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BoogieMonster (March 08, 2011, 17:57:16 PM):
With all the homophobic and transphobic bullying of school children leading to deaths and suicides in the international news lately

This is a whoole thread by itself. Lots of people get bullied, the chess team, the ugly kids, the poor kids, the kids who get bullied and then bully other other kids. The kids who bully probably get bullied by a parent. It's something that happens to everyone at some stage. I thought these people want to be equal? Or am I misreading it as "people with special status above those meany straights"?

, one would expect people who supposedly keep their eyes on the news to display a little more savvy when making such patently stupid and bigoted remarks.

One would expect someone with a rational, coherent, and valid argument wouldn't devolve into the same kind of bullying they're railing against. (Yes, calling someone stupid is bullying). Slinging personal insults at an opponent in a debate does not further any rational point, it alienates the person you're trying to convince, it is rude, uncivil, and suggests that your argument is weak. Don't do it.
Rigil Kent (March 08, 2011, 23:19:07 PM):
Christina, what are your thoughts on transgender males (meaning individuals born male but viewing themselves as female) wishing to compete in female athletics? Should they be allowed to do so, and on what grounds?

Brian (March 09, 2011, 07:40:42 AM):
Having read Tina's website I reckon I am not in a position to comment on transgenderism (or even without reading it) and would urge those of you interested enough to read it for some context and background. Having said that, it doesn't justify insults and flame wars; I must empathize with any person who is born this way, having to go through all the shit the world throws at you; indeed it underlines that no god exists and also accentuates how far man must still go to learn to accept people like this without being judgmental.
@Tina, while I think I understand where you are coming from, your approach will not endear you or those you are batting for with the rest of us. Your frustration and anger is evident and so is our ignorance in most instances: the structure of society along gender lines has historically made no provision for intersex, trangender, gays etc and what we are seeing today is painful process for those affected and a massive learning process for us so-called 'normal' persons
Christina Engela (March 09, 2011, 10:36:37 AM):
@ Hermes: Firstly, here are some links to demonstrate my point on medical proof: Gene discovery could make gender reassignment easier Preliminary work, genetic link found in transexuality BBC NEWS Health Scans see 'gay brain differences' Swedish study brain symetry GLBT what is transgenderism?

(In the case of the brain symmetry and genetic code, it seems obvious that it is more than just a matter of personality, but also there would be an overlap onto the physical characteristics of transgender people.)

I am sorry to say I found no empathy in your earlier post, hence my reply. And I did not lie - I was at a loss for words - and so that was my polite response.

Being classified as transgender by its nature implies that transition is required - denial of that fact denies the transgender person's existence and right to express themselves in their true gender. In the case of a transvestite on the other hand, it is a case of sexual fetish, and not gender identity - and no transition is required. Perhaps you have confused the two?

Your reference to "age of consent to sexual relations" is irrelevant as sexual relations have nothing to do with gender identity. Gender is an intrinsic part of who we are, even babies express their gender identity. Therefore, gender issues should not be taken as "whims", nor enforced as rigid rules of state, but that's just my little opinion, having survived my upbringing on the receiving end of such things.

Your argument of "boys remaining among boys" indicates that you are in favor of enforcing a system which forces gender roles on people, even when it is obvious that they do not identify as the gender a short-sighted society wishes to force on them. That is not empathic. When an individual can be diagnosed as transgender, at whatever age, the process should be the same - placing the needs of the individual first. What harm would it do to accommodate a transgender child? What kind of world are you building where there is no tolerance of diversity? Transgender people exist, they always have, they always will. We are a fact of life. Being exposed to this fact will not suddenly "infect" all the other children in their environment. Smothering transgender children will not ensure that they do not exist.

No, I don't think children should transition too early - at least as far as hormonal or surgical interventions are concerned, but many children are already very mature for their age - and I have to say that I knew what I wanted - and I was sure - even when I was as young as 12. The youngest complete transition on record currently is 15, in Germany, a very advanced circumstance where the girl's parents gave their full support, and with complete success. I also hold the opinion that if I had grown up during a more tolerant time, I would have come out at a young age, and not suppressed myself for so long in an attempt to "fit in" - and wasted so many years of my life living a lie.

And lastly, I made no assumptions - I worked with your own words and they told me all I needed to know.

@ Boogiemonster: Do children commit suicide for being bullied over wearing glasses or being on the chess team? Or does it happen because they get beaten up repeatedly for being effeminate? Funny thing, last year there were two incidents in the US where boys killed themselves over homophobic bullying - and they weren't even gay. Go figure.

Your notion of equality is sadly lacking.

@ Mintaka: Firstly just a slight correction ;) - a transgender male (transman) is a male who is transitioning or has transitioned from female to male. A transgender female (transwoman) is a female who is transitioning or has transitioned from male to female. similarly, trans people prefer to be addressed in the gender they present as - so if you're a traffic cop and the person whose ID book you're looking at appears female and you call them "sir", don't think you're doing them a favor.

to answer your question, I believe that athletes who have transitioned should be treated equally with cis-gender people. For instance, in the case of a female who used to be male, after hormone replacement therapy (especially in the case of early/young transition) there is no significant advantage over other females in terms of physical strength. The same principle should apply in the case of a male who used to be female.

@ Brian: Yes, every time I see callous remarks and people struggling with a lack of knowledge and prejudice resulting from this lack, it frustrates me. Thank you for your kind words and your insight.

I am open to questions should anyone wish to learn more about transgender issues.

BoogieMonster (March 09, 2011, 10:51:59 AM):
Do children commit suicide for being bullied over wearing glasses or being on the chess team?

In my area growing up there were two teenage suicides unrelated to sexuality. So yes. Sometimes some people can't handle it and they kill themselves. Two suicides in a population of 300 million is barely a blip. The real news is that they had alternate lifestyle choices and a big deal was made out of them because of that. Just a super-quick google gives me this:

For every older teen and young adult who takes his or her own life, 100-200 of their peers attempts suicide. Between 500,000 and 1 million young people attempt suicide each year. (BM: Seems to be stats for the USA only)

2 people in that population? It would seem (yes a very casual glance, I'm exaggerating) the alternate lifestyle folks are doing better than the mainstreamers. I wouldn't find that surprising, these are people that are usually bold enough to live out their true personalities regardless of what those around them think. (Or at least try to, or yearn to)

DO NOT misconstrue my tone and comments. I believe in equality for everyone, and anybody's life choice is their own. I don't care personally. I will however speak up when I think facts are being bent.


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