Organization Intersex International: Transgender people using “brain sex” theories damage the Intersex community’s ability to organize
July 26, 2014
By Morgan Carpenter, new Director of Organization Intersex International Australia:
Intersex, brain differences, and the transgender tipping point
5 June 2014.
Over a decade ago, intersex and trans activist Raven Kaldera wrote that trans people seeking classification as intersex might be seeking legitimisation, as if a physical cause is necessary to obtain social or familial validation. He said that trans people using brain sex theories to claim intersex status were basing a political stance on unproven science and damaging the intersex community’s ability to organise.
We might hope that times have changed, with the amazing Laverne Cox appearing on the cover of Time magazine, as it declares The Transgender Tipping Point. This is great news (also, we can’t wait for the next series of Orange is the New Black) but, sadly, a high proportion of enquiries that we get at OII Australia, a national intersex organisation, are still from trans folk seeking biological validation for their identity.
Intersex is a term for innate physical differences in sex characteristics, known controversially to medicine as “Disorders of Sex Development” and historically as hermaphroditism. At least 30 or 40 genetic differences causing intersex traits are known to science. Intersex is not defined as a gender identity. Intersex people have all sorts of gender identities, just like trans and other people. Some intersex people have non-binary gender identities, just like some trans people, but most intersex people are men or women.
Correlations between brain sex differences and same sex attraction in men, and trans gender identities in women, have been widely reported over a long period of time – yet there’s still controversy even regarding the notion that men and women have different brains. Given the known biological basis of many intersex variations, much of the research on causes of homosexuality has been carried out on live foetuses and infants with intersex traits.
Late last year, a neuroscience study inspired headlines proclaiming, “hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are “better at map reading” (And why women are “better at remembering a conversation”)”. Cordelia Fine writing at The Conversation shows how the reporting and the study itself, of nearly 1,000 people, inflated very modest differences into something “tediously predictable“. In reality:
In an larger earlier study … the same research team compellingly demonstrated that the sex differences in the psychological skills they measured – executive control, memory, reasoning, spatial processing, sensorimotor skills, and social cognition – are almost all trivially small…
the social phenomenon of gender means that a person’s biological sex has a significant impact on the experiences (including social, material, physical, and mental) she or he encounters which will, in turn, leave neurological traces.
The more research that is conducted, the more clear is the evidence that brains are plastic. Differences are often over-stated, especially where results fit social preconceptions, but brain structures change according to circumstance and repeated activities.
Studies in recent years have found that a short eight-week mindfulness meditation program changed the brain structures of 16 participants, while other studies have found brain differences in active longer-term meditators. Scientific American has collected some good links.
More recently, a study in Israel has found that parenting rewires the male brain, particularly those of gay men: “the experience of hands-on parenting, with no female mother anywhere in the picture, can configure a caregiver’s brain in the same way that pregnancy and childbirth do“. In heterosexual men, brain differences were “proportional to the amount of time they spent with the baby“.
Laverne Cox said in that Time interview (via The Guardian):
If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is OK, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence … That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.
It’s time for a bit more pride, and time for phone calls seeking validation based on brain sex to stop.
Biological validation doesn’t improve access or quality of healthcare. Testing for biological differences creates its own risks. Basing a human rights campaign on being “born that way“, or not being able to help being different is undeniably seductive, but we all deserve human rights whether we’re born a particular way or not. It shouldn’t depend on your genetics or your brain structure any more than your gender expression or what you choose to wear.
- Raven Kaldera (c.2000-2004) Dangerous Intersections
- Katy Steinmetz (29 May 2014) The Transgender Tipping Point in Time Magazine
- Simon LeVay (30 August 1991) A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men in Science 30 August 1991: Vol. 253 no. 5023 pp. 1034-1037. DOI: 10.1126/science.1887219
- OII Australia (29 April 2014) Submission on the ethics of genetic selection against intersex traits, includes material on research on the causes of homosexuality using foetuses and infants with intersex traits.
- Christie Nicholson (22 January 2011) Meditation Correlated with Structural Changes in the Brain in Scientific American
- Eileen Luders, Arthur W. Toga, Natasha Lepore and Christian Gaser (15 April 2009) The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter in Neuroimage, 15 April 2009; 45(3): 672–678. PMCID: PMC3184843, NIHMSID: NIHMS90659
- Scientific American (31 October 2013) Taking a Closer Look at How Meditation Improves Our Brains [Video], collected research on meditation and brain structure.
- Cordelia Fine (4 December 2013) New insights into gendered brain wiring, or a perfect case study in neurosexism? at The Conversation
- Elizabeth Norton (27 May 2014) Parenting Rewires the Male Brain, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Amanda Holpuch (30 May 2014) Laverne Cox heralds ‘transgender tipping point’ on cover of Time in The Guardian.
[Bolding by me. Images added by me.-GM]
January 3, 2014
This post is dedicated to the deluded autogynephiles featured in the previous post.
November 19, 2013
GLAAD -formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation- is now an organization headed by heterosexual male Jennifer Finney Boylan and representing the medicalization of social sex roles or “Transgenderism”. GLAAD, who have removed “gay” and “lesbian” from their name and now wish to be known by the stand-alone acronym only, has issued the following video in an attempt to persuade New York State to provide Medicaid coverage for “gender treatments” designed to disguise the sex of individuals who would like to appear as the opposite sex, or who would like to use medicine and/or surgery to modify their secondary sex characteristics in some way.
Stephen Ira, the daughter of Annette Benning and Warren Beatty, appears in the video. Stephen Ira is known for her activism against lesbians and feminists, having publicly organized against the rights of women to hold radical feminist conferences, at one point even publishing on her blog that she often thinks about shooting feminists. Stephen Ira is a heterosexual woman who identifies as and calls herself a female “fag”.
The following is a partial list of some of the treatments and procedures identified as “medically necessary” by WPATH, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health:
Synthetic Cross-sex hormones
facial feminization surgery
Laser hair removal,
November 5, 2013
Much discussion has occurred on this and other feminist sites on the attempts by the trans politic to erase female reality under patriarchy by destabilizing the fact that reproductively female humans actually exist, as a class, and are oppressed as a class on the basis of our sex. The trans politic, in part, adopts this tact disingenuously as a strategy to confer authenticity on their gender-based personas, totally disregarding the effect of such a politic on the lives of actual females, which are both unfathomable and unimportant to the men promoting our erasure. In private, among themselves, such men- many fathers and husbands- tend to freely acknowledge, even celebrate, their maleness in male-only groups and seminars and gatherings.
Not surprisingly, very few female transgenders make these claims. Very few females convey a sense of ownership over and entitlement to possessing a male body, even those females who have undergone extensive body mods to “pass” as male. Unlike men, women have always lived in “the background” of women’s lives. Indeed, they were raised into it. They know firsthand the systemic social, political, psychological, and violent warfare conducted against female humans by males based on our reproductive sex. Even the most kool-aid drinking transgender F2T fantasist seldom forwards the idea that humans are not a sexually dimorphic species. F2T drive the “genderqueer” and “agender” and “not 100% a man exactly” arms of the transgender movement. They are the “Zirs” and Zies”. One F2T pioneer described her penis to me in correspondence as “a slab of flesh from my forearm sewn onto my crotch”. I have never, ever seen a F2T insisting her phalloplasty was an actual penis, or claiming that she has a prostate. Females know all too well that they are oppressed on the basis of their reproductive sex, and that there is no way to fully escape from this.
The experience of males- including males that fancy themselves to be actually female- is quite different. These men were raised with the expectation that women exist to serve them and care for them. Even gay boys grow up assuming they will someday own a woman, if they want one. M2T, like all men, are raised as members of the overlord class with little consciousness or interest in the lives and experiences of the underclass which exists only to serve them.
This is how a man who proclaims himself to be female after a lifetime of male-privilege, fatherhood and marriage can not only remain completely ignorant of female reality, but position himself as an authority on it, with the wisdom from “on high” to correct women from making the “silly mistake” in recognizing our sex-based oppression, or even our sex itself.
An example of such a man would be Dana Beyer, the “executive director” of Gender Rights Maryland, a designation and an org of his own invention. In an essay blogged last week on the Huffington Post, Dana describes the women who fail to reject the reality of human sexual dimorphism as “Radical Lesbian Separatist[s]”. I am a gender-critical lesbian feminist, and even I don’t personally know any radical lesbian separatists. I assure you, neither does Dana. But that is how he genuinely perceives actual women that are not serving him. Further, this: “Even the radical lesbians, who base their feminism on their panic deriving from the potential to be forcibly impregnated by men, feed off this male anxiety about those who willingly surrender their male bodies and male privilege.” Our panic! Our sudden, uncontrollable fear or anxiety often causing wild unthinking behavior! The cwazy cwazy reaction women have to fending off violent sexual slavery for their entire lives in a history of reproductive mayhem perpetuated against females for the whole of human history. Now, now, ladies! Don’t panic! Base feminism on something else!
Remember: this perspective on the reproductive caste system (nothing to panic about ladies!) is coming from a man who actually believes himself “to be” female. Oh, and “surrender” your male privilege by calling yourself female and wearing a dress? That is not how things work sir. People only treat you as female if they perceive you to be female, not because you think of yourself as one. No one has ever perceived Dana as being female. No one gets to “choose” their oppression based on their own thoughts and feelings. But men like Dana have been raised with such entitlement that they regard oppression as a series of choices that one can opt into, or “surrender” themselves to by their will alone. Just as female transitioners know all too well that there is no escape from the sex caste, male members of the over-caste see reproductive oppression as completely irrelevant to their lives as men, except perhaps as a palette of life experiences they can tally with, tourist like, as just another of life’s many options.
The reality of female oppression does not exist for men like Dana, except as an inconvenient interruption of his male needs: his gender fantasies. Men like Dana will say and do anything to sustain their fantasies about women -and women better not have a damn thing to say about it. Ironically, this includes female transgenders and males who are trying to come to terms with gender dysphoria in a reality-based way.
Here is retired eye surgeon Dana Beyer MD’s definition of sex as a medical doctor:
“”Sex” includes the cellular materials that make up the sexual anatomy and physiology of a human being, including:
The cellular machinery for controlling the genetic material and its expression as RNA and protein
Other reproductive organs
Secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts and facial hair
Brain (the most important factor) “
The brain is the most important factor!
Completely brain-dead women kept alive on mechanical life-support have successfully reproduced with no brain function whatsoever. So no, doctor. What this transgender physician means is that his desire to inhabit a series of cultural sex-based stereotypes enforced violently upon women is more “real” than the objective reproductive reality experienced by females and exploited by men like him. So much so that he is willing to “surrender” his medical reputation.
Another transgender physician posted an eerily similar essay on Huffington Post last month, in this case the highly positioned David/Danielle Kaufman, Md, Chief of Radiology at Kaiser Permanente. The essay is titled “Male Organ or Not, This Really Is a Female Body”.
“…I’m convinced, a year out from my trans-woman awakening, that this really is a female body. It may have been a male body once, but I’ve made a lot of changes already, and I haven’t finished. My beard, as well as my chest and abdomen hair, are mostly gone. I’ve had extensive surgery to feminize my face. I’m on estrogen; my body now runs on this female hormone, with testosterone blocked. As a result of the estrogen, I’m growing breasts. About a year into estrogen, my natural breasts are only about an A cup size, but they’re growing; they’re real women’s breasts, and I’ve had my first mammogram. There is real glandular breast tissue in there. Estrogen has shifted fat from my abdomen to my upper thighs and buttocks. I now have thunder thighs. They rub together no matter how I walk, and I’m afraid to go into the woods during the dry season for fear that I’ll start a fire.
So no, penis or not, this is a female body now, if for no other reason than that I’m female and it’s my body.”[*]
Women (“Radical Lesbian Separatist” or not) know that sex-deniers are harmful to those of us struggling against a violent sex-caste system. It is past time for the transgender movement – especially the medical providers who are inextricably attached to it- drop this denialist tact, which is an exercise in delusion and madness.
[* Sadly, Dr. Kaufman committed suicide after the publication of his essay]
November 1, 2013
Guest Post from Gregory:
I have tragically come to realize my story is fairly typical of most MtF persons. I was molested by my “trusting” grandfather at age 3, father was killed at age 5 and while my mother remarried; you could essentially say I grew up without a “father figure” or role model. By 10 or 13 years old; the gender confusion had begun. Only I didn’t know its origins. I was frequenting the gay neighborhoods by 16; assuming this emptiness and sexual craving was a signal of who I was. But, it wasn’t gratifying; and always left me disgusted. By 25, I was cross dressing in earnest. Buy, purge, buy, purge this repetitive cycle of self hatred continued unabated. For the next 15 years I was married and divorced twice. The root of the failures I believe some bent up anger and feeling of inadequacy stemming from a childhood I had no control over.
By my late thirties, this feeling of a “feminine core” continued. It led me to purchase online and experiment with Estrogen and an Anti-Androgen. My body slowly started to feminize. I dieted and exercised feverishly and got my body down to an acceptable female weight. I felt great; this must be who I am?
I remarried again in my early forties to a wonderful woman. Yet, the programming in my mind was so scrambled by then that it was difficult to differentiate between reality and fantasy. By the time I started seeing a gender therapist and a surgeon they were as convinced as I was that I was female.
Since I was already on estrogen, the endocrinologist felt morally/ethically obligated to continue that same protocol and at least monitor it and prescribe it legally. I received my first letter for surgery after a year and the second after two years. My childhood issues were jotted down by the therapists almost as if a side note. (A very common failure in approving surgery.) At no time did I tell my family, consider my career or even consider talking to the love of my life of my plans. This “sickness” and it is a sickness, consumes and takes over your life! You will lie to everyone around you as you continue to lie to yourself to get it done.
The first six months post-op SRS were wonderful. By the eight month, things were changing. Now my interest was finding out how to end my life. That is called REGRET. How long it takes you to come to this point is subjective; probably once the excitement wears off. You realize this was completely wrong. You have destroyed everything in your path to get it done and no-one in the medical community will stop you. How can they? You lied to yourself for so long. Fooling them was the easy part. Or did they even care? “When would you like your next appointment?”
The recently published WPATH Version VII has simply allowed the medical community to open the “floodgates” for this very tragedy to unfold. To get on cross gender hormones and then have surgery has become almost as simple as going to the convenience store for a pack of gum. If the client wants it, give it to them. “Real Life Test”? Maybe, maybe not, depending on your circumstances, occupation, etc. It is a billion dollar industry that thrives on your illness.
Get help. Don’t mutilate your body. The psychiatrist, psychologists, and surgeons will enjoy a wonderful life. You, however, could end up with a tortured life, ending up penniless, possibly unemployed, without family or friends and maybe even homeless. And that’s if you haven’t tried or committed suicide by then! All so you can become the girl you “think” you are inside and wanted to be! People, God or whatever you believe in made you in the correct gender. It is encoded in your very DNA. If you think differently, get real help; but, DON”T CHANGE IT.
This essay was previously published on REtransition.Org.
Thank you Gregory.
October 24, 2013
The following is a list written by a detransitioning woman outlining the missing factors in the care they were provided by medical practitioners, advocates, and the trans-supportive community at large.
Much lip service is paid in transgender political lobbying around the difficulties in accessing “care” for transgender people. Yet this “care” is profoundly, singularly directed towards modalities that proscribe misogynist, heteronormative, and indeed transphobic(!) adherence to sex-based gender roles and the pathologization and medicalization of sex-role nonconformity.
Increasingly, this narrow focus of “care” is being directed towards children as young as 18 months old who are being diagnosed as medically disabled and “gender defective” and are celebrated as such for their “bravery” in the face of developmental sex-role deformity by the mainstream LGBT community as if they were contestants in a queer “special gender olympics” version of Toddlers and Tiaras.
What of the individuals like Nathan Verhelst for whom such treatments abysmally fail to diagnose or cure? What treatments are available for gender dysphoric individuals for whom cross-hormone and cosmetic surgical options are medically contraindicated? What “care” is available for those many individuals suffering after “transition”?
When Joel Nowak of Retransition.Org contacted WPATH (the premier medical lobbying group for transgender psychiatric and medical care) regarding resources and information for those who need to discontinue cross-sex hormones for various reasons they were told that WPATH had “no idea”. NO IDEA. “That is a very good question” he was advised. This organization has presented itself as the worldwide cutting-edge authority in medical and therapeutic treatment for transgender individuals for decades, and is recognized as such by legal and medical and governmental agencies globally. Yet they had “no idea” how to advise transgender medical consumers on how to safely desist cross-sex hormone therapy, and “no idea” where to refer such transgender persons.
While continually citing the suicidality, morbidity and psychiatric and medical emergency of gender dysphoria, the carers and advocates for transgender persons- including those of the highest professional, therapeutic, academic, political and activist standing- have decided that care should be confined to those who can (and want to) medically and psychologically tolerate gender normative “treatment” and all other transgenders who suffer from sex or gender dysphoria can literally be damned.
Transgenders who medically detransition, or whose dysphoria is uncured after “treatment” – and the percentage is large- are not only completely rejected from care but are shunned, and even attacked by those claiming to promote care for sex and gender dysphoric (transgender) persons. Supportive medical and therapeutic care for these particular transgenders is considered non-imperative as their distress is deemed inconsequential and their experiences and outcomes disposable.
Below is the list provided by a detransitioning woman (now negotiating medical and social de-transition without care or support, because none exists) listing the elements that she identifies as missing in her pre-transition care.
Sadly, this woman has been subjected to a barrage of harassment and intimidation by individuals (also identifying themselves as transgender) who want to silence any sex or gender dysphoric individuals who share information on gaps in existing care for transgender people.
Anyone who is genuinely concerned about providing care for transgender individuals – perhaps especially families struggling with “transgender children”- would do well to take note of the items on this list.
From her post:
“As someone who views transsexualism as a medical condition, I believe everyone should exhaust other alternatives and transition only as a last resort. That is what I did. The thing is, I didn’t have the resources to utilize that I could envision in a better world. Transition was the best option at the time for me, but I can think of a lot of things that would have allowed me to make a better decision. Some of these things are:
- Knowledge of the existence of detransition
- Realistic, accurate, and honest information about detransition
- Visibility of detransitioned folks sharing their story
- Information on alternative options for dealing with dysphoria such as meditation and exercises to re-align my self of self with my body
- Knowledge of radical feminism
- Knowledge of how trauma can influence one’s sense of self
- Trained, knowledgeable support for my trauma
- Someone to guide me into addressing my trauma, instead of letting me go through therapy thinking it really didn’t affect me in any significant way
- Better role models to look up to who exemplify living confidently as a gender non-conforming woman
- More accurate information on the effects of testosterone
- Honest discussion on the mental effects of testosterone
- Parental support in being gay
- Parental acceptance of my being gender non-conforming
- Better support by non-parental figures in being gay and gender non-conforming
- Knowledge of how deeply misogyny can affect females
- Acknowledgement and information about internalized misogyny within the FTM spectrum
“Last resort” is a misleading phrase here. I think virtually all trans folks are in a compromised position where better resources could be available, but are not. Detransition has been entirely taboo to talk about anywhere. It has been dismissed by trans folks and framed as cautionary bullshit coming from transphobic people. That one aspect alone puts anyone considering transition at a significant disadvantage if they are ignorant of the possibility of detransition.
Am I against transition altogether? Until these sorts of support and resources are available to the majority trans people, that question does not apply. We do not live in a world where these things are prerequisite to transition, so how could anyone know if transition would still be necessary if better support and resources were available? Sexual trauma is completely ignored as an influence of transsexuality by most therapists in an effort to be “PC”, and that is appalling.”
Read the rest of her post and more of her thoughts here: http://twentythreetimes.tumblr.com/
[Bolding by me not the author- GM]
From the Telegraph:
“By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels
11:11AM BST 01 Oct 2013
Nathan, born Nancy, Verhelst, 44, was given legal euthanasia, most likely by lethal injection, on the grounds of “unbearable psychological suffering” on Monday afternoon.
Wim Distelmans, a cancer specialist who carried out the euthanasia, is the same doctor who late last year gave lethal injections to congenitally deaf twins who were frightened they were also going blind.
“I was the girl that nobody wanted,” Mr Verhelst told Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper in the hours before her death.
“While my brothers were celebrated, I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom. ‘If only you had been a boy’, my mother complained. I was tolerated, nothing more.”
Mr Verhelst had hormone therapy in 2009, followed by a mastectomy and surgery to construct a penis in 2012. But “none of these operations worked as desired”.
“I was ready to celebrate my new birth,” he told the newspaper. “But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself. My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be… a monster. “
The case will revive Belgium’s debate over medical euthanasia as statistics show a steep year on year increase in the number of patients killed by doctors after a request to die.
Belgium recorded a record number of 1,432 cases of euthanasia in 2012, up 25 per cent from the previous year and the country is currently deciding whether to extend “mercy killing” legislation to children.
Professor Distelmans, who carried the euthanasia of Mr Verhelst, is the same doctor who last December gave lethal injections to twins Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45.
The two men brothers were both born deaf and asked for euthanasia after finding that they might also both go blind. After having their request to die refused by their local hospital, Prof. Distelmans accepted on the grounds of ‘unbearable psychological suffering’.
“The choice of Nathan Verhelst has nothing to do with fatigue of life,” said Dr Distelmans. “There are other factors that meant he was in a situation with incurable, unbearable suffering. Unbearable suffering for euthanasia can be both physical and psychological. This was a case that clearly met the conditions demanded by the law. Nathan underwent counseling for six months.”
Last week, figures showed that the number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years since legislation was changed to permit it, rising 13 per cent last year to 4,188.
Euthanasia carried out by doctors at the request of a patient is only legal in three European countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.”
From the Daily Mail:
“Suicide rates among transsexuals and those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery are high with some suggesting the rate may be as high as 31 per cent.
Chris Hyde, professor at the University of Exeter, who has studied the issues surrounding sex change operations, told MailOnline: ‘Research we conducted a decade ago found there is huge uncertainty over whether changing someone’s sex is a good or a bad thing.
‘While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatised – often to the point of committing suicide.
‘While we haven’t looked at the situation since then, given the difficulties in researching this area, it is likely that the same issues remain today.’
UK “Transgender Chicken Circuit” pre-teen Leo Waddell denied puberty blockers: Doc says long term effects unknown
September 10, 2013
12 year old Leo (formerly Lily) Waddell’s hopes were put on hold last week in her bid to become one of the rarest of breeds: a marketable female “transgender child”. Leo and her hairdresser mother Hayley have been making the rounds in the UK this year publicizing the child’s transgenderism and her participation in another rare breed: an experimental program of chemical castration for gender nonconforming children using “puberty blockers”.
Why, what’s so rare about that, the reader asks? Dutch clinics do this, Australian clinics. In the US there are such clinics in Boston and Los Angeles and Chicago and at least a dozen other places. In the US there are doctors like Dr. Michelle Forcier in Rhode Island who will even wave all psychological evaluation for these kids, and surgeons like Dr. Beverly Fischer who perform “sex-change” surgery on children as young as twelve. Administering chemical castration to gender nonconforming children is a gosh-darn bonafide medical trend, a tsunami, the reader exclaims!
Well, here’s the difference. It’s all in the word “experimental”. For something to be experimental, data has to be collected about the subject. Unlike all those other clinics who are administering drugs to stop the growth of children’s sex organs the one in the UK, -funded by the National Health Service- claims to be actually keeping records of the experiments they are doing on children. None of the other physicians administering these off-label unapproved drugs have bothered. Dr. Marvin Belzer who oversees the pediatric transgender clinic at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles says he was “too busy treating” the children and “never had the time to do the research”. None of the children who have been subjected to these treatments have been followed into adulthood, nor the results of such treatments tracked, even though they have been going on for nearly two decades. No follow-up data of any kind, physiological or psychological, has ever been collected.
The problem with medical data collection and oversight is that it tends to introduce accountability: the dreaded paper trail. Which is what inconvenienced our twelve-year-old friend Leo last week when her mother approached her family doctor to administer the experimental pre-pubertal chemical castration injections. Her physician performed due diligence and researched the medication. What she found is that the long-term effects of puberty blockers have never been studied. The manufacturers of the medication warn that the long-term effect on children is unknown. Side effects can be profound, disabling, and irreversible. Transgender activist and Philadelphia Trans Health 2012 keynote speaker Ryan Cassata reports becoming so violently ill on the medication that she was forced to abandon “treatment”. Leo’s doctor reached the reasonable clinical conclusion based on this information and protected the health of her patient by not administering the medication. Leo and her mother went to the news media. To the Mirror. To the Mail. To the daytime TV talk circuit.
From the Mirror:
Leo, who underwent extensive psychological and hormone tests before being prescribed the medication, would have been one of the youngest in the UK to receive the drug. But his family doctor refused to give him the injections because she did not know how they would affect Leo in later years.
Leo from Lowestoft, Suffolk, said: “I’m devastated. This was the one thing that would’ve made a massive difference to me and it’s been taken away.”
Mum Hayley, 48, also slammed the GP’s refusal. She said: “We asked why and she said because she didn’t know anything about the long-term effects.
“But that’s why they’re researching it. Leo has a disorder, and needs treatment. He’s been showing signs of puberty for a while now and it’s upsetting for him. He needs to have treatment.”
Hayley is now approaching other surgeries in the hope of finding one to give Leo the monthly injections.
The Sunday Mirror revealed earlier this year how Leo was to take part in the study by University College London Hospital and the specialist Tavistock and Portman clinic in West London.
In a statement, Leo’s GP Dr Jennie Morrison said: “I have had no previous experience of administering this specialist medication to young people and have already sought advice from my prescribing authority.
“Any clinical decision I make always gives consideration to every aspect of the patient’s wellbeing. My priority has always been, and continues to be, the welfare of the patient.”
The Tavistock and Portman clinic said: “We respect different views, which have at their heart a concern for the long-term welfare of young people.”
You may or may not have noticed that although females comprise the majority of children being administered off-use maturity-stopping puberty blockers, the females themselves hold little celebrity cache on what transsexual BenGirl blogger Elizabeth calls “the Transgender Chicken Circuit”. Marketable “transgender children” are almost solely male. Female (F2T) representation seems to dilute the popular narrative. Jazz, Coy Mathis, Nicole Maines, “My Princess Boy” : all male. Girls who want to wear pants and have adventures and avoid being raped are a dime a dozen and they are not a marketable commodity.
The “Transgender Chicken Circuit”, for the uninformed, is a patchwork of media appearances, news and feature articles, talk shows, documentaries, convention and seminar appearances that savvy parents can weave together into a modest cottage industry of transgender child celebrity. Think of it as a Munchausen-marinated transgender version of “Toddlers and Tiaras” whose fans are aging cross-dressing male autogynephiles in possession of both a wistful longing for an unexperienced girlhood, and a generous disposable income. These men are the funders of the agencies and lobbying groups promoting the medicalization of childhood gender nonconformity. The best known example is billionaire financeer and lifelong closeted crossdresser (and father of three) James “Jennifer Natalya” Pritzker whose Tawani Foundation single-handedly funds the experimental pediatric transgender drug clinic at Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
There is a disturbing element of pedophilia exhibited by many “fans” of the “Transgender Chicken Circuit,” as evidenced by plentiful transgender adult male YouTube channels featuring dozens of videos of these children, creepy-ass fetishized “fan sites”, and expensive glossy coffee table photography books of the sort that would get Calvin Klein into trouble. Add the transgender pornography sites which track the children’s “progress” and it’s pretty clear that sexualizing these children is a large part of their marketability.
Leo is due to star in an upcoming documentary funded by her mother Hayley under the “MyGenderation” imprimatur owned by transgender reality show “star” Raphael Fox . The pre-teen disturbingly brands herself as “Leo Sexy Waddell” on her Facebook page.
Beyond the overt pedophilia, and the marketing of a fetishized version of “girlhood” to adult male fantasists, the transgender movement “needs” to create transgender children (as activist Autumn Sandeen has explained) to “take the sex out” of the transgender equation whose most dominant practitioners are adult male sexual fetishists. But perhaps the most important reason to impose transgender labels onto children is to publicize a “born this way” narrative like the one the gay liberation movement used to pacify critics.
The transgender politic supports, celebrates and covets sex-based social stereotypes, a value undermined by their own sex being in opposition to the role they wish to occupy. The only solution to this dissonance is to frame sex-based social stereotypes as innate but reproductive sex itself as malleable. Transgender activists forward the pseudoscience of “brain sex” to posit sex stereotypes as inborn and have tried to co-opt the experiences of child victims of reproductive birth anomalies (“intersex”) to destabilize the concept of human reproductive dimorphism. Intersex activists invented terms like “assigned male at birth” to discuss the medical procedures performed on them as infants. The transgender movement colonized the experiences of intersex children and adopted these terms for themselves, insisting that having ones gonads surgically altered or mutilated in infancy is the identical experience that every healthy child goes through every time their reproductive sex is identified.
Intersex activists have for decades resisted attempts by the transgender movement to use the experiences of children born with disorders of sexual development as correlative evidence of an inborn defect causing certain men to experience sexual excitement by inhabiting a female sexual “object” or “form”. Harry Benjamin, the “father of transsexualism” claimed that transvestitism, transsexuality, and homosexuality all result from unidentified developmental disorders of the reproductive system (Of course, he also believed irradiating women’s sex organs would “rejuvinate” them, among other things.) Intersex advocates have been forced to withdraw from and disband their own organizations, even cease using the word “intersex” in order to prevent their programs from being colonized by the transgender movement’s bid for “born this way” legitimacy. They ultimately succeeded (mostly) in divorcing themselves from trans rhetoric due to the fact that their movement goals are increasingly in opposition to that of the trans politic. The intersex/DSD movement lobbies AGAINST nonessential medical treatment on children designed to cosmetically “normalize” their gender before the age of consent. Their philosophy OPPOSES the very concept of “congruity” between cosmetic biological sex morphology and social gender role that is the core value of the transgender movement. This year the DSD movement saw the United Nations declare that medicalization to promote gender “congruity” is a human rights crime against children. Last month a ruling in the US opened the door for cases involving the medical treatment of sex/gender incongruity in children to be tried on the basis that such treatments infringe the constitutional rights of a dependent population. Which is exactly opposite to the aims of the transgender politic.
With the failure of the transgender movement to destabilize reproductive dimorphism in the public sphere by relating their experiences to the experiences of children with DSD the trans lobby attached themselves to the very same population the gay movement had used to gain “born this way” legitimacy: lesbian and gay children. Sixty years of research shows that the largest demographic of transgenders- heterosexual men- are in no way gender-nonconforming as children. Gay kids are. You won’t see adorable pictures of these heterosexual transgender men as toddlers wearing tiaras and being fabulous. Their “gender identity” started at puberty with an erection while wearing mother’s panties. Such men have little interest in the concerns of girls like Leo but they will use them to promote the “Born This Way” meme when they can.
September 10, 2013
Dr. Harry Benjamin Reports Successful Treatments Under Eugene Steinach’s Method
CLINICAL CASES ARE CITED
Elderly Men Regain Youthful Appearance, Grow More Hair and Do More Work.
It is indeed possible by means of a simple operation to ward off senility and to prolong the useful life of the individual at a moment when certain gland functions tend to end, said Dr. Harry Benjamin, a New York endocrinologist, in a paper entitled, “Preliminary Communication Regarding Steinach’s Method of Rejuvenation,” which he read last Wednesday night at the Academy of Medicine, 17 West Forty-third Street.
Dr. Benjamin returned recently from Vienna, where he investigated the work of Dr. Eugene Steinach, Director of the Biological Institute of the Academy of Sciences in that city, and was authorized by Dr. Steinach to report his findings to the medical profession in this country. The report was said to be the first authentic communication on Steinach’s discovery to be placed before the medical fraternity in this country by an American who studied under Dr. Steinach.
Clinical cases which Dr. Benjamin said had come under his personal observation showed that senility and premature senility had been influenced by the operation. He told of cases where men whose memory was beginning to fail had found their memory restored, their sight strengthened and had gained weight as well as physical and mental vitality after the operation. The growth of pigmented hair was another effect of the operation, he said.
As described by Dr. Benjamin the operation is a minor one consisting of the incision of the skin of the lower abdomen and the ligating or binding of a canal which he called vaso-ligature. The result of the operation is that an important gland necessary for the maintenance of mental and physical strength is stimulated. Senility, he said, is due to the cessation of the functioning of this gland and the operation discovered by Dr. Steinbach, by causing its renewed activity, is instrumental in preventing senility or in banishing it after it had set in.
No Foreign Secretions Used.
By the Steinach method the patient does not receive the gland secretion of a monkey or any foreign substance, but his own glandular activity is revived and strengthened.
The results obtained by Dr. Steinach in cases of senility, especially premature senility “ have indeed been sometimes so remarkable that they could most accurately be described as ‘rejuvenation,’ “ said Dr. Benjamin. However, he thought the word “rejuvenation” had not been wisely selected because of the possibility of exaggeration and thought perhaps a better description of the operation might be to call it a “surgical retarding of senility”.
Among the cases that came under his observation, said Dr. Benjamin, were the following:
A man 51 years old complained of exhaustion, mental and physical, upon the least exertion, also pains of an arteriosclerotic nature, failing memory and an inability to work. The operation was performed on Oct. 16, 1920. Two and a half months later the patient’s complaints disappeared. He gained weight, and noticed a distinct improvement in his sight. Six months after the operation he “looked surprisingly youthful, carrying himself more erect and was entirely free of any complaints and entered a new business venture.”
In May, 1921, following the operation, the patient wrote that his general condition was further improved, “the formerly unbearable pains in my back, muscle twitchings, difficulty in breathing, have disappeared.” He was free from attacks of vertigo as well as mental depression and said he had gained ten pounds in the previous three months and looked forward with pleasure to his daily work instead of disgust.
Looked Like a Man of 40.
In June, 1921, the man was observed, said Dr. Benjamin, and his appearance was that of a man of 40. He gained an additional two pounds. On July 26, 1921, more than eight months after the operation, he informed his physician that his condition continued to improve.
Another case was of a building contractor, 47 years old, who complained of his inability to do any physical work. He used to fall asleep in his chair, and his memory was failing rapidly. In spite of better nourishment for two years after the war he lost fifty pounds. He was unable to earn his living. The physical examination showed “an emaciated aged man with tired facial expression, hair gray on temples, hands and ears cyanotic and cold.” The case was diagnosed as premature senility and “beginning arteriosclerosis.”
The operation was performed Feb. 7, 1921. A month later the patient said he could count the tiles on the roof opposite. Five weeks previously they had been a blurred mass. “I am feeling as well as in former years,” he said. “My mind is clear, the tiredness has disappeared. I can work as before.”
On April 4, 1921, he reported that his appetite was good and that he slept well. April 15 the examination showed that the man’s improvement continued and that he looked young for a man of 47. He was then working daily in the fields from 4 A.M. to 6 P.M.
In June, four months after the operation, the man reported that his improvement continued and said he had re-established himself in his work as building contractor on a large scale.
Better in Two Weeks.
A packer 54 years old reported that he had consulted physicians for “air hunger and pains between the shoulder blades.” He was in great financial distress, could not work and had continuous pains in back and lumbar region. The physical examination showed “an emaciated, senile man with tired, depressed face, hair mixed red and white.” The operation was performed in the latter part of April, 1921. Two weeks later the patient said he felt better. In June he reported an increase in weight and that he read without glasses. He slept well and obtained work as a night watchman. On June 23 his painful attacks had ceased. Three months after the operation the man’s hair, which was formerly of mixed color and thin, had grown thicker and coarser.
A young man, technician, 34 years old, was operated on in May, 1921, and in July his bald head was thickly covered with fine hair. His barber first called his attention to it, and Dr. Benjamin said he confirmed it, as well as Dr. Peter Schmidt of Berlin, who performed the operation.
Continuing his discourse Dr. Benjamin said that whether a prolongation of life was obtainable was impossible to say. Thus far, he added, none of the successful cases have come to a second senility or have died, except of current diseases, like pneumonia. But judging from the cases in hand he was able to say that man’s working and creative life could, in many instances, be prolonged. Many cases were so improved after the operation that Dr. Benjamin felt the word rejuvenation could best describe the effect.
The speaker said that the case of a Mr. Wilson, who died in London on the eve of a lecture he was to have given, reciting his own experiences after the operation, was unfairly used against Dr. Steinach. He said he was in a position to state that Mr. Wilson was one of Dr. Steinach’s most successful cases. and that he died of acute pneumonia.
Dr. Benjamin Sounds a Warning.
Dr. Benjamin sounded a warning “against too great an enthusiasm and against raising too many hopes,” recalling that Dr. Steinach’s own words were “that within modest limits the process of becoming senile can be influenced.”
The principle used by Dr. Steinach in the case of men may be applied to women, the doctor said, but the surgical procedure is not followed, the X-ray being used instead. The clinical experience in women’s cases is not as complete as that of men.
Dr. Benjamin was of the opinion that the Steinbach discovery was one of the most scientifically founded, as well as one of the most promising applications of endocrinological principles. By proper application he felt the discovery would be of great benefit to the individual as well as to society.
It was reported that several prominent physicians took part in the discussion which followed the presentation of the paper and expressed themselves in favor of the Steinbach method.
The New York Times
November 20, 1921
August 27, 2013
The following is an excerpt from the 1997 Presidential Address at the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Symposium. This organization is currently known as WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health), and is the preeminent transgender lobbying organization for the medical industry.
WPATH devotes itself to promotion of medical/surgical “treatment” of gender nonconformity, based on the philosophy that females and males who non-perform social roles ascribed to their sex should disguise themselves as members of the opposite sex to prevent corrosion of the gender hierarchy which ritualizes and enforces male domination and female subordination.
Dr. Harry Benjamin, an endocrinologist and sexologist, pioneered this “treatment” and is known as “The Godfather of Transsexualism”.
By Friedemann Pfaefflin, MD
“For a continental European it is a great pleasure to visit British Columbia and to watch the salmon climb the rivers and the salmon ladders to reach their spawning grounds where they fertilize and start their new journeys through the oceans. Just like the tides it seems to be an eternal circuit of being born and dying away. Every individual salmon contributes to it. It goes on and on, although not all salmons reach their places of origin and are able to procreate. Quite a few are caught by fishermen on their journey, and others are devoured by bigger fish or by the black bear. Some grow to an enormous size and if caught they are exhibited as trophies: the salmon king of a certain year or of an individual valley.
It is this picture that came to my mind when I was pondering the prospective topic for the Presidential Address at this Symposium. The journey of the salmons seemed to be a metaphor for our scientific dreams and endeavors. They are born and they die away, and we treat the names of selected individual scientists as trophies. We may call such a person a king scientist, and we admire this person for his or her contribution to the progress in the eternal quest of mankind to transcend its boundaries. The ideas of such a person may fertilize the minds of many others. They also may be treated by the entourage of the king salmon as if the truth had been found forever and as if the narrow stream of the individual valley is just like paradise. The followers thus may never become aware of what is going on in neighboring valleys. That may be one of the reasons why mankind has to repeat itself over and over again, and why every new generation seems to have to invent the same things that could have been known if one looked across the boundaries of one´s own valley.
It is the purpose of this presentation to demonstrate that some of the issues we are struggling with look like second or even third editions of problems our forefathers in the field had already tried to solve. I will use Harry Benjamin, Sigmund Freud and Magnus Hirschfeld, three of the most outstanding sexologists of the beginning of the century, who worked in the field, before the term sexology was known, to exemplify this.
Our Association carries Harry Benjamin´s name in its coat of arms as the name of the physician and scientist who paved the way to a better understanding of transsexualism, and above all, an easier access to cross gender living, cross sex hormonal treatment and sex reassignment surgery. Without his deep caring for far more than a thousand patients, without his engagement in academic and professional organizations, without his numerous talks and writings, these treatments might not have become as easily accessible as they are now. We owe him a lot, and his work has been acknowledged in previous presidential addresses, in the special issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior in his memory, published about a year after his death (Ihlenfeld et al. 1988), and in the short portrait of him in the introduction to the abstracts of this conference (Schaefer & Wheeler 1997).
Before he turned to treating transsexual patients and responding to their concrete wishes, he had devoted much of his work to rejuvenating individual life or rather prolonging it. Both wishes, to transcend the time limitations of an individual life as well as to transcend individual boundaries of sex and gender most probably are as old as mankind itself – religious traditions of various backgrounds, myths, philosophies, pieces of art and literature giving testimony thereof.
We know quite a bit about his work and his life, but we are still missing a biography of him putting the roots of his research and clinical work into the perspective of contemporary scientific developments and investigating mutual influences between him and other king scientists and clinicians of his era, an epoque which witnessed an unprecedented development of sex research and sexual science. When he was a young man, the capitals of Austria and Germany, Vienna and Berlin, were the two very places to study sexology. Although he set off very early for the United States, he stayed in close contact with the leading researchers of those places, and he eagerly soaked up every new finding of sexual endocrinology and sexual psychology years before he met the first transsexual patient. Let me highlight just a few examples.
He was an ardent admirer of the work of Eugen Steinach (1940), Vienna, who, together with Magnus Hirschfeld (Steakley 1985, Baumgardt et al. 1985), Berlin, experimented with the transplantation of gonads to cure all kinds of what then was considered a sexual disorder, for instance homosexuality. Like Steinach, Benjamin believed in the beneficial effects of vasoligation or sterilization respectively, to postpone the process of aging and to cure – among other complaints – erectile dysfunctions. For the psychoanalysts among you it may be worth mentioning that even Sigmund Freud underwent such a sterilization operation in the hope to thus defeat his cancer disease and to slow down the process of aging (Schur 1972). This is worth mentioning because so many psychoanalytic colleagues are still reluctant to accept the overall beneficial results of somatic treatment measures in gender reassignment.
On one of his visits to Vienna, Benjamin met Freud and consulted him because of personal problems with sexual potency. Freud, at that time, was still rather inexperienced in his psychoanalytic technique – at least when judged from our knowledge of today – and he gave Benjamin a very primitive interpretation. He suggested Benjamin´s erectile dysfunction was due to his latent homosexuality, and you certainly can imagine that Benjamin did not appreciate this interpretation.
This short interaction between the two great men resulted in a permanent skepticism of Benjamin against psychoanalysis if not a thorough dislike which since then has been replicated in many encounters of transsexuals and their doctors. A prototypical example of it is found in the movie “I change my life” in which Vanessa Redgrave plays Renee Richards and in which the attempt of a psychoanalytic cure of the patient´s problem is profoundly ridiculed.”
May 5, 2013
Motherboard: When does a paraphilia become a disorder?
Blanchard: There are two ways by which a paraphilia could be converted into a paraphilic disorder: the individual is distressed by their desires, or they are acting in a way that is noxious to people. So a pedophile could have a pedophilic disorder if the guy is tortured by the fact that he is a pedophile, or he is perfectly happy with the fact that he is attracted to children, and he is molesting a lot of them.
So if someone cross dresses and they are cool with it, then they don’t have a disorder, correct?
Yes, under my proposal you can now be a happy transvestite, or you can have a transvestic disorder.
You coined the term autogynephilia, which refers to a man who is aroused by the thought of himself as a woman. This term is kind of your baby. Is it going to make it into the DSM-5?
That comes under the heading of what I can’t tell you, because of the confidentiality agreement I signed with the APA.
Do you think autoandrophelia, where a woman is aroused by the thought of herself as a man, is a real paraphelia?
No, I proposed it simply in order not to be accused of sexism, because there are all these women who want to say, “women can rape too, women can be pedophiles too, women can be exhibitionists too.” It’s a perverse expression of feminism, and so, I thought, let me jump the gun on this. I don’t think the phenomenon even exists.
Some trans activists object to the inclusion of transvestic disorder in the DSM because they feel it pathologizes gender non-conformity. How do you respond to these criticisms?
To say that transvestic disorder pathologizes all trans people is rhetoric with no logic behind it whatsoever. If you actually open the DSM-4, it’s very explicit that it applies to people who get sexually excited by dressing in women’s clothes. They really object to the fact, (which is a fact established beyond any conceivable doubt), that in a lot of men there is some connection between cross dressing and sexual excitement.
Is the objection based on the idea that it fetishizes gender non-conformity?
Some activists are trying to sell the public on the idea, “We really are women where it matters–in our brains–and women don’t get sexually excited when they put on their bras and panties, so we don’t either.” And for a lot of them that’s just a lie.
So you don’t see a male-to-female transsexual as being female?
I think that a transsexual should be considered as whatever their biological sex is plus the fact that they are transsexuals. That’s how you would do research on them. There’s no other way to do it. If you’re interested in whether the brains of transsexuals are different in some way, you’re interested in seeing if they differ from other individuals with the same biological sex.
So in a way psychiatric research is inherently gender normative?
I would say medical research is inherently gender normative.
Some members of the trans community object to the stigma they feel accompany DSM diagnoses, but because of the impact of the DSM on insurance payments, it’s necessary they be labeled mentally ill. To what extent is a diagnosis from the DSM necessary to receive reimbursement for gender reassignment therapy?
In the US I would say most insurance companies probably require a DSM diagnosis. The point that sticks in the craw of a lot of activists is that in order to get sex reassignment surgery paid for by a third party, it has to be deemed a disorder. The transgender community has tried to get around this in a way that they seem to think is very creative.
Their argument is, “Well, public health insurance plans pay for the cost of child delivery in a hospital, and childbirth is not a disorder. Therefore transsexualism could be covered under public third party health insurance payers without it being a disorder.” That’s how they’ve tried to square the circle.
And have they been successful?
No. How many people do you know regard sex reassignment surgery as part of the life cycle like having a baby?
Do you think that classifying transgender people as having a disorder does contribute to stigma against the trans community?
No. I mean how many people who make a joke about trannies consult the DSM first?
Do you think that transgender identity might get to the point where homosexuality is now, where it is considered offensive and inaccurate to call it a disorder?
I think there are some glaring differences between acceptance of transsexualism and acceptance of homosexuality. Let’s say that a friend comes to you and says she’s a lesbian, you aren’t seeing your friend performing cunnilingus on her girlfriend. All this requires is acceptance of what you don’t have to see.
With transsexualism, if a friend comes to you and says I feel like I’m actually a woman, and starting tomorrow I’m going to be showing up wearing dresses, this is not happening offstage, you are now part of their movie.
[Images added to this post by me- GM]