From the NY Times: The Sea Horse, Our Family Mascot

I just came across this article, which struck me both for the personal connection between writer and subject (as twins) and for the complete open-mindedness and lack of judgement in it.

My twin brother, Eli, is jealous of sea horses. They are the only animal species in which the male gives birth to the offspring. Male sea horses have brood pouches where the female deposits her eggs. The eggs then hatch in the father’s pouch, where the young continue to live until they are expelled into the ocean after strenuous labor that can last several days.

Eli is a transgender man, and lived the first 20 years of our lives as my fraternal twin sister. I have plenty of memories of my twin as a little girl, as Emma, not Eli. More often, though, my memories adjust to represent Eli as I know him now, as my brother.

I am fascinated to read of how the desire for biological children is quite uncoupled from gender identity. I hope that one day Eli will find happiness as a parent.

Read the full article here.

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New transgender policy at New York juvenile jails

Associated Press article, via the Tucson Citizen:

Transgender youth in New York’s juvenile detention centers are now allowed to wear whatever uniform they choose, be called by whatever name they want and ask for special housing under a new anti-discrimination policy drawing praise from advocacy groups.

Transgender youth are provided private sleeping quarters and are allowed to shower privately. They are also allowed to shave body parts, use makeup or grow their hair long.

The policy directs staff to learn and use the words gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in an appropriate context when talking with youth.

While all residents may ask to be called by a preferred first name rather than their legal one, the policy says males who believe they are female must be called “she” and females who believe they are male must be referred to as “he.” Staff must use the preferred name and pronoun in any documents they file.

Read the full article here.

I think that’s pretty amazing. I just hope the implementation of the policy goes smoothly.

Edited to add: The Daily News article found here presents the same story in a much more negative fashion. I guess that’s inevitable, given the state of society today.

“Tragic End for Lesbians” news report

To some people, they may find it strange that I, being born “biologically male” means that my attraction to women would be considered heterosexual.  However, I have always identified internally as a lesbian, and this has created a problem between my spouse and me.  Working this out logically through reason is really not as easy as it sounds because of the flood of emotions that are evoked in even discussing this.

Well, just when I think I’ve got problems, I stumble onto something that makes me see how others in other cultures or societies are pushed well beyond their own limits.

Take, for example, the following news report from India by Queer Media Watch.

http://qmediawatch.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/pinknews-tragic-end-for-lesbian-couple-tormented-by-family-pressure/

From the site:

“A lesbian couple who committed suicide by setting themselves on fire have been put to rest in a joint cremation this week. Christy Jayanthi Malar [38] and Rukmani [40] set themselves ablaze after their families took objection to their “unnatural relationship.”

“This is common in India where there huge social and legal pressures to live a heterosexual lifestyle. The alarm was raised when smoke was seen coming from Mrs Malar’s home. When neighbours went in they found the bodies of the two women held in an embrace.”

A senior police told The Times of India newspaper:

“We can’t say the relatives pushed the women into suicide. “They might have verbally abused them, but that was to bring them back to normal life.”

Jeez, what the hell is wrong with the world today?  Obviously a LOT.

You can read the rest of the article here

Looking for Contributors – Interested?

This site has always been open for contributors.

In fact, the reason transcendgender.com was developed was to create a community where people could post and share their ideas, personal stories and struggles, and gender-related issues they felt were worthy of public discussion. (It’s also a place where contributors can link to their own personal blog or website, thereby serving as a jumping point to a growing community.)

Posts can be in the form of a personal blog, or a newsworthy article, such as the ones creating fiery discussions currently taking place over the DSM-V workgroup selections, or maybe even an interesting trans-related video.

We’re always looking for anyone interested in being added as a contributor. If you’d like to be added, please send an email to help (at) transcendgender (dot) com with your name and wordpress account if you have one or reply to this post with a comment with all the required info.

We’re also always looking for ways to expand the site or make it better. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Thanks!

Lori Davis