the HBS Vs TG debate that has nothing really to do with Zucker?

Zoe,

Why would the term "gender dysphoria" be any better? I was not dysphoric about my gender, which was always female. I was born with a disjoint between one physical part of my body (my brain) and another physical part of my body (my genitals) and I corrected that.

Such is the nature of HBS, which is totally different from anything that can properly be called "transgender."

I always find it kind of interesting how a certain side seems to feel the need to dismiss any opinion that disagrees with their own. Now we are labeled "destructionists?" How terribly trite. So much easier to just make up a label than actually deal with the arguments.

I do hope Monica Helms is not presuming to speak for others with the remarks about the "Trannie Zone." Of course, Helms is entitled to a different view of people who are post-op, but such remarks are highly offensive to those who are. Then again, such a view is not unusual among many who are transgender. And that is just one of the lesser differences between them, and those who are survivors of HBS.

I'm sorry Battybattybats, but sometimes the truth may be offensive to those who wish to impose their own delusions on reality.

Ultimately, what this debate really comes down to is two very different views. One view, the "transgender view," largely holds that "gender" is a construct, and has no objective basis. That a person's gender should simply be what one says it is. Now, that might be a nice progressive, liberal, politically correct view, but it has no factual basis to support it. Simply put, this view holds that one's "gender" is whatever a person says it is, and that this gender is even subject to being changed on a whim.

The other view holds that what we call "gender" is actually rooted in physical differences in the brain. Further, it holds that these differences, while normally congruent with one's physical and chromosonal sex, can, in very rare cases, be at odds with them. That is, you can have a person who is XY, physically a male, but whose brain is female. Or a person who is XX, physically a female, and whose brain is male. This "gender" +is present a birth, and is not subject to change. This view is based on objective evidence, that can be observed, and even measured.

The first view is not scientifically valid, as it is not falsifiable, and therefore cannot be tested. It presumes its own truth. It is not subject to being tested, and as such, it remains, merely an opinion, without any objective value. In short, it is effectively a delusion. The second view can, and has been, tested, and so far has been verified. It does not presume its own truth, and can be modified as new evidence emerges.

Cassandra | May 8, 2008 12:42 PM

Zoe,

Why would the term "gender dysphoria" be any better? I was not dysphoric about my gender, which was always female.

Well, I'm assuming you weren't Harry Benjamin either, so why is HBS any better ^_^

I prefer my process to be referred to as "rebodying my goddessness," but hey, to each her own!

". . . survivors of HBS." I didn't know this. Interesting. I didn't know it was considered something that people had to survive from, like a plane crash of maybe a Godzilla attack. I thought it was something that people were proud of and embraced, somewhat like a religious cult in Texas. My heart truly goes out to all of you who have been saddled with this affliction. It makes me glad I dodged the bullet on that one.

Ms. Monica

Actually, strange as it might seem to some, in the NPR story, if the children are truly HBS, and that remains to be seen, neither therapist is good. The "transgender" friendly therapist is going to lead this poor child to think that she is the same as men who think that by simply saying so, they become women. This may well cause this child to doubt the veracity of her own feelings. Zucker, on the other hand, is simply a classic example of someone who thinks they can bully a child into no longer being HBS.

But, in either, or both cases, the children may outgrow their feelings. The simple fact is, most children like this either grow up to be gay, or the simply outgrow the feelings. This is what allows frauds like Zucker to stay in business. They can claim a high cure rate, simply because the children change their behavior, which would happen without the intervention...though usually without the intervention the children also avoid the added psychological damage that a bully like Zucker can cause.

Actually, strange as it might seem to some, in the NPR story, if the children are truly HBS, and that remains to be seen, neither therapist is good. The "transgender" friendly therapist is going to lead this poor child to think that she is the same as men who think that by simply saying so, they become women. This may well cause this child to doubt the veracity of her own feelings. Zucker, on the other hand, is simply a classic example of someone who thinks they can bully a child into no longer being HBS.

But, in either, or both cases, the children may outgrow their feelings. The simple fact is, most children like this either grow up to be gay, or the simply outgrow the feelings. This is what allows frauds like Zucker to stay in business. They can claim a high cure rate, simply because the children change their behavior, which would happen without the intervention...though usually without the intervention the children also avoid the added psychological damage that a bully like Zucker can cause.

Uh, Kaitlyn....

How does the statement "Persons born with Harry Benjamin?s Syndrome are born with male and female characteristics" exclude female to males. (I cannot imagine that any HBS male would want to be called a "trans man" anymore than I appreciate being called a "trans woman.")

No one is forcing anyone to have surgery. But I would say that anyone who does not wish to have surgery is almost certainly NOT HBS. Good grief, where do people get this stuff?

And the statement "As an example, many girls with Harry Benjamin's Syndrome have clearly feminine physical forms and bone structure prior to starting HRT," is simply a statement of fact. First off, it says "many," not "all." And second, it is simply true. Many of us do not require FFS, or other such procedures as we lack strongly masculine features, and in many cases, we exhibit other characteristics that tend more towards the female norm.

Please, try to deal with the facts, and not with what you seem to wish to find.

Lucy Bright | May 8, 2008 3:09 PM

Jennifer:
One view, the "transgender view," largely holds that "gender" is a construct, and has no objective basis. That a person's gender should simply be what one says it is. Now, that might be a nice progressive, liberal, politically correct view, but it has no factual basis to support it. Simply put, this view holds that one's "gender" is whatever a person says it is, and that this gender is even subject to being changed on a whim.

>You've listed four views in this paragraph as if they were equivalent, but in fact they're all different:

"gender" is a construct
>Certainly this is believed by some transgender people, though many agree with you that there is a biological basis for gender, in whole or part


gender has no objective basis.
>Even if we confine ourselves to those who believe that gender is a construct, that is not to say that it has no objective basis. The rules of baseball and the US constitution are both constructs, but they still exist. Just not in the same way that a lump of rock exists.


"gender" is whatever a person says it is
>Not really. Many transgender (and other) people hold that no one is as well qualified to testify to their own experience of gender as the individual concerned, but that's a different point.


gender is even subject to being changed on a whim.
>I've never heard anyone claim this! If they did, I'd agree with you in thinking it ridiculous, but I've never seen it.

I'm not a party to the discussion of whither HBS or whatever. My concerns are a lot simpler:

1. Zucker is a reparative therapist. Reparative therapy screws up minds. Period. Fact. That is a fact that I have dealt with on a local basis. We deal with one of these here, named Jerry Leech (Crossover Ministries). It's charlatanism and pseudoscience, no matter what term you wish to use to self-identify. Zucker does not belong on this panel.

2. Blanchard originated the notion of autogynephilia. Autogynephilia is complete baloney and psuedoscience, as well. It does not belong in any way, shape, or form in any volume of professional literature. I am, personally, a person who fits in neither of Blanchard/Bailey's neat categories. I know of probably hundreds of others who don't, either. Blanchard does not belong on this panel.

There is not a moment's question about the above.
The question is "what do we do about it?" Whether we like the APA, WPATH, or not, transitioning people have to get medications prescribed and surgeries performed. The medical professionals who do these need to have an accepted protocol to follow, and codes to use on the paperwork. The goal is to make and keep that necessary treatment possible with a minimum of hassle and fuss to the patient. Getting it covered under the trashed health care/insurance system we have in this country would be nice as well. Having these 2 pseudoprofessionals on this board, let alone as chair, isn't going to help at all.

By the way, NTAC does still exist. It just doesn't have a website presently.

Diane Kearny | May 8, 2008 3:53 PM

As usual Helms, you are absolutely wrong, wrong, wrong.
I transitioned in the late sixties and had surgery in NYC before Renee did and by the same surgeon.
I was treated by Dr Benjamin and Dr Ihlenfeld with the greatest respect, consideration and kindness and I never felt brow beaten in any sense. They advised me when I needed it and never did they lock any gates. I transitioned easily
because I did not have a fetish but did have a destiny designed in the womb before my birth.
In fact I am tall so according to you I would not pass the grade. Again, you are so wrong. Yes, my facial features were not masculine not unlike many who have red hair and fair skin and I did present satisfactorily after SAS without any facial surgery. So what?
And you are so far off on the heterosexual junk. I in fact shared a NYC apartment with a person who was an officer in the US Coast Guard and who was married with two children. He was also a patient of Dr Benjamin and did start on transition but decided even though attracted to males wanted instead to stay with his wife and children and Benjamin knew all along his status. So how does he fit into your rant and how too might I be seen by you when in fact I was asexual until after surgery? Again, you are so wrong.
I in fact never presented to Dr Benjamin or Dr Ihlenfeld in female garb until the week I was to be interviewed by the shrink so as to be certified as not being crazy and it was the only time I ever saw a shrink and even that was for less than an hour. In fact most of my hormone injections were given to me by my family doctor on Long Island, NY in accordance with the
instructions given by Dr Ihlenfeld. I was never browbeaten nor was I ever intimidated.
I continued to work during transition and was never required to change jobs although I did leave one job on my own after a company physical but that is a long story and had nothing to do with any of my transition doctors. In fact how I dressed never came up for discussion either. I simply dressed androgynously but that was not something that mattered to me or any of the doctors since my primary need never had anything to do with crossdressing in the first place.
Yes, I agree! Many today would not have been approved for surgery according to the simple standards that were in place at that time. First, you had to convince the doctors you were born with
a brain not in accord with your body. No internet then to get disguised answers from either. It did not matter how frilly one might present himself either. Dress-up was never the issue.
Those admitted autogynephiles like Lawrence, Arune and Finch definitely would have been screened more closely so as to avoid a mistake and being approved for surgery. And I feel that today there are too many of them being wrongly approved for surgery. Not enough 'gate-keepers' who know the difference between a ts and a tg.
You have no idea how many of us there are and as usual as a transgender you have no idea how we think nor how and under what circumstance we transitioned. We did not decide one day to become a woman which seems to be the attitude I see expressed by so many TG's. We knew from a very early age that something was wrong and often even our families were aware even if not accepting. We
did not nurture into becoming; we were born to it.
From your pictures I might even suppose you are older than me and perhaps it will be I who stands over your grave rather than you standing over mine. I, unlike you, would never hope that another passes on so I might gain satisfaction.
I don't hang around transgender forums or push my needs or wants upon others. You see I am different than you and those you cited perhaps because I really love being a woman and having satisfied a need to be whole in order to survive. I never trans'ed my gender, was always female. The only thing I trans'ed was my genitalia because it needed to conform to my ever present brain gender.
Unlike most transgender I never could have been able to live if told clothes would have satisfied me without surgical correction. From
your emails to our HBS group denouncing us I must assume you love your gender variable life much too much to give it up. But no matter, I accept that for some that is what being transgender really means. In fact I assume you love it so much that you try to impose it upon others.
I sense in your tone a jealousy toward those like me and it is you who lash out with false and uninformed testimony of what and who were those who transitioned in the late 60's and early 70's. I am witness to those days and you are simply an outsider advocate of transgenderism who mischaracterizes those who underwent what we did during that time. You have no idea what it means to have been born with HBS, a rather rare neurological congenital intersex birth anomaly according to those who really know what they are
talking about. But we are even, I really have no idea the reasons why someone would identify as a transgender either.
I fully accept your identity as a transgender and recognise that is what and who you really are. Please realize the fact I am not and never was a transgender, nor trans anything in fact, and accept that I am simply a woman who never was transgender or any of the elements under that masking label. Can you do that?
Diane

Thanks for pointing out what should be our highest priorities, Polar. I doubt that any debate we indulge in here will have an effect on the definition of GID or the DSM-IV. Where we can be effective is in discrediting the work and reputations of Zucker and Blanchard and lobbying the APA to explicitly disassociate their organization from fraudulent pseudo-science.

This is not an opportunity to propose our own theories on GID, transgenderism, or anything else. It is a time to apply negative pressure on the APA to clean up its act and get rid of two of our most insidious enemies.

I've gotten together more emails for people to contact; like the American Psychiatric Association's email contacts to the staff of the board of trusties.
Please no HBS comments though, I don't want to deal with that again.

Good point, Lish. A round of applause.

Thanks for pointing out what should be our highest priorities, Polar. I doubt that any debate we indulge in here will have an effect on the definition of GID or the DSM-IV. Where we can be effective is in discrediting the work and reputations of Zucker and Blanchard and lobbying the APA to explicitly disassociate their organization from fraudulent pseudo-science.

This is not an opportunity to propose our own theories on GID, transgenderism, or anything else. It is a time to apply negative pressure on the APA to clean up its act and get rid of two of our most insidious enemies.

It is sad that some feel the need to be so condescending in their remarks. No, when people transitioned cannot be offered up as an excuse for ignoring the truth. The simple fact is, HBS, or what once would have been called "true transsexualism" has always been relatively rare, and such people still, often tend to reject the transgender paradigm pushed by some here. That has nothing to do with having transitioned before, or after, a certain date as Helms suggests.

Further, Helms' remarks are based more on myth than reality. While doctors do know more about the treatment of HBS, the things suggested here are distortions, at best.

I admire Wendy Carlos for having the courage to stand up to the transgender types who would demand that she be like them, "out, loud, and proud." No, she prefers being a woman. Renee Richards, on the other hand, is a classic example of someone who didn't play by the rules, and has regretted it. I have recommended that therapists, and others, read "Second Serve," if they want a good example of the sort of person who should be turned away from having surgery.
And Lynn Conway lied a perfectly happy life, until some fool decided to out her. Her privacy was violated, no doubt much to the delight of the transgender types, who would deny privacy to any and all.

No, Helms' fantasy will remain just that, a fantasy. What will more likely happen is that the current fad of being "transgender" will run its course, and HBS women will continue to maintain their privacy, and those who want to be "out, loud, and proud" will all tire of that and move on to something else.

Okay, once more, battybattybats, I have to respectfully disagree.

The fact that I, and others, do not agree with, approve of, and decline to endorse and/or celebrate the choice of some to rebel against their own gender and the bigender paradim does not give you the right to refer to us as bigoted. You certainly have a right to your view, but it is one that I do not share.

As to treating HBS people like they ar "transgender"....well, that is not only highly insulting to us, but it is also quite misleading. First off, people who are transgender are not necessarily, if ever, suitable candidates for surgery. Administering hormones probably won't do significant harm, other than causing permanent sterility in males, so that is less of an issue.

The simple bottom line is that we want to be left out of your little movement, and you just can't seem to stand that.

It is not surprising that some would not understand the concept of being a "survivor of HBS." This just illustrates the difference between being transgender, and having a condition that can push one to transition or die.

Well, Jerry Leach is, more than anything else, a fraud. He claims to have been a "transsexual," but his story is totally full of holes. At best, he was probably a crossdresser who got a bit out of control, and fortunately, stopped short of making a tragic mistake. At worst, he is a con artist out to take advantage of peoples' ignorance and desperation. He, like most, should never have even considered surgery (assuming he actually ever really did).

And no, autogynephilia is not total crap. It is a very appropriate term for some. Blanchard's complete theory is total crap, but the idea that some men become some turned on by the idea of having surgery to become "women" is not crap.

Someone mentioned that the neurological theory I adduced could account for all the varieties of Transgender. So it does. It also accounts for sexual orientation, a whole different can of worms.

But without more evidence, this is in the realm of conjecture. We'd need to know a lot more about the brain before we can say that this is probable, or even hypothetical. TS has been poorly studied, sexual orientation even less well, but TG not at all.

The only reason that any of this is vaguely relevant is that, as Polar said, we are faced with two people in powerful positions peddling junk-science that isn't just harmless nonsense, but actually affects legal and medical areas.

I would prefer the discussion to be steered more in the direction of addressing the problem, as Polar said.

Let's face it, few lurkers reading this thread are going to be concerned about the issues of causality and the TG/TS divide so important to some of us. We have to concentrate on the main issue at hand. Zucker, Blanchard, and how to minimise the harm they will do. The rest will have to wait.

Battybattybats | May 8, 2008 9:57 PM

Just Jennifer and others.
Many comments are being made that seem to equate all people who identify as transgender as fetishistic crossdressers. This is just nonsense. There are plenty of transexuals who need surgery who nevertheless are fine with being considered transgender. It is offensive to everybody who accepts the idea of a spectrum of gender expression etc to equate all who fit within that group as being just one subset within that group.

And I. Am. A. Crossdresser. I don't consider myself 'fetishistic'. My male expression is rather androgynous and feminine and even expressed as male I have been mistaken on a few occassions as female. I'm not 'acting', my brain gender just seems in-between with different aspects fitting in more on one side and others the other and some neither and some seem to shift in cyclic patterns this latter being the main reason I consider myself a crossdresser and do not seek medical treatment to permanantly conform my body to a shifting need while also why I canot be happy being just an effeminate male. I'd love to hear more of the detailed multiple section neurological model Zoe mentioned as I expect I'd end up with an interesting mix of m's and f's some n's or N's and few F's and not many M's.

"First off, people who are transgender are not necessarily, if ever, suitable candidates for surgery" This is insulting and offensive. Not everyone who agrees with the transgender model is a crossdresser like me. You are insisting on imposing your view of what transgender means over the view of what transgender means to people who call themselves transgender. That is innaccurate misleading rude offensive and exactly what you complain about with others calling you transgender, worse still because if the transgender model is correct you actually would be transgender even if you don't like the label or associations whereas were HBS to be an accurate model unless 'hate's being associated with or associating with drag queens, crossdressers, genderqueer et al' is added as completely essential to the HBS definition then there will be people who would accurately fit the HBS model who nevertheless agreed with and called themselves transgender! Please cease such offensive hypocracy. If you want me to respect your HBS definition and model then in turn respect my Transgender one.

Maybe it's time the HBS side here treated the Transgender side here with the same respect to their identification, their explanation, their personal beliefs etc as they wish to get from the transgender people (and yes some transgender people should listen to that same advice!). Transgender may end up being a cultural and anthropological term rather than a medical one, HBS when sufficient science is done may be forced to accept neurological causation for all the people it currently excludes. Only vastly larger amounts of hard quality science following a large number of subjects from all gender related catagories over years/decades/generations will answer that conclusively.

"The "transgender" friendly therapist is going to lead this poor child to think that she is the same as men who think that by simply saying so, they become women. This may well cause this child to doubt the veracity of her own feelings."

What you seem to constantly fail to consider is that the transgender model intrinsicly involves diversity. Said child would be told that there are many different forms of transgender From Transexuals to Crossdressers to Genderqueer with some needing surgery and some not. Said child then gets to work out for themselves what is right for them being forced down neither path, being given the freedom to self-determine. Given such freedom an HBS person will still insist on surgery that they will then get, a transexual who could call themselves HBS but doesn't have a problem with the transgender model will still insist on surgery and still get it.
Someone who is gay, effeminate or a crossdresser will also have the freedom to go as far or not as suits them. That's the whole point. No-one being told they have to conform to a limited set of paramaters that may not actually suit them. The transgender odel may or may not be found to be accurate in the end (or it may) but at least it covers all the bases and is flexible enough to allow for different appropriate positive outcomes.

Drakyn, thankyou very much for those emails. At last something serious on the real topic!

Now can we please shift the HBS Vs TG argument to another forum or discussion thread here at Bilerico so we can concentrate in this one on spreading the message that Zucker is bad (And I only just learned what Zucker has been doing which is why I'm speaking against it now!) and gathering together as many people as possible of all walks of life, classses, catagories etc who can aggree Zucker=bad and try and get him off this comitee.

I'm spreading these emails Drakyn has raised to some transgender forums where there are crossdressers and transexuals who will work together to fight Zucker. I suggest everyone does similar with their own communities whatever those are!

Diane Kearny | May 9, 2008 4:55 AM

I think all to often those who subscribe to the HBS concept are told to 'shut up' and accept that the transgender will talk for them. The WAPTH folk do just that and I feel strongly so does the APA.
As long as the transgender insist upon listing transsexuals/HBS as if a sub-set under their banner of transgenderism there will be conflict and rightly so.
First of all understand who actually promoted the term transgender in the first place and why it is so insulting to equate his social construct to those who never shared his fetishism. This is how HBS people list TG and TS:
"TRANSGENDER (TG): A term coined by Charles
'Virginia' Prince, a married transvestite/cd and publisher of the tv/cd fetish magagazine
'Transvestia'. Although a transvestite who dressed as a woman full time with his wife he did not wish to be connected in any way with transsexual verbiage and did not understand their need to correct a medical anomaly. In fact he openly ridiculed HBS/TS's and called them delusional. He is credited with coining the non-biological social construct 'transgender'
as a masking term that has become an umbrella label for many sexual variants and/or fetishists such as transvestites, she-males, drag-queens, autogynephilics, gay or bi cross-dressers, etc. and many transsexuals and especially HBS born oppose the term being wrongly linked to them. Many autogynephiles, (transvestites who went to the extreme), who have opted for surgery also use the transgender term to identify themselves which is not that surprising since they too come from the same Gender Identity Disorder (GID) psychological mold.
"TRANSSEXUAL (TS), HARRY BENJAMIN SYNDROME, (HBS): A person with a very strong and persistent desire to anatomically undergo sex affirmation surgery, (SAS), so as to meld their body with their accepted inborn mental gender and eliminate the incongruity. Some claiming to be transsexuals or HBS are obviously not as reflected in the fluid statistics that estimate that only one person in hundreds claiming to have the questionable 'gender identity dysphoria' might be vaguely linked to transsexualism or the preferred term, "Harry Benjamin Syndrome" and approximately one in fifty of those may actually have sex affirmation surgery (SAS). HBS are born without a choice; most transgender are clearly the result of nurtured behavior and choose various elements of that term to define their behavior/lifestyle."

I see these two passages as being the crux of the matter. Transgenderism is a variable and within it describes not a single behavior but a myriad of alternatives that often mix and match. Fact is that the majority of transgender are not interested in anything to do with anothers need to affirm their sex to brain but instead their only real interest is protecting what they consider their rights as a cd/transvestite.
That is fine - for them - and I have no argument with that but it is their desired interest and has nothing to do with the needs of transsexuals or HBS born.
Where I draw the line is when they, under the transgender battle flag, include me or any other HBS born and/or transsexual as a referenced member of inclusion in many of their arguments to gain medical legitimacy. A legitimancy that might make demands in the form of behavior but rarely the same legitimacy needed by those HBS born.
And the most important argument I can make is if it was ok for a full time transvestite to self identify and promote transgender and others made the choice to follow his lead then why is it not ok for those of us who never linked with Mr Prince and his fetishism to self identify themselves in explaining our rather distinct and rare nature?
If someone wants to crossdress I would not stand in his/her way and respect their right to self identify. But a crossdresser has no right to demand I be represented by him/her and argue who and what I am. Almost like having a dermatologist give a lecture on brain surgery to use an analogy.
Transgenderism is a social construct and it lacks distinction whereas I and others like me are clearly medically distinct and rather few in numbers in comparison to all of those other elements who call themselves transgender.
I wrote a letter to the APA last year. In it I clearly outlined our stand and our need for clear separation from those under the transgender umbrella explaining in no uncertain terms that the transgender majority of crossdressers whose primary interest is mimicking the opposite sex - and yes a fetish for that is what fetishism is in all I have read - should not by their numbers control the basic medical needs of those born with HBS or equated in any way with those needs. Two separate issues need two separate legal and medical absolutes.
Some in this forum want us to shrink into the background while you make your plea to the APA. Not on your life. We are more affected by any changes in the APA than any crossdresser might be since no matter what or who sits on their board crossdressers will alway be seen as suffering a gender delusion under GID. They have allies in WPATH who support the transgender concept as applying not only to those under that umbrella but also include others who should never be treated with a mental dsyphoric problem but instead recognised as having a brain gender intact and not variable and the only treatment that could be curative is surgery to bring into alignment the body to the gender of the brain.
We are more affected than any person whose desire is to have the right to dress in one manner or another by any of the dictates of the APA. We are the ones who grew up in conflict that had nothing to do with boys or girls dressing up as the opposite sex. We grew up fully aware that our dreams had no expression and would never be fulfilled but by a surgical correction. So how might our turmoil be compared to a person who identifies as transgender and then demands I stand in the background while he includes my issue in his argument for protection to the APA. That is gall!

battybattybats battybattybats | May 9, 2008 10:08 AM

And yet I know transexuals that call themselves transgender and who support the causes of all people who consider themselves transgender including the causes of crossdressers. I know crossdressers who fight for the causes of transexuals.

It's their right to decide which model they support.

But why has this topic been changed into an HBS vs TG one? No-one was talking about speaking for the HBS supporters or for excluding the HBS supporters nor for only pushing for an TG rather than HBS plea to the APA when the anti TG off topic rants began prompting defensive counter points and overtaking this conversation?

Are you trying to change the whole discussion to HBS to try and ensure it is the main message sent to the APA?

As I thought it was more important to you too to get Zucker off this comittee. With him gone each group could send their pleas to the APA without fear of every transexual losing. With Zucker there neither side is in a good situation. Both could lose.

That's that whole 'mutual enemy' idea. Get it?

I do suppose the transgender transexuals might have an advantage what with all the non-transexual transgender ad GLB allies they have in comparison.

However, if I'm wrong as to my guess for your motivation please explain to me why you have deemed it neccessary to overtake a conversation about stopping Zucker with one about HBS seeing as 1. No-one said prior to you raising it that HBS people shouldn't speak up. 2. No-one said prior to you raising it that everyone else should speak for HBS people. Same with your other complaints about TG etc. None have the slightest bearing on Zucker and the need for both groups to be rid of him.

Diane, you could have come into this and said something like 'we HBS women have a lot more to lose in this, we too will try and stop Zucker.' And you would have my full support and we could work together to defeat this common enemy. You could even have added something like 'Then we will try and get HBS listed as a seperate condition.' and that could have been the end of the issue.

Instead we have a bunch of posts totally off topic and changing the topic into the same HBS vs TG debate that had appeared in many forums at many times.

What was the point? Why here and now? All you have done is derailed an important discussion, filled it with ideological debate, been totally dissmissive of others points of view in exactly the way you claim others have dissmissed yours and wasted everyone's time.

Why? What was to be gained. Why this particular discussion on this exact topic? Why derail this one to start a seperate debate about a seperate agenda. Sure you want a specific outcome from the APA but that isn't about Zucker. Zucker isn't pro HBS, he's pro reparative therapy, anathema to HBS!

So why are you helping your worst enemy by deliberatly and repeatedly and fervently sabotaging this discussion? You could have entered it on-topic, stayed in it on-topic and we could have had a relevant and productive discussion where the interests of HBS would have been heard and served by getting rid of Zucker.

This tactic appears nothing less than shooting yourself in the foot, political self-harm!

I'm not saying HBS people should shut up and step back, I WANT them to be part of this fight just like I want every human available to join against Zucker and I do recognise that HBS people have every right to be in this debate even though I disagree with much of the theory they adhere to. And by all means work to your own agenda just as others will work to theirs. But I cannot conceive of any possible sound reason to derail usurp and distract the cause of dethroning Zucker so long as Zucker is pro reparative therapy and not pro HBS.

So please, without another repetitive rant as to why HBS is better than TG and how bad it is to be near icky fetishists that has nothing to do with my question, succinctly tell me please why it is good to utterly derail and destroy the discussion about stopping Zucker?

Diane Kearny | May 9, 2008 11:38 AM

No Batty, you and the rest of those who demand transgender recognition also seems to make it quite clear that we HBS born either be part of the transgender argument as a sub-set or we are to be ignored. We are not transgender and that is the point that is always attacked as being somehow distructive. Our distinct identity is accepted only if keep in the closet.
If HBS is not to be accepted as a valid medical anaomly as shown by valid research and usually ignored by the transgender who see their position as one of choice then how can we ever expect they might argue for our separation from them in later arguments to the APA? No, the APA now must not only refuse Zucker's place on the board but must also recognize our position as being not in alignment with transgenderism but a separate issue to be dealt with now, not later.

Actually Battybattybats, the transgender model is what equates everyone under the transgender label. It pretty much holds that all who are "transgender" are basically the same, and that the only difference is a matter of degree. That is not remotely accurate.

Now, many choose to adopt a gender presentation that is at odds with their true gender. And that is the basic definition of what is properly called transgender. And again, such people are not good candidates for surgery. There is a big difference between someone who has known from early childhood that they did not fit the sex assigned to them at birth, and someone who decides to present their gender differently later in life.

And I stand by my statement, whether you find it offensive or not. I find a lot of what transgender activists say to be highly offensive. That certainly is not going to stop them from saying it. I'm sorry, but you don't have a right to not be offended. That is one of my biggest problems with the transgender model. It often demands far more than tolerance, demanding that people celebrate it instead. I'm sorry, but I find the entire concept behind transgender to be flawed. I believe at best, it is a muddled term born of an artificial political construct. At worst, it is an attempt to subvert one of the foundations of modern society.

And let me make this clear. The transgender model is NOT correct. And transgender is not remotely a medical term. Any attempt to use it as such is seriously misguided. It is, at best, a cultural term.

Now, I find it actually rather humorous that you demand that I "cease such offensive hypocracy (sic)." In another words, you demand that I accept your view, and abandon my own. Or at least stop expressing my view because it offends you. Please, tell me what gives you the right to dictate what views I can, or cannot express?

Well battybattybats, first off, it depends on what you mean by "transexuals (sic)." The proper spelling is "transsexuals." Spelling it with one 's' is a political thing that most find rather silly.

Now, simply put, HBS people, as well as many who simply identify as transsexual, would prefer to speak for themselves. We certainly do not wish to join some TG campaign. Further, this is really none of the transgender crowds business. How DSM-V classifies GID will have little effect on anyone who is not seeking surgery. The rest of the TG crowd will simply go on with no real issue.

Further, the HBS position is that ours is NOT a mental illness, so it has no place in DSM. Being transgender is another matter, but that is not our battle. I realize a lot of this stems from the seemingly mindless need of some TG activists to imitate the example of the LGB community. Removing homosexuality from DSM made sense at the time. Removing GID, at least without some other basis for surgery, does not. Of course, a lot of transgender activists actually oppose the concept of surgery, thinking it unnecessary. They would prefer that we all be good little gender outlaws, accepting ourselve as "women with penises," or "men without penises."

Lucy Bright | May 9, 2008 2:52 PM

Jennifer:
Further, this is really none of the transgender crowds business. How DSM-V classifies GID will have little effect on anyone who is not seeking surgery. The rest of the TG crowd will simply go on with no real issue.

There seems to be a good deal of trollery in some of these posts – such as the straw-man definitions of transgender that no one I’m aware of has ever held – but this point is at least on-topic. Yes, a Zuckerized DSM will affect those seeking surgery (including those transsexuals who identify as transgender). It will also affect those seeking hormone treatment. It will also effect transgendered children (and yes, HBS children too), who will presumably be sent down the reparative therapy route far more often – long before surgery becomes an issue. It will be influential on lawmakers, and have a knock-on effect on family and employment law, amongst many other areas. And, at a wider level, it will give the lay public carte blanche to assume (as some posters here do too, alas) that being transgender is a choice, and that transgender people are proper objects of their own phobia-powered hatred. Not only that, but given the APA’s prestige, the influence of a Zuckerised DSM will be felt not only in the USA but elsewhere. It’s NOT just an academic issue!

So, you consider it trolling when someone disagrees with you? That seems to presume that the transgender model is somehow sacred, and not subject to challenge.

First off, the DSM sets the diagnostic criteria, and the various classifications, for mental illnesses. It does not dictate treatment. What will happen if Zucker and Blanchard have their say, is that HBS women will be labeled with the terms homosexual transsexual and autogynephile. It will simply make those terms the "accepted" classifications, and go a step towards making Blanchard's largely discredited theories a bit more accepted. Interestingly enough, Blanchard has actually received little attention outside of a relatively limited circle of people. He has been largely ignored. That is the main thing that will change. In fact, I am surprised that the TG crowd is not cheering Blanchard on. I mean, his theories fit in nicely with the idea that gender is simply what you want it to be. He totally discounts any possibility of a physical cause. His primary purpose has been to discount the idea of an inherent female gender in transsexuals.

Actually, they will probably change little. More and more therapists are not even bothering with a diagnosis of GID. For women with HBS, it is not our gender identity that is disordered.

Wolfgang E. B. | May 9, 2008 5:50 PM

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I have Magnus Hirschfield Syndrome (MHS). :)

Honestly people! I don't understand the need to create such exclusive catagories. Are you HBS people trying to sway the medical community to deny treatment to people like me? Because sometimes that's the impression I get.

I'm a real transsexual man who does not desire genital surgery. That surgery is waaaaay too expensive and lacking, and I won't risk nerve damage to my sensitive little wang. I also have to get facial masculinization surgery (yes, I know most guys don't, but my chin is way too weak and that tends to give even cismales a feminine look). So I'm getting three surgeries altogether: Chest, face, and hysterectomy (and of course I'm on T). But HBSers no doubt consider me a "transgender fetishist," 'cuz I'm a gay guy who likes vaginal penetration. (I wonder how many cismale gays secretly wish they had that extra orifice). But I'm a real transsexual nonetheless.

Zoe Brain, as always, you truly live up to your last name. I love your hypothesis. Maybe I'm an MmfnmM or something. I strongly agree that transsexualism has a biological, not psychological basis. It should not be listed in the DSM at all. It belongs in the AMA's equivalent manual (the name escapes me at the moment), and should be considered a neurological intersex condition.

I wonder: If these bozos at the APA were to somehow succeed at relisting homosexuality as a mental illness, wouldn't that erode the APA's credibility? As for us, I think we have enough professionals and organizations on our side that there isn't much danger of us losing our right to obtain treatment. The AMA has greater authority (and prestige) than the APA.

More and more medical researchers are finding biological basis for "mental" conditions of all types. There could come a day when people suffering from many "mental disorders" are treated by neurologists rather than psychiatrists. Personally, I believe that the whole psychiatric profession is a dinosaur that's on its way out.

Lucy Bright | May 9, 2008 6:22 PM

>So, you consider it trolling when someone disagrees with you?

Not at all, but I do suspect trollery when people a) repeatedly present versions of their opponents’ ideas that are so very far from what anyone has, as far as I’m aware, ever said or believed, e.g. that “all who are ‘transgender’ are basically the same”, and “gender is simply what you want it to be”, and “gender is even subject to being changed on a whim”; and b) repeatedly attempt to railroad the discussion away from the supposed topic (DSM) into a HBS-transgender bust-up. I’m not a regular on this board, and maybe it’s always like this, but in the parts of the net where I usually hang out I would be thinking troll, yes.

To be fair, though, your last post was indeed on-topic. I’m no expert, but I’m kind of sceptical about your suggestion of a lack of a relationship between diagnosis and treatment. One may not dictate the other, but it would be naive to think that treatment is not going to be affected by beliefs about the cause and nature of the condition. And then there are all the extra-medical issues I mentioned, which are a factor of the diagnosis at least as much as of treatment.

>For women with HBS, it is not our gender identity that is disordered.

No disagreement from me there. I would say that mine isn’t either – just that it happens not to be male or female.

Well Wolfgang, I have to say, you are certainly a bit of a unique character, at least in my experience. I'm not a doctor, but I have to say, if I were, then yes, I would have serious reservations about your receiving treatment other than psychological. Fetishs are rare in those born female, but yes, you seem to fit the same catergories as some male crossdressers. If you are really happy using your vagina for sex with males, then I can no more see you as a "transsexual" than I can a MTF who is willing to penetrate a woman, but who calles himself a "lesbian." Or, worse, an MTF who is willing to penetrate a male, and who claims to be a straight woman. There are more than a few, as well as quite a few men looking to meet them.

Simply put, you are quite free to call yourself anything you wish, but the rest of us are equally free to see those claims as quite delusional. There are a lot of odd characters in the "transgender" world. Like so-called "non-lifestyle transsexuals" who want a vagina, but who want to live as men. Yes, a lot of people want to call themselves something that they are not. But that doesn't meant the rest of us have to go along with them.

Lucy, perhaps you should do more research as to what has been said. Much of what I have put forward has been said by some who are posting here in this debate. Of course, maybe they have come to realize that yes, it really is quite silly.

Yes, there are a lot of people who claim that crossdressers and "transsexuals" are just alike. There are people who claim that there is really no difference between someone who wishes to hold on to his penis, and an HBS woman who can't wait to be rid of hers. There are people who claim that they should be free to pick and choose their gender. There are even those who want to claim the right to change on a whim....being, in effect Mary one day, and John the next.

And given that you don't even understand what the DSM is, how can you claim to have any standing to raise issues about this? At least understand what you are ranting about beforehand.

And you are certainly entitled to believe that your gender identity is not disordered. But don't expect me, or pretty much anyone else, to agree with you. I am sure there are a few who will, but most simply won't.

Lucy Bright | May 9, 2008 7:36 PM

>And given that you don't even understand what the DSM is, how can you claim to have any standing to raise issues about this? At least understand what you are ranting about beforehand.

I’m not an expert, as I said myself – and I’d certainly appreciate hearing from those who are – but I’m a reasonably intelligent lay person who is likely to be affected (albeit probably indirectly) by the decisions that this committee is going to make. What further qualifications does one need to take part in this discussion?

Ranting, on the other hand, I will leave to the experts. I know when I’m outclassed!

Diane Kearny | May 9, 2008 7:39 PM

Why is it that the transgender insist that those who have had surgery are also transgender. Trans is a word of passage and as far as I can see that passage is over and done with for those who needed to take that path and finished the trip. The only reason why the transgender insist on even post surgical people as being transgender is simply to attach legitimacy to their social and behavioral attitude.
If I may let me explain those who welcome being part of the transgender spectrum and rightly belong there:
Transvestite: Usually a man who is heterosexual and gets a sexual thrill from crossdressing... in psychiatric terms a fetishist.
Crossdresser: Most of those who claim to be crossdressers have the same compulsions as do the transvestites. It confuses me why two different terms are used to describe the same behavior but that is not my concern but only the concern of someone inclined in that direction.
She-males: Claim to be transexuals (note one 's') but are really males who use the cloak of femaleness and the cover of transsexuality to attract male sexual partners usually in return for payment. They are homosexuals who advertise as transexual she-males.
Drag-queens: Males, most of whom are gays who have no inclination to change sex but perform in female costume.
Non-op transsexuals: Really an oxymoron since trans-sex means to either actually trans sex or prepare to trans sex. Someone who is non-op is just that, non-transsexual but rather transgender.
All of the above are simply transgender and that is fine since it really does easily explain the variant elements under the transgender umbrella.
Who might disagree and how so I might ask?
Up until the late 80's transsexuals were never joined to the transgender non-biological social construct and rightly so since one is a gender behavioral transference term and the other a medical term applied to those who needed to not mimic but driven to actually be the opposite sex.
That is a clear distinction but has been blurred by those who use the medical needs of HBS/TS's as the basis for their own demands of acceptance in their movement from one gender behavior to the other usually on a fluctuating basis.
Seems that to attach people who can be cured by surgical intervention with those that can live their lives without physical change from their birth sex are two separate issues not only politically but legislatively, medically and socially.
I would not have the moxie to speak for a crossdresser and argue for him; I would not have any idea of his needs or desires. And that too means that I don't want a transgender or any of the elements under that banner addressing himself as being the voice for me either since he/she has no idea of what and who I am or understand my basic need for surgical correction. I am what I am and he/she is a transgender and that is a fair analysis is it not?
Can you relate to that Batty and others. I will not speak for you and you should not speak for me. And no, I will not join you on your transgender platform for that would imply we are but different characters in the same play.

Diane Kearny | May 9, 2008 7:57 PM

Yes Wolfgang, we are trying to change the mentality of those who foster the concept that all transsexuals and HBS come under the same transgender concept.
We had our own medical identity long before the introduction of transgenderism but that has been hijacked by the porn artists and wannabee's and we now prefer HBS as a term that applies to our distinctive legal and medical needs.
I agree you are transsexual. Never insinuated that those in your position were not. And you may be HBS but that would depend upon whether you realized you had a deep and driven need to be physically the opposite sex before the onset of puberty. HBS has nothing to do with sexual orientation either. Does that clear it up for you?

Battybattybats | May 9, 2008 8:31 PM

"I'm sorry, but you don't have a right to not be offended."

Then don't complain when those who do think the transgender model more accurate than the HBS one consider HBS people as transgender even if you find that offensive. I don't mind which option is chosen, avoiding offense or insisting its ok, so long as we erase the double-standard of what frequently amounts to as 'don't offend me by calling me transgender, you pack of transgender crossdressing fetishistic perverts'

"The proper spelling is "transsexuals." Spelling it with one 's' is a political thing that most find rather silly."

I'm not making a political statement with my spelling. Look up the cognitive aspects of CFS particularly related to language, you'll then be rather impressed with my ability to do as well as I do.

"Now, I find it actually rather humorous that you demand that I "cease such offensive hypocracy (sic)." In another words, you demand that I accept your view, and abandon my own. Or at least stop expressing my view because it offends you. Please, tell me what gives you the right to dictate what views I can, or cannot express?"

Sorry, but you utterly failed to accuratly grasp what I was truly saying. The interpretation you just read into my statement entirely goes against other statements I made that clarify exactly what I meant and invalidate such an interpretation. It was the double standard I was asking to cease which, if you look at my posts, you will see is consistent. I support your right to a different point of view and to express it where topicly relevant.

However I notice a big empty space in your responses. A point was made, a question asked, which has not been answerd!

There are lots of Transgender related subjects here. Why was this one hijacked consistently and it seems quite deliberatly into this HBS debate?

Was it felt tacticly useful to derail this particular issue for some reason? Was it just some cynical decision to exploit the high profile nature of this issue to try and increase the amount of attention HBS would get to get more converts and spread its message? Maybe the Lawrance King discussions didn't seem the place to fling the word fetishist and pervert around when trying to increase the public HBS profile?

Deliberately taking a subject off topic is what has happened here. Surely HBS supporters have a right to be in this discussion as I have consistently said but cynicly exploiting it while thoroughly disrupting attempts to remove Zucker et al from this comittee by swamping and drowning out relevant posts in a flood of unrelated off-topic debate is distinctly different.

So, why not lets have a SEPERATE discussion here at Bilerico for the HBS Vs TG debate? I think that'd be a good idea. In fact if possible could we transfer all of the HBS VS TG comments here to that one to preserve them and delete the off-topic comments here so we don't have 75(guesstimate) or so totally off topic posts utterly derailing and abusing this subject?

People following links to this page aren't coming here to read rants from either side as to whose model is right, they are doing so because of Zucker and the threat he embodies. To get to Drakyns relevant and helpful post they must scan through huge amounts of off topic and unrelated stuff when all they will be looking for is related posts as to how to do something about the problem that this subject is really about!

Want a legitimate discussion on the pros and cons of HBS and TG? Good, I'd like that, but not in this discussion topic! This looks like nothing else but a propaganda excercise hijacking an important issue just to spout an ideological position! And if I'm wrong on the motive, answer me this.

Why derail this important discussion with an off-topic argument?

Wolfgang E. B. | May 9, 2008 9:59 PM

Just Jennifer, I'm not at all surprised by your rude response. Still, you should seriously ask yourself where your desire to control the identities of others comes from. You sound an awful lot like the people you consider your enemies.

Ultimately, what this all boils down to is the right of every individual to absolute sovereignty over his or her body. That is a fundamental human right, and one that we should all be concerned with.

Jennifer, looking at Wolfgang's writing, it's pretty obvious he's a guy. A gay guy, true, but a guy. That's the way guys think, and I'll never understand them as long as I live.

From the description of the surgery he requires, I'd say not significantly physically Intersexed in other ways. Standard factory model 46xx body, apart from the male neurology.

Given those facts, if you don't consider him to be TS, I think your definition needs revising.

You mistake a boy/girl difference for a TS/TG one.

Maybe you should hang around with FtoM guys more often. The straight ones are kinda fun, and have an unfair knowledge of female anatomy that more than makes up for any size issues. Er, so I'm told, she says hurriedly.

That's assuming you're straight, an assumption I shouldn't make about posters round here!

From: Wolfgang E. B.

Just Jennifer, I'm not at all surprised by your rude response. Still, you should seriously ask yourself where your desire to control the identities of others comes from. You sound an awful lot like the people you consider your enemies.

Di > I doubt Jennifer or anyone else is trying to control the identities of others; just the opposite it seems to me when others class everyone as transgender.
What she is saying is reflective of what others identify themselves as being, usually one of the transgender elements. And I never saw her call anyone her enemy.
Now, since you said that I must assume you feel those of us who identify as having been born with Harry Benjamin Syndrome have a right to that identity as opposed to being wrongly identified as transgender or any of its sub-sets. I must assume if Charles 'Virgina' Prince could identify himself first as a transvestite then change that to transgender and others follow his lead then why the objection to us defining our own identity that is actually one that honors the man who understood and advanced the possibilities of us getting medical treatment...Dr. Harry Benjamin.

Ultimately, what this all boils down to is the right of every individual to absolute sovereignty over his or her body. That is a fundamental
human right, and one that we should all be concerned

Di > I agree! Control your own body and no one should have a right to bar your right to do so. But, what Jennifer and so many of us are arguing, and it seems to be ignored, is that we do not accept those who never needed surgery in order to survive labeling us as something we never were...transgender. That is control is it not?
Why should a person who is a crossdresser as example be involved in any way with how the DSM affects those of us who are preparing for surgery or who have already had it?

Di > And, I must correct an error I stated in a previous post. If a FtM is trying to tell me that they are transsexual but have no wish to eliminate their birth sex genitalia and want to still actually use it sexually then I, like Jennifer, agree that they are no different than the transgender males who claim they are
'transsexual she-males' who would never eliminate their primary sex genitalia...they are simply
transgender. I skimmed over that part of the FtM post and missed that little bit of info. My error!

Di > The issue here is honesty. If you are one of the elements under the transgender banner than why not simply identify as just that? Why the subterfuge of masking your identity under a term that can only be classed as a cloaking device?
We don't accept being part of any mysterious identity. We state clearly that we are HBS born women or men who had a birth problem that is correctable by surgery. Can you respect that or do you need to use us as a sub-set under your transgender inclusion for reasons that only serve others selfish purposes and demand for special privilege?
Diane...HarryBenjaminSyndrome.org

Diane Kearny | May 10, 2008 4:52 PM

Batty,
What I think is really 'off-topic' is that you seem to feel that a crossdresser has the right to give voice to a matter that will not affect one iota the behavior of a person who crossdresses. The issue with Zucker has to do with how those who identify as HBS or transsexual and need surgery will be classed in the DSM.
We don't need your permission to debate the differences between HBS and transgenderism...that was settled when Prince the transvestite called himself a transgender and we on the other hand identified ourselves as HBS born after already being medically identified as transsexual.
We are the ones being directly affected by the Zuckers, Blanchards, Bailey's, Lawrence's, Dreger's and the whole of the transgender advocates who seem to be off-track when it comes to the issues that deal with a life threatening condition that leads to many HBS and transsexuals taking their own lives as a means of escape from the tragedy of their brain sex being in conflict to their genital sex. Can you ever understand that?

Wolfgang E. B. | May 10, 2008 6:37 PM

Diane wrote, "Yes Wolfgang, we are trying to change the mentality of those who foster the concept that all transsexuals and HBS come under the same transgender concept."

Okay, but you'd be much more effective if you (the HBS community as a whole) used some tact rather than going on the offensive. All that does is create a backlash.

Diane wrote, "And you may be HBS but that would depend upon whether you realized you had a deep and driven need to be physically the opposite sex before the onset of puberty."

By your definition, I am HBS. I figured out that I was both male and gay by age 7 and started questioning by age 3. That aside, I won't call myself "HBS" or help to advance the wider usage of that term until I see a change in the general attitude of the HBS community.

Wolfgang E. B. | May 10, 2008 6:46 PM

And back on topic, here's something we can all agree on: A petition to the APA.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/412001300

battybattybats battybattybats | May 10, 2008 10:13 PM

Diane, I have a say in this because i have transgender identified transexual friends who could fit your HBS definition except they agree with the transgender model desperately saving for surgery who cannot thus afford internet access. I have transexual friends who just plain aren't as good at putting their thoughts into words and arguing well who appreviate my speaking up on these issues.

They call themselves transgender. They don't give a stuff who coined the term or why. They just feel that the different subsets are all distinct yet related, like Aspergers and exreme Autism are still related, That many of the same issues of law and privilege and bigotry affect us all, that we make good allies and watch each others backs and fight for each others needs. When I need to understand their experiences, thoughts and needs that they haven't yet explained them to me I ask them about it. If I get something wrong they explain it to me.

And if no-one not imediately affected by a wrong or injustice could speak out or act against a wrong or injustice how many minorities would ever get anywhere? I'm certain my aboriginal family members would not have a vote or be counted in the census and would still be stolen from their families and raised in abusive culture destroying mission schools if they had no allies!

Meanwhile you insist on defining all the subsets within transgender under your own terms, you define transgender under your terms. Who here has actually said you can't call yourself HBS and not transgender? I haven't! I currently accept the transgender model as being more accurate than HBS, if one model is right you are transgender and if the other is then your not. Both could also be partly right or both could also be utterly wrong. Decades of sciece might give us the answer, maybe. Neverheless I keep saying that I respect your right to call yourself whatever you want no matter how wrong I think you are.

I consider myself transgender and a crossdresser. Just because as a pre-teen I only cried myself to sleep wishing I would wake up a girl the next day only some of the time and not all of the time, it being a cyclical thing, I did not fit in with either all the time, means I definately do not fit the HBS model nor the view of crossdressers that you HBS people keep using to define me!

So if you want me to respect your experience and the interpretation you feel best explains it and the label you prefer then do the same with me! I'm only asking of you what you keep demanding of me! Respect that what transgender means to me is not what it means to you! My male expression is often rather genderqueer. I have been occassionally mistaken as female when expressing as male so long as I shaved, whether at age 9 or last week. I use the term crossdresser because I discovered that attempting to just stick to being androgynous or a very feminine male was not sufficient but nor seems transitioning. I have seen three different psychologists from three different schools of psychological thought from Jungian to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. None agree with the fraudian fetish definition. All concluded that for my long-term successful mental health and happiness I needed to accept both male and female expression as intrinsic parts of myself and experience since then has validated that.

For all I know the strangulated hernia I suffered as a baby might be a medical cause, discussions on crossdressing forums sugest it is very common amongst crossdressers. The glandular effects of the chronic fatigue syndrome might be too, or the intracellular epigenetic and mitochondrial changes caused by it could also contribute.

It may not fit your model of what crossdressing is but that just invalidates your model. In science and medicine when you find anomalous data that does not fit the model you must adjust or discard the model not disregard the anomaly. Judging by behaviour HBS doesn't seem to be anomalous, just another group of people who don't like being associated with others outside the groups self-defined limits.

And you still haven't answered my question!
Why have you taken this subject from people discussing Zuckers appointment as chair of this comittee and deliberatly changed the subject?

It's not about needing my permission, it's about being called out on a clear and deliberate action. No-one said you shouldn't mention HBS and the way Zucker could effect the needs of HBS people. I keep saying I agree you need to be able to do that (why can't you accept that?). But you didn't do that. You launched into a diatribe against transgender instead! And you keep maintaining that diatribe. You have intently started a debate and argument on a seperate topic. You have deliberatly and intently changed the subject. You have filled this discussion on Zucker with a seperate discussion about whose right HBS or TG.

Why?
And for that matter why do you now keep refusing to answer why you did this?

Come on, own up to it. Your first post in this discussion was an anti-trans diatribe and you have insisted on continuing that diatribe in your subsequent posts riding right over the top of the topic of Zucker. I know why you disagree with Transgender, you've said it aplenty. But why did you hijack this discussion rather than any of the other Transgender bilerico discussions?

Why?

battybattybats battybattybats | May 10, 2008 10:45 PM

Thankyou very much Wolfgang for the petition link. I'll pass it on, to all manner of people who will recognise how important it is.

Wolfgang, being truthful is not rude. You can call yourself whatever you want, but again, I have no obligation to agree.

And while you may claim an absolute right to "control your body," I have to disagree. Again, I would recommend to any doctor that they refer you for psychiatric counseling, and not surgery.

Battybattybats, I don't complain...I simply refute the silliness that the transgender types keeps spewing.

And yes, this discussion is pertinent to the issue at hand, because it is another example of the transgender activists trying to hijack an issue that is not really theirs.

Battybattybats, I don't complain...I simply refute the silliness that the transgender types keeps spewing.

And yes, this discussion is pertinent to the issue at hand, because it is another example of the transgender activists trying to hijack an issue that is not really theirs.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 11, 2008 12:21 AM

Just Jennifer, please provide me with a link to the undiscrdited peer-reviewed, methodologicly sound, statisticly significant number of subjects including, comparative neurological study that shows that transexuals like Wolfgang lack the neurological differences found in HBS transexuals and show no neurological difference from a control cisgendered/cissexual population.

If you can't then your making unsupported assumptions based on ideology. That would mean that you are definatly hijacking this discussion, not by being in it but by changing it's topic.

Even if you managed to find such a study (which would be truly fascinating reading and could totlly change my views on the subject, provided it meets all the listed criteria)so long as there were any HBS qualifying transexuals who did not concur with HBS ideas and belonged to Transgender groups and agreed with the transgender model then transgender advocates would not be hijacking the discussion, they would have a place advocating for those transgender transexuals.

You might also want to note the difference between honesty, saying what you truly believe, and truthfullness, saying what is true. You may just have several million dollers worth of science to go through before you can be truthful when saying what you can now say honestly.

Also look up tact. It's this wonderful thing where you can convey the same basic point in an honest way that lacks offensive connotations and unwarranted, unmeant secondary meanings while also being considerate of the feelings of people your talking to. Crude and blunt tactless honesty is supposed to be considered a male trait in western society isn't it? So why are so many HBS women failing to use a bit of basic feminine tact?

A little diplomacy and tact can go a long way. As my Grandmother used to say 'it's not what you say, but how you say it!'

Zoe, I have to disagree. This person is born female and states a preference for vaginal sex. That is the equivalent of a male claiming to be a woman, but stating that he likes having his penis. Having a vagina, and enjoying using that vagina may qualify one as a man in the transgender model, but I'm sorry, I don't see it.

I realize that surgery for an FTM is limited, but even within those limits, saying one is happy with one's vagina contradicts one's claim of being a man.

BBB - hear hear!

JJ - I'm IS not TS, technically, so maybe I've been around a bit more. There are IS gay men, xy chromosomes, masculine bodies, but with vaginas who are born that way and like it like that. Being fair, I know of no straight ones in a similar situation who are comfortable with it.

Gender is between the ears, it's neurological, not somatic. Sexual preference and even body image, while related, are separate issues.

IMHO (not a statement of fact like the rest) the most practical divide is between those who need medical help, and those who don't. If you need at least HRT to cause your body and mind to align with your gender identity, you're TS, even if IS in other ways too.

Now onto something On Topic.

See Dr Zucker's views at Throckmorton's Blog. And BTW in my experience, Warren Throckmorton is not the idiot he's been made out to be. Doesn't consider being Gay is a medical condition, is opposed to "reparative therapy" etc.

I'll quote:

The ethnic identity literature leads to a fundamental question about the psychosocial causes of GID, which Langer and Martin do not really address. In fact, they appear to endorse implicitly what I would characterize as “liberal essentialism,” i.e., that children with GID are “born that way” and should simply be left alone. Just like Brody was interested in understanding the psychological, social, and cultural factors that led his Black child patients to desire to be White, one can, along the same lines, seek to understand the psychological, social, and cultural factors that lead boys to want to be girls and girls to want to be boys. Many contemporary clinicians have argued that GID in children is the result, at least in part, of psychodynamic and psychosocial mechanisms, which lead to an analogous fantasy solution: that becoming a member of the other sex would somehow resolve internalized distress (e.g., Coates, Friedman, & Wolfe, 1991; Coates & Person, 1985; Coates & Wolfe, 1995). Of course, Langer and Martin may disagree with these formulations, but they should address them, critique them, and explain why they think they are incorrect. I would argue that it is as legitimate to want to make youngsters comfortable with their gender identity (to make it correspond to the physical reality of their biological sex) as it is to make youngsters comfortable with their ethnic identity (to make it correspond to the physical reality of the color of their skin).

On this point, however, I take a decidedly developmental perspective. If the primary goal of treatment is to alleviate the suffering of the individual, there are now a variety of data sets that suggest that persistent gender dysphoria, at least when it continues into adolescence, is unlikely to be alleviated in the majority of cases by psychological means, and thus is likely best treated by hormonal and physical contra-sex interventions, particularly after a period of living in the cross-gender role indicates that this will result in the best adaptation for the adolescent male or female (e.g., Cohen-Kettenis & van Goozen, 1997; Smith, van Goozen, & Cohen-Kettenis, 2001; Zucker, 2006). In childhood, however, the evidence suggests that there is a much greater plasticity in outcome (see Zucker, 2005a). As a result, many clinicians, and I am one of them, take the position that a trial of psychological treatment, including individual therapy and parent counseling, is warranted (for a review of various intervention approaches, see Zucker, 2001). To return briefly to the ethnic identity disorder comparison, I would speculate that one might find similar results, i.e., that it would be relatively easier to resolve ethnic identity dissatisfaction in children than it would be in adolescents (or adults).
...
Two caveats: first, the literature on psychosis and ethnic identity conflict that is cited in no way was meant to imply that transgendered people are psychotic; the comparison is to a very small number of people who have “delusions” of gender change in which the primary diagnosis is Schizophrenia. This was first noted in the DSM-III and remains in the DSM-IV text description; second, I can criticize my own argument along these lines: “Well, this may all be true, but surely there is no evidence for a biological factor that would cause a Black person to want to be White, but maybe there is a biological factor or set of biological factors that either predispose or cause a person with the phenotype of one sex to feel like they are of the other sex (gender).” And to that I would say fair enough.

So the weak form of HBS is gaining ground.

Wolfgang,

I have no intention of being anything but honest and if others consider that to be in need of tact then perhaps they never had to face the issues I have during my lifetime. But then they obviously never had to deal with the brain really being fully female or male, (not part time mind you) and having a body in contradiction. I have been a physical woman longer than ever that male indicated person at birth. Now so many insist somehow that never happened and want me and others to accept that we once again have to 'trans' even if only to be part of the ongoing illusion and acceptance of trans-gender.
Let me make one tactless point of clarity:
If a person is born with a female body, likes men sexually, and desires to have sex with males by use of her vagina which she definitely wants
to maintain then she is a heterosexual female. You may have gender identity issues but you are female in the legal and medical sense no different I might suggest than the so called
'pregnant male' recently in the papers but who at least referred to herself as transgender and
not transsexual or God forbid, HBS.
You may have 'genderqueer' behavioral attitudes as you vaguely put it yourself and that I admit gives you the right to call yourself transgender.
You 'transed' your gender to satisfy a sexual need and that is not HBS in the slightest nor I might suggest even classic transsexual since your
desire is not to ever actually change your sex, just to adapt to a physical and behavioral concept suitable to your sexual needs. That is classic transgender Gender Identity Dysphoria is it not? It would never be classed as HBS and the simple truth is that being HBS born does not
include a self diagnosis that allows that a patient pick and choose selectively one part of the diagnosis and ignore the others to suit themselves. HBS, unlike transgender, does not have subset categories to which one might link. Need to get the correct info Wolfgang and here is where you might find it:
http://harrybenjaminsyndrome.org./

Now the issue of the petition: it is a
'transgender community' petition so it definitely is designed to exclude those like me. It leads the reader to accept that all of the signatories are transgender and/or a supporter/advocate. Not being one I would not opt to sign or agree with the premise of the petition.

Batty, you are what you are and I have no problem with that. But by your own admission you are a transgender...a crossdresser. And using your friends as a reflection of your argument seems to be about the same as the old refrain of defusing ones bigotry with a, 'Some of my friends are
(fill in the blank) so I could not be a bigot.
Perhaps to you my being a PoliSci major makes it seem I might have some aggressive masculine traits and less feminine ones simply because that training lent itself to my being more assertive. Now that is a presumption that many feminists would find appalling. I only find it insulting but then I should not be quite so blunt since I am only a simple woman who should scurry off into the kitchen with a whispered murmur.
Fact is there is clear and substantial evidence to back up the issue of transsexuals being biological. Batty, I think you and so many others here denounce the research evidence because either it shows a very clear cause for one being born HBS or transsexual but in the research it
also clearly found transgender, or those classed as transvestites, gays and other elements under the TG umbrella, not to have the same hypothalamus
and genetic identity as does the transsexual. Read on our site the studies done and especially the BSTc research that was in later BSTc and genetic research substantiated.
Why Batty, do you a crossdresser demand that I accept your justifiable identity yet denounce me and others for expressing our own medically
legitimate recognition. Why is it that so many add a medical term (transsexual) as a sub-set under the transgender banner...a banner furled in its creation to hide actual psychological diagnosis'. Might it be to confuse others into believing that a diagnosed medical condition is no different and should be treated under the same parameters as delusional behavioral personalities. I tend to lean toward the latter.
Diane - http://harrybenjaminsyndrome.org./

P.S. I was referred to this site and specifically to this topic by a very angry woman. The person who sent me the link read the posts but she prefers like most who have had surgery and moved on, not to get into diatribes with those to whom she cannot relate. Many of us get on with our lives after SAS and want simply to be the women we are. Only because of the transgender idiocy
do we come out at all and that is usually when our issues are threatened by demands of those who are not at all like us but want to somehow fool
others into thinking they should share in the same rights and privileges of those who underwent surgery. That is a bunch of hooey and you know it and I know it. Accuse me of being a separatist and I would welcome it with delight.
Diane

From: Wolfgang E. B.

Diane wrote, "Yes Wolfgang, we are trying to change the mentality of those who foster the concept that all transsexuals and HBS come under the same transgender concept."

Okay, but you'd be much more effective if you (the HBS community as a whole) used some tact rather than going on the offensive. All that does
is create a backlash.

Diane wrote, "And you may be HBS but that would depend upon whether you realized you had a deep and driven need to be physically the opposite
sex before the onset of puberty."

By your definition, I am HBS. I figured out that I was both male and gay by age 7 and started questioning by age 3. That aside, I won't call
myself "HBS" or help to advance the wider usage of that term until I see a change in the general attitude of the HBS community.

Battybattybats | May 11, 2008 11:57 AM

"Now so many insist somehow that never happened and want me and others to accept that we once again have to 'trans' even if only to be part of the ongoing illusion and acceptance of trans-gender."

Strange, I don't see a lot of that insistence. I see a lot of HBS people insisting only their viewpoint is accurate but most of the transgender people here (bar a few early comments) are respectfully disagreeing with you. Our view that you are trans does't mean we insist you agree, unlike your constant insistance that we agree with you.

So many straw men the ancient Mongols would be impressed.

Don't like the petition? Maybe if you asked the people behind the petition they might change it to make it more inclusive. Otherwise you could set up your own perhaps? If you set up an ideologicaly neutral one I'll sign it too, and encourage others to do so too. If it's from an HBS point I might not as you've been losing my support substantially lately, but I won't discourage others from signing it.

I use my friends in my argument because they illustrate that people can be transexual even on your terms without aggreeing with you. Not some excusatory cop-out. After all, I have nothing to excuse, I keep my arguments as strictly ethical as I can.

And then the excuse from you that tactlessness is just assertiveness. I decry such tactlessness in men and transgender people too. I quoted my (political activist) Grandmother's lesson to me as a child after all. It doesn't matter what you are, if you want to get your point across effectively you need to consider how it will be recieved. It's about the subtextual communications and if you glance over some psycho-linguistics one of these days (maybe there was some references to the field under propaganda, media and political communciation in your uni texts) you might find it an essential component to all effective comunications. you'll find it'll help you actually convince a lot of people that you are right and will lift the 'bigot' label that is placed on you so often which is I suspect purely the result of your tactlessness.

You bring up studies again. Please provide the links to ones that match the criteria I listed previously. Any that fail any one of those criteria may be 'suggestive' but are not 'conclusive' as anyone with a basic scientific literacy education understands (unfortunately something seriously lacking even in a lot of tertiary level education). 'suggestive' studies are interesting as they can point to areas deserving further research but they are too statisticly small or too narrowly defined or tested or too methodologicly weak to do more than point at the possible benefits from investing resources in a larger more thorough study. These often confuse the average scientificly illiterate person as to how much weight they carry and what they actually mean. Just a glance at the average news media of the latest 'wonder drug' or 'cancer breakthrough' when such a thing is from a tiny mouse tissue study at least 10 or more years from being applicable to humans most of which never pan out illustrates. If you have a 'conclusive' study however I'd love to read it. Anything that fails just one of the criteria I listed won't cut the mustard though, for good reason. I know all too painfully well what happens when people treat suggestive studies as conclusive. I know it through extreme personal physical pain and 10 years later I still have not recovered my quality of life to the point it was before. Such 'suggestive' studies are not proof. Any assertion made on them is assumption based on inconclusive evidence.

Hmm where is this denunciation I made? More straw men Diane? I actually AGREED with your right to self identify.

I said I respect your right to self identify. I said I agree transexualism appears to be neurologicly caused. I said HBS may be an accurate model even though it is not currently medicly recognised (I know all to well what it's like to suffer an illness that was not at the time medicly recognised) but I currently don't accept the HBS criteria and that I doubt that non-HBS transgender types (though maybe not all, but then maybe all) have no similar neurological component. I said that I currently accept the transgender model and that if it's correct you would be transgender, I have repeatedly however respected your right to agree with HBS and to advocate it and to not agree with the tansgender model. I do not insist you agree with the transgender notion. Only that you be as respectful of others as you want them to be of you, to avoid offending others when you complain about others offending you, to not catagorise others (that she-male comment was especially offensive! in many countries thats the only livelihood trans people can get, forced into it to afford any medical care and forced to retain their genitls to maintain their employment!) if you complain aboutothers catagorising you.

Why then are you misscharacterising my position?

Again I and every other transgender person I have ever met couldn't give an expletive as to why the term transgender was created. It simply most accuratly matches out experiences, draws us together in our shared battles and gives us allies in each groups unique battles, whether Drag, Crossdresser or Transexual. We define what transgender means to us, your definition is irrelevant to our experience just as our definition of HBS is irelevant to yours. No-one I know is trying to "confuse others into believing that a diagnosed medical condition is no different and should be treated under the same parameters as delusional behavioral personalities" for several reasons one being that none argue all transgender people are the same and especially because outside of the dwindling Fraudian school a lot of psychologists don't consider them delusional behavioural personalities. I've seen three, all said I showed no signs whatsoever of any psychpathology they recognised nor delusion nor anything but for an increased risk of developing depression because I was suffering one of the most debilitating stressful and discriminated against disabilities, CFS (one study found it's suffering comparable to the last two weeks of terminal cancer extending indefinately). They remarked at my extreme resiliance, answered my questions as to Transgender where they disagreed utterly with your views and then helped me learn new coping methods for working around the cognitive impairments of my varying 'brain fog' symptoms.

All the transgender people I know, many of whom are transexuals seeking to fully transition and many of whom are crossdressers, do not want transexuals treated as you suggest we do. We want them to get easy access to hormones and SRS, on the public health scheme where appropriate. We want them not to face workplace discrimination or have their passports listing their birth sex and a host of other issues.

You aren't just misscharacterising my position but the position of the majority of the transgender community!

Unless you actually want Zucker on this comittee then overtaking this discussion is risking losing allies and valuable resources in the struggle to remove him. Hence counter-productive for your position.

Do you instead then actually want Zucker to stay?

If you want all the transgender people including all the transgender identified transexuals which from what i hear outnumber the HBS identified ones to back out of this, provide the scientificly unshakeable conclusive peer reviewed etc study. Even then the transgender identifying transexuals have as much right to a say as you do.

What threat was there in this specific discussion on getting rid of Zucker from before your first post to your issues and what comments before your first post so angered your friend?

What specificly was it that brought you out?

As for your 'rights and privileges' comments, what have they whatsoever to do with this topic? Setting aside all the enlightenment philosophy and all the rest that goes into that discussion, what has that to do with THIS topic, the one about Zucker?

So your deliberatly derailing this topic because you feel transgender people having a say in this is a threat to you? how can that be if you don't want to keep Zucker? What everyone thinks should be in the DSM is a seperate issue (and even that you've hardly touched on!)

Your not seeming to be winning any converts or allies in this discussion. You certainly are failing utterly at convincing anyone that they are wrong about the transgender model. Your not preventing people from campaining for transgender viewpoints to the APA as there is plenty of that going on in other forums. Your giving people a distinctly bad impression of HBS, especially by insisting on maintaining an argument in this thread that was apparently utterly uneccessary. There doesn't really seem to be any gain for you in this. You've come out of your stealth which, while i consider it from my viewpoint slightly morally dubious, is nevertheless your right and perfectly understandable from your viewpoint (there I go again insisting on both having my own view while acepting and respecting your right to your own, hope you notice it this time) to come here and rant ad neaseum but you don't actually seem to be getting anywhere with it.

We've heard your views. We don't agree. You don't agree with us. Until you either improve your rhetoric (*hint* tact *hint*) and/or get some decent solid evidence then we'll be in an ideological stalemate, wasting time and distracting each of us from the important issues, those we agree on and those we disagree on.

Also you've seriously got me wrong.

You see I'm not trying to insist youjoin the transgender movement and accept the transgender label. I'm actually an easy going and accepting person. I get along with people from all walks of life. When I was studying comparative theology I made a point to learn to get along with people of vastly different belief systems to my own, to be able to debate various points of view even on substantially important and volatile subjects. If I can be friends with, and sit at a table together with, conservative christians, jews, muslims and satanists and we can all get along despite utterly disagreeing on the vast majority of subjects then i see no reason why HBS and Transgender people can't do the same, especially in this thread where we both seem to want the same thing, Zucker et al out of the DSM comittee.

I've made a point of trying to bring things back on-topic. Of asking you to co-operate, without shutting up or towing the transgender party line but to be fully inclusive so we can all focus on defeating the mutual enemy.

Instead you appear determined to have an argument. That seems to be your intent and to no avail. This argument goes nowhere and gets nobody anything.

Still I'll ask you and the rest of the HBS people. Without giving up your voice can you please stick to the topic at hand, stopping Zucker et al from having too great an influence in the next edition of the DSM! You can give your HBS perspective on this issue without recourse to paragraphs of anti-trans preaching. I'm sure there are other places you can do that where it might actually win some people over. We should be able to respectfully disagree on the HBS VS TG politics and still work on the mutual goal. I know I can. I'm asking you to do so too.

Regardless, I'm passing those addresses and the petition around. Some people, yes even crossdressers, find it more important to actually do something about the problem than to spam up discussions with ideological diatribes.

So, we have some addresses, we have a petition. Whats next?

What a bunch of pompous windbaggery. While you are all pontificating in jargon, there are people suffering in the world. I'm ashamed of you all.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 11, 2008 12:24 PM

VivaZoya.
That is a good point.

While I have been posting my comments here i have also been spreading the links and addresses posted here to others elsewhere to raise awareness of this, to get as many people active as possible on this.

Perhaps It's been a mistake though for me to try and communciate with those who are so determined to have arguments and use this as a platform for their particular ideology.

I keep suggesting we have those arguments elsewhere so this particular important discussion remains on-topic.

I'm having trouble with staying logged in for long so my last comment might end up after this one.

Irrespective, the ideological argument will NOT be settled here and now, so lets stop wasting the time and energy over it in this discussion and get back to the real topic. Those of us who want to debate various models for the phenomena should do so elsewhere, myself included!

The reality is Zucker and Blanchard = bad. So, how else do we try and stop them?

Wolfgang's petition is a perfect example of the arrogance we have to put up with. Wolfgang says it is something we all can agree on, and yet, the peition is labeled as coming from "The transgender community." Sorry, but there is no way I could agree to that. That is exactly why we are having this debate.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 11, 2008 12:40 PM

Then, Just Jennifer, make your own alternate inclusive one that takes no sides. I'd sign that too and send it to others to do so.

Or you could make one just for HBS people to sign.

Either way you don't have to sign this one.

But something must be done.

Batty,
Originally I responded to this site simply because it was asking for objections to the appointment of Zucker and Blanchard to the APA board and I was directed to it. But when I saw the original plea decrying the plight of the transgender I was a bit turned off. Simply put, approximately 90 to 95% of those under the transgender umbrella usually identify as something other than transsexual and perhaps over half of the remaining 10% from my experience use the medical term of transsexual in confusion or to give themselves medical legitimacy.
What really disturbed me most though is that transgender was used continually in the plea and at the very end the issue became one that affected transsexuals. So, once again my identity as is happening so often nowadays is labeled as if a transgender. That is what disturbed me. If the DSM deals with those who are transsexual then why label them as something most often equated with gender behavioral and/or variant gender confusion which transgender most definitely covers.
Zucker considers most transsexuals, as does Blanchard, Bailey, McHugh and others as being only two categories: homosexual transsexual or autogynephiles. The fact that many of us before surgery were actually asexual never enters their mind. Just shows where they are coming from as I see it. Visits to many drag clubs and trans clinics is my theory. They ignore the crossdressers except as a separate issue. So why then must the crossdressers become attached to a plea we might make other than in support. They belong to the 'Transgender Community' whereas I never 'trans'ed' my gender which for everyone is hardwired at birth but instead 'trans'ed' my genital sex.
Read your considerable tomes Batty and now can understand why you picked that nickname. That is not an attack, just an observation.
You continually want me to reply to a negative. No, I have no medical theory for transgenderism since it is a social construct usually dealing with a concept I and many others equate with simple transvestites, or if you wish...crossdressing. It is a psychological identity and not a medical condition as such.
Calling someone a she-male and describing what that means is also a matter of fact. A man who advertizes his penis by size and has implanted breasts and brags about both is exactly what he portrays himself as being: a trans she-male. Please don't insult transsexuals as being part of that deviance. I knew too many who worked in clubs and even on the streets to get the money for surgery but once that goal was reached then they went on to live their lives. Most she-males on the other hand are homosexual men who consider themselves as being male on bottom and female on top. How does that equate with real transsexuals?
We have much info on research at our site and for those interested they can go there rather than me waste time posting to people who have no idea of how Zucker and Blanchard will hurt those like me directly. A crossdresser can hide in his/her closet...I and others like me cannot. We are dependant after surgery to have our documentation changed and to be able to live our lives FULLY in our acquired sex. I personally object when a male or female links to my condition when making demands to legally identify as a the opposite sex yet intends to maintain function sexually as the sex they were born. That reflects upon me when I address groups that only hear of the 'trans' this and 'trans' that and the question of sex or crossdressing is mistakenly associated with the need to have corrective surgery. And why they assume just that has direct bearing on the 'transgender community' and its propaganda methods of inclusion of all under their banner.
Before this matter involving Zucker came up we had sent a letter to the APA and it was published on many sites and forums. A religious minister even responded to it with positive remarks as did a member of what had been HBIGDA before the transgender took over and renamed it WAPTH. The letter is on our site: http://harrybenjaminsyndrome.org./
There also Batty, you might take the time to read the research on our links section but not sure if you might be swayed or even understand since much of the research has nothing to do with being one of the elements under the transgender label; it has to do with rational dealing with causative reasoning for actual transsexuals. And
please do not take out of context. And also be patient with us since we just recently changed domains and are polishing up some of the rough edges. Ok?
Diane

battybattybats battybattybats | May 11, 2008 9:51 PM

"or even understand"

I may be functioning today at approx 40 IQ points (it varies substantially) below my pre-illness level, but I was catagorised as 'gifted' back then so I'm still not so cognitively impaired as to only understand data that conforms to my experience, expectations, preconceptions or personal biases. I may not have been able to finish high school or complete any subsequrnt course I attempted because of my decade-undiagnosed varying intensity deteriorating CFS but I studied microbiology as well as art, literature, philosophy and comparative theology passing as far as I was able to attend before the next flare-up of deteriorating health forced another withdrawel.

I have only limited resources of energy and time so any research that isn't scientificly 'conclusive' will have to wait. As will our debate, I have more important things to spend my efforts on. Stopping Zucker.

I applaud your shift of tone though, it's a start.

But thats a topic for another discussion. Lets concentrate on this one.

Are you setting up an inclusively worded petition? I'm not going to support an HBS worded one but I will support one that is inclusive rather than specificly transgender.
In the past you've sent that letter, what are you doing about Zucker and Blanchard now?

The greatest benefit of having crossdressers et al together with transexuals social construct or otherwise is increased numbers for lobbying. So, I'm here and many others from the rest of the transgender spectrum are too, all caring about this issue as we know transexuals, we care about transexuals. You don't have to agree with the inclusive model to make use of this resource. How can we best work together to stop Zucker and his chums so we have something to fight ideologicly over afterwards?

How can we best enlist GLB and straight allies to join in? (leaving this constant arguing and posturing for elsewhere might help that I think)

Other than spreading the word and petition/s what should be the next step?

Again, Battybattybats seems to miss the central issue, which is simply that we wish NO linkage with the concept of transgender at all. The next step, really, for us, the only step, would be for those who identify as transgender to simply back off from this issue, and let those who are actually affect deal with it. I realize that is not likely to happen, so about all we can do is ask, and then await the invevitable moment when when are forced by circumstances to point out, "We told you so." Even if, by some unlikely circumstance, it were possible to remove Zucker and Blanchard, they would likely be replaced by someone who would be as bad. The fact that they were chosen in the first place should tell you something about the direction that is already foreordained by those in power. And it might be asked, why is this the direction the APA is moving? Could it be that the damage has already been done? Could it be that the transgender confusion has already had an effect? Could it be that people like some here, falsely claiming a connection to those who only seek to correct a problem and move on with normal lives have given those who wish to think otherwise a means to label us as something we are not? Of course, and those who have done that harm are not doubt happy with the results.

Lucy Bright | May 12, 2008 9:23 AM

“The next step, really, for us, the only step, would be for those who identify as transgender to simply back off from this issue, and let those who are actually affect deal with it.”

By this you mean HBS and transsexuals, I presume. But while it certainly will affect those groups very directly, the DSM classifications will also affect many others who identify as transgender. As Wikipedia puts it (rightly on this occasion), DSM “is used worldwide by clinicians and researchers as well as insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers.” In other words, it plays a large part in setting the terms within which not only the medical/psychological establishment but also (for example) the lawmakers work. Faced with a new trans-inclusive version of ENDA, to take a sadly-hypothetical example, it’s surely going to make a difference whether a congressperson understands someone as having a geniune non-normative gender-identity, or as a “week-end thrill seeker” with a paraphilia.

Speaking for myself, when I was a lot younger and seeking (in those webless days) for information that would help me understand what I was going through, the only books I could find in my small town public library essentially told me - from the full height of their white-coated majesty - that I was a pervert. I had no support or other sources of information then, and it took me many wasted years to understand that these books were WRONG. I don't want future trans children to go through what I did.

As for your other point, I very much doubt whether these nameless powers behind the machinations at the APA have been relying on the ‘transgender confusion’ to provide them with an opportunity to label you as something you are not. Part of the joy of being a bigot is that you don’t need a reasonable excuse to express your bigotry, and a lot of labelling has gone on already (viz. Blanchard’s infamous “man without a penis” jibe).

NEWSFLASH:

In response to public outcry, the APA has announced that Dr Kenneth Zucker has decided to step down as chair of the DSM-V Sex and Gender Disorders working group, but will retain his position as part of the Gender Identity sub-panel.

His place will be taken by a new appointee, Member of the Presidential Council on BioEthics and Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry Dr Paul McHugh.


Just Kidding. I thought a reminder of the issue at hand was in order.

Just Jennifer | May 12, 2008 12:28 PM

Again, Lucy, like a lot of those who are transgender, you seem to have a need to try to claim the same status as transsexuals. This only confuses the situation, and causes harm to transsexuals and those with HBS. Our needs are not your needs. The rights that people with HBS need are not the same as those who are transgender, and confusing the two only makes it harder for us. Of course, some extremists want to try to get rights they have no real claim to, like changing birth certificates without first having surgery. These efforts just increase the chances that a backlash might result causing HBS survivors to lose that right. Why you can't just do the right thing, and back off, is beyond me.

Just Jennifer | May 12, 2008 12:43 PM

Zoe is closer to the truth than most might imagine. There are people worse than Zucker. And there is no guarantee that if he is removed that he would be replaced by anyone better.

But irregardless, the involvement of the "transgender community" is only going to add credence to the claims of some that people with HBS are really just some sort of sexual deviant instead of people with a medical problem. Of course, the saddest part is, that is probably what many transgender activists want to happen.

Lucy Bright | May 12, 2008 1:37 PM

“Our needs are not your needs.”

Never said they were. On the contrary, I pointed out that transsexuals were not the only ones liable to be affected by the revision of the DSM, and I gave one reason why many of those identifying as transgender would also be affected. Our needs are not your needs, indeed – but they do exist, and there’s no reason why we can’t protect them just as you very naturally wish to protect yours.

Until these last 2 postings, I considered the whole HBS thing to be just an irregularly scheduled thread-hijacking.

Nope, it's worse than that.

First of all, the term "transgender', as presently in common use as an umbrella term (as opposed to the Virginia Prince construct), is a genie that is out of the bottle already, and has been for 15 years or more now. Congressmen are saying that word now on the floor of Congress, it's used in the straight press, used by businesses and in human resource offices, and used, yes, by our enemies in the Religious Reich. At this point, it's not going away, even if those perceived to be covered by said umbrella, regardless of whether or not they want to be, wanted it gone. It isn't our choice anymore. Gripe about it all you want to, but it's being used universally that way now, much as all vacuum bottles are Thermoses, photocopying documents is called Xeroxing, and facial tissues are referred to as Kleenex.

The last problem, to me, is the notion that HBS people deserve rights, to the omission of rights for others who haven't yet undergone SRS by choice or inability. The fact is that many people working for things like ENDA and hate crimes legislation, themselves fit into these groups. It also leaves out the person I most wish to protect in the workplace - the person who is beginning their transition.

The whole HBS v transgender battle is not unlike the one of transgender v GL, over exclusion from ENDA. Those who'd exclude any group lose sight of the fact that civil rights legislation should be as all-inclusive as possible, and that exclusion is immoral. Where you get the idea about anyone being considered a "sexual deviant" is beyond me. Only the Reich does that.

Where the rubber meets the road, what you're suggesting that the HBS community wants, is to gain rights before those who will join you in the HBS community, thus closing the door behind yourselves and creating a finite, closed club. Yes, I want to see people who are postop gain rights. I want to also see those who are tranitioning gain rights, and those who can't have SRS but still cross-live, and even crossdressers should have the right to practice their hobby without fear of retribution. We're going to have to agree to disagree on this broader perspective, but that's how it's going to be done by every T rights organization I know of.

Wolfgang E. B. | May 12, 2008 2:53 PM

Diane wrote, "...that is not HBS in the slightest nor I might suggest even classic transsexual since your desire is not to ever actually change your sex, just to adapt to a physical and behavioral concept suitable to your sexual needs."

You know very little about me, and here you are speculating about why you think I transitioned--And you're wrong. My reasons were the same as yours: It's all about what's in the mirror, and the presence of bodily growths I find abhorrent. Mine are just in a different location than yours were.

Of course, I come from a completely different background than you. We all do, and I won't pretend to know what it was like to grow up or transition in the eras you did. You transitioned before I was even born; I was a young child in the '70's. The eras we grow up in profoundly affect our worldview, and being a member of the Mister Rogers/"Free To Be You And Me" generation, those are my core values.

I finally came out to myself and started transition about 2 years ago, so I came into contact with all sides of this debate simultaneously, with no preconceived notions other than my own experience. I have no problem with the "transgender model" even though the term has linguistic inaccuracies. It's what the media generally uses these days, and the reason probably has more to do with people's discomfort in saying the word "sexual" than anything else. Also, I agree with Andy Humm of "Gay USA" when he says "All gays and lesbians are transgeder." That makes me transsexual *and* transgender.

By the way, Zoe and Batty, you both rock!

Polar,
Di > Let me address some points you brought up.

From: Polar

Until these last 2 postings, I considered the whole HBS thing to be just an irregularly scheduled thread-hijacking.

Di > We are not thread-hijacking at all. We more than anyone are going to be deeply affected by Zucker and Blanchard. The only effect that will concern the transgender is that they might be moved from one DSM section to another. We on the other hand will, as has happened before, lose rights by being classed as transgender which a recent IRS case showed clearly.

Nope, it's worse than that.

First of all, the term "transgender', as presently in common use as an umbrella term (as opposed to the Virginia Prince construct), is a genie that is out of the bottle already, and has been for 15 years or more now. Congressmen are saying that word now on the floor of Congress,
it's used in the straight press, used by businesses and in human resource offices, and used, yes, by our enemies in the Religious Reich. At this point, it's not going away, even if those perceived to be covered by said umbrella, regardless of whether or not they want to be, wanted it gone. It isn't our choice anymore. Gripe about it all you want to, but it's being used universally that way now, much as all vacuum bottles are Thermoses, photocopying documents is called Xeroxing, and facial tissues are referred to as Kleenex.

Di > Nope, not a Chuck Prince construct but one suggested by Magnus Hirshfield and later given credit of its coinage to Prince who simply was looking for a masking term to fit his variant behavior so that he could identify as other than transvestite which is what he really is.
In fact those who are no different than Prince the transvestite are the majority under the transgender umbrella or have you not noticed?
I never once in my life ever referred to myself as transgender. In fact Dr Benjamin referred to me as transsexual and after surgery I am listed
legally and medically as a woman, not 'trans' anything. Definately would never be transgender having been told by Prince that anyone who wanted
to change sex was delusional.
And yes in some quarters transgender is out of the genie bottle but not to the benefit of transsexuals to whom it is often applied. Now the connection is simply that all are homosexuals since being added to the glbt acronym.

The last problem, to me, is the notion that HBS people deserve rights, to the omission of rights for others who haven't yet undergone SRS by choice or inability. The fact is that many people working for things like ENDA and hate crimes legislation, themselves fit into these groups. It also leaves out the person I most wish to protect in the workplace - the person who is beginning their transition.

Di > Yes, we do deserve rights and those rights should be no different than those enjoyed by any other man or woman. The rights of demand that
seem to be those of the transgender, who are anything but transsexual, do not serve our needs one iota if attached to those who demand the right
to dress up and use the opposite sex bathrooms as an example.

The whole HBS v transgender battle is not unlike the one of transgender v GL, over exclusion from ENDA. Those who'd exclude any group lose sight of the fact that civil rights legislation should be as all-inclusive as possible, and that exclusion is immoral. Where you get the idea about anyone being considered a "sexual deviant" is beyond me. Only the Reich does that.

Di > You do not consider a man who advertises as a 'she-male' "top female, 8" bottom male" as a deviant. I do!

Where the rubber meets the road, what you're suggesting that the HBS community wants, is to gain rights before those who will join you in the HBS community, thus closing the door behind yourselves and creating a finite, closed club. Yes, I want to see people who are postop gain rights. I want to also see those who are tranitioning gain rights, and those who can't have SRS but still cross-live, and even crossdressers should have the right to practice their hobby without fear of retribution.
We're going to have to agree to disagree on this broader perspective, but that's how it's going to be done by every T rights organization I know of.

Di > Crossdressing is not a hobby at least as classed in the DSM.
Not once did we ever ask for special privilege. And in fact our suggested HBS SOC includes those who are preparing for surgery as well as post-ops.
We never once made the distinction of someone who is pre or post-op as long as that is really what they are. Our needs as each are different than a person who only wants to be a female or male when the urge or desire comes upon them.
We in fact have suggestions and stipulations that should be applied legally for those who are preparing for surgery. We want them to be able to temporarily change documentation to reflect their sexual presentation during transition and
afterward be able to permanently be legally recognized on all documents as the corrected sex. We prefer to deal with reality and not fantasy.
We are opposed to men or women being able to change birth certificates to the opposite sex when they are in full possession of their birth sex and function. We simply want those who really are HBS/TS to be identified as a distinct condition rather than be joined to the Prince ideal of transgender.
We don't want the question to be asked by a clerk, as it has already been made into a joke, 'Are you a woman with or without a penis'?
We simply want those who are in need of surgery not being confused with those who fantasize but actual surgery is the last thing on their mind.
Can you ever understand that?
Diane - http://harrybenjaminsyndrome.org./

Interesting...Polar's view seems to be that we should just accept having an identity forced on us that we find repugnant. I don't think so. This is why I have come to refer to some as the "Gender Fascists."

And further, Polar expresses one of the main attitudes that leads us to object to such inclusion. Like many among the transgender types, Polar expects to receive exactly the same rights as people with HBS. Of course, all that attitude does is increase the risk that hard fought victories will be reversed.

Take, for example, the "trans-inclusive ENDA." As much as it pains me to say so, Barney Frank does have a point. Exactly where does one draw the line? The TG types are pushing for a vague inclusion that could result in all sorts of problems. Of course, what many TG activists desire is to destroy distinctions based on sex. They have no problem with forcing themselves into private spaces, with their privates in full view. A women's shower? That's fine, as long as "women with penises are allowed in." That sort of thing is only going to result in a backlash that will hurt everyone, but will especially hurt those who actually have a real need to transition.

No, civil rights legislation has to be reasonable. Especially in a situation like this. But, one thing I have learned...most TG activists don't have any concept of limits. They want it all, and then some. No matter who gets hurt in the process of losing.

Yes, Polar, there are some doors that need to be shut, slammed even, right in the face of those who would go to ridiculous extremes.

Well, Wolfgang's latest post just confirms what I have said about the transgender model. Yes, that whole "Free to be you and me" ideal is what is behind much of the modern transgender view. A view that holds that one is simply what one claims to be. Want to call yourself a man, but keep your vagina? No problem. Want to call yourself a woman, but keep your penis? No problem. Want to force yourself into private space, that is sex segregated, because you are free to claim to be whatever you want? Well, they think there should be no problem. But the real world disagrees.

Lucy Bright | May 12, 2008 6:29 PM

Diane:
“Yes, we do deserve rights and those rights should be no different than those enjoyed by any other man or woman.”

Jennifer:
“Like many among the transgender types, Polar expects to receive exactly the same rights as people with HBS.”

Maybe you two need to talk?

Meanwhile, I think I’m done beating my head against this particular brick wall. I thought at first that it might be a case of misunderstanding, wilful or otherwise, and that common ground might be found, but there’s only so many times you can be called a thrill-seeking, deviant, delusionist, porn-using, autogynephile wannabee before you start to wonder whether somebody really doesn’t like you! To be fair, if I’d come across this on a forum for bar-room rednecks I would probably have twigged sooner, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that kind of bile here, especially from people who’ve had to put up with so much prejudice themselves. Live and learn, I suppose.

So – there’s a petition doing the rounds. What else can we do?

To be honest, I don't know you well enough to say if I would like you, or not. But the fact remains, there is a difference between HBS and transgender. The transgender crowd wants to hide this fact, and blur the differences. They want to coopt our experiences for their own purposes. Quite frankly, we are tired of this, and we are fighting back. We are tired of being linked to behaviors we do not share, and we are tired of being expected to put up with this because someone wants to tell us this is the way things should be.

Did you ever consider that much of the prejudice we do face is caused by being linked to the transgender confusion?

battybattybats battybattybats | May 12, 2008 10:30 PM

HBS folk, do you have statistics that show (again, conclusively to a scientific standard) that there are more HBS-identified transexuals than Transgender-identified transexuals? because unless you do, you do NOT have a greater stake in this in that there will be more transgender-identified transexuals even if those transexuals are a minority under the transgender umbrella than the crossdressers. So long as there are transexuals that identify as transgender instead of HBS then it would be the wrong thing for transgender activists to back out of this and wrong for HBS people to expect them to when it means abandoning the advocacy of what seems to be the majority of transexuals!

The (still off topic!) anti-trans arguments that keep getting made here seem to brush all the TG identified transexuals under the carpet and counting all transgender people as crossdressers etc. Sorry but thats wrong. The Transgender advocates have a responsibility to advocate for those transgender identified transexuals who are every iota as effected as HBS! You might not consider transgender applying to you or want it to and that's fine by me, but many other transexuals do. Deal with it!

There will be no backing down or away. This crossdresser takes their obligations to everyone of their brothers and sisters under the umbrella seriously. I don't tell them what their needs are, I learn what their needs are from them. Don't bother asking me to abandon my principles to further your politics. Aint happening!

"Di > You do not consider a man who advertises as a 'she-male' "top female, 8" bottom male" as a deviant. I do!"

There's this thing called 'ethics', it's a better way of determining right from wrong. As such a thing is ethical then it's not wrong, it's just diversity. However forcing people to conform their ethical differences because they sit outside the commonplace IS unethical and therefore wrong (note that preventing people from changing their ethical differences is also wrong before you missunderstand that as meaning people should be forced to remain different if they don't want to be).

They used to call homosexuality deviant and institutionalise them and give them aversion therapy. They used to take aboriginal children from their families to destroy their language and culture to 'normalise' and 'civilise' them too.

Sorry, right and wrong are defined by philosophy. Differences that are ethical are right, not wrong. Rights are also defined by philosophy, thats where they came from. Guess you have some reading to do!

But I digress too much. again the constant desperate attempts to rule the transgender people out of this issue despite these facts:

1) There are Transgender identified transexuals. They have every bit the same stake in this as HBS does.

2) Others in the Transgender umbrella will also be effected though to a lesser degree. They too have a right to be in this discussion.

Each of these gives every transgender person a say in this. Now you can work with us together making use of the greater numbers we bring to the table or you can do so seperately. We're not going away. We're not going quiet. As you keep saying we (crossdressers, drag queens, transgender identified transexuals et al) outnumber you.

Now with those two points I've shown logicly and clearly that transgender people have a stake in this and as you haven't produced a study that fits ALL the criteria I listed above then the HBS Vs TG argument will not be proven, will not be definitively settled, here and now. If it can't, which it can't, then both sides are going to have to live with the fact that it won't be settled in enough time or by us here and that both will have a say in this issue no matter how much they might wish they'd just go away!

So please stop wasting this discussion by filling it with an unending fruitless useless debate that will solve nothing and get nothing done! HBS folk, your not convincing us. Your preaching to the converted in your own ranks, changing the minds of no-one in the TG camp and wasting space with this pointless debate, all the TG folk like me are doing is responding to such baited comments defensively with the same result.

"Take, for example, the "trans-inclusive ENDA." As much as it pains me to say so, Barney Frank does have a point. Exactly where does one draw the line? The TG types are pushing for a vague inclusion that could result in all sorts of problems. Of course, what many TG activists desire is to destroy distinctions based on sex. They have no problem with forcing themselves into private spaces, with their privates in full view. A women's shower? That's fine, as long as "women with penises are allowed in." That sort of thing is only going to result in a backlash that will hurt everyone, but will especially hurt those who actually have a real need to transition."

The bathroom thing is a seperate issue. And one easilly fixed.

1. Countries, states, companies etc that have allowed TG people into the facility of their choice haven't had a sudden surge of assaults. That's a myth, it hasn't happened.

2. There are already plenty of assaults in such facilities, the current ones are NOT safe.

3. Most toilets are ablist discriminating to begin with.

The answer, all toilets and showers should become safer, single use, unisex, disabled access toilets. That solves plenty of problems with one act. So there you go, no need to debate that further. Anyone who doesn't like women and children being assaulted or people in wheelchairs having nowhere to go can and should support this measure. There is the solution, easy and very important even with the TG bit ignored. Buh-bye shower/toilet issue, RIP.

"The transgender crowd wants to hide this fact, and blur the differences. They want to coopt our experiences for their own purposes"

Please stop speaking for others, especially when you get it wrong by only looking at it from your own perspective and then assuming motivations that concur with them. I and every TG I know is inclusive, inclusive is not homogenisation. My Aboriginal family members are not Native American, yet they are an Indiginous People and though some needs are the same and some seperate they lobby internationally together for mutual benefit. The Aborigines aren't usurping the broken treaties with the First Nations nor the Native Americans usurping the Terra Nullius outrage. The Aborigines aren't benefiting from resevation laws nor the Native Americans from the Marbo decision. Both suffered from deliberate poisonings, germ activated genocide and stolen children. Both gain from international recognition and legislation. See it now?

I'm right here. I can tell you why I'm doing something and what it is I want. You might think the result is different, that's subjective. But don't speak for me about my intent. I'm capable of explaining that myself. Or are you calling me a liar?.

"Did you ever consider that much of the prejudice we do face is caused by being linked to the transgender confusionin the past because my ethnicity was miss-identified. It made me realise how important it was to oppose racism, not to support the prejudice and just say 'hey I'm not one of those ******'.

Now a valid point was made about HBS being not on the petition. Made an inclusive one for me to sign yet? Or one just for HBS people?

You say you care about this issue but you seem to be just using this discussion to reiterate that you want TG to go away. It won't during the time it takes to fight this issue whether we succeed or fail. So there you go. You didn't and won't get what you want. Can we move on to the real issue now?

We have Zucker et al. We don't want them on this comitee (or continuing their reparative therapy on children either. Agreed?) and we don't want them replaced by simialr folk.

So, what is the next thing to do to that end?

Wolfgang E. B. | May 12, 2008 10:48 PM

Just Jennifer wrote, "Take, for example, the "trans-inclusive ENDA." As much as it pains me to say so, Barney Frank does have a point. Exactly where does one draw the line?"

Over 120 Fortune 500 companies and untold numbers of other businesses have adopted trans-inclusive non-discrimination policies. 11 states and hundreds of cities and counties have trans protection laws. All of these apply to the entire transgender and transsexual spectrum. These laws and company policies did not exist back in the '60's, yet you think we've lost ground in the fight for civil rights?

As your generation dies off, mine is gaining public influence, and the next generation is even more open-minded than mine. We're moving forward. Transgenders are not to blame for the obstacles we still face. Rather, it is the homophobes and transphobes of the Christian Taliban, and the Zuckers and Baileys and McHughs. But we are winning.

Just Jennifer wrote, "Did you ever consider that much of the prejudice we do face is caused by being linked to the transgender confusion?"

How do you figure that? We've faced prejudice for thousands of years. *If* there's more open prejudice now, it's because we're becoming visible, and winning battles, and our enemies are getting scared. It happens in *every* civil rights movement.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 12, 2008 11:35 PM

A clarification from my last post, sorry for my poor typing.

A paragraph in that last post should have been thus:

"Did you ever consider that much of the prejudice we do face is caused by being linked to the transgender confusion?"

I suffered racism in the past because my ethnicity was miss-identified. It made me realise how important it was to oppose all racism, not to support the prejudice and just say 'hey I'm not one of those ******'.

Let me quote some comments on my blog, when I talked about the evidence for neural causality - the weak form of HBS:

They have no basis for being considered intersex and they have zero proof and zero evidence. It's nothing more than pseudoscience that transgender community banks on to believe is scientific fact. When in reality their is no scientific or academic proof to back such theories.

As I said, GID and transsexualism is still a psychiatric condition regardless of facts or pseudoscience you believe is to be fact.

I see you as someone who wants to co-opt the intersex because you don't like the thought or idea of being a transgender and you see intersex as an escape from the stigma of being a transgenders and your are trying to find excuses or making up lies why your intersex. When in fact your just a jealous tranny who wants to ride on the intersex because intersex people are more understood and sympathized than your kind.

That's why people like you create such a hostile environment and create such hostility for the intersex.

Notice any similarities to certain arguments about HBS and TG?

TG is different from TS (and yes, you can be both, too many examples to mention). And assuming a biological causation for GID, then there *have* to be different degrees. Biology is not binary. The distribution is bimodal, 2 distinct peaks, so binary M/F only is a good approximation. But an approximation nonetheless. I happen to fit a binary model. Others don't.

I'd like a clean, clear distinction, but there isn't one. I don't identify as transgender, merely a woman with an unusual medical condition. Moreover, I see no reason why I, who was medically "over the line" from M to F before HRT and surgery should be treated as somehow different from those who required medical help. Gender is between the ears, not the legs.

I really hate the idea of being lumped together with pornstar she-males, drag queens, and for that matter, normal gay guys and lesbians. It makes it worse that I have no say in it, I resent it.

But... there's been one good thing about it, even though it really, really, really grates, and causes endless misunderstanding.

TGs, Gays, and Lesbians are persecuted too. They're people, like me, even if unlike me in many ways. TS and IS people have been dumped by others under the bus too many times by those who don't understand or identify with us for me to do exactly the same thing to others, no matter how different they are, or how much I might wish to be disassociated with them.

Ok, two good things. I've met some really good people who happen to be gay or lesbian as the result.

I used to be an active member of a TS-Only support group. I joined because the problems of TS (and IS) people are totally different from those who are GLB or even TG. I left, without fanfare, when it degenerated (in my view) into a GLB-bashing society. (One of the things they said, 18 months before it happened, was the GLB Maffya would dump us from ENDA BTW, so they had a point).

Our problems, our concerns, are totally different: but like it or not, we're seen by our common enemies as being the same. We should acknowledge our different concerns, especially the differences between TS/TG and GLB, and TS and TG. We should prioritise, and maybe even formally split. But we should always co-ordinate, and work to common advantage, not just in the short term, but the long term too. TS (and IS) have had the short end of the stick for too long, and so they (and I) deserve more attention from the conglomerate of disparate issues than they've had. But we shouldn't discriminate against anyone in this idiotic category that our enemies put us all in. We're at least co-belligerants, if not allies.

You don't backstab co-belligerants to further your own short-term ends. Else you get ENDA, and we're all up the creek sans paddle sur le canoe de barbed-wire

That means concentrating on the main point: getting rid of Zucker's inhuman treatment of children, and Blanchard's original pathologisation of all of us as bonkers.

Seeing the irrational, pettifogging bickering here, I'm beginning to think that for some, he's not far wrong, just not in the way he means. 127 posts? Jeez! Ok, I'm guilty too.

Batty,
Once again you write a tome that includes your aborigine heritage. Why must that be added to your crossdressing argument of inclusion when at the same time you deny our argument for distinct identity as HBS? Or maybe the aborigines should be included under the tg umbrella too and that would confuse the public almost as much as it does by putting transsexuals there in the first place as a sub-set.
I don't give a hoot if you are a crossdresser but for most of the public that is simply seen as a person with a fetish. As a matter of fact that is exactly how many therapists see it too. So what gives you or anyone who dresses for pleasure or expression the right to list yourself as representative and speak for others who are in need of medical resolution and not psychological intervention?
You claim we have the right to self identify. Ok then, why would you dare to ask us to sign a petition that totally excludes us and favors the 'transgender community' which we and many others find would only falsely attach us to transgenderism and our acceptance of its basic identity and tenets. Not only that but you made it quite clear that if the petition included HBS verbiage you would not sign it. Now others can see the ideology of the TG 'community' in what you say: 'either our way or no way'. The only real evidence of the so-called 'community' I see is selfish people who want special behavioral privilege and/or rights and ignore the needs of those who prefer to identify as having been HBS born. I also see your tg identity that came from the fetish magazine publisher as the only valid one you might accept for even us and you damn those of us who never were fetishists by attaching us to that 'Transvestia' magazine identity catering to gender illusionists and porn fetishists. That is how I look at the transgender label for that is exactly how it presented itself in its formation.
Yes, we are outnumbered by the 'trans' crowd and can not equal their voice. But, we have something they do not to back up our distinction and that is the research and the doctors today who understand the inherent reasons why a child before puberty might express themselves as being the opposite physical sex. They are not transing their gender but simply reflecting their brain gender as being inborn in contradiction to their physical birth anatomy. That clearly separates these children from those who might relate to behavioral patterns likened to those under the transgender connection. And whether you or anyone likes it or not the Zuckers, Blanchards, McHugh's Bailey's, Lawrence's, Dreger's are transgender advocates. They actually often agree with your transgender identities but are definitely opposed to our needs for surgery. That clearly is the DSM matter at hand, not your right to crossdress.
When I had my surgery it was considered as a correction of a medical problem. And that is how most of us went into the hospitals... as medical patients and not entering for treatment because of psychological anomalies that most often are associated with the majority of those under the transgender umbrella who confuse the issue by their false attachment for whatever reasoning to the transsexuals as if a facet of trans-gender identity.
A person who is transsexual but claims to be transgender because of some dislike for the inclusion of a sexual meaning is baffling to me since that person at the same time welcomes with open arms the attachment to the glbtq, (gay/lesbian/bi/transgender/queer), which of course overwhelmingly refers to sexual orientation as well as fetishism in the public eye. So, where is the value of their argument or maybe just another person hiding under an umbrella rather than being honest with even themselves?
We are currently sending off letters to those who realize the difference between those in need of medical support and those whose behavior is their driving force. We will not claim to represent those who identify as transgender since we know ourselves not to have the right or experience to do so honestly. We will leave that up to your fellow 'trans' whatever.
I could write an equal tome like yours Batty but it would cover the dangers that the passing of ENDA to include gender deviants and how that would harm those who identify as HBS or transsexual and who are planning or have had surgery. You have no idea since as I said before you are only really interested in protecting your mimicry of females without understanding our need to be fully accepted as women and not some delusionary presentation under the transgender umbrella of confusion.
Your interest in the gender inclusion in ENDA has to do with your identity as a crossdresser. I understand that but your needs in no way equate with what would happen to those like us who live, work and marry as the women or men we are. And the arguments presented by the glb where they equate those who marry after surgery to being somewhat like same sex marriage is almost as ridiculous as the crossdressers demanding the same protections under law that they claim are civil rights when we all know they are basically behaviorists demand for intrusion. And no, the issue of bathroom and shower entry is not to be taken up later; later will not shield those who have a female body from being intruded upon by males for whatever reason they might impose. I would not make the argument that CD's are a threat but the law if so allowed would open the door to threats never-the-less. And yes, if a man came into the public shower I was using I would call the police. I don't give a darn what excuse he might use, he is intruding upon the accepted privacy wants of every woman. Period!!!!
You want protection for your behavior then get it under the crossdressing umbrella. Do not think you favor me or anyone else by your inclusion of us as if we might be a little alike - we most definitely are not which is evidenced by your less than formative and scattered treatises.
No, I am not a bigot which my many bruises in defense of others might show but I am different and very, very much distinct from those who demand I erase my identity and join myself to theirs. 'Not now, not ever', and that is my civil rights yell for all to hear.
Diane

Alas, Battybattybats again seems to just not get it. HBS is not about "identity." Unlike, "transgender" which is an artificial political/social construct, a made up concept with no real, objective meaning, HBS is a proposed name for a very real condition. There are, no doubt, many who have HBS, who mistakenly identify as "transgender." That is why we often refer to it as the "transgender confusion." That is a big part of what we are doing....we are working to educate people that "transgender" is not the right term for those like us. And your argument about it being wrong for "transgender activists" is completely without any merit. The only interest transgender activists have in this is to further their own agenda at the expense of those they resent.

Again, "transgender" is a concept that began with Chuck Prince, an avowed anti-transsexual crossdresser who created the term to exclude those he resented. It was later expanded to create an artificial grouping of people with nothing in common. Now, some who are truly HBS may well, mistakenly think that they must cast their lot with people who they have nothing in common with, but that is a serious, and dangerous mistake. Identifying as transgender serves to discredit one's identity as a woman (or a man in the case of FTMs). Now, for many, who have a motivation other than HBS for seeking to modify their body, "transgender" may be a proper classification.

I mean, really, Battybattybats, go back and read that line about taking your obligation seriously. That sort of thing is just silly. You are, by your own admission, a crossdresser. By definition, you are some guy who gets off on wearing women's clothes. You have nothing in common with transsexuals, no matter how much your fantasy wants to tell you do. Your motivation is nothing like ours.

Now, the bottom line is this. There are those who truly need to have surgery to correct what is, in effect, a birth defect. They are HBS. Then there are those who, for any number of reasons, become delusional and decide they want to modify their bodies to that of the opposite sex. They really need serious counseling, therapy, and probably heavy doses of psychatric medications. But they don't need surgery.

And stop playing games. The issue I raised is not toilets. I grant, I occasionally encounter some in the toilet that make me cringe. As a woman, I find the presence of an obvious man as uncomfortable as any woman. But the real issue is stuff like showers, and dressing rooms, where nudity is inevitable and unavoidable. The most extreme of transgender activists will tell you that a man, with a penis, who calls himself a woman, should be allowed in there and be allowed full access, and that the women should "just get over it." And yes, I have seen that very argument made. Now, as a survivor of HBS, I can tell you that prior to my correction the idea of doing such a thing horrified me. I could not stand the idea of having people see me that way. And I doubt there is anyone with HBS that feels differently.

And the point was not that HBS was not on the petition. The point was that transgender was. Again, this is not a 'transgender" issue at all.

Wolfgang E. B. | May 13, 2008 2:37 PM

This conversation is getting really old, but I've got one more thing to point out to Just Jennifer and Diane. *If* you were to succeed in getting the establishment to narrow the definition of transsexualism to only those people who are "like you," (Unlikely, but this is a hypothetical), what do you think would happen? You think everything would be hunky dory in HBS Land? Think again.

Scenario 1. Thousands of transsexuals, yes Real Transsexuals, who don't want genital surgery, or who are still undecided, but who nonetheless genuinely need hormones and other surgeries, would be pressured or forced into getting genital surgery in order to obtain those other treatments. This would lead to a significant increase in post operative regrets, suicides, etc., which would in turn cause a public backlash against you.

Scenario 2. Your outdated, exclusive model once forced countless transsexuals to resort to street hormones and basement surgery clinics. It would happen again, and now that we've gained a spotlight in the public eye...

Fortunately, neither will happen, because most doctors recognize that we transsexuals are a diverse group who require an individually-tailored treatment plan, and that who is or is not a transsexual must also be decided on a case by case basis, because we all come from different backgrounds and there is great variety in how we feel about certain body parts, gender roles, etc. The current model is working better for more people than the old model did. There's no going back. :)

I wouldn't be so quick to play the "generation" care Wolfgang. You are simply part of the current "transgender fad." Your type will quickly go out of favor, and people like you will soon be forgotten. People with HBS have been around for a lot longer, and will continue to be long after this current trend of being oh, so gender rebellious has become tiresome. No, you are not winning, you are just currently trendy. That too shall pass.

And I take you think it is perfectly fine for naked men to invade women's locker rooms and showers and that we should "just get over it."

Okay, first off, using remarks made by ignorant people commenting on a blog proves nothing...except perhaps that there are plenty of ignorant people in this world. The fact that some confuse HBS and TG does not an argument make, except to show that a) some people are ignorant, and b) some wish to coopt HBS under the TG umbrella. The first is beyond anyone's power to change, and the second is disingenuous. Now, HBS, GID, and TG are three separate things. HBS is defined as a physical condition affecting the brain...a sexual differentiation disorder if you will. GID is a term created by mental health professionals to label people that used to be called "transsexuals." And "transgender" is a vague, meaningless term that is, at best, a social/political construct with no objective meaning. HBS is not GID, and GID is not TG, and HBS is not TG. They are really three separate concepts. Now, since TG is really only a label that one may, or may not choose to adopt; a label with no objective meaning, of course some who are "TS" can be "TG." Anyone can be TG. You want to be TG, call yourself TG. It really is that meaningless. TG is, more than anything else, something of a political/social movement.

Now, 12 years ago, I was arguing against joining with the LGB political movement. Not because I oppose LGB rights, but because I saw then exactly what has happened. I said, 12 years ago, that they would dump us in a heartbeat if it meant furthering their rights. But, the activists all screamed "bigot!" I argued that transsexuals (the term in use at the time) were better off going for rights on their own. No, I was told, we must join the LGB movment, and they will lead us to victory. Now, 12 years later, we have made little real progress. There are laws, but they accomplish little. I know of numerous cases where people have been discriminated against, even with laws and workplace policies in place. And worse, I know of more than a few cases where people have cried discrimination to cover up their own sub-standard efforts. In truth, the ONLY right hat transsexuals really need is the right to be legallly recognized as women. Anything else causes more problems than it solves.

The funny thing is, Zoe makes a better argument for our side than any other.

Wolfgang E. B. | May 13, 2008 5:52 PM

Just Jennifer wrote, "And I take you think it is perfectly fine for naked men to invade women's locker rooms and showers and that we should "just get over it.""

No. What gave you that idea? I believe in good old fashioned Common Sense. If a transsexual chooses to keep certain body parts while transitioning others, he or she must be willing to accept the inconveniences that come with a body that presents both male and female characteristics. It's certainly no reason to force "cookie cutter" transitions on everybody.

The trans-inclusive laws and policies that have been enacted address these very concerns, and to my knowledge, there hasn't been an epidemic of penises and testicles waltzing into women's showers, or similar problems.

You're being ridiculous, Jennifer, and you're using the exact same arguments that the religious fundies use.

Wolfgang E. B. | May 13, 2008 6:52 PM

Just Jennifer wrote, "You are simply part of the current "transgender fad.""

Jamison Green has fought for trans rights for decades. Thanks to him, FTMs don't have to go through the RLT in order to get chest surgery, and thanks to FTM International and other organizations, FTMs don't have to express a desire for genital surgery in order to transition. Green and others in his school of thought are what you would call "transgender activists." In their paradigm, a person can even be a transsexual without *any* surgery, and sometimes even without hormones. Now, those views are even more liberal than my own: I'd say hormones and at least one surgery, chest for FTMs and orchiectomy for MTFs.

That aside, what you're calling a "fad" has been around for a long time.

Diane Kearny | May 13, 2008 11:14 PM

Wolf,
Jamison Greene with whom I had correspondance claims he is transsexual but prefers to call himself transgender. Fine for him and others but realize that is his definition for himself, not for others. And since we are on the FtM subject let us make one point clear. If you keep your reproductive organs whether that is your penis or your functional vagina you are not transsexual but transgender. An orchie is just a removal of testes, not a sex change. The removal of the uterus without the closure of the vagina and taking testosterone to get an extended clitoris is not a sex change, it is what might best be said kindly as a halfway point perhaps.
There is not one single insurmountable medical reason for not being able to have complete sex reassignment except for those very rare medical conditions that would prohibit it. In the case of the FtM the expense which if he were really a transsexual would be accumulated in time. In fact I was born with a congenital faulty heart valve that three years ago almost finally killed me. But, when it came time for my surgery I never told the surgeon that the murmur he heard was anything more than a common murmur which other doctors ignored I assume since I was young and vibrant. Murmurs are not that uncommon and many people have them. My valve was malformed and along with other congenital malformations to be addressed later. I knew the danger but hid that fact because I would rather have died on the operating table than live one more day in a body to painful to live with. But then I was asexual and transsexual and not a transgender. That is the difference.
Most surgeries today are not as life threatening as mine was. In fact I know of some with AIDs that have had reassignment surgery. I know people with serious ailments but the surgeons ably accommodate for that. For that reason I think most who claim non-op status are just that, non anything but delusional transgender phonies using the system to allow them to live as one sex while still in full possession of their birth sex which they have no hold-back in using.
We all saved and scrimped. In fact I listen to the FtM's arguing about costs without taking into consideration that MtF costs can be just as severe. I had little facial hair but if I had I was told it could cost as much as 6 to 7 thousand dollars for electrolysis and higher if body hair needed to be removed as well; then the hormone costs and doctors visits easily pass the $3,000 mark; the facial surgery can be as high as 35 to 40 thousand dollars; and then the reassignment surgery with travel and accommodations as well as surgeon and hospital costs can easily run up to $25,000 even in Thailand. I had no psychiatric costs so on that I saved a bundle but that too should be considered when figuring costs. Add it all up and the FtM reason of their not having surgery being too expensive hits deaf ears with many of the MtF's who bear the cost and go to the edge of bankruptcy just to survive.
I added up the cheapest cost and that added up to about $75,000 not far off the costs for FtM surgery without penile construction. In fact I have talked with two FtM's who went that route and they seem satisfied with their 3 inch 'penis' as a result of male hormones and they function as men albeit not show-off men with 6 to 8 inch penis'.
The most satisfying sex experience I ever had was with a guy that was no bigger than three inches. Guess it was simply that he knew how to use it instead of bang bang and out the door.
You claim good old common sense??? How so? I must have missed that example. If one does not want hormones; does not want surgery; doesn't wish to transition except mentally...then they are exactly what is meant by trans-gender. Why is that so hard for you to accept unless you are ashamed of the term transgender and need, like most transgender, to link with something a bit more legitimate that allows you to fool everyone into thinking you are transing your sex when in actuality you are not.
But why bother; hard to convince the trans folk to just call themselves what they really are rather than link onto those with whom they have no honest connection. But that is my mistake, I forgot I was actually dealing with those who suffer from GID, not transsexualism, and want all to suffer with their somewhat delusional pain with them.
I wonder and would love an answer to this: is it possible that FtM's feel that since they are not reassigning their sex then they could reassign their brain gender. Tell me how that works. I imagine it might require either brain surgery or indoctrination by a good shrink. Perhaps even someone who thinks like Zucker and Money who believe only the brain needs to be manipulated and not the actual genitalia.
Diane

Lucy Bright | May 14, 2008 5:14 AM

As I said in my last I don’t think it’s really productive to engage in further debate on this, but I would like to ask Diane and Jennifer whether I understand them correctly, so that I at least know where I am with them and with those on whose behalf they speak. There have been so many posts here, many of them quite intemperate (on both sides, and I don’t except myself) that the issues have become confused.

What I have gleaned is that in Diane and Jennifer’s opinion (and I realise you may differ on some points, but you seem pretty much to agree with each other as far as I can see), the world is divided into the following categories of people:

a) The cisgendered
b) The intersexed
c) Those with HBS (which might, perhaps, be considered as a kind of intersex condition). Some of these are transsexuals who describe themselves as transgender, but actually they are HBS without realising it, having fallen prey to the ‘transgender confusion’.
d) Deviants and fetishists, motivated primarily by sexual pleasure

There seems to be no room for anyone else in this schema. Is that a fair summary?

The other things I gather are that, in your view:

a) gender is binary and constant (one is born male or female, with no intermediate state possible, and no possibility of variation over time)
b) That the only respectable determinant of gender is a physical/medical, and preferably an anatomical, one. Psychological and environmental causes are ruled out as being not ‘objective’ and therefore not ‘real’. The idea that people might have some degree of agency in developing their own gender identity is, if possible, still more unacceptable.

Again, I’d ask if that’s a fair summary of your views (though I’m sure it’s not exhaustive). Needless to say, I disagree heartily with all the above – but good fences make good neighbours, and it would be good to get clear exactly where our disagreements lie.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 14, 2008 10:20 AM

"Batty,
Once again you write a tome that includes your aborigine heritage. Why must that be added to your crossdressing argument of inclusion when at the same time you deny our argument for distinct identity as HBS? Or maybe the aborigines should be included under the tg umbrella too and that would confuse the public almost as much as it does by putting transsexuals there in the first place as a sub-set."

Firstly, I'm using an apt analogy where I feel it's appropriate.

Secondly I have trouble being concise when my symptoms are bad.

You seem however to have lied.
I realise thats a big accusation but I made my points often enough, restated often enough, to make my arguments, my point of view, quite clear I would have thought. I gave you the benefit of the doubt before but now you've done so repeatedly and so extensively that it seems unlikely as to be accidental.

Starting with: "...you deny our argument for distinct identity as HBS?"

No, I disagree with your conclusions, I don't agree with your argument, I know your evidence to be scientificly inconclusive in the particulars I stated previously. I have however REPEATEDLY stated that I SUPPORT your right to self identification. I stated that often enough to make it clear. So please don't lie about it!

As for my referances and analogies relating to my relatives, many native traditions support a transgender model. To be clear I do not call myself Aboriginal. However I have close family members who are of Aboriginal and South Seas Islander ancestry. One is quite gender non-conformist and their heritage includes different systems of sex and gender to 'western' culture making it all the more relevant. A heritage under threat and directly attacked as I said. There is a distinct place where the two subjects overlap with real people being really effected by both subjects and the unique combination of that overlap.

"why would you dare to ask us to sign a petition that totally excludes us "

I'm the one who agreed you had a point about being excluded in that petition! I'm the one suggesting you put up an alternative petition that is inclusive that I would personally sign and pass to others or one of your own for HBS supporters to sign. So trying to paint me again as saying what I am not is lying. Please stop lying!

"Not only that but you made it quite clear that if the petition included HBS verbiage you would not sign it."

No. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough because what you thought was clear is substantially not what i was trying to convey.

I said that if it was INCLUSIVE of HBS as well as TG that I would sign it but that if it was specificly from an HBS point of view (ie anti-trans which I didn't think needed stating) rather than INCLUSIVE that I would not sign nor encourage or discourage others from doing so as I'm quite clearly not going to further your seperate cause for you when I disagree with that cause, I'm just trying to defeat the mutual enemy while also treating you with more respect than you seem capable of managing or willing at least to be towards others.

" Now others can see the ideology of the TG 'community' in what you say: 'either our way or no way'."

You seem to be adressing your image in the mirror rather than me. I am the one who has repeatedly said the HBS advocates SHOULD be in this discussion, recognised your right to be in this discussion and the validity of your beliefs to you. YOU are the one who insists on only one viewpoint being acceptable. I'm the one saying that we both from our individual perspectives have a valid reason to be involved in this issue, your the one insisting only you do. If you wouldn't sign a TG specific petition then why be upset when I wouldn't sign an HBS specific one? That's absurd! You are doing what you falsely accuse me of doing!

Please actually argue against my real views and real arguments and not distorted lies you make up. And make sure you put some black velvet on that straw-crosdresser you keep arguing at so it at least begins to resemble me superficially! Thus far it bears more resemblance to you than to me and thats plain embarassing to us both.

"selfish people who want special behavioral privilege and/or rights"

List these 'special privilages and/or rights' in point form please along with reasons why they are invalid ethicly and under the enlightenment philosophies from which the very notion of human rights is founded particularly how they are 'special' and not covered under existing rights and principles. Once you've done that, back up your 'selfish' claim.

"And no, the issue of bathroom and shower entry is not to be taken up later; later will not shield those who have a female body from being intruded upon by males for whatever reason they might impose. I would not make the argument that CD's are a threat but the law if so allowed would open the door to threats never-the-less."

When has this happened because of TG accepting laws? One discredited hoax is the best I've ever, ever heard reported. That's it. People have been assaulted in public facilities where TG people aren't let in, hence my argument for single-use safer ones, yet there hasn't been an increase in them caused by TG laws as you suggest making it a myth.

And as for Just Jennifer...

"By definition, you are some guy who gets off on wearing women's clothes."

Wow. You presume a lot, rather offensively I might add. My sex-life is none of your business but I will answer you this. No. I don't. I don't agree with YOUR definition of crossdresser either, just as you don't agree with my definition of transgender or transexual or you. If you want me to respect your self identification and personal definiton you are ethicly obligated to respect mine in return.

"But the real issue is stuff like showers, and dressing rooms, where nudity is inevitable and unavoidable. The most extreme of transgender activists will tell you that a man, with a penis, who calls himself a woman, should be allowed in there and be allowed full access, and that the women should "just get over it." "

It is legal in many places including where I live for someone who hasn't had any surgery to be legally recognised and use those facilities! The world didn't end. There were no mass-panics or waves of assaults. No one as a consequence bursts into another persons changing room, shower cubicle or toilet stalls.

So you come to an LGBTQ site, complain about them (Strange, a lot of LGB people I know didn't drop us. Sure one organisation did but not all by a long shot!), you HBS folk complain about being defined by others while proceeding to define me and Wolfgang and many more, complain about being told to go away and be quiet when I specificly said speak up but keep this one on topic and lets all move the seperate debate elsehwere so your views can be heard without hijacking this discussion only you then tell the TG people to go away and be quiet and to stay within your definition.

You HBS commentators are doing everything you complain about others doing, even when us others aren't doing it!

We don't have to agree, clearly it's unlikely we ever will. But filling up this discussion with your constant didactic diatribes based on presuppositions many of us just dont concur on and studies that are not scientificly recognised as suficiently statisticly conclusive, is wasting time energy and space.

It certainly seems against the community spirit here at bilerico.

I recognise that you believe what you said you believe, that you view the issue the way you do. I agree with some of what you say, disagree with most of what you say. I respect that you have a say in this issue. I've been ready to work with you from the start.

This debate doesn't belong in this discussion on Zucker et al. The argument on excluding TG people only works if we presume your definition which we don't! And as has been acknowledged TG people are still effected by this issue so we still have a say even if we agreed to your views.

The misscharacterisation of my views does not belong here. It is a discredit to you and your cause. It too is certainly against the community spirit of this place or of any reasonable discussion.

Okay, let's be clear on something here...by any reasonable terminology, as might be used in any reasonable discussion, if someone does not want "genital surgery" then they are not, in any meaningful, legitmate, proper sense a transsexual. Unless you are going to misuse that term, as has become popular with the porn industry (which is one of the main reasons behind the move to HBS) transsexual differentiates between those who wish to actually change their sex, and those who just wish to call themselves something they are not. Now, I realize a major tenet of the transgender confusion is to misuse terms like "transsexual" to try to elevate one's status, but that is not how things actually work.

That said, no, what you suggest is not what would happen. First off, those who want to call themselves "transsexual" but who don't want surgery would simply go on pretending to be what they are not. They are not going to be "forced" into getting surgery, simply because there is no way they would give up their penises or vaginas. They don't want to really change sex. And nothing will change that. And a lot of those people already resort to street hormones as many of them can't pass muster with a decent therapist anyway. Sure, there are quacks who will rubber stamp anyone who comes calling. And that is sad. But it changes nothing.

Personally, I think there needs to be a significant tightening of the requirements for both hormones and surgery. That would prevent a lot of the problems that some people face. We all know people who should not have been allowed surgery. Unfortunately, it is too easy for many to slip through the cracks as it is.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 14, 2008 12:03 PM

Guess you have no idea about Linguistics.
You can't pin any term down like that absolutely, there will be semiotic drift in technical language as well as common usage. Don't like it? Tough.

Next, what happens if those who want surgery are unable to get it? this happens. I know a few who because of other health conditions are unable to get any surgery not deemed a life threatening emergency.

Finally, what happens if the best treatement for those you don't define as transexuals is still hormones and as much surgery as they are comfortable with? The way you speak we should expect huge amounts of people unsatisfied and miserable because they got surgery they shouldn't have. Yet last I heard those cases were tiny not the dreadful threat you describe it as.

"That would prevent a lot of the problems that some people face."

What problems? Specificly?

And what has that to do with Zucker and Blanchard being on the DSM?

I haven't been following this thread at all, but I do have to say that "a thrill-seeking, deviant, delusionist, porn-using, autogynephile wannabee" is probably the best insult I've ever heard and I might just use it in the future...

JustJennifer wrote:
[blockquote]Okay, let's be clear on something here...by any reasonable terminology, as might be used in any reasonable discussion, if someone does not want "genital surgery" then they are not, in any meaningful, legitmate, proper sense a transsexual.[/blockquote]

"Any reasonable terminology" = JustYours? I (non-op by choice, at least for the time being) meet the criteria of all current diagnosis techniques (DSM-IV, WPATH discussion, WHO classifications), and am accepted as such by both my therapist and those who I encounter during my activism. I'm non-op NOT because I have any particular fondness for what I'm keeping, but because of a spiritual soul-search and an unease truce I have with it. And failure to acknowledge anything outside your narrow "reasonable terminology" only hurts HBS as a scientific theory.

HBS wanted in on the debate, they can get in on the debate: http://www.bilerico.com/2008/05/3_models_of_transsexuality.php

Wolfgang E. B. | May 14, 2008 12:47 PM

Diane wrote, "If one does not want hormones; does not want surgery; doesn't wish to transition except mentally...then they are exactly what is meant by trans-gender."

I agree, and such a person is not transsexual, in my opinion, but "transgender" applies to anyone who transgresses traditional binary gender roles or expression. In the legal and media arenas, "transgender" is an umbrella term that includes various subgroups, among them, transsexuals. It's highly unlikely that you'll ever get them to change their terminology to suit the views of a tiny minority within a minority within a minority. We have been catagorized in a way that is very natural and follows the construct of the scientific model (kingdom, phylum, class...)

Diane wrote, "Why is that so hard for you to accept unless you are ashamed of the term transgender"

As I said before, I'm both transsexual and transgender. I have to deal with the same social and legal landscape that you do. Why do you insist on attacking me, and everyone who doesn't share your narrow views, when we are your allies?

No Wolfgang, my arguments are not silly at all. These issues have been raised not just by the religious right, but by transgender activists as well. Now, granted, a lot of places have enacted reasonable restrictions making exceptions for privacy where inevitable nudity is likely, but not everyone agrees with this. For example, in one recent case, a club for bisexual women was attacked for not admitting "transgender women" who had not had surgery. And I have known a number of transgender activists who argue that people "should get over it." You may not see things that way, but that is how the extremist in the trangender movement want things to be, if no immediately, at least in the future.

I've met Jamison Green. Nice guy, but I disagree with a lot of his ideas. As to RLT for chest surgery...chest surgery can be reversed. If someone has it, and decides they want to still be a woman, they can have implants. So, that is pretty much meaningless. It may sound like a lot, but it is meaningless.

And while transsexuals, and crossdressers, have been around for a long time, most of the transgender confusion (i.e. people wanting to straddle the gender lines) is relatively new, and it really is a fad. It will pass in time. Probably not as soon as might be hoped, but it is just the most recent way of "rebelling."

battybattybats battybattybats | May 14, 2008 1:46 PM

This must be some new meaning of the word meaningless where only one rebuildable aspect of an organ (sexual-aesthetics) is considered important and the primary reason for the organs existence (the production of milk for babies) is considered unimportant. Sure in perhaps 20 years that too might possibly rebuildable when stem cell tech gets developed fully, if ever.

"most of the transgender confusion (i.e. people wanting to straddle the gender lines) is relatively new, and it really is a fad."

How do you define new?
Cause there are suits of plate-mail armour built with deliberate gender-line crossing shape to give the knight in shining armour a more feminine outline.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 14, 2008 2:01 PM

Oh and I also think your understimating the collossal shift in mainstream views.

Look up Bishonen and then how many kids are growing up watching Naruto, almost no anime is without it's bishonen.

Check out how many girls like those bishonen anime and manga characters, then move on to Yaoi and especially it's main market. The 'straight' world of generation Y is a bit different to what you expected huh. Ah but I've heard radio reports about females being the primary readership of male/male gay erotic literature too! There's quite a few X's going along the same lines as those Y's.

Then finally look up pegging. 'Straight' just isn't what it used to be.

Somehow I doubt this 'fad' is going very far. More likely the repressed desires that have always been there are brought up to the surface in this era and the genie is out of the bottle.

I've met Jamison Green. Nice guy, but I disagree with a lot of his ideas. As to RLT for chest surgery...chest surgery can be reversed. If someone has it, and decides they want to still be a woman, they can have implants. So, that is pretty much meaningless. It may sound like a lot, but it is meaningless.

And while transsexuals, and crossdressers, have been around for a long time, most of the transgender confusion (i.e. people wanting to straddle the gender lines) is relatively new, and it really is a fad. It will pass in time. Probably not as soon as might be hoped, but it is just the most recent way of "rebelling."

Well Lucy, first off, I don't use the term "cisgendered." I think that is silly. No such term is needed. Intersex is a rare condition, as is HBS. As to the transgender, I make no such presumption as to motivation. Yes, some are motivated by sexual drives. Others are motivated by political motives. And any number of other motivations exist. Your attempt to back us into a corner is both silly, and rather clumsy.

And yes, I think that gender is primarily binary, and I do believe it is immutable. Otherwise, all that would be needed would be a good talking cure, and all the HBS people would be fixed.

And yes, contrary to the deconstructionist claims, what is commonly called "gender" is rooted in biology, not choice.

Is it a fair summary of our views? Hardly. It is an extremely clumsy attempt to spin our views and make a straw argument.

Lucy Bright | May 14, 2008 5:23 PM

I was neither spinning nor backing, Jennifer, but just asking for clarification. I really don’t know why you have to be so ungracious about it, but thanks for the information you did supply. It was quite enlightening, and I now have a better understanding of the extent of our differences.

Just Jennifer | May 14, 2008 5:53 PM

I have never encountered a single case where someone is truly, permanently barred from surgery. I have encountered more than a few where that is used as an excuse.

Now, for some people, who are not HBS (or if you insist, transsexual) the best treatment would probably be intense psychotherapy. Hormones are relatively benign, but surgery is almost certainly not called for.

And there are people who have surgery and who then regret it. For someone going from male to female, this can be especially tragic. There is no going back. And if they really are a man, then the loss of their penis is especially traumatic. Of course, some of them act like they still have it anyway. I can think of at least two well know people who are clearly ones who should not have had surgery. And no, I am not going to name names here.

Just Jennifer | May 14, 2008 6:59 PM

Now, I have to wonder...why do some, who have absolutely no desire to be rid of their penis (or vagina as the case may be) insist on calling themselves "transsexuals?" What do they gain by this? Are they that ashamed of what they really are? Do they think it gives them some "extra bit of credibility?" (It doesn't.) Do they think it makes them more real? (Nope, not that either.) Or do they just desire to muddy the waters, and take something away from those who actually do have a compelling need to have surgery? (Probably.) They certainly ignore the fact that there are clear differences. They are not remotely the same as those who seek surgery. That is obvious to any neutral observer who spends any time around them. And yet, some, like Allen, have this compulsion to be something they are not.

Just another reason to call it the "transgender confusion."

Just Jennifer | May 14, 2008 7:04 PM

I did not say it was perfectly reversible. But, the appearance can be restored. And even if the person decides to have children, breastfeeding is not absolutely necessary.

And the stuff about the suits of armor sounds like someone seeing what they want to see. I mean really, you cannot base an argument on silliness like that. That's like saying that men in Scotland are really transvestites because they all wear skirts. Tell one of them that, and you are likely to be punched in the nose.

Really, the transgender confusion may not worth anything else, but it is occasionally good for a laugh.

Just Jennifer | May 14, 2008 7:22 PM

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Just Jennifer | May 14, 2008 7:27 PM

I suggest you go back, look at how you asked, and then consider the question of how that might have come across. I was not being ungracious at all.

This thread is getting severely off topic in regards to the American Psychiatric Association and their task force.

If you'd like to continue the HBS v Trans debate, please jump on over to Mercedes' post: 3 Models of Transexuality.

Further comments on this post that don't relate directly to the APA will be deleted; we have provided another forum for the HBS debate.

battybattybats battybattybats | May 14, 2008 10:51 PM

Thanks Bill.

Just Jennifer answer to some of your points in the proper arena for that discussion.

Now then the oft asked question. What is the next step after the petition/s?

Should we get 'old school' symbolic, sending polly pockets, rainbow unicorns, barbie dolls and whatever toys he's taking from the FtM kids (sorry I haven't kept up with current boys toys) to Zucker and the APA with 'give the children back their toys' messages?

That makes a statement about the kids, what would make a similar statement about the adults?

Or what other form of protest? Recruiting gender issues experienced counsellers to speak out could perhaps help.

"What is the next step after the petition/s?"

A Facebook group has just been created to catalogue the various actions being done: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14826561283

Additional plans of approach are being discussed at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Gender_ID_Coalition/

battybattybats battybattybats | May 15, 2008 8:56 AM

I wonder if Dr Zuckers experimental reparative therapy on children is strictly ethical. After all it is just experimental in that the long-term consequences are unknown. Is he informng parents that it's experimental therapy he's performing on their children?

Henry Hall | May 15, 2008 11:51 PM

Those who claim that an end to the GID pathology will mean an end to treatment of transsexualism are merely scaremongering. trying to frighten people into a continued acceptance of being abused and controlled.

Medicine is evidence-based and patient-satisfaction driven. Perhpas there was a time when psychiatry was needed to justify endocrinolgy and surgery for transfolk. That time has passed. It is now well-accepted medicine that hormones, surgery and change of legal sex work as treatment.

[b]they are not going to go away merely because some shrink's teory is debunked at last[/b]

Instead some other justification will be found to continue treatment that have proven their value and are known to be highly successful. We have nothing to fear from the removal of transgender diagnoses from the DSM except fear itself.

Having said all that, the fact remains that Z+B have no support from the communities they serve, no at all. Even if their input were valid they should still step down in order to end the controversy which is bringing the DSM into disrepute. Does the APA really want their precious DSM to be endlessly trashed by the queer community and psychiatry generally brought into disrepute or would they prefer to lean on Z+B to sacrifice themselves and resign to the great good of medicine.

I would imagine that Zucker has to go through the same rules as any research project, including informing the subjects, or in this case, their parents, that the research is experimental. And I am sure that, like many such research projects, that this information is buried in all the paperwork that they are asked to sign. I am sure they are led to believe that Zucker is their only hope. Ethical? That depends on how you view it.

Please be aware that the revision is being done by the American *Psychiatric* Association, often referred to as the "little APA". The American *Psychological* Association is a whole different organization, and it is the Psychological Association that just concluded its annual meeting.

The American Psychological Association has no power over anything the Psychiatric Association does, though they may draft a letter of protest, it won't make much of a difference. Direct your emails and letters to the American Psychiatric Association if you want them to get to the source of the problem.

All the best!

Hey, i've got an idea, why doesn't everybody who could DO something about this squabble and write patronizing abuse at each other, while the people who want to define EVERYBODY HERE as mentally diseased just get their positions more entrenched?

That'll work.

Finn - it certainly seems that way sometimes.

I guess - and I mean that literally, it's a guess - that it's a consequence of three things. To survive being TS, you need to be unreasonably stubborn (or perhaps merely doggedly determined) , or you would have given up. The neurology is non-standard in one area, so it might be a little odd in others too. Finally the misery can cause "co-morbidities" meaning some of us have been driven batshit crazy to some degree.

Some of us are aware of those tendencies in ourselves, and try to moderate our writings accordingly. Others have no such insight.

So really why is it that people don't what people who are transexual removed from the DSM?

See I can't see it as being such a horrible issue.
The idea that doctors won't treat you is nonsense. If they were to follow the way I have seen the guidelines many wouldn't be treating people in the first place, but they do.

Would surgery dry up? Hell no as long as there is money to be made off of people there will be surgeons providing that service.

Ok the rights gained would be lost? Nonsense, once again. Did those that were homosexual loose their rights once removed from the DSM? No in fact they have gained more and more since, not less.

Rights can not be taken away once gained so when someone makes that suggestion one needs to remind that person of that fact. Least in a democratic world they aren't. Ok in a Bush world rights have been eroded, true, but not all of us live in that world and one can also take care of that with their vote. But all in all work place protection won't all of a sudden be removed. We won't see ourselves removed from human rights codes.

Ahh the surgery factor. Ok well not everywhere funds surgery so they have nothing to lose. But what of us that do live in a place that funds or works for a company that funds? Personally I don't see that being rescinded either if that funding is already available.

So someone tell me why being transexual can't be dealt with in a medical model?

I believe that's where the energy needs to now be focused. Removal from one bible to the next, after all it's already our doctors who work with us and care for us, not the shrinks.


My take on the transgender stuff.

Fine if you wish o use that term to identify yourself by all means do so but respect the other's right to not. You do that by making sure you don't just blanket use the term transgender for everyone.

Instead use intersex, transexual and transgender. that way you respect the other person and allow others outside to understand there are differences, rather then confusing those who don't understand.

Lynne Rustad | May 19, 2008 8:37 PM

There seems to be some confusion. True, this is about the American Psychiatric Association (although tagged as the American Psychological Association). Also the psychological association, contrary to post above, doesn't have its annual convention until August and they are currently rewriting their position paper on reparative therapy. I have forwarded this information to one of the psychologists on that task force in case they aren't aware of/know something about this situation. Got here because I received a forwarded email from one of the psychologists on our LGBT listserv -- although the origin of the message wasn't clear.

Firstly: Zucker will do lots of harm to anyone transgender or HBS (if I'm reading it correctly, his primary source of income involves keeping you the same physical sex you were born, so...). So could we please, please, please temporarily put the argument on hold, agree to disagree, and kick him and his ilk off the committee first?

Secondly, to all of you who state that such-and-such is proven or whatever--would it be so hard to *cite* your sources? It gives your response credibility (assuming reliable studies, of course) and makes it...easier to have a polite discussion.

"If late transitioners are all going to be classified as paraphiliacs in the DSM, along with fetishists, necrophiliacs and the like, what are the odds of us retaining the ability to change birth certificates, marry, or even legally access to hormones or surgery, no matter what medical professionals may deem necessary?"


I would hope all late transistioners would be precluded from allowed or to be able to falsify their documentation.

Elaine.

Your comment takes my breath away. In fact, let's make it so you have to be medically female before treatment starts, shall we? Or at least restrict it to those who have had SRS before their 18th birthday.

That's the trouble with exclusions like yours. You carefully put yourself in a position of privilege. Others may not see things that way, and cast you out too. Poetic Justice.

"I see you as someone who wants to co-opt the intersex because you don't like the thought or idea of being a transgender and you see intersex as an escape from the stigma of being a transgenders and your are trying to find excuses or making up lies why your intersex. When in fact your just a jealous tranny who wants to ride on the intersex because intersex people are more understood and sympathized than your kind."

quote from Zoe Brain's post up above

I wonder if this is not from a certain Nick K D Chaleunphone...the style is reminiscent of him.

How did you guess?

Yes, his style and phraseology is quite distinctive, isn't it? He's one of a kind. At least, one can only hope....

Battybattybats | May 22, 2008 10:36 AM

Now, now, folks. while it may make things easier to identify people from past discussions, forums, events etc it's against the tos to do so!

That way those who need anonymity for whatever reason can be protected.

You needn't point out who it is who said those things to point out where it is in error and why.

The quote in question was from a public comment on my blog that he signed his name to. His full name. With initial. If any question of anonymity was involved, I would have respected it.

Thanks for the reminder though, BBB, it's appreciated. We all make mistakes, and this could easily have been one of mine.

Let's just say he's a character, and utterly unmistakeable.

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oh dear, I think we are F U C K E D.

Can we please get it together long enough to fight off the crazies at the gate? Just this once?

Puleeze?

The transphobic fags who tossed us out of ENDA must be laughing their asses off.

pennyjane | May 28, 2008 11:26 PM

though i would dearly love to see zucker and blanchard off the working group, i don't believe that we should remove gid from the dsm. i did have a gid for many years, not coming from the fact that i was hbs, but because i didn't understand what was happening and had no one to help me figure it out.

now i find myself among the separatists. i do not define myself as tg, simply because i do not relate to most who call themselves that. i am not a crossdresser or a transvestite. i am not a man of any sort. i am a woman. i have been a woman since i stopped being a little girl. my dysphoria was real. i think it's certainly to be expected that a girl born with a penis might find herself mixed up about things, especially when the rest of the world is as mixed up as she is. but as i came to understand that it happens, some girls are born with penis', my dysphoria was disolved. i became comfortable with my gender and expressing it honestly has made me a much healthier and happier person.

that is just something ken zucker cannot accept. unfortuantely his grasp of the subjects of gender and sexual identity is not up to par for one so educated. he tends to think with his...well...not the part of the human anatomy that thinks best. as far as blanchard's conception of autogynephilia, i'm not at all convinced that something like that does not exist. the problem with him is that he thinks it explains all of us. it most assuredly does not. he still thinks like we did when we were children: when we still believed those who told us we were boys, we said we wanted to be a girl. many of us have grown up, ray blanchard is still stuck back there in the dark ages. i don't want to be a girl, i am one, i just want to be able to express it like everyone else. i am cured of my gid, society still has some work to do and people like zucker and blanchard aren't being helpful at all.

pennyjane | May 28, 2008 11:27 PM

though i would dearly love to see zucker and blanchard off the working group, i don't believe that we should remove gid from the dsm. i did have a gid for many years, not coming from the fact that i was hbs, but because i didn't understand what was happening and had no one to help me figure it out.

now i find myself among the separatists. i do not define myself as tg, simply because i do not relate to most who call themselves that. i am not a crossdresser or a transvestite. i am not a man of any sort. i am a woman. i have been a woman since i stopped being a little girl. my dysphoria was real. i think it's certainly to be expected that a girl born with a penis might find herself mixed up about things, especially when the rest of the world is as mixed up as she is. but as i came to understand that it happens, some girls are born with penis', my dysphoria was disolved. i became comfortable with my gender and expressing it honestly has made me a much healthier and happier person.

that is just something ken zucker cannot accept. unfortuantely his grasp of the subjects of gender and sexual identity is not up to par for one so educated. he tends to think with his...well...not the part of the human anatomy that thinks best. as far as blanchard's conception of autogynephilia, i'm not at all convinced that something like that does not exist. the problem with him is that he thinks it explains all of us. it most assuredly does not. he still thinks like we did when we were children: when we still believed those who told us we were boys, we said we wanted to be a girl. many of us have grown up, ray blanchard is still stuck back there in the dark ages. i don't want to be a girl, i am one, i just want to be able to express it like everyone else. i am cured of my gid, society still has some work to do and people like zucker and blanchard aren't being helpful at all.

Jeremy Gross | May 30, 2008 7:20 PM

This is ridiculous...I have depression, which is a mental disorder...I am gay...that is NOT a mental disorder...And another name for their "corrective therapy" is not only bull-****, but it is also known as brainwashing...These centers tell people how worthless they are and that the only way to become even a kedem part of society, is to change...I'm sorry...but I don't understand that...If I don't want to have intercourse with a woman, I shouldn't have to...If you are "straight", more power to you...good for you...hip-hip hooray...*clap clap*...What the hell is this...I am a 17 year old male and I apologize for my language, but I am very upset...I want to become involved in politics and I think I have a huge contribution to make to society...If this goes into effect, I, along with thousands of others will be institutionalized...*thwarp*...There goes my dreams and aspirations...I don't really know how this reponse will help this movement...but I hope it does...I would like to say more on the matter...but right now...I don't know what to say...I know...I'm scared...not only for myself, but for everyone who will be effected by this...which means I am scared for EVERYONE...and lets not say that I'm homosexual...lets say that I am homo-affectional...Then we don't have the implications and inuendos of sex...It isn't all about sex...and people don't seem to understand that yet...and people wonder why I have issues with our country...

Jeremy Gross | May 30, 2008 7:23 PM

This is ridiculous...I have depression, which is a mental disorder...I am gay...that is NOT a mental disorder...And another name for their "corrective therapy" is not only bull-****, but it is also known as brainwashing...These centers tell people how worthless they are and that the only way to become even a kedem part of society, is to change...I'm sorry...but I don't understand that...If I don't want to have intercourse with a woman, I shouldn't have to...If you are "straight", more power to you...good for you...hip-hip hooray...*clap clap*...What the hell is this...I am a 17 year old male and I apologize for my language, but I am very upset...I want to become involved in politics and I think I have a huge contribution to make to society...If this goes into effect, I, along with thousands of others will be institutionalized...*thwarp*...There goes my dreams and aspirations...I don't really know how this reponse will help this movement...but I hope it does...I would like to say more on the matter...but right now...I don't know what to say...I know...I'm scared...not only for myself, but for everyone who will be effected by this...which means I am scared for EVERYONE...and lets not say that I'm homosexual...lets say that I am homo-affectional...Then we don't have the implications and inuendos of sex...It isn't all about sex...and people don't seem to understand that yet...and people wonder why I have issues with our country...

pennyjane | May 30, 2008 7:58 PM

you go jeremy! at seventeen you gosh well oughta be angry, upset and ready to get in the tussle. i do not want to tone you down, but be somewhat comforted: zucker and blanchard are on the working committee concerning gender. if zucker were on the sexual identity committee the uproar would be defening.

i am so glad to hear you at such a young age understand that it isn't about sex. that's an insight many never arrive at, much less at a time when submurced in the testosterone sea. you get political young man, levy your objections to all this phoniness and hipocrary at the top of your lungs. your language can be forgiven, God is most merciful, expecially to those who are working for His will. much love and hope, pj

Jeremy Gross | May 31, 2008 1:48 PM

Thanks...I truly appreciate it...It is comforting to know that, no matter how I may feel, I am not alone...I wish life wasn't a constant struggle...people get upset and say "Well...its okay to be gay...no one cares...it isn't a big deal...you're making too much out of it..."

Well...obviously it is a big deal if this person is freaking out about it...I am the Wyoming Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America State President...when the State Advisor found out...she started acting strangely...she also told other advisors...which was not her right...so I have been shunned by a lot of the chapters in my state...this state advisor told me that she doesn't want me to use my position as a soap box, if you will, or a pedestal...for my gender expression...

When other advisors found out that I was organizing the Day of Silence at my school...they were very upset...saying that I wasn't representing myself in an appropriate manner...well kiss my a**...

My advisor said that I am being too outspoken about it...Well...it isn't going to get better unless people speak out...for f***'s sake...65 percent of Americans have stated that they are totally against the thought of different gender-affections...where the hell are the other 35 percent?...The activists out there may make up about 5 percent of that at most...but the 5 percent certainly isn't a majority...however, sadly, neither is 35 percent...

I am very glad that several different candidates for the presidency stepped down...Mike Huckabee planned to bring his religion into the presidency...and had, on his website, a very detailed explanation of why it is wrong to be of a different "sexual orientation"...I used to be mormon...and it was very hard for me to walk away from it...but I don't think that any one religion is correct...any religion that judges others, and says that I cannot be happy...is definately not right...How can God be an all-loving and caring God?...Especially if he "doesn't love me"...The bible states "If a man lieth with another man, it is an abomination..." I think we all know the definition of an abomination...

I pray to whatever God there might be, that McCain doesn't get the vote either...he is VERY conservative...and an angry vietnam veteran...he doesn't think it is okay to be gay...he spoke with lesbian Ellen de Generous *pardon the spelling* and was very uncomfortable...he said he hoped she would be happy...she asked if he supported her...and he evaded it with a "I don't agree, but I wish you the best"...obviously neither does Clinton...she openly endorsed her husbands "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy...It is not a good policy...11,000 people serving were discharged immediately...65 of them were language specialists...45 of them being fluent in ARABIC languages...which would be a major help in Iraq, Iran, etcetera...I am not sure about Obama though...I don't think he has ever clearly stated his views on Orientation...I know he is a member of a rather lax sect of Christianity...which has no problem making fun of others...such as his minister's remarks about Hillary...However...there is hope because there is legislation in the US Congress, led by Senator Barack Obama and Rep Jan Schakowsky, called the Microbicide Development Act which would strengthen our country's efforts in this area.
*Thanks Jim Pickett*

I apologize for the length of this...but, as might be inferred...it is basically an upset rant...If you are reading it...thank you...for taking this time out of your life to listen to me...I say this with truth and sincerity...I love all of you...for I love EVERYONE...

pennyjane | May 31, 2008 5:02 PM

i hear your frustration jeremy. it's easy for us who are in the fray to get a little bitter with the folks who aren't. on the surface it does seem somewhat unfair that we do all the heavy lifting while they reap the same reward for doing nothing. i struggle with that myself quite a lot.

i am a transwoman, out and about and i make no effort to hide it. no one who knows me doesn't know that i was born with male anatomy, and even on the streets it is clear that i am not a "normal" woman. life in a fishbowl does tend to wear one down. i see in myself the temptation to just slip away from time to time, go "stealth" as it is said. i could do it. but i choose not to. it's too important to me to make the world aware of people like me and to portray us not as people of guilt, who are ashamed of what we are, but as real and multi-faceted. people who are so much more then how we dress or what gender we identify as or what are our sexual preferences. it's a conscious choice i have made and i know the consequences, i accept them.

i have to understand that there are others who are not endowed with the same particular gifts as am i. some folks wear down quickly and really need to just stay out of it in order to survive. i can't condemn anyone for wanting to live.

the bible does talk about homosexuality and often in a very negative way. but homosexuality as it relates to a loving and committed relationship between two people is also celebrated in scripture. the loving committment of ruth and naomi provides a perfect example of two lovers of the same gender being blessed by God. the relationship and covenant between jonathan and david clearly rises to a level far above that of friendship, and was blessed by God. Jesus Himself held out the roman centurian for his faith when his "special slave" was healed. Jesus did not tell cornelius to go and sin no more, he held him up to his deciples as a man of faith and worthy of God's blessing for that reason alone. we have to understand that the bible does seem to contradict itself in many, many ways. this is why paul tells us that Christ will write the laws on our hearts, not in scripture. we are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and He is to be our guide, not even Holy Scripture can overrule Him.

i agree with you too on the presidential candidates. some are better then others but none are the friend of truth and morality. they are by nature idolators, that is they worship at the alter of power. fortunately we do live in a place and time where grassroots work sometimes can work better then the highest authoraties in the land. when people like you and i are out there, changing attitudes one at a time, i believe we are preparing the table for the ones to follow. the struggle will never end, we are perenial warriors and we, with patience and outrage, with hand raising and fist pounding will bring on a day when we will be free. and then we will go to work freeing all the others. for none of us is truly free as long as one is in bondage.

God bless you and your struggle, you will be in my prayers. much love and hope, pj

pennyjane | May 31, 2008 5:03 PM

i hear your frustration jeremy. it's easy for us who are in the fray to get a little bitter with the folks who aren't. on the surface it does seem somewhat unfair that we do all the heavy lifting while they reap the same reward for doing nothing. i struggle with that myself quite a lot.

i am a transwoman, out and about and i make no effort to hide it. no one who knows me doesn't know that i was born with male anatomy, and even on the streets it is clear that i am not a "normal" woman. life in a fishbowl does tend to wear one down. i see in myself the temptation to just slip away from time to time, go "stealth" as it is said. i could do it. but i choose not to. it's too important to me to make the world aware of people like me and to portray us not as people of guilt, who are ashamed of what we are, but as real and multi-faceted. people who are so much more then how we dress or what gender we identify as or what are our sexual preferences. it's a conscious choice i have made and i know the consequences, i accept them.

i have to understand that there are others who are not endowed with the same particular gifts as am i. some folks wear down quickly and really need to just stay out of it in order to survive. i can't condemn anyone for wanting to live.

the bible does talk about homosexuality and often in a very negative way. but homosexuality as it relates to a loving and committed relationship between two people is also celebrated in scripture. the loving committment of ruth and naomi provides a perfect example of two lovers of the same gender being blessed by God. the relationship and covenant between jonathan and david clearly rises to a level far above that of friendship, and was blessed by God. Jesus Himself held out the roman centurian for his faith when his "special slave" was healed. Jesus did not tell cornelius to go and sin no more, he held him up to his deciples as a man of faith and worthy of God's blessing for that reason alone. we have to understand that the bible does seem to contradict itself in many, many ways. this is why paul tells us that Christ will write the laws on our hearts, not in scripture. we are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and He is to be our guide, not even Holy Scripture can overrule Him.

i agree with you too on the presidential candidates. some are better then others but none are the friend of truth and morality. they are by nature idolators, that is they worship at the alter of power. fortunately we do live in a place and time where grassroots work sometimes can work better then the highest authoraties in the land. when people like you and i are out there, changing attitudes one at a time, i believe we are preparing the table for the ones to follow. the struggle will never end, we are perenial warriors and we, with patience and outrage, with hand raising and fist pounding will bring on a day when we will be free. and then we will go to work freeing all the others. for none of us is truly free as long as one is in bondage.

God bless you and your struggle, you will be in my prayers. much love and hope, pj

The evil that Zucker, BBL, etc. do can not be overstated. 80 children are on Zucker's waiting list to have their gender shamed into mental closets, virtually assuring their future alienation from family, whether they are gay, ts/tg, or not.

But even more depressing is the pathetic infighting which we in the ts/tg/is bracket perpetrate against each other in response. These BBLZ thugs are set to rule the DSM, and instead of seriously strategizing, our blowhards would rather bicker about their pet theories. Maybe it's because I spend so little time in the T* ghettos these days (small wonder!), and consequently have lost some myopia on these differences, but I can't see how this helps anyone at all, no matter what theory or faction one is party to. My only consolation is that most younger tg/ts folks don't give a hoot about these debates nearly as much, but recognize that we have to hang together against those that would destroy us.

There are powerful people who simply want us to go away: reparative "therapy", eugenics, legistlative cruelty, murder... Can we not all remember the dire harm that these thugs are perpetrating against REAL CHILDREN? Can't we stand together for five minutes, tranny scum one and all, to fight this?

My real query is: Who is fighting this?

Who's fighting this?

Some Unreconstructed Raymondites in the GLB lobby for one. RadLezFems, Rich Gay White Males.. you want me to continue?

And almost no-one in the GLBT lobby has said anything about the Intersex kids being genitally mutilated when young. It's just not on their radar, compared with same-sex marriage or DADT.

That means we just have to unite and fight harder, as you say.

Just to set the record straight: Jamison Green (only 2 e's, not 3, thank you) is a man who has realized that evolution of English language usage is beyond his power to control. He completed the (then HBIGDA) sex reassignment process in 1991. He considers himself transsexual, but only as a modifier to the term man, if such a modifier is absolutely necessary. He has also accepted that his history is a transgender history because he occupied a social place between the genders before he sought medical assistance to bring his sexed body into alignment with his gender identity. He does not accept transgender as a new euphemism for transsexual: both are distinct terms that describe specific, different, and sometimes overlapping experience. But he does not claim the privilege of labeling other people, nor does he believe that any particular label or experience has more value than any other. Jamison Green believes that all people should have the dignity of self-definition, and that we should respect each person's individuality, but rather than policing other people, he prefers to simply live by the premise of respect for others. Matters of policy, however, can be more subtle and often require some compromise, or at the very least a realization that a model that fits most situations is good, so long as there is an acknowledgement that there may be exceptions, and that there is a process by which exceptions might be handled expediently and without undue stress on either the system or the individuals involved. There are many bridges to cross in the effort to eliminate adverse discrimination against trans people, whether they are transsexual, transgender, or any other kind of trans, and as angry as any of us might be that everyone is not just like us, the progress that serves our diverse community is made by those who work for it collaboratively. And no one of us leads it; progress happens when it happens, largely because of factors outside our control, but also because the seeds that we have planted through our daily actions have taken root in others and have led to the momentum to create meaningful social change.

pennyjane | May 4, 2009 11:29 AM

i am transsexual, not transgender. i belong to a rather conservative, main stream chruch. i am accepted 100% at my chruch though my "transsexual" status is known by all. i'm just one of the women.

why is this the case with me while so many of my transsexual sisters can't find an accepting church community?

first: i find myself in agreement with most of the chruch dogma, i love the structured service, find the sermons compelling and provocative and mostly, love the people.

in all modesty i would like to say that it's "them", the people of the chruch, who have made this possible. it would be easy to say that they are "special" people with some kind of inherent insight into love that precludes predjudice and bigotry. that would also be true, but it wouldn't be the whole truth.

another truth is that i have worked very hard to gain their trust, confidence and acceptance. fundamental to that acceptance is my dis-association with "transgender". i have educated my congregation on the difference between gender identity and sexual practice. i do not support the rights advocated by the "transgender" community any more then i support the rights of any other sexual practitioners to act out in public.

i do not support the rights of infantilists to wear their wet and dirty diapers into the work place under their onesies and use the facilities to change themselves. do that at home, it's between you and God, in my space...i have a say.

i do not support the rights of any man to use the room marked "women" no matter how he is dressed. if your gender identity isn't female, then stay out.

is life perfect? heck no, and there will be difficulties and personal prices to pay along the way. revolution isn't supposed to be easy and without cost and sacrifice. of my five years of transition three were spent pre-op. i began using the ladies' rooms the day i transitioned and have never had a problem of any kind. if i were to change anything about it i would back up the "carry letter" my therapist gave me with legal teeth. that is, make the law recongnize that document as a pass to the ladies' rooms. as i said, i never needed that document, don't even know where it is anymore, but i did always feel a bit better when i knew it was in my purse, even without legal teeth.

the transgenders advocate for special rights, the right for them to act out their sexual fantasies in public. that is an entirely different argument then the rights of the transsexual to live her life as her precieved gender. the transgenders do not want to let us go....we add a legitimacy to their cause that they cannot even approach on their own. it's up to us...yes diane, us...to make it clear to the whole world that we are not them and they are not us...we are not sisters, or even loosely related. we are women, they are men in dresses and that's just the truth.

much love and hope. pj

Go on now. There's no need to be in here flaming a thread that's over a year old. Scoot. Move on. Nothing here to see or do.

*shoohs pennyjane out the door*

You keep using the idea of rights with clearly no understanding of what they are, wher they come from or how they work.

You need to read up on The Enlightenment, the philosphers and their ideas from which Rights and modern Democracy sprung. As your in EPIC-FAIL territory.

Because you do not understand rights you imagine Equality is somehow 'special rights'. Maybe some Anthropology may help there? To learn the clear invalidity of your heterosexist and binary-gender assumptions? Day to day society is filled with vanilla heterosexuality so your argument that other sexualities should be kept locked away at home is bigoted and self-refuting because it has a double-standard. An inequality based not on a measurable philosophically valid notion like informed consent as a measure of a legitimate sexuality but one based purely on giving special rights to straight vanilla sexuality which is displayed constantly and denying the same rights to other ethical sexualities is plain bunkum.

And finally you assume that because you define Transgender as a sexual fetish practice that it must be so. Even though plenty of Transsexuals who only differ from you in that they lack an assumption that Transgender = fetishistic sexual practice do call themselves Transgender and accept it as an umbrella term as those who embrace it consider it.

So your argument is based on ignorance of Rights Philosophy, A hypocritical self-refuting double standard (which when you understand rights you'll understand too) and finally a false assumption about people your othering.

Only one of these points refutes your entire point.

So I suggest you learn about Internalised Oppression after you've read up on the Enlightenment (Don't forget to read Locke and Hume!) and Rights History (Don't miss the effects of H.G. Wells writings on Rights on WW2 and the resulting UN Decleration of Universal Human Rights and from there catch the Yogyakarta Principles!).

Oh yeah, and your argument requires overiding others Right to Self-Determination and Self-Identification in your sexualised othering. And as such refutes your own right to define yourself as not belonging to that group. Because you get no 'special right' to define me as a pervert. Either you can't define me as a sexualised fetishest or I can define you any way i please.

So in that too your argument is totally self-refuting.
Q.E.D.

pennyjane | May 4, 2009 3:05 PM

arrogant? something you seem to have internalized to the umpth!

i can disagree without calling you a bunch of names or belittlling you, something you might learn from some of us in the unwashed masses.

good luck. pj

PJ.

What names did I call you? None.
How did I belittle you? No way.

I showed your argument was wrong and used accurate words to describe why it was so in detail. It is self-refuting and a hypocritical argument but thats not the same as calling you a hypocrit, as you'd need to understand Rights to be a hypocrit which you clearly don't. Pointing out you don't understand something your talking about is a simple statement of observable provable fact not an insult. Just as if I made an argument based on automotive endineering someone could point out I don't know anything about that either.

And your assumption that because i use big words and big ideas i'm somehow not one of the 'unwashed masses' is incorrect and insulting. I had no silver spoon in my mouth, I am mostly self-educated.

So now you have falsely attacked me for name-calling when I didn't. For belittling you when I didn't. Made an assertion of elitist privelege when I have not got it. The latter an Ad Hominem argument.

As for arrogance, thats a common way to dissmiss someone who is right by someone who is wrong and just proven so. (and you also show you don't understand Internalised Oppression by suggesting I Internalised Arrogance) Try arguing on points not Ad Hominems. Try learning about what you discuss.

Also meekly discussing things with people who try and insist on inequality is neither neccessary nor appropriate. I'm being polite and respectful, but coldly clinical and logical and direct. You'll get nothing more from me in social graces while you insist i be a second class citizen to preserve your own special rights.