transgender

All posts tagged transgender

Bullying

Published October 5, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The recent suicide related deaths of five teens in the US supposedly related to homophobic schoolyard bullying has wiped up a bit of a storm. In no way does this commentary seek to minimalize the human tragedy of suicide and especially that involving children for their family and the community. Rather on these occasions a gaggle of media personalities rush out to tell their story ably aided by mainstream media. Being a cynical old bastard, I tend to take these biographies with a shovel of salt with most of these people having not seen a schoolyard for quite a while. Homophobic bullying affects all children it controls their behaviour to ensure compliance with a limited view of gender identity that needs challenging. Especially, when homophobic bullying does not end at the schoolyard gate, as it is both codified and institutionalised

Do I give a damn YES I DO!

In my three years of secondary schooling, bullies targeted me every day of the week and staff offered no comfort let alone protection.  On some occasions, staff even blamed me for causing the abuse, which still confuses me to this day. I still experience anxiety issues, which often limit my social participation because I do not really trust people. I often hide behind roles, which provides structures that limit the nature of my interactions with others

Does it get better, yes as an adult I discovered my voice, realised,  I have choices and the views of others do not count as much as when I went to school.

When questioning sex?

Published August 21, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Comment: Speculation over athlete’s sex has brought trans issues into the open – from Pink News – all the latest gay news from the gay community – Pink News

Summary of article

South African sprinter Caster Semenya’s the world is now waiting to see if she is truly a woman, the article give commentary on the controversy about this athletes sex i.e. male female or something in between.  The commentator argues that this story puts gender and Trans issues in the spotlight in particular the

“Mass media reporting on gender identity issues is sensationalist, prurient and tinged with faint disgust. Tabloid treatment of those who seek to change gender often portrays them as freaks and, especially in the case of male-to-female transitions, deviants.” It cites how a number of newspapers have run lengthy articles discussing how sex is medically classified and explaining the spectrum of disorders of sexual development, from intersexuality and Klinefelter’s Syndrome to congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

It makes the following key points

  • Many people, including some in the medical profession, view issues such as gender dysphoria as mental illnesses.
  • What sex, in the biological sense, actually is? Is it an outward physical construct, a question of chromosomes, a mental state?
  • Some female athletes over the years have been found to be chromosomally male, despite identifying and being classed in all other respects as female.
  • Some gender theorists believe the concept of gender should be abolished but in sectors such as sport, it is difficult to see how this can be done.

What I believe

When speaking on either sex or gender we are talking about complex and interacting biological and social factors that constitute our identity.

Increasingly it seems that when defining either sex or gender, it is heavily shaped by our perceptions or how we understand something to be.

While sex has biological roots, a simplistic heteronormative dyadic worldview heavily defines it, either as male or female and sees any other as deviant requiring medical or scientific intervention.

Gender is a social construct, which changes over time and from location to location i.e. how a man or woman understood himself, or herself in 1940’s Australia is completely different to now. Alternately, how a man or woman understands himself or herself in Nukuʻalofa when compared to a citizen of Paris.

A rule of thumb often applied is that the individual defines their gender and out of respect, we validate their view.

The view that gender categories have little real value other than to maintain social inequity really needs further consideration, because of their centrality in allowing some to define themselves in the Qmunity.

Are these categories a necessary evil?

When Being a Man Becomes Only Another Social Lable

Published August 19, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Transsexuals declared male without op | The Courier-Mail

The Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal ruled today in favour of two female-to-male pre-op transsexuals on a matter involving a decision by the WA Gender Reassignment Board refusal to issue them with certificates recognising “the reassignment of their gender”. The board had found against them because they had female reproductive systems, which it said was inconsistent with being male. However, in overturning the board’s decision, the administrative tribunal seemingly premised their decision on the applicants had presented as, and appeared to be, males”.

  • Both applicants had undergone bilateral mastectomies
  • Undergone testosterone treatment as a result of which each had undergone extensive physical changes consistent with being male,”
  • Each applicant intended to continue testosterone treatment for the rest of his life.
  • accepted the medical evidence that each was, and would remain, infertile for as long as he continued testosterone treatment

The tribunal said it noted that a surgical procedure was not a requirement of the state’s Gender Reassignment Act 2000. While it said a female reproductive system was “a fundamental, although not essential, physical characteristic of being female”.

Determining that

“it was not persuaded that the presence of those organs alone, in circumstances in which there was no longer a capacity to bear children … outweighed the other physical characteristics by virtue of which each applicant is now identified as male”.

WA gender decision to become test case

A layperson’s view

There are two points that stand out

  • the weight given to the appellant’s social presentation over biological factors

Therefore, gender is about social perceptions and biological features while relevant seem secondary

Does that mean gender is more about social perception? If you look like a man then you are a man and if you look like a woman then you are a woman.  The conservatives must be spinning on their heads, that a public servants has usurped the ordained order. It may also be an example of a growing view that gender is a social descriptive label, rather than a biological one.

  • Fertility issue

What was the significance around the testosterone treatment if either person chooses to cease this treatment they would more likely be able to reverse their fertility status. While the tribunal  argue the existence of a ‘full female reproductive system was important it was not essential to determining gender. Does that mean any infertile woman could also be defined as a man?