Gender Identity Disorder requires serious study

The Jasper controversy continues at Susan’s support forums as the people there come to grips with the reality of what transgender has become.  It is increasingly difficult to justify the subordination of so many different individuals to the concept of transgender when people’s needs and goals are so varied, and so often at odds.

One group in particular that I feel is being done a grave disservice are the core transgender people for whom the word really came to have meaning.  Leaving aside Arnold Lowman’s/Virginia Prince’s “transgenderist” for the moment, the person who is currently most typified by the transgender label is someone quite different from the fetishistic crossdresser that was the target audience of Transvestia.

Cassandra writes about her experiences as counselor to people in gender support groups, and her thoughts make a lot of sense when considering my own experiences.  There are usually all sorts of people who attend these meetings, not all of whom would consider themselves transgender in the sense you get from the internet cadre.  There are sometime crossdressers, the occasional person passing through transsexual transition, fetish-based transvestites, and of course the full-time transgender people.

All of them have their own different life courses and their own needs.  Some only want to express themselves in a safe environment, some want to see their feelings echoed in others, some want to engage their sexuality in a public place, and some are the people whom Cassandra says “wear the label transgender most comfortably”.  It is this last group that I’d like to talk about, because despite the current talk they seem particularly ill-served by the cobbled-together association that has come to be “transgender”.

I used to believe that all transgender people had at their core the same issue.  Not being transgender myself, I had only the dogma and edicts from the most vocal people that claimed to represent the whole group to go by.  I deferred to their pronouncements because my personal philosophy is live and let live.  Being an outsider to their group, I had no basis to judge the truth of their statements.

At this point it is safe to say that transgender is not a monolith as is presented politically to the world at large.  It is many different people who feel lost, and are looking for answers.  With the benefit of experience and hindsight, I now believe that “transgender”, that core group that speaks of Gender Identity Disorder as their primary issue, is a distinct group of people who deserve to have their needs addressed by proper medical and/or psychiatric authorities.

“Gender Identity Disorder” itself is a poorly understood condition, one which I didn’t used to accept as real because it has been talked down into an issue of self-expression by outspoken transgender politicians, much the same as “transsexual” has been subsumed and talked down.  But if you’ve ever known anyone who has serious problems with society’s imposed gender, you know it goes beyond role strain.  And it tortures them.

Whatever demons chase those who suffer from this problem must be fleshed out by people who can help, and handled for the benefit of those who suffer from this affliction.  I don’t think this can happen as long as this issue is trivialized by those who speak for the transgender yet don’t themselves suffer from it.  I find it just as shameful when they subjugate people with GID as when they subjugate people born with the transsexual condition.

A big part of the problem is that when people attempt to come together to discuss these issues and gain an understanding of them, those who place themselves in “leadership” roles within that forced “community” stifle all talk.  No research will be done on GID because those who have the problem are marginalized by their own community, and subsequently mislabeled by the psychiatric profession, which portrays them all as fetishistic sexual deviants.  I fail to see how core transgender people are served by this situation in that community.

I’d like to close with something I wrote in that thread on Susan’s.  The thread was subsequently locked, so no responses will be forthcoming.  But it’s something we need to talk about with people on the other side of the fence.

One comment I’d like to make for clarity is that men and women born with the transsexual condition do not experience “GID” in the sense that it is used with respect to transgender issues. “GID” most properly describes people who do not have the transsexual “syndrome”, and whose problems seem to orbit around “gender roles” and “gender presentation”.

I think this is another source of confusion that facilitates the mixing of two separate conditions, transsexual and transgender, together. For the transsexual-born, societal gender is a consequence of the physical condition, not the cause. I’m not certain what causes a putative “transgender” condition. It is a condition that causes a person significant distress which we currently don’t understand fully. This of course has nothing to do with bohemian types who simply do not care about societal standards, aka “genderqueer”.

These are three separate things that people have a tendency to mix together. I’ve modified my views on “GID” since my initial belief it was a freedom-of-expression issue. I’ve come to believe that there are people who do experience serious problems with their “gender” that go beyond the role strain that everyone feels at one time or another in a restrictive society. At the same time, this is not related to the problem of those who are born differently, aka transsexuality.

It does everyone a disservice to ignore the truth, because that ignorance feeds an atmosphere of denial and leads away from getting the proper help to those who need it. Physical transition is not a panacea for “GID”, and the current practice of pushing hormones and surgery as a solution for it is harmful. We need a better understanding of what causes GID before psychology or psychiatry can address it.

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49 Responses to Gender Identity Disorder requires serious study

  1. Circé says:

    Hello aria, 🙂

    What a well thought out article. I agree that those suffering from GID are dealing with very serious issues and not the run of the mill fetishistic person.
    It would be really nice for them to be able to address their specific problems in an atmosphere of respect and understanding by those in the medical field.

    It is time to clarify these different conditions, and in the end, the only good thing that will serve all.

  2. dyssonance says:

    Just as a note, there is a great deal of ongoing serious study. More in the last 10 years than in the previous 30. Right now, there are over 300 studies into it going on. That’s more than is happening with Parkinson’s.

    I am one of them. And a serious study goes outside the realm of the stereotypical white, middle aged transitioner.

    What’s notable here is that your post makes it clear you see transsexualism as not being GID.

    Which is neither founded in that same science that is studying such (from many, many disciplines, of which I am involved in two), nor from an understanding of what GID is in the first place.

    And its not a new idea, either — what you are describing came up in the lit some 23 years ago, and was shown over a two year period to lack substantial basis in fact.

    But it does sound really good, and it has a strong emotional resonance.

    Thanks for letting me comment — I won’t be doing so at all in the future.

    Good luck, and great happiness to you and yours.

  3. cassandraspeaks says:

    I cannot believe your stupidity sometimes Dyss. Usually I just let it go but but this time you stepped over the line. You are in no position whatsover to cast any kind of eye over the validity of transsexual. What you know could be written on a pinhead.
    One you are NOT transsexual you are a transvestite, and not even a convincing one at that.
    Two GID was disproved as a theory when David Reimer went public and John Money was exposed as a liar and a fraud. Trouble is people like YOU are too stupid to understand that.
    One more time you set yourself far to high above your real station in attempting to put Aria down. You are in no position to make judgements, none whatsover. Stick to talking about the things you do understand from the trash can.

  4. Zoe Brain says:

    To my personal knowledge, Dyssonance has done more work, indefatigably defending TS women against ignorance in countless news comments sites, than anyone I know. Battling “in the belly of the beast”.

    So… what practical steps have you taken to help others? To defend Angie Zapata for example?

    When you’ve accomplished 1/100 of what she has, then I’ll listen. Not before.

  5. cassandraspeaks says:

    Zoe,
    when you have something credible to say I will listen. I have no intention of entering into a pissing contest with you, Dyss or anyone else.

  6. Circé says:

    Irrelevant of you we are as individuals, throwing around one’s accomplishments or someone’s else’s in order to be on top isn’t the best strategy in getting anyone to listen.

    We here, aria, Cassandra me are very much about ensuring that women who are born with this condition called transsexualism are not stuffed under some gender bending umbrella, period.

    Online actions are of course to be valued and respected but i think most of the women here do that and the true worth of their words cannot be measured against anyone else’s, that how the patriarchy works, not us. Flaming is not creative or very smart.

    If Cassandra steps in to protect a friend then this should be seen as such and i’d say that’s a quality i can appreciate. Dyss seems to have come on this blog simply to stir stuff and then take off, this doesn’t sound productive or accomplished to me.

    Btw Zoe, what battling in the belly of the beast has Dyss done and i ask this because i don’t know her and i’m curious.

    Circé

  7. Susan says:

    “Just because a situation exists – and I point that out – doesn’t mean I like it. It doesn’t mean that I tolerate it. It doesn’t even mean that I won’t tirelessly fight against it, either.”

    Well, that may be true, but it also doesn’t mean that don’t like it…or that you don’t tolerate it…and, it certainly doesn’t mean that you do tirelessly fight against it either.

    Recently, on your own blog you said:

    “Transsexuality is not a binary…There are degrees of it.”

    That sounds pretty friggin transgender to me, especially coming from someone who says they will deny transgender until they areblue in the face.

    You’ve said your chromosome testing yielded a “perfectly normal 46 XY” karotype. Have said you’re “relatively infertile” yet you have fathered a son. At the time of your rocket-ship-speed, fast track transition to GRS brought on by a self perceived spontaneous feminization you posted photos that don’t appear to reveal that. Recently you said you were not transsexual but intersex…in spite having said in the past that you were not intersex but an HBS “leaning” transsexual.

    Repeatedly you defend the transgender when criticized by classic transsexuals…real transsexuals…true transsexuals, or just plain transsexuals…take your pick of nomenclature…as recently as Cassandra’s post above. I’ve run into you more times than I can shake a stick at on the mainstream blogs – we’ve debated there on many occasions – an always the issue is that you represent and take a transgender “spectrum” position. Nowhere have I ever seen you call BS on “trangender.”

    I can understand respecting another’s position…providing that position is not simply absurd. I have seen on innumerous occasions you defend another’s right to “self identify” in anyway they like and that’s admirable…until that self identity is ludicrous. You seem to completely ignore the narratives of classic transsexuals which invariably have two things in common and differentiate us from the transgender: we have known things were wrong from our earliest cognizant memory, and as soon as aware of GRS as a possibility were hell bent on having surgery…which, by the way, doesn’t appear to have been your experience, at least from your personal blog entries.

    Many of us, including the Cassandra you knock, are out there everyday calling BS on the transgender…and it’s not nice…we don’t make friends…we could care less what our blog stats are…we say what must be said. It’s highly offensive to us to be labeled transgendered.

    We really are refuting the TGs until we are blue in the face…we really are not tolerating it…and we really are tirelessly fighting against the TG’s appropriation of transsexuality…not just saying we are.

  8. Joanne says:

    There you go again Zoe – you write of Dyssonance

    “When you’ve accomplished 1/100 of what she has, then I’ll listen. Not before.”

    Well these are for you, Zoe.

    1. When you have an original thought of your own;
    2. when you have the academic guts to start questioning the received wisdomes instead of merely recycling them;
    3. When YOU Zoe Brain, can show the both the guts and the ability to think outside the square, that AriaBlue consistently demonstrates, that will be the day when you might stop being a purveyor of ideological pap.

    Until that day, I’ll personally call you out at every opportunity. To date your standard response is to pretend away any challenge to your higher wisdom.

    But that tactic is wearing thin Zoe. And with it, so is any pretense to intellectual rigor.

  9. Leigh says:

    yeah … what ^ she said !

  10. catkisser says:

    Well Zoe, I’ve done 100 x as much as Dyss ever will and don’t particularly like Dyss’ hit and run tactics or agree with a tenth of the garbage Dyss comes up with. I was not thrilled with your characterization of Helms as a decent human being either given Helms has pursued me personally and had me driven off almost all activism sites for the past decade while trying to take credit for much of what I was doing or totally discounting it on the other hand.

    Some of the work you and Diamond are now touting I did my own studies on ten years ago and are now part of the puzzle being used by psychiatrists you don’t have contact with and while it was premised originally on my being a “typical” transsexual when it turned out I was not, it lead me directly to neurological intersexuality as the cause of classic transsexuality back then……and I took shit for defending that for ten years too. You and Dyss are newcomers to this.

  11. Holly says:

    It is nice to see you folkes are seeing Zoe for what Zoe is for a change.
    Myself when I fist started seeing Zoe`s postings I had the feeling something was amiss. I don`t believe
    anything Zoe says including the claim now of being
    intersex. Makes me think of someone at pams house now making similar claims.
    Have a nice day………..

  12. Zoe Brain says:

    I suggest you subscribe to TS-EU, transsexual-cured, TNUK-Digest, etc etc. These give summaries garnered by robots of stories in newspapers and websites about TS people.

    Some of us go through these, writing comments in local, national, and international sites, fighting against the fundies and those who would oppress us. NARTH, CAMH etc. Correcting misconceptions. Never letting slurs go unchallenged. Quoting studies. Moulding opinion.

    It’s a slow, thankless task, but it gives results. MY how it gives results. Change at the grassroots level. Reaching out of the ghetto of transsexual philosophy, and to the general public. Sewing seeds of doubt, so when CWA or anyone else comes out with something particularly egregious, some will say “hang on…” as their propaganda does not pass without challenge any more, as it used to.

    As for personal attacks on me, go ahead. I probably deserve some of them, certainly they cause me to question my own attitudes and beliefs. Rather than go all defensive, I welcome them as a chance to correct my own failings, by peer review. Personal attacks on others though, injustice, and deliberate malice merely cause you to lose credibility in my eyes.

    And I’m such a monster of arrogance and ego that when it comes down to it, my own opinion of myself is what I consider important, not anyone else’s. The facts are the facts, they will come out in the end, and who’s right and who’s wrong will be found out then. If my own views, well and good, if others, even better as it gives me a chance to improve myself (and goodness knows, I need all the chances I can get).

    In 1985, I was diagnosed as a mildly intersexed male. PAIS-1.
    In 2005, I was disgnosed as a severely intersexed female, “severe androgenisation of a non-pregnant woman”.
    Those are verifiable facts. Whether that qualifies me as Intersexed in others’ eyes is a matter of some indifference to me, I’m afraid to say. It’s not that I disrespect others, I just don’t find their views very pursuasive unless backed up by evidence. URLs are good.

  13. Joanne says:

    For this you want respect?

    Some of us go through these, writing comments in local, national, and international sites, fighting against the fundies and those who would oppress us. NARTH, CAMH etc. Correcting misconceptions. Never letting slurs go unchallenged. Quoting studies. Moulding opinion.

    You merely replace the ideological pap of CAMH and NARTH with the ideological pap of ‘common or garden variety’ transgenderism. For this you want respect? I say you are as much a ‘fundy’ as they are. Yours is merely cut from a different pattern!

    How am I to put any trust in the analysis of an individual who purports to be a scientist, but whose science is so pervasively informed by ideology?

    Frankly – I don’t give a toss about your claims to intersex: its the reductio ad absurdum of your gender politics, and your refusal to recognize or discuss either their limitations or their lamentable lack of scientific integrity that bothers me, Zoe Brain.

    Its a discussion I’m still waiting to have. I suspect I’ll be waiting this time next year. I think that its a discussion you are frightened to have.

    I say this to you again, Zoe Brain: that what you lack in intellectual integrity you make up for with dogma and ideology. The only time you challenge anybody is when they first challenge your dogma.

    You consistently avoid any attempt to deconstruct said dogma: and you will not enter in to any kind od discourse that would draw attention to its many flaws.

    For those reasons I accuse you once again of lacking academic and intellectual courage.

  14. Laura R. says:

    That was another excellent and well thought out article. I never agreed that GID pertained to transsexuals. It isn’t a gender or identity issue at all, but a purely biological issue of brain development and differentiation in the womb. Milton Diamond’s exposure of John Money for the fraud he is should have settled the issue years ago. All the research on brain sex and how it develops, further proves the point that transsexualism begins in the womb.

  15. cassandraspeaks says:

    Joanne, I’ve been waiting for someone to challenge Zoe and call her out on these activities. Good to see. Zoe has not landed on one side of the fence or the other for a long time now. It’s time this was called. Anything you need Ask. But you seem to be doing rather nicely without our help.

  16. Circé says:

    I take it as a slur when i am called transgender, trans, TG, transwoman and i am insulted each and everytime any TG apologist glosses over this. I don’t write on any scientific or research blogs, i’m not fluent in politico talk but see, i have worked in the trenches of real life support groups for TS women, i created outing groups and used to give lectures at McGill university in Montreal.
    I mention the above to say this; it’s not just what one does that makes them worthy or important, it’s very much how their peers see them.
    Again aria, great article, well done. 🙂

  17. Circé says:

    Zoe; didn’t John Money write something about severe androgenization in females ages ago, something to do with androgenes affecting the female fetus, rendering her a little masculine in behaviour but not afflicted with GID but with a high IQ.

    Just wondering how one goes from pAIS which means basically that one’s body isn’t processing androgenes in part or in full within an xy body type to a female xx body type that has been overly affected by androgenes.

    This is not asked to be nasty, but i’m pAIS and i’m not understanding what you posted.

    aria, sorry if this is a bit of a derail, not meant to be but i had never heard of this in all the time i’ve been associated with OII and it picked my curiosity. 🙂

  18. anoldfriend says:

    First
    I want to say this was a very well written article.

    Second
    I never had issues with my “gender identity” I have always known the development of my body was wrong. I always GID was a Tee-Gee thing.

    Third
    I took it for granted most had Zoe figured out, I did over 2 years ago.

    Fourth
    I don’t put any credibility into the writings of a self proclaimed sociopath.

  19. Joanne says:

    anoldfriend Said:

    Fourth
    I don’t put any credibility into the writings of a self proclaimed sociopath.

    Just can’t help wondering which sociopath you’re talking about? 🙂

    I don’t think Zoe is a sociopath, though I do think she’s something of a populist. But the problem is that she over markets herself with the ‘rocket scientist’ brand, then consistently regurgitates the smoke-and-mirrors and the pseudo-science of transgenderism.

    She continually avoids any attempt aimed at getting her to defend transgenderism per se, or any statements of her own making that are predicated on it.

    This avoidance leaves her wide open to charges that her beliefs lack scientific integrity, and that she is personally devoid of intellectual and academic courage.

    Those charges are not baseless and she needs to answer them. Many will be waiting to see how she does that.

  20. anoldfriend says:

    Dys is a self admitted sociopath.

  21. Joanne says:

    Thanks Leigh

    Was fascinated by this statement – its a dead giveaway really.

    “News for you: without the gender structures in place in society — right or wrong, good or bad — there will be no transsexuals because there will be no need to make such changes.”

    Here the conflation between biological sex and social gender ‘structures’ is absolute. In fact – if you removed social and cultural ‘gender structures’ there would be no gender to transition.

    There would still be sex – intersexed and transsexed don’t disappear. Just TG’s.

  22. kamododragon says:

    Oh I’m finally glad that someone has the GUTS to challenge Zoe and Dys on their so called ideology and the scientific credibility. The fact is Zoe and Dys sometimes peddle around with the notion that “intersex is a subset of TS/TG”. The fact that it’s very insulting to me and to every intersex person out their. What both of them have said to the intersex community hurts their feelings and even scars them from the damage they have already been inflicted by the medical and scientific community.

  23. Joanne says:

    KD said:

    The fact is Zoe and Dys sometimes peddle around with the notion that “intersex is a subset of TS/TG”. The fact that it’s very insulting to me and to every intersex person out their.

    Another fact is that there are equally obnoxious and unprincipled f**kwits who peddle the notion that classical transsexualism and the gender role transgressive behaviors are subsets of each other.

    If those equally obnoxious individuals want respect for their own situations, they need to start extending it to others!

  24. kamododragon says:

    Even better, those two are peddling the same crap and feeding the same crap to people all the time. As for Zoe, She’s lost all respect within the Intersex community because she keeps saying on her blog that transsexuality is the same as intersex and that she puts out theories that transsexuality is some type of intersex.

  25. Joanne says:

    ROFLMAO. Honestly KD, you are so funny sometimes. 🙂

    I hope you left a comment on Zoe’s blog, just to clear things up.

    She wants to engage with you. She said so on Joannie Hook’s blog. I honestly think you could teach her a lot if you did that. 🙂

  26. kamododragon says:

    Joanne,
    The only thing I will ever teach her is the cold hard scientific reality. The problem with Zoe, is that she’s trying to deconstruct the intersex and make life even far worse for the intersex people if she puts intersex people in the same light as trans.

    The problem with Dys, is that Dys can’t seem to get past the genitals and DNA part. It’s like a huge brick wall and Dys can’t seem to get past it. Dys is your typical trans who I think borders on Jasmine.

    Oh I left comments on Zoe’s blog and Even Kailana as well.

  27. kamododragon says:

    What I meant to say on the last one is that Dys and Jasper are almost on the same level with each other.

  28. Zoe Brain says:

    “I didn’t come over here to be insulted.”
    “No? Where do you usually go?”

    Just for the record….

    I consider Transsexuality to be one of the many Intersex conditions. All who are Transsexual are Intersexed (by one definition), but not all who are Intersexed are Transsexual.

    Anyone living in Ohio lives in the USA, but not everyone who lives in the USA lives in Ohio.

    I have never said that “Intersex is a subset of TS/TG”. By one common definition of TG, one I do not accept, it is. This is a definition that has been imposed by others, an umbrella term I reject.

    As regards “Gender Identity” and Ideology, I use it in the sense that Prof Ecker used it to the APA recently, and the way Milton Diamond uses it. And, as best I understand it, Prof Italiano and Ronnie Drantz use it. The Gnosis that one is male or female. “Sexual Identity” would be more accurate, but that has been pre-empted by a different concept. It is only peripherally concerned with much of what we call “gendered behaviour” but has a lot to do with sexually dimorphic neurology.

    The charge that I am not original is a fair one. I’m not a researcher, I’m a collator and to a lesser degree, an synthesist. I weave together strands of genetics, urology, psychology, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, and biology into a coherent pattern. Other, genuine researchers have found my insights useful.

    Yes I do play up the “Rocket Scientist” bit. It’s something of a joke, Rocket Scientists are no more qualified to discuss or knowledgeable on Sex and Gender than Sanitation Engineers. Trash collectors. But sure as eggs or eggs, some Ignoramus will say “It’s not Rocket Science”, and there I find it useful. People respect Rocket Scientists as being smart. If only they knew some of those I’ve worked with… but I digress.

  29. Zoe Brain says:

    Now to put the cat amongst the pigeons:

    I conjecture that some of what we class as “Transgendered” behaviour, namely, full-time cross-dressing and androgenous gender identity, is also neurobiological in basis.

    I must emphasise that this is a conjecture. It would fit neatly into a coherent, consistent picture. HOWEVER… it is unevidenced. Its only value is therefore as a basis for further experimentation.

    Pending such experiments, no weight whatsoever should be placed on it. We’ve had far too much of that kind of thing in the past. Unevidenced conjecture has been published, not contradicted (as no experiments have been done to say whether it’s true or false), and has become over the years “accepted wisdom” with no experimental verification deemed necessary. The results have been disastrous.

    I also conjecture that not all transgendered behaviour has a biological basis, and that experimentation should be able to determine the boundaries.

    It’s nice and neat, but many a beautiful conjecture has been slain by an ugly fact.

  30. catkisser says:

    or bat as the case might be……..

  31. Zoe Brain says:

    Joanne wrote:
    “In fact – if you removed social and cultural ‘gender structures’ there would be no gender to transition.

    There would still be sex – intersexed and transsexed don’t disappear. Just TG’s.”

    Concur. You might even accurately define Transgenderism as the set of all behaviours that *would* disappear under those circumstances.

    Oh, as regards the slurs and aspersions cast my way: I figure there’s two possibilities.

    Either they’re true – in which case I shouldn’t feel insulted. It is after all, the truth.

    Or they’re false – in which case it reflects on the utterer, but not me. Why should I care what they say?

    I’ll attempt to correct factual inaccuracies, but opinions as to my character I’ll let slide. Life’s too short.

  32. kamododragon says:

    “I consider Transsexuality to be one of the many Intersex conditions. All who are Transsexual are Intersexed (by one definition), but not all who are Intersexed are Transsexual”

    Oh really, and where the science that says so and should I drag Kailana in on this and have Kailana beat the logic out of you. The fact is Transsexuality is not an intersex condition and it is not accepted as an intersex condition.

    “I have never said that “Intersex is a subset of TS/TG”. By one common definition of TG, one I do not accept, it is. This is a definition that has been imposed by others, an umbrella term I reject. ”

    Oh really, and would you like for me to drag out all the comments and blog post, where you have said that “Intersex is a subset of TS/TG” and where you have said it elsewhere on other forms and blog post.

  33. Joanne says:

    KD Said:

    should I drag Kailana in on this and have Kailana beat the logic out of you.

    ROFL. You’ll have to do your own dirty work on this KD. Kailana’s made so many claims she can’t substantiate that her credibility is about the same level as Chemical Ali’s

    Zoe: We agreed the following:

    Joanne wrote:
    “In fact – if you removed social and cultural ‘gender structures’ there would be no gender to transition.

    There would still be sex – intersexed and transsexed don’t disappear. Just TG’s.”

    You wrote:

    Concur. You might even accurately define Transgenderism as the set of all behaviours that *would* disappear under those circumstances.

    Well, this discourse, needs to happen here, Zoe.

    http://scythesforum.com/index.php

    Its no good arguing that just because Uncle
    Tom Cobbly and all use the same nomenclature, that somehow excuses it.

    The fact remains, and has been pointed out before that exactly the same answer is served up –
    regardless of the situation.

    For example cross dressing / transvestism can only exist in cultures that have gender coded clothing. So-called ‘gender expression’ is axiomatically a function of the social and cultural situation it is being ‘expressed’ in.

    Neither the intersexed nor transsexed experience is a function of the social and cultural situation it arises in.

    Why is ‘gender identity’ is the answer in both cases?

    I think the answer is intellectual inertia, and a simple act of will can change it.

    My question to you is: do you have the courage to help create that change?

  34. Joanne says:

    🙂 Hi AB 🙂

    WoW! Smart Blog 🙂

    (((((((( HUG ))))))))

  35. KD, there are good reasons to view true transsexualism, or as some prefer, Harry Benjamin Syndrome, as a form of intersex. Like the body, the brain is sexually differentiated, and sometimes things do not follow the expected path. But, I agree, intersex is not related to transgender, and transgender is not a form of intersex.

    BTW, I notice that Cooke quickly removed your post from Women Born Transsexual. I guess Cooke can’t handle the truth.

    As to “Dys” sometimes you just have to recognize that people are a bit, shall we say, loopy. I’ve made that mistake many times myself. You encounter someone online, who claims some degree of expertise, and then you discover that they make ridiculous arguments. Until you realize that, just possibly, this person is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal, you can wind up beating your head against the wall.

  36. Joanne says:

    Hi Just Jennifer
    You have identified one of the reasons why I prefer the concept of “biological variation in sex development.”

    I keep intersexed in its traditional context, where an individual’s reproductive biology is compromised in some way. That leaves intersexed with its own set of specific biological issues.

    That way transsexed people can legitimately lay claim to ‘biological variation in sex development’ without ‘colonizing’ traditional intersexed issues.

    I think that its vital to respect these differences given the history of transsexed colonization by transgenderism. Its also really important that we recognize the way that identity politics have been allowed to erase the significance of biological diversity.

    This silliness has reached the point where anyone who claims to identify as a member of a given group of biologically diverse persons, will be granted all of their experiences, along with whatever disabilities go with the variation, regardless of whether they actually have them or not.

    Identity politics are destructive of biological diversity. Personally I try to avoid them for that reason. 🙂

  37. Laura R. says:

    Hi Joanne, 🙂
    That was a great answer to Just Jennifer’s post. I agree with you.

    No one wants to be colonized by another group. Transsexuals don’t want to be colonized by transgenderists, and intersex people don’t want to be colonized by transgenderists or transsexuals. I hope both transsexual/HBS and intersex people can be allies against the transgender onslaught while respecting each other’s differences.

  38. cassandraspeaks says:

    I’ve long held the view that there is a neurological source for the transsexual condition that carries with it other indicators within secondary sex markers. If using post modernism you wish to describe that in terms of “biological variation in sex development” I really don’t have a problem with that. We both know we have discussed this and that I can agree to that description.
    This said I believe there is some politics being introduced to this where further down the track as new research emerges as we all hope it will, those politics will be removed.
    In the mean time it seems patently clear to me that Intersex and Transexuals are natural allies. For a number of reasons. Neither of us wish to be annexed to transgender and there exists some mutual respect. I hope that continues. Heaven knows we could both do with a friend right now. So I agree with Laura so long as everyone continues respect each others differences we can fight this enemy together.

  39. Leigh says:

    I have long held the view that an intersex condition is one where there is/was a physical manifestation of genitalia or reproductive organs existing in the body.

    I think the danger of extending that physical manifestation into the brain sex brings with it ambiguity that can allow people to claim intersex conditions where none exist.

    I was Transsexual. Some may say that in the stricter definition and through better science, there is evidence of intersexuality in all trannsexuals, but to me that is the slippery slope of the spectrum I think it best to just not go there.

    As to whether the interests of both the intersexed and the transsexed are better served in fighting this war against the transgender together, I have no doubt that it is. We are natural allies, seperated and seperate, just as the Americans and the British came together for a single cause and then the fight over, returned to our individual spaces with a better understanding and respect for each other.

    Lets put aside our differences for the moment and go after those that would imprison both of us, for the common good.

  40. Leigh says:

    Oh lord .. I just read cassandras post above this and it’s almost a carbon copy!

    Great minds think alike or fools never differ. Whats your poison 🙂

  41. Circé says:

    @ Leigh, 🙂

    Agreed, fighting a common enemy, that of forced inclusion within the transgender spectrum is in the best interest of IS and TS born peoples.

  42. anoldfriend says:

    Leigh;
    🙂
    Great minds indeed, I think we all are in agreement regarding brain sex.

  43. Laura R. says:

    What Leigh and Cassandra said ^. 🙂 I agree.

    Laura

  44. Leigh says:

    Some quotes from Winston Churchill that are important to this day.

    *******************

    “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

    “History is written by the victors.”

    “I never worry about action, but only inaction.”

    “It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”

    “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

    “Socialism(insert favorite ‘ism’) is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

    “Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer.”

    “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

    and MY personal favorite:

    “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

    🙂

  45. anoldfriend says:

    “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

    I like that one too

  46. Joanne says:

    OOPS! wrong URL.

    Ariablue- pretty please could you take my last post down and leave this one up.

    The toe-rag is here:

    http://theboyintheyellowdress.blogspot.com/2009/09/gender-bending-athlete-blurs-rigid.html

    😦

  47. Joanne says:

    Cassandra – you wrote:

    If using post modernism you wish to describe that in terms of “biological variation in sex development” I really don’t have a problem with that.

    I’m not sure where you think post-modernism comes in to this?

    Variation in Sex Development (VSD) is official OII policy. I merely represent that policy, as I properly should.

    Other OII board members also post comments on this and other blogs. I don’t doubt that they will represent this and other OII policies in the same way.

    VSD has advantages. It counters the AMA/Accord Alliance’s “Disorders of Sex Development” (DSD) which pathologizes intersexuality.

    This is an anathema to the OII Board and most OII members. VSD is inclusive, and it avoids stepping on other people’s sensitivities.

    I hope this helps explain VSD

  48. Joanne, you raise some good points, and point out a limitation in terminology. I like the “variations in sexual development” model. It is a good idea.