Donna Rose

Transsexual "gene"?

Filed By Donna Rose | October 28, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: proof, transgender, transsexual

It seems that every year or two there is an article somewhere that some scientist or doctor has identified a biological "cause" for being gay or transgender. These kinds of things seem to get a significant amount of attention and then fade into obscurity until the next bombshell discovery is made. In 1993 there was much fanfare over an article published in Science magazine about the discovery of a "gay gene." Did that settle the question of whether or not sexuality is biological or learned? Of course not. That investigation continues today.

The most recent revelation in this regard is a report out of Australia that scientists there have found a genetic link for transsexualism. This kind of research is looking to provide conclusive proof about something that many of us already know - that there is a biological connection to development of gender identity. Although many of us get excited and get our hopes up when we see this kind of news, I doubt any of us are naive enough to believe that this will be the be-all, end-all of research in that regard.

Specifically, this report says that their research showed a group of transsexual volunteers were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene. This genetic difference may cause weaker testosterone signals and therefore have other implications regarding the development of gender identity.

It should come as no surprise that, like many other topics dealing with transgender issues, this discussion often inflames passions. I'll admit that I gave up looking for the causes of my own dissonance several years ago recognizing that the causes were less important than the actions to address it. However, there is a large segment of the community for whom finding causes is very important. There are any number of legal, medical, insurance implications that may be justified if and when a biological "cause" is found.

One article reporting this research is titled "Transgender People Validated By Aussie Research."

Hopefully these findings will not only help better educate society, but also those in the medical profession who treat those born with gender dysphoria.

Many transgender people have believed for the longest time that biology had been the cause. I myself believe this as my earliest memories were that of wanting to be a girl even before I learnt to spell. Hopefully further studies like this will prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the phenomenon is a natural occurrence, leading to social acceptance of transgender people.

Although I applaud this research and hope the it leads to the kind of broader acceptance that the article describes, I can't help but chafe at the notion that any of us need to be validated by medical research. Our validation comes in many ways, and certainly identifying some sort of concrete biological link would help in that regard, but that's not our only hope. In this day and age of 21st century marvels, simple concepts like "I think, therefore I am" still apply.

The title of this article is an example of the dangerous notion that somehow science or medicine needs to be involved in order to make something "real." Whether we find definitive proof or not doesn't negate, lessen, or invalidate things that we know to be true about ourselves. There's no test for "Love," yet nobody questions as to whether it's real or not. And to question the existence of God because there is arguably no scientific proof of some supreme being is to invite attack from all directions. The point is that, although there may well be some biological connection for many of us, that's not all there is.

One of the challenges is that there is no one "cause" for being transgender. Although it's a self-diagnosed condition it's far more complicated than having a single universal cause. In fact, if they somehow developed some kind of a litmus test where you could pee in a cup and determine whether or not you had this transgender "gene" I'd urge that people be very wary of taking it. What would you do if you knew yourself to be transgender but the test indicated otherwise?

The underlying concept here is one of validation. Many of us want to be validated in a way that provides physical proof for our situation. Without it we find ourselves constantly on the defensive about whether or not this is a "choice," or a "lifestyle," or some sort of mental illness. Without hard undeniable evidence many feel unable to effectively blunt attacks that continue to stigmatize and undermine efforts to integrate into broader society. However, none of us can be so naive as to believe that acceptance is going to magically happen once definitive proof is found. Proof is in the eye of the beholder, and there will always be those who choose to doubt.

Still, this kind of thing is another step in the movement towards broader acceptance. One thing I do find interesting, however, is that all of the internet news reporting on this is out of India, Australia and the UK so far. There has been very sparse US-based reporting of it yet. Coincidence? I think not.


Recent Entries Filed under Transgender & Intersex:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


What I always fear is that someone will try to "fix" what they consider "broken." Transgender people are worthy of respect, whether by genetics or choice or a combination of other factors. The idea that some of my greatest role models might not have existed had they found a "cure" fills me with sadness. Genetics are a slippery slope. How many transsexual children will be in danger of abortion if science can identify a gene? I hope, if there is one, it remains blissfully hidden, or is part of such a combination of genes that it is impossible to surpress.

If it helps, approximately .2% (if you assume a relatively generous) 1 trans woman in 500 infants assigned male at birth) of those born with this gene actually turns out to be trans. The other 98.8% appear to be comfortable cissexual.

In other words, it is statistically useless to diagnose trans women via this gene (or trans men via the gene they discovered there).

Donna,
Your useful comment about all that has gone on around this study is the distinct lack of coverage by US corporate media. Every time we raise this issue we are called conspiracy nuts, but really what other explanation is there for an entire countries media to ignore what is being touted around the world a major scientific story? The story is not picked up by Reuters.

So for those who are tired of arguing the divisions in T (ala the earlier thread), how about trying to come up with rational explanations of why US media explicitly won't report these stories other than transphobia?

Donna.........the significance of this was in my guest blog. For more than a decade I have waited for the balance on biologic origin to fall far enough to be close to ironclad. Again, with the BSTc, the recent German study showing that transsexual women smell pheromones (which is gender specific) on female norms and a half dozen different studies on cognitive function of transsexual women also being female norm this finding is very very very important. First, it's the very first time a link for any GLBT group has been this definite regarding genetics. Second, the group studied was vetted strictly to DSM-IV-TR standards for transsexuality (classic transsexuals) despite the claims of the nay sayers otherwise (I just checked with an expert)

I waited for this because for over a decade now because I actually read laws and the ADA exception on transsexuality was very specific. Exempted was only transsexuality NOT from physical causes. Transsexuality that can be shown to BE from physical causes is covered.

I mentioned a good court case in my blog entry but the reality is RIGHT NOW, THIS MINUTE transsexuals have actual Federal protection for housing, employment and accomodation. All that needs be done is to exert those rights.

Read that again......right now, no ENDA required, before the entire rest of the alphabet soup.

Why on earth is everyone trying to pooh pooh this study? It makes zero sense unless they don't want transsexuals to have civil rights ever.

No court is going to require genetic testing to verify you are transsexual.....just show proof of a diagnosis. No legislator is going to require more than a simple abstract to confirm it. It does not require a bill to pass.....you just have to exercise it as a right under the ADA....period.

We should be dancing in the f**king streets and instead every trans out there besides me is busy doing the Judas thing and denying it three times before the cock crows.

But Cathryn....

Your definition doesn't match that DSM definition either and here I will quote it for you:

"It simply means those who fit the classic transsexual profile of early onset of knowledge of being transsexual, experience dysphoric imperative and if left untreated eventually have a GID crisis."

Now here is the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criterion:

"There are two components of Gender Identity Disorder, both of which must be present to make the diagnosis. Thee must be evidence of a strong and persistent gross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is of the other sex (Criteria A). This cross-gender identification must not merely be a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex. there must also be evidence of persistent discomfort about one’s assigned sex or a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex (Criteria B). "

Criteria A just states persistent, you claim early onset, that is at odds. For example, I can have a persistent desire develop at any time in my life.

No mention of dysphoric imperatives. You can have discomfort in sex or in gender according to the DSM (Criteris B). No mention of discomfort about anatomy, something HBS definitions claim.

No mention of GID crises either.

So Cathryn, it seems that not many people use your classic definition. People seem to either go on the self-identity model, or if they are really strict the DSM model.

A, I'll answer you and add a postscript to the ADA coverage issue.
The DSM is quite specific that transsexuality as it defines it excludes any intersexed condition. Therefore the classically transsexed are not even part of the DSM. Further, the ADA definition of "physical impairment" specifically includes neurological as an "impairment". Further, an opinion letter from the US AG's civil rights office by the Assistant AG to Sen. John Kerry specifically states that GID (Gender Identity Disorder) from one of the "physical impairment" classes IS COVERED under the ADA.. The genetic study everyone is trying so hard to debunk is icing on the cake....the cause does not have to be genetic, it can be pre-natal hormonal, the rights gained simply if you can demonstrate that you are neurologically intersexed and multiple studies verify that as well.

End of story......dance around it all you wish, classic transsexual civil rights are covered under the ADA, no court verification required. The real question that remains is why no one wants this....could it be once again neo-gynophobia?

This whole "no trans left behind" attitude is actually trying to debunk civil rights for a group that are now a reality......and that is out and out bigotry of the worst kind.

This reminds me of a television show about alternative universes, called "Sliders." I think I'll live in the current universe where transsexuals of ALL KINDS have been excluded from this universe's ADA, thanks to my dead "Uncle" Jesse.

(He's not really my uncle, thank God.)

Cathryn,

I'm not fighting you on any of the civil rights points. You may be totally right on that issue and I hope you are for all our sakes.

I'm also not fighting you on the transsexuality has a physical cause point either. I'll totally grant that as an undisputed fact.

What I am concerned about is this elusive definition of classic transsexuality. I'll quote you here.:

"Second, the group studied was vetted strictly to DSM-IV-TR standards for transsexuality (classic transsexuals) despite the claims of the nay sayers otherwise (I just checked with an expert)"

My reply was placing your definition side by side the DSM and pointing out all the discrepancies.

Then you reply:

"Therefore the classically transsexed are not even part of the DSM"


How are these two quotes by you not in direct contradiction Cathryn? A further question is how the researchers would use your standard when they study was done at a clinic that uses the DSM standards?

Please help us unravel this very puzzling mystery.

Page 4-5 of the current SoC guidelines note, expressly, that intersex is included.

The DSM itself does not exclude intersex from being trans. Neither does the ICD.

F64.8 and 302.6 are specifically notable for their *use* as inclusive of IS issues, and, therefore, demonstrate you are wrong -- almost certainly based on a transitional guideline prior to 2001 (which is the current version).

The language is specific in the statute, and does not create exceptions.

You are not covered. Transsexualism/GID -- period -- are not at this time established to have a physical causation. You are reaching too far.

Now, that has nothing to do with "tearing it apart" -- in terms of the study -- but has everything to do with your perceptual errors.

As usual, you are wrong almost across the board. Again I have to wonder why you oppose this unless it's hate motivated. No matter. You aren't covered anyway and I am because I am intersexed (diagnosised)

See, dyssonance? The "classic" alternate universe shell game. "Guess what universe my version of the ADA is in? No, not where you live, dyssonance."

Yeah, I see.

London, france, and, well...

I understand being despeate, but to crave validation that greatly from an exterior source just sorta saddens me.

Really?

Would you like page numbers? LOL

Cathryn, you just stuck your foot in your mouth -- and then added the other one and fell on your hind end.

*oops*

first off, what I stated is verifiable fact, both online and offline, simply by looking in the DSM, ICD, and the SoC.

*Anyone* who does so in the current versions will note such.

And that's ignoring that facts that not only am I a licensed therapist, but I'm also IS myself, I simply don't nominally identify as such.

So, please, Cathryn, exolain, in detail, where you get your particular dz of "classic Transsexual" from.

What Manual accepted by the courts and used as part of the standards is this contained in so that we can all see it.

You want to run off in some delusion of "i'm so happy, yes I'm happy" well, bugger for you, girl -- but when you outright Lie

Let me say that again. You outright LIED.

Which makes you a liar, one should note.

when you outright lie, you damage your self and and those who cling to the same stubborn foolishness you are clinging to (such as Jennifer).

If you genuinely were correct, you wouldn't have needed to lie about it.

That's really sad, too. I may not agree with some of your philosophies, but up until now I always took what you said and paid attention to it.

You just ended that.

You now have witnessed what I have been dealing with for the past decade with her. It doesn't take long before she has that affect on people.

It was Peter who denied he knew Jesus three times before the cock crowed, not Judas.

So, have you convinced the rest of the country's courts we already have equal rights? That dog won't hunt in Georgia, regardless of what's between your legs. You can say all you want that we have equal rights without ENDA, but if a company wants to fire you for transitioning or finding out you're a transsexual after hiring you and a court upholds the firing, then your claims aren't worth the blog it's written in. I'll keep fighting for a fully-inclusive ENDA, if you don't mind.

I'm not dancing in the streets simply because I know that most people in the mainstream are not prepared to accept this, yet. It's a valuable study, gives more validation to our advocacy, that's excellent, but we don't know how much weight it will carry.

As for who this covers et. al. I would be content to let the researchers determine that, provided they broaden the scope a little. Group A, patients diagnosed with GID; Group B, a control group of men and women; and Group C, genderqueer persons, crossdressers, etc. Until they're included in the study, we won't know for certain if it applies.

You cannot legislate acceptance. No civil rights start from that, they come from forcing the general public, often kicking and screaming, to no longer discriminate and deny someone the basic tools of living. This whole "acceptance" thing is crap.

This is true.

To get those civil rights, though, one must legislate.

Or, in this case, remove some legislation (Helms' addition tot he ADA, for example).

As a further note, transsexuals are explicitly denied protection under the ADA on any grounds.

It does not make a distinction.

wrong.......visit http://radicalbitch.wordpress.com for a detailed reason why.

You are using another person who has interpreted the study in the same way as you as "proof" that you're right? Why don't you just say, "It's right because I say it's right?" You're not showing any more proof this way than you have been so far.

No, I'm not -- and your interpretation is based on outdated treatment plans.

AND in order to qualify for the neurological aspect (not even counting the significant life impairment issue), you must have a diagnosis.

Well, there are two cats and each includes one for intersex.

You are wrong Cathryn, sorry.

You already know I'm supportive of the removal of exclusions from the ADA, so you can't use that argument, and you should know that I will argue the case for you if it has merit.

It doesn't. You are reaching.

See earlier reply above under A, as well.

PART 36 -- NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY BY PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND IN COMMERCIAL FACILITIES

Subpart A -- General

Sec.36.104 Definitions.

(5) The term disability does not include --

(i) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;

Not that the above includes 'classic transsexualism' as *transsexualism*, and that the GID not resulting from phys impair refers to any sort of get around other than IS.

Indeed, it expressly relies on the classification model presently in use in the DSM -- as was the intent of the Senator (Helms) who inserted it in there.

Exhibitionism's excluded?! Well, there goes my lawsuit!

"gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments"

GID........"not from physical impairments" Excuse me but that IS "classic transsexuality". It was put in to not exclude intersexuality.....if a condition has a genetic or hormonal developmental component it is physical.....GID is the exact term used by the DSM at the time the law was written....

This is not about "acceptance" or personal vindication........it's about civil rights. You people are unbelievable.

"You say toe-may-toe. I say toe-mat-toe. Let's call the whole thing off."

Hey, I live in Georgia. Anyone want some Classic Coke? You can drink it with your classic burger and classic fries, purchased at a classic drive-thru, while you listen to classical music. I'll sent it to you in my classic car, assuming you have enough class. I guess that makes me a classy lady.

Class dismissed.

Another leap *out* of the DSM/ICD & SoC. The only time "classic" can be used in these situations, Cathryn, is when they are applied tot he old Benjamin scale or its contemporaries -- and there it is "transsexual" and "true transsexual", and there are 3 cats for it.

Your position is unsupported -- there is no dx of "classic" transsexualism. There is Transsexualism and there is GID. Both include people who do and who do not need the surgery.

And intersex *is* included (NOS and Unspecified).

Look it up, Cathryn. I've got mine out in front of me. And use the current, please.

Um, it literally and plainly says that "transsexualism" is excluded from the ADA. Also included in that list is "gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments," but the "not resulting from physical impairments" can't be read as a positive inclusion of transsexuality when "transsexualism" is specifically mentioned on that list.

Good luck with your lawsuit, if you can find a lawyer to take it on, but I doubt any court is going to overturn an exemption as specific as that one.

Claire Jennifer | October 28, 2008 9:06 PM


I always learn such a lot by reading these blogs.
Thank you to all of those who educate me.

I personally hope that there is no genetic link for transexualism. Not for my sake, but for my daughters sake.

At every therapy session we attend together she shares her concern that there may be a hereditary reason.
She wants to have children, and she doesn't want to have to deal with this again.
She already lost a father - could she lose a son, or a daughter too.

I too will believe it when I see it.

Claire


Donna I think for some it's important to know that there are cause's for transexualism and for others there is great fear.Personally studies like the Australian one have benefited me with my endo.When I first went to him he made it a point to let me know he was comfortable with treating me and that he has treated others.He provided me with information for treatment from the clinical journal of endocrinology and knew of the Danish Autopsy study.He told me he knew that it was more of a medical condition then a mental one.Then there's my brother you could provide him with undeniable proof and he'd still say it's a choice and he know's that I've had gid from early childhood.As for those who have great fear yes there might be some who would abort because of transsexualism but I don't think the majority would accept it.Then I also believe within the transgender umbrella that there is a pyschological verse's medical division.I believe Ts's are mostly medically caused with the Autogynephiles being mentally caused or a mix.Hetero CD's won't have a genetic cause either but some mental trigger.Drag queens could go either way but will most likely have the same cause as homosexuality which should be biological as well.

WTH does it matter?

What's with the division and exclusion, the "they aren't" and the "we are but"?

Am I excited? yeah. Will it have *any* impact whatsoever on anything right now?

Nope.

Stop being afraid, dammit.

Whether we find definitive proof or not doesn't negate, lessen, or invalidate things that we know to be true about ourselves. There's no test for "Love," yet nobody questions as to whether it's real or not. And to question the existence of God because there is arguably no scientific proof of some supreme being is to invite attack from all directions.

Ah, but science continues to search for as many possible gleanings as possible about both love and God. You don't have to question the existence, only want to know the mechanics.

Like other studies that are often cited, I find it suggestive but far, far from conclusive. Correlation does not equal causation.

The "born this way" argument is bothseductive to those to whom it applies -- freeing them from guilt and self-loathing, whether you're T or LGB, or whatever -- and admittedly has been effective from a civil rights/social acceptance standpoint.

OTOH, we ought to be careful what we wish for. If trans-ness is like many other medical "conditions" (Asperger's, cancer, manic depression, etc.) -- and I see no reason why it wouldn't -- it's undoubtedly got multiple causes from a biological standpoint alone. Not to mention the psychological and sociological causes that are probably involved for some trans people. Just as sexual orientation can involve all three of these causes. Or even "race"* can. For example Obama is biracial, and arguably has chosen to identify himself as "black." (Of course the flip side is that even if he didn't, others would "race" him that way, much as others gender us in particular ways, regardless of how we may may identify own gender identity.)

So what happens to the person who feels an overwhelming need to transition, but doesn't have the "proper" genetic/homonal/physical difference? Do we say sorry, you can't transition, you don't deserve the same rights, etc? What happens to the crossdresser or genderqueer who might have the gene but doesn't feel the need to permanent cross gender boundaries. What about those who sexually attracted to the same sex (whether all of time or part of the time) but who lack the "proper" gay gene. Do we say they don't deserve rights either?

I think the "born this way" argument misses the point. We don't grant people protections from persecution based on their religious beliefs because they were born with those beliefs. Rather it's because we've decided that religious beliefs (or disbelief) are such an integral part of who we are that they merit protection. Yes, it's a somewhat more difficult argument, but I think it's one that most people will get. Those who reject it probably won't listen to "born this way" arguments either.

* I realize that scientifically "race" is meaningly from a biological perspective. That said -- like gender -- on the ground it's a different story.

While I'm hopeful this leads to inclusion under the ADA I see a few concerns. The ADA requires there to be substantial limitations on major life activities for coverage. One has to be able to prove having one of these conditions causes limitations in working, thinking, walking, hearing etc.

This may be difficult to do for transsexuality - though I think one could make an arguement for an individual based upon some areas and upon limitations on reproduction caused by medication needed to treat the condition. Just as side effects from treatments for other conditions are included.

One would also have to be tested to show they have this genetic basis for their transexuality or GID - everyone won't - I'm sure other physical factors will also be discovered. And the cost will likely be a huge burden.

I do see some hope also on this approach for insurance coverage. The ADA limits blanket exclusions for any specific conditions - but does alllow some limitations on the coverage provided. Given the blanket exclusions on transgender & transsexual related health care in most policies - this might be able to be used to remove the exclusions.

Great article, Donna. I think the same arguments could be applied to those who are looking for the "Gay Gene." I think the "X-Men: Last Stand" movie provided an apt analogy. If there is a genetic cause for our gayness or transness, leave it to science to create a "cure." There will be some people in the community who will long to be "cured," and others who, like you, argue that we don't need to be "fixed" because there's nothing wrong with us.

The study compared 128 transsexual women to 258 nontranssexual men.

55% of transsexuals have long alleles (vs 45%), and 48% of men have long (vs 52%).

Its statistically significant but not that conclusive. Almost half of transsexual women don't have it and almost half of men do.

What is interesting is that they didn't find an association that was found in another study (and that study did not find an association with the allele in the current study).

The finding is scientifically interesting but politically relevant.

I have a question for both Cathryn and JJ. Do you have to have SRS before you are considered a "classic" transsexual, or just the desire to have SRS is good enough?

Correction

From Riding the Second Wave:

In a letter dating from 1994 to Senator John Kerry from James P. Turner, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division stated clearly that Gender Identity Disorder FROM a physical impairment is covered under the ADA. We have a legal opinion from the civil rights branch of the Attorney General’s office making our coverage clear.

There's also a definition of "physical impairment" too.

“Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.”
Although I still think many, perhaps most courts would find that a cause isn't proven, or that the definition of "physical impairment" excludes it, or that the opinion of the former AG should be discarded, in the main I was just plain wrong. I've changed my opinion accordingly.

As John Maynard Keynes said: When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

Sadly, the opinion is irrelevant without the supporting facts, and while I wold *love* to agree with it, it is not a matter of law and cannot, as a defacto ruling, be taken as such, Zoe.

And that's not even counting that the courts have taken a much narrower view of what constitutes physical impairment in just the last 8 years (so much so that the ADA was subject to congressional clarification this last year) than the 14 year old opinion cited.

When the facts change, I will. They haven't yet, though, and transsexualism (ICD dx) and GID(DSM) are both still classified as mental, not physical. Such a diagnosis is what they will go by right now.

Which is why I support *moving* them.

It seems that every year or two there is an article somewhere that some scientist or doctor has identified a biological "cause" for being gay or transgender. These kinds of things seem to get a significant amount of attention and then fade into obscurity until the next bombshell discovery is made. In 1993 there was much fanfare over an article published in Science magazine about the discovery of a "gay gene." Did that settle the question of whether or not sexuality is biological or learned? Of course not. That investigation continues today.

I'm disappointed that such a prominent activist is so determined to play down this study and mix the issues of causes of being a gay man and of being M2F. That Donna then bemoans the sparse US coverage of the story, despite herself playing it down to almost zero seems strange.

At a time when gay campaigners in Thailand are on track to have SRS before 21 made illegal, because, they claim, the patients are all gay boys who will regret it, and, in the UK, the largest L&G organisation is considering awarding "Best journalist" to a lesbian who strongly advocates that SRS should be banned because we are really just gay, it is amazing that any aware woman with a transsexual background would be taking this line.

The 1993 paper by Dean Hamer et al was on finding a "marker for a gay (male) gene", not a "gay (male) gene" itself. Genomics was almost in the dark ages back then. Unfortunately no one was able to replicate the result. A clear genetic link with male homosexuality has been found, but it is another of those biological background facts that are useful to show how it works, not an actual cause. The search for that continues, totally separately from research on transsexuality, which is very much the poor neighbour.

All the previous biological discoveries on M2F transsexuality have been those background facts too, not the cause of them. We have smaller BSTcs, our brains react in female manner to pheromones, our finger ratios are female, etc., but why are they like that? That is what "cause" means. There have not been numerous papers on biological cause, only crazy psychoanalytical and religious theories.

Two years ago a Swedish team with a small sample found a weak link to one variation on the Estrogen Receptor Beta gene. The Australians started by trying to replicate that, and failed. So that dropped to the same status as Dean Hamer's 1993 work in gay men. In July an Austrian team found a link to a genetic variation in F2Ms (strange how no one knocked that), but none in M2Fs. Now there is this link in M2Fs, in a large study, as transsexual studies go.

It doesn't claim to be the definitive answer - it is far from that - but it is a firm indication of genomic cause that remains to be detailed. That means inherited, or from a lifetime genetic change in one of the parent's gametes, or an error in the earliest stages of gestation.

As for this being about "validation", I suspect that if Donna had been a transsexual child, desperate for intervention to forestall the wrong puberty, faced by parents and experts telling her she was really only gay, that if only she would learn sports and only use "masculine" colors to draw and paint she would change her mind and grow to like being male, told that there was nothing for them to go by but her word, told that late transitioners all asserted that, since they didn't know at her age, she couldn't possibly either, she might be more in touch with the potential significance of this research.

Professor Bowers, the psychiatrist who interested the report's geneticist authors to investigate transsexuality, always knew there should be a physical test that would enable irreversible treatment much younger, when it would benefit patients far more, or without so many consultations and psychological tests.

Gosh, I am about a year late to this discussion, but I know Monica, Cathryn and dysonnance (and others)from other forums.

I agree and disagree with bits and pieces of the discussion - here's my POV:

Re: ADA - my legal take on this is that transsexuality with a "physical cause" is covered under the ADA. As long as the model used to explain transsexuality is that of "delusional members of initially-assigned sex who believe that they should belong to the other sex," it's a mental disorder.

The BSTc studies and the more recent research on possible genetic conenctions seem to indicate to me that it is time to push the envelope on the legal end.

My flash point? I plan on getting married, and the NYC Bureau of Vital Records refused to give me my birth certificate.

This has led me to start a lawsuit against NYC and agencies including the NYC Depatment of Health and Mental Hygiene for four things:

1. give me my unamended birth certificate based on the proofs I already provided;

2. Court order confirming my nearly-decade-old common law name change (government entities stopped taking my declaration after 9/11);

3. change my name and sex assignment on birth certificate based on current regulation being arbitrary and capricious when applied to me and persons like me with medial conditions that preclude "corrective surgery;" and

4. alternate change my name and sex assignment on birth certificate based on current regulation being arbitrary and capricious - based on a change in the underlying societal assumptions about transsexuality -

The 1966 blue ribbon medical commission on which the current and immediately-preceding policy was based was on the basis of then-current knowledge.

Much has changed in the understanding of transsexuality to spotlight the fact that it is an intersex anatomical situation which involves the brain deveoping with characteristics of one sex while the genital tract develops along the blueprint for the other sex.

The BSTc and other studies dovetail into this - these may not be the only causes, and transsexuality may well be based on several causes, but it is definitely not a delusion.

The theory I am proposing is based on the idea that the assignment of sex as an either/or binary must take into account those situations where individuals do not cleanly fall in one or the other. Sex assignment itself is a social construct.

I think I can win this. In the meantime, the City corporarionj counsel is going to agree at tomorrow's hearing that the City has nop objection to me getting my birth certificate, so I think the first two items will eb taken care of.

In the meantime, reading a lot of the chain here, I get the impression that some of the disagreement seems to be based on differences that really aren't there.

I'm making this note just for the record.

The Greatest Danger!

Is In The Misuse Of This By Groups In Society, Experimentation On Humans, Once The Test Subjects Have Shown A Positive They Will Then Focuse This At Criminals And Free Thinking Or Fringe Thinking People To Genetically Change Their Biology!

An Injecttion Will Be Given Under The Guise Of A Immunisation, The Subject Will Then Feel A Pns and Needles Type Sensation Akin To A Stroke, Then Their Mental And Emotional States Will Change In Tendencies, There Is At The Moment A Bodily Rejection That Causes Constant Pain, Also The Antibodies Target The Reproductive Organs And Attck Them As They Respond To The Organs As An Infection! If A Child Is Born There Is A High Probability That It Will Be Deformed Or Have Physical And Mental Gender Issues!