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Can anyone explain to me..

Discussion in 'General (Off Topic Lounge)' started by confused00, Oct 10, 2018.  |  Print Topic

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  1. confused00
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    confused00 Greenhorn

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    I am a cis female and feel that I am very open minded and opposing to most conservative views, however I am really confused about transgenderness. I really don't want to offend anyone, and I am just looking for explanation- I am really excited that we are taking our identities so seriously nowadays however I think that there is sinister side creeping into the situation to do with appearance and how we present ourselves/behave.

    Could someone please open my eyes or explain how transgender people conclude that they are either male or female?

    I often see transgender woman saying: "well I liked pink and loved barbies, so I knew I was a girl." This completely reinforces the (in my opinion) incorrect view that only girls should like playing with dolls and like the colour pink- that if you enjoy this behaviour you must be a girl. This is wrong and reinforces a horrible societal stereotype that indoctrinates young people.

    I sometimes feel very masculine, but does that make me a male? No. My definition of gender is our biological organs that we are born as and I know that this aspect of ourselves is entirely separate to our personalities, identity and mannerisms.

    How could a male that feels entirely feminine decide whether he is a feminine man or a woman? This makes no sense to me- if anyone can shed light on this I would be so grateful.
     
  2. River W.
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    Well, i have a pretty good feeling you're a troll. But for the small hope that you might not be, I'll try to explain.

    Transgender people saying that they're the opposite sex goes WAAAAYYYY beyond "well I liked pink and loved barbies, so I knew I was a girl." Yes, that kind of thing plays a part in it, but it's more than that. They feel uncomfortable in their own body, they feel uncomfortable identifying as their birth sex, etc. Like I said, there's a lot that goes into it, not just someone feeling really feminine/masculine, or wanting to do the typical feminine/masculine things.
     
  3. confused00
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    confused00 Greenhorn

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    I'm truly not a troll, probably just ignorant?
    I want everyone to feel happy and be healthy and feel comfortable in their body but I see this discomfort with ones self as looking more like a mental illness - not identifying with your body seems very unnatural and unhealthy to me- not that anyone can help it but it is obviously very horrible and uncomfortable.
    I understand that gender reassignment surgery fixes this- but it is such a huge modification to the body that I wonder wouldnt it be safer and healthier to treat the body dysmorphia?
     
  4. River W.
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    (ok, good you're not a troll. Sorry I, i just kinda expect that from these kinds of posts now.)

    Body *dysphoria isn't something you can just "treat". I mean, you can go through therapy, but that rarely helps. Really, the only way to treat it is to get the surgery, go on hormones, that kind of thing. Yes, it is unhealthy, that's why people change their body and sex, to combat the dysphoria. Well... that's part of why anyway. I wish it were easy to treat yes, but it isn't.

    And besides, maybe you think it's a horrible thing to do to yourself, but the people doing it are happy with what they're doing. They want to change their body. So, even if you don't agree, or fully understand, just try and stay out of it, and just try and accept it.

    Sorry, don't wanna sound rude.
     
  5. confused00
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    confused00 Greenhorn

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    I get that it eventually makes people happy, but some individuals change their mind and are essentially "cured" from the body dysmorphic disorder and are left with the fact that they have mutilated their body for nothing.
    This is one of the most disturbing / nightmarish scenarios I can think of.
    I am worried that the idea of being trasngender is too casual and people with body dysmorphia will fall into the idea too quickly and make a decision that scars them for life.
     
  6. River W.
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    yeah well, that's still a rare occurence. It doesn't always happen.
     
  7. confused00
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    confused00 Greenhorn

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    So from a psycological point of view, are transgender people just pretending to be the gender that they wanted to be born as, in order to feel mentally well? I'm so sorry for how rash this sounds but I just want to have a real conversation about this because I feel like I'm missing something?
     
  8. River W.
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    No. AudryLeigh can help you from here
     
  9. AudryLeigh
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    You are more than missing something, you are about as uninformed as it's possible to be. To suggest that we (any of us in the entire LGBTQ+ community) are pretending, is an insult that can only be excused in the case of complete and total ignorance of the entire subject. You are being very closed minded, and you are apparently unaware that sex and gender are two different things. None of us are posers, and none of this is a choice -- it's how we were all born. Sex is strictly physical -- nothing more. Gender is who we are -- nothing less. You clearly have not had any "real" conversations about this, because conversations are two way, and if you've had any discussions on this topic, you're apparently not listening. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but to suggest that any of is pretending is an outright insult.

    I would direct you to the following post here. If, after reading that post you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them so long as they are asked in good faith, and you take into account that these are very sensitive issues, and you need to consider people's feelings in wording your posts.

    Sincerely,
    Audry Leigh
     
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  10. Blackangel
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    Blackangel I Haunt The Devil's Dreams
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    Do we pretend? Yeah, when we're 5. I pretended I liked vegetables. I pretended I was a cowboy. I pretended I was a boy. That was a pretend I was forced to stick with all my life. I'm not a boy though. I'm a girl. I'm a woman. Yes, I have a penis. That's irrelevant. The men here have vaginas. That's irrelevant. I remember as a 3-4 year old asking my parents constantly why I wasn't a girl. I got the ever living shit beat out of me every time, but I kept asking it. Broken bones, dislocated joints, bruises and a lot of bleeding. But I still asked. It was apparent even then that something was different about me. I didn't know at that age anything about what I was asking. I probably didn't even know why I was asking or what the question meant. It may have just been random words that came out of my mouth. But inside I knew I was different whether I realized it or not.

    Fast forward to the present day.

    I'm an adult. There's no one to beat me unconscious for being who I am. No one to lock me in a closet for 3 days. I am the girl I have always been and the world knows it. Obviously there are people that don't like it. But you know what? FUCK EM! If you don't like me for whatever reason, that's your problem. Don't make it mine.

    If you want to ask these questions the best way is turn it around on yourself. What makes you straight? What makes you identify as a girl? Aside from anatomy.

    There's one last question to ask.

    Imagine you woke up tomorrow in the body of the opposite sex, but absolutely nothing else about you had changed. Wouldn't you desperately want to get back into the correct body?
     
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  11. Empyrean Finch
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    Empyrean Finch Curious Explorer
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    This is going to be a long post, but I hope it is informative enough to be interesting. I'd also like to point out that I think that it's fine to have questions or even doubts about the validity of transsexuality, but I believe that it is essential to have empathy for transsexual people and to be open-minded regarding this issue. It can be frustrating for transpeople such as myself to answer these questions since it feels like we have to justify our own existence, but even so if people are willing to be open-minded then I believe we should do our best to answer respectfully.

    The current theory in neuroscience regarding gender (so far as I understand it) is that the brain is sexually dimorphic (different between males and females). The theory itself depends on physicalism (the view that mind arises from physical matter and interactions). By examining the brains of males and females neuroscientists are capable of identifying the areas of the brain that are statistically different from each other. Next by examining the brains of known transgender people they are capable of seeing how the neural anatomies of transgender people differ from the neural anatomies of cisgender people. What they found was that a few places in MtF transwomen's brains were feminized. The experiment also examine a single FtM transman and found that the FtM appeared to be significantly masculinized. For the record these experiments did control for the possible effect of hormones on neural anatomy even though theoretically hormones should not actually affect mature brains. So the basic idea is that presumably there is some part of the brain (possibly the BSTc) that gives us our sense of 'being a man' or 'being a woman' or of gender in general and that in the brains of transsexuals this part of the brain more closely resembles and functions like the brains of their preferred gender than that of their assigned sex at birth. This experiment was the Zhou et al. experiment (all links below).

    The reason for the cross sexual development of the brain appears to stem from genetic and epigenetic causes. Basically the Hare et al. experiment showed longer CAG chains, (which would decrease the sensitivity to androgens during development) in the androgen receptor gene in MtF transwomen. The Bentz et al. experiment found that the CYP17 gene in FtM transmen had a closer genotype to cisgender males than to cisgender females. The general idea is that these genetic differences predispose people to develop masculinized or feminized brains.

    From a greater psychological perspective many observations have confirmed that currently the most healthy response to transgender people is to affirm their identity. This perspective was in part influenced by previous perspectives regarding homosexuality. In the past homosexuality was pathologized for the simple reason that it was atypical, but something being atypical is not sufficient to declare it to be a pathology. It's similar for transsexuality. Certainly transsexuality is atypical, but that doesn't mean that it is pathological and needs to be 'cured'. A significant volume of studies have concluded that from a mental health perspective, statistically the most healthy response to transpeople is to affirm what decisions they make and be accepting of their self-exploration if there exists confusion. That is the current consensus among every major psychological and pediatric organization. You can read more regarding this from the American Psychological Association's "Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People".

    I would like to point out that there is a great deal that we do not know regarding gender, just as their is a great deal we do not know about psychology in general. For example we don't fully understand why some identical twins have one twin being transgender and the other being cisgender (an example being actress Laverne Cox and her identical twin brother, M Lamar). This doesn't mean that we know nothing or even that we should turn to older theories about the nature of gender. My analogy would be that in physics there is still a lot we don't know about the nature of gravity and a lot of parts of gravity are not perfectly explained by General Relativity (the current best model of gravity), but that doesn't mean that we should just throw away General Relativity and go back to Newtonian gravity, which is simpler but explains less. Similarly there is a lot that we don't fully understand about gender, but that doesn't mean that we should go back to the simple view that gender is solely determined by external genitalia because the newer models (psychological gender determined by the state of the brain) can explain more than the older models.

    I know that this has been a long post already, but the reason that this is so important to me is that I would like to assemble a portfolio for transsexuality. This portfolio will consist of my arguments for greater acceptance of transsexuality, backed up by the actual scientific evidences for my arguments. My hope is that when presented with arguments with strong intellectual bases and strong emotional drives that even well-entrenched opponents of transsexuality will find it difficult to deny these arguments. Like they say "knowledge is power".

    p.s. If I made any factual errors please point them out. I try to aim for a high degree of accuracy, but I may have inattentively made mistakes.

    Zhou et al. experiment: http://sindromebenjamin.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/brainsex.pdf

    Hare et al. experiment: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402034/

    Bentz et al. experminet: https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(07)01228-9/fulltext

    APA's guidelines: https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/transgender.pdf
     
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  12. AudryLeigh
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    Wow! Just WOW! Ms. Finch, I'm impressed -- very impressed, and I'm not easily impressed. If you don't mind, I think I'd like to make a sticky out of this post, so it stays where people can easily find it.

    Lots of hugs,
    Audry Leigh
     
  13. Empyrean Finch
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    Empyrean Finch Curious Explorer
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    I'm fine with this becoming a sticky. I'll admit I feel a little bit awkward (I'm a little bit shy), but I want people to be as well informed as possible.
     
  14. AudryLeigh
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    Hey Empyrean Finch,

    I'll admit I haven't read through all you references yet -- I will before I sticky this, but I expect they will all turn out to be good solid references. There is absolutely no reason you should feel awkward -- you did one impressive piece of research there, and put it into a very good post. I'll be following your posts much more closely from now on. Since I've been on this site, no one else has even come close to a post with that kind of punch or supporting information. If we gave out gold stars here, that post would certainly earn you one. Thank you for all the effort you put into that, and for being concerned with people being well informed -- there is so much bad information out there, and good information is not easy to find. What is your field? Do you do research? You clearly know how to track down good information, and you clearly understand the value of providing references. As I said before, I am impressed, and you can ask anyone here -- I am not easily impressed.

    Lots of big warm fuzzy hugs,
    Audry Leigh
     
  15. Barefoot
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    confused00, I suspect what you are trying to do, is to understand transgenderism in a profound, intuitive way. I don't think that is possible for a cisgender person. It's something that has to be experienced to be understood on that level I think. I've been on this forum for a long time and read many posts about this. I'm a cisgender male. I don't "feel" either male nor female. I don't feel anything and I can't make myself aware of feeling anything related to it. I just feel like "me". I think that's how it is with cisgender people. We can't access nor feel that aspect of ourselves because there's nothing for us to feel, if you get what I mean. At least that's how it seems with me. I can understand it only on an academic level; not a profound intuitive one (I hope I'm explaining this accurately). To put it simply, I think only a transgendered person can know what it's really like and why, etc. You can't know what you've never experienced, except academically.

    Empyrean Finch, I am also impressed with your post, and I am impressed with your apparent knowledge of the nature of gravity as Einstein understood it. That's a very interesting subject to me. I've found few people who know about that but I've explained it to a few. I have some supporting theories of my own related to it, that you don't hear much about, involving electromagnetic wave propagation.
     
  16. Empyrean Finch
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    Empyrean Finch Curious Explorer
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    I have a B.A. in physics, but I also independently study a wide range of topics including Mathematics, Psychology, Biblical scholarship, Epistemology, and Ethics. I'm afraid that I don't currently do research. I would love to do some kind of research, but I haven't been able to find a place to do research for.

    A lot of the information in my post, was just reused from an old research paper on the subject of transsexuality that I wrote for a neuroscience class in college a few years ago. Looking back on that paper I made a couple of slight errors (I misinterpreted how hormones were controlled for in the Zhou et al. experiment) which is why I'm a little bit afraid about the possibility of slight errors in my post now (truth be told I didn't spend enough time to ensure that my information is perfectly accurate since I didn't realize that my post would become as popular as it was).

    Much of the reason why it's so important to me to have solid evidence and foundation is because of the immense frustration I have regarding anti-trans speakers such as Ben Shapiro. I feel that the only way to truly defeat them and earn our acceptance in society is to have the stronger arguments. People like Mr. Shapiro claim that science confirms their beliefs that transsexuality is a pathology that needs to be 'cured', and because most people are not aware of the actual science (or in some cases the science seems so arcane to them) they end up believing those arguments. So I hope to dispel misinformation on the subject, and I hope to make the science of these issues (and science in general) more accessible to everyone.

    I only have a B.A. in physics so my understanding of GR is very limited (I do understand special relativity and quantum mechanics and I'm currently trying to figure out GR by watching Leonard Susskind's lectures on Youtube, but GR is awful). I cited GR though as a handy example because I know that it is a seemingly arcane and unintuitive theory that explains everything Newtonian gravity can explain and more, and I think that is a good analogy for the more nuanced perspectives of gender. The more nuanced views of brain gender do a far better job of explaining gender than the simple birth sex equals gender view.
     
  17. zen

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    Wow, thank you mate! You really summed up such a vast information in a flawless manner! Also, I wanna thank you for explaining much of the things I wanted transgender people and non-transgender people who don't understand what it is to be transgender to know! Great work! I didn't know that trans genes are already specified in both sexes, wow, and as I was suspecting, the fact that epigenetics was involved in it (I don't know about the epigenetic causes doesn't always mean it is not pathological, though). We are still at the dawn of figuring out anything to do with this microcosm of brain, and astronomical combinations of epigenetics, but the progress of science is faster than I imagined, it seems!

    Your post should be put in a golden frame and showcased for everyone to read!
     
  18. Thief King Bakura
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    Thief King Bakura ☆ Start.the.GaMe.of.DaRkNess ✩
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    Can I add my two bits? First off, Empyrean Finch stunning post reply. You do deserve several gold stars for that. ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Very informative post and even i learned something new. Just fantastic stuff.
    [​IMG]

    ----------------------------------

    To address the subject at hand. To suggest that any of us in the LGBTQ+ community "pretend" is just a bloody insult and it is folly. *Sarcasm Start* Yes, I "pretended" to be a male so I could be on hormones. *sarcasm end* Is that what you want to hear? Well, I'm gonna have to disappoint you, confused00 cause this ain't pretend nor are we "mentally ill." I could excuse that for the shear fact that you are ill informed.

    The unnatural argument just doesn't hold up anymore and I will tell you why. It doesn't hold up because you don't make up these feelings. By saying being trans is "unnatural" is like saying "being gay is bad," quite frankly it is bullshit and I will be treating it as such.

    For us who are trans, we have to face the inedible questioning, dysphoria, self-exploration, sometimes dealing with "family" invalidating our feelings, discrimination, etc. It isn't easy, but I wouldn't go back. I've come too far to turn back now. I went through a period where I forced myself to try to be more girly, wear/buy frilly clothes, and tried to think more like a cis women, guess what? It didn't work. I went through that period where I repressed myself, partially because I was never given an opportunity to fully explore myself until just a few years ago and another, I wasn't even aware of the LGBTQ community growing up. I had to educate myself which lead l to natural questioning.

    If you have read Finch's post up to this point, you will at least have some understanding that we don't "fake" this. Again to suggest such a thing is a load of horseshit, we usually know or have an idea we don't quite fit our genders assigned at birth. I knew when I went through the wrong puberty at age 11 or so, I looked down at my chest and thought, "Those don't belong there," and I wished for them to go away. For a good portion of my life, I lived a lie. I was raised and socialized as a girl/woman. Everytime I've had to wear a dress or feminine clothes, I felt so bloody uncomfortable. I didn't know at the time that I was experiencing some degree of dysphoria. Again, I was in my teens when I first started experienced these feelings and didn't have the words to express what I felt. I just knew I felt off. Now I obviously know why. Because I was in the wrong body.

    This goes way deeper then simply colors, clothes, etc. It goes as deep as the soul, you feel it in your soul that you are in fact in the wrong body. Do you think that I'd be on hormones because I was "pretending?" No. I'm on hormones because they help me embrace my true self. Honestly, they've saved me in more ways than one and my dysphoria is all but naught. It doesn't go away but I can cope with it. Anypony who is trans here can attest to that. But unless you are trans yourself, you will never fully understand what we feel. Even if you don't fully understand how we feel, why some of us eventually go through HRT/get gender affirmation surgery, etc, please just respect us.

    If somepony like myself identifies as male, than please respect that. I won't answer to any pronouns other than he, his, and him. Vice versa for a m2F, address her as she/her. And non-binary/gender fluid folks would appreciate you addressiny them as their respective pronouns as well.

    Most of us have a hard time with families, sometimes society, and dealing with bassackwards societal standards. Don't make it harder for us. Confused00, please get at least somewhat informed and respect the fact that some of us aren't cis. It is what it is. Read Finch's post for more context. To say we are pretending is crap. Please take your ignorance elsewhere.

    The Thief King has spoken....

    [​IMG]
     
    #18 Thief King Bakura, Oct 11, 2018 at 7:11 AM
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 10:26 AM
  19. Barefoot
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    Off topic: Empyrean Finch, GR became intuitive to me when I realized that empty space is not empty. There is "something" there, even when there seemingly isn't. That's what makes electromagnetic wave propagation (and gravity) possible. I believe that the speed of light in space is determined by some attribute of that "something".
     
  20. Tights_and_Skirts

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    Heading dangerously close to an ether there Barefoot ;) .
     

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