Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Human Rights Should Never Be Put To A Popular Vote

The oppression of the minority by the majority is the reason why basic human rights should never, ever be a popularity vote. Such rights as being able to worship whatever god or goddess you belief in, to be free to voice your political opinions, and to marry the person that you love should never be a popularity contest.
Australians’ Support of Gay Marriage Weakens in New Poll
NBC News
By Associated Press
September 25, 2017

CANBERRA, Australia — Support for legalizing gay marriage in Australia has weakened just as a national postal ballot asks voters where they stand on the contentious issue, according to a new opinion poll.

The government said Monday it has sent ballots to all of Australia’s more than 16 million voters asking whether the nation should lift its prohibition on same-sex marriage. Results of the balloting that began Sept. 12 will be announced Nov. 15.

A poll by Sydney-based market researcher Galaxy Research published in The Australian newspaper found support for gay marriage had slipped in five weeks from 63 to 57 percent. Opposition had grown from 30 to 34 percent.
Why is marriage equality slipping in the polls?

According to News.com.au it is because the ad campaigns from the organizations against marriage equality,
On Monday morning, crossbench Senator Derryn Hinch, who supports Yes, lashed out at the No campaign saying similar, “divide and conquer” tactics employed in the republic referendum were now being used in the marriage debate.

On Channel 7, he said the No side’s plan was to “sow seeds of doubt (and) spread the issue so it’s not about Yes or No to same-sex marriage”.

Mr Hinch said he was worried the more confused people were about the issue, the more they might side with the status quo.

On the survey itself, the ABS states that they are “asking just one question”. That question is “should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

But the Coalition for Marriage (CfM) insists the issue is a “package deal” with the now largely withdrawn Safe Schools program and freedom of religion.

In a recent flyer sent to homes, the words “radical” and “religion” appear three times each, “freedom” six times while “schools” takes out the crown appearing seven times.

The words “love” and “relationship” do not appear once.
Sounds just like what they tried in California… if marriage equality passes people what will stop people getting married.
At the heart of the No campaign is an attempt to steer the discussion away from the question on the ballot paper and to create doubt, Prof Young [an associate professor of social and political science at Melbourne University.] said.
Where is the opposition coming from? Well according Forbes.au,
Conservative religious organisations are mobilising again. However, given increasing public support for same-sex marriage, including among religious adherents, they often argue that same-sex marriage is really about broader issues, such as gender roles and parenting.

 A key argument – espoused recently by Tony Abbott – is that same-sex marriage will threaten “religious freedom”. Such arguments, often based on a small number of yet-to-be-finalised overseas cases, or a Tasmanian complaint that was later withdrawn, effectively reframe the debate away from discrimination against those in same-sex relationships.

Consequently, conservative Christians now depict themselves as potential victims of discrimination. This is despite the long history of past discrimination against gays and lesbians, including criminalisation of male homosexuality and the ineligibility of same-sex couples for many federal government entitlements. Such reframings have proved an effective political tactic in the US.
As I have said who a person loves should never be put to a popular vote.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What Does It Mean To Dead Name Someone?

I never heard the phrase dead-naming until repentantly and I think it is a fitting name for it.

I got a lot of flak when I said that when I do outreach if I am asked my old name I don’t tell them, instead I talk about what we think of our old names and gentle tell them why it is wrong to ask someone about their old name.
What It Means to "Dead-Name" a Transgender Person, and Why You Should Stop
Pop Sugar
By Ryan Roschke
September 24, 2017

In the first season of Amazon's incredible, visceral series Transparent, we meet Maura, a transgender woman who decides to come out later in her life. Maura has three kids and an ex-wife, all of whom struggle to see this new side of a person they've known for decades. During this time of struggle (and in flashbacks), we also learn what is known as Maura's "dead name" — aka the name she had prior to her transition.
To get a better understanding of the deep significance of selecting a given name, we spoke to writer Caleb Camacho. "I think selecting a name and hearing people refer to me with that name was pretty solidifying in the transition process," Camacho, who is transgender, told POPSUGAR. "It made me feel like I was being seen as the man I was presenting myself as. When I finally got my legal documentation changed over to reflect my chosen name, it was a major deal. Yes, it's time-consuming and frustrating, but it's so worth it in the end. I no longer get strange looks when I present my ID card or license."

It's clear that choosing a new name to go with a more authentic identity is a very private and personal aspect of an individual's transition. That said, there have been several prominent and public examples of transgender people addressing how they wish to be referred to — both in pronouns and by formal names — especially in the last decade. As we already mentioned, Transparent introduces us to a transgender woman who renames herself Maura after coming out. Since Maura's dead name is Mort, her choice of name signifies a common way for an individual to self-identify after transition: to take their previous name and use a version of it that reflects their new identity.
“It's clear that choosing a new name to go with a more authentic identity is a very private and personal aspect of an individual's transition.” I would say that is totally true, for many of us it is a very private and personal experience but for some they talk it over with their spouse and/or parents. One of the things that I learned when I was exploring transitioning was that it can be a good way to get family or your spouse buy-in to your transition.

I did that for my middle name, I wanted to keep my same initials and the middle name that I liked was my sister-in-law’s middle name so when we were all sitting around the dining room table after supper one time. I didn’t like “Robin” not because of the name but because I know a lot of Robins. We did come up with a middle name that I liked and we had fun doing it.
Refusing to call someone by their new name is just the same as refusing to acknowledge their new gender identity, and it's often employed as a transphobic way to demean and deny a transgender person's true expression of self. In 2015, radio host Glenn Beck said in a rant that he would not call Caitlyn Jenner by her new name and would not call her a woman. Instead, he repeatedly used her dead name and only referred to her with masculine pronouns. It's easy to see how the two go hand in hand. The embrace of one facet of a person's identity would, logically, beget the embrace of another.
I think this is a good example of why we don’t like people to dead-name us, which is because, it is used to humiliate, belittle us and to deny our existence.
But even when dead-naming isn't intended to be malicious, it is not harmless. As Camacho notes, you can only give those around you the benefit of the doubt for so long. Furthermore, it's important to acknowledge the effect it might have in more grave situations. For instance, consider how the police often fail to use correct names and pronouns when referring to transgender murder victims, impacting the data and understanding of the violence that community faces. And in smaller moments, consider how it might deny a person the simple right and respect to live as the person they truly are. In moments like this, using a proper name and gender identity means everything.

Did You See 60 Minutes Last Night?

I only saw part of it because every time I checked the game was still on so I only saw a part of it, Oprah’s focus group where one woman said she believes that being trans is not a choice and a man saying it was a choice.

I believe that many, many people here in the U.S. are science illiterate and just don’t want to learn… learning gives them a headache. I do a lot of training at colleges and I see so many students just texting all through class.

I read comments on news websites and you read people who say XY = male XX = female or they say what is between your legs defines your gender and if someone post a link to a scientific article showing they are wrong they call it “Fake News.”

Well here is a website that I came across on the UN website has an interesting webpage on Disorders of Sexual Development…
Genetic Components of Sex and Gender

Humans are born with 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. The X and Y chromosomes determine a person’s sex. Most women are 46XX and most men are 46XY. Research suggests, however, that in a few births per thousand some individuals will be born with a single sex chromosome (45X or 45Y) (sex monosomies) and some with three or more sex chromosomes (47XXX, 47XYY or 47XXY, etc.) (sex polysomies). In addition, some males are born 46XX due to the translocation of a tiny section of the sex determining region of the Y chromosome. Similarly some females are also born 46XY due to mutations in the Y chromosome. Clearly, there are not only females who are XX and males who are XY, but rather, there is a range of chromosome complements, hormone balances, and phenotypic variations that determine sex.
Genetically Determined Disorders of Sexual Differentiation
Typical sexual development is the result of numerous genes, and mutation in any of these genes can result in partial or complete failure of sex differentiation. These include mutations or structural anomalies of the SRY region on the Y chromosome resulting in XY gonadal dysgenesis, XX males, or XY females; defects of androgen biosynthesis or androgen receptors, and others.
ELSI of Genetic Components of Sex and Gender

The issues of gender assignment, gender verification testing, and legal definitions of gender are especially pertinent to a discussion on the ELSI of gender and genetics. These practices, however, are misnomers as they actually refer to biological sex and not gender. Such a discrepancy is highlighted by the existence of intersex individuals whose psychosexual development and gender sometimes do not match the biological sex assigned to them as infants. In this report the term ‘sex’ will be used where the practice refers to biological sex and not the more social construct of ‘gender’.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an inherited autosomal recessive condition that can affect both boys and girls. It is the most common cause of intersexuality in females with 46XX, where untreated girls develop an outwardly male appearance. This disorder, also called adrenogenital syndrome (AGS), results from a genetically caused deficiency of cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex. The disorder occurs with a frequency of 1:5000 and results in incomplete female sex differentiation and increased androgenic effects due to a compensatory increase in adrenocortical hormone (ACTH). (33)

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) is an X-linked recessive disorder in which affected individuals have external female genitalia and breast development despite being genetically male (46XY). Tissues of affected individuals are unresponsive to male hormones (androgens) yet respond to estrogens.

Wisniewski et al. assessed the physical and psychosexual status of 14 women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) by questionnaire as well as medical examination in order to determine the participants' knowledge of their disorder as well as their opinion of medical and surgical treatment. (34) Most of the women questioned expressed satisfaction with their psychosexual development and sexual function. All of the women who participated in the study were satisfied at having been raised as females, and none of the participants desired gender reassignment. (35)
When you see people who defines gender and sex in 1950’s terms they don’t want to read anything like this, they don’t learn new things. The guy on 60 Minutes who said it is a choice you will never convince him otherwise no matter how much you show him wrong.

For me when I see something that I question or want more information I research it. I find learning new thing fascinating, I learn something new every day not a goal but because I like learning and I am even a member of a women’s group that discusses scientific topics each month.

What do we do about people who don’t want to challenge themselves?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

We Are Different And That’s What Makes The World Go Round

What a boring would be if we were all the same, it is all our difference that makes us interesting; can you imagine if we were all like Jim and Margaret Anderson in “Father Knows Best” what a dull place the world would be. We would all be like ants.
Not As Simple As XX or XY.
Written by Laura Haines
September 22, 2017

A sweet friend of mine recently found out that she can bear children. That’s great news, right? And it is, it totally is. We’re giddy happy for her. But to say we’re also stunned, dumbfounded, amazed, including her, is an understatement.

You see, my friend is a transgender woman. Or was.

I say “was” not because she’s not with us anymore. She is. But because a transgender female was what she honestly thought she was. She thought she was a dysphoric male transitioning to her more authentic female form. She’d just had the surgery to remove the gender-dysphoria-making male bits she was born with, had consummated a marriage with, and helped create children with. But in the midst of a somewhat serious complication that necessitated a trans-vaginal ultrasound on her newly surgically constructed vagina, her doctor discovered an intact female reproductive system — including a womb, ovaries, and a cervix.
Natural is amazing!

You know all those comments you see at the end of a news article about us, well…
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. “If you have a penis, you’re a male. If you have a vagina, you’re a female. XX means female. XY means male. Don’t get mad at me. It’s not bigotry. It’s genetics. It’s science.”
You can’t tell me it’s as simple as XX is a girl and XY is a boy. You can’t tell me the presence of male or female genitalia tells us all we ever need to know about someone’s gender. You can’t tell me we know everything about everything and there’s nothing left to discover in this world let alone within our own bodies. My friend, who’d had the shit beaten out of her as a little boy by the one relative she’d trusted enough to confide in that God may have put him in the wrong body, that he should be a girl, and could grandpa please talk to his Mommy and Daddy to help him fix it — this friend, who had been dysphoric and suicidal for years resignedly trying to live life as a male, but since transitioning has bravely and blessedly remained alive and happily married, raising their children together – this friend just found out she’s intersex, has been both male and female all along, and may be perfectly able to conceive and bear a child inside her own body – at 40.
The article ends with,
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. There are broader spectrums within God’s creation than some of us are willing to acknowledge, let alone allow. Embrace the rainbow people. Embrace it. And stop trying to use what little you know or think you understand about science to justify your bigotry. Ask any geneticist, science teacher, transgender, or intersex person. They’ll tell you, “The world is way too weird for that shit.”
Last week I wrote about the ICD-11 which might list us in the section of disease of sexual development and I think that if it does get moved into the DSD it could very well be labeled an intersex condition.

Nature doesn’t even know what a box is.

We Are Different, Or Are We?

There is an interesting new study out looking at brain differences in adolescents transgender boys and girls and they found the same results as in trans women and men.
Brain functional connectivity patterns in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria: sex-atypical or not?
Journal of Psycho­neuro­endocrinology
By Nienke M. Nota, Baudewijntje P. Kreukel, Martin den Heijer, Dick J. Veltman, Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, Sarah M. Burke, and Julie Bakker
September 15, 2017

  • Cisgender adolescents show sex-dimorphic brain functional connectivity patterns within sensorimotor network-II and the posterior default mode network.
  • Adolescents with gender dysphoria show sex-atypical or gender dysphoria-specific brain functional connectivity patterns within visual network-I, sensorimotor network-II and the posterior default mode network.
  • Brain functional connectivity patterns are comparable between prepubertal children with gender dysphoria and prepubertal cisgender children
…Within one of the three VNs (VN-I) [visual networks], adolescent transgirls showed stronger FC [functional connectivity] in the right cerebellum compared with all other adolescent groups. Within these networks adolescent transgirls showed FC patterns similar to their experienced gender (female). Also adolescent transboys showed a FC pattern similar to their experienced gender (male), but within the SMN-II [sensorimotor networks] only. The prepubertal children did not show any group differences in FC, suggesting that these emerge with aging and during puberty. Our findings provide evidence for the existence of both GD-specific and sex-atypical FC patterns in adolescents with GD.
So what this study seems to show is that our brains are different at an early age, there has been research adults that found the same changes in our brains. What causes these changes is still unknown.