September 18, 2018

The suicide rate among FTM transgender youth is much higher than among MTF teenagers. Why?

Here is an article that has made me rethink certain preconceptions about female to male transgender people: "Half Of Transgender Teen Boys Have Attempted Suicide, According To A New Study"

The study, made at the University of Arizona,  says that about 50% of transgender teen boys have attempted suicide at some point in their lifetime. The similar number for transgender teen girls is 29.9 percent and for non-binary youth 41.8 percent.

In comparison, 17.6% of cisgender females and 9.8% of cisgender males had attempted suicide.
Chaz Bono is one of the few truly visible transgender men in the media. Photo: Gage Skidmore.
I must admit that I would have guessed that the attempted suicide rate would have been just as high among male to female transgender youth, as the misogynistic stigma attached to femininity would make the social pressure they face worse.

August 24, 2018

10 years with Crossdreamers!


The Crossdreamers blog was founded 10 years ago this day. Here's to the next 10!

The first post on this blog was posted on August 24 2008.  The first few paragraphs were:
There are a large number of men out there that have secret dreams about how it would be like to be a woman. 
I am not only talking about the visible ones, the cross-dressers and the transsexuals who have become public figures. 
No, I am also talking about what appears to be "ordinary men", with no immediate plans for sex reassignment surgery or hormone treatments, but who nevertheless harbors feelings that many will find strange and hard to understand.
I promised to  "test any scientific, psychological, religious or philosophical theory that might throw light upon the subject, how far fetched they may be," as well as presenting the thoughts and fantasies of those I later came to call crossdreamers.

And so I did.

Confessions

At its birth the blog was called "Confessions of an Autogynephiliac." A leading American transgender activist told me that the name was bad on at least two levels:  The word "confession" implied guilt, and the word "autogynephiliac" implied support to Ray Blanchards invalidating autogynephilia theory. She was right on both counts.

I had from the very start been very critical of Blanchard's theory, but reckoned that since this was the term people like me would use when searching the internet, it made sense to include it in the title.

I soon realized, however, that the term could not be salvaged or "appropriated" by the transgender community. Sure, it was very important to write about such erotic fantasies, as ignoring  them had caused so much suffering among gender variant people, but the term itself referred to Blanchard's unfounded and misleading explanation for the phenomenon, so it had to go.


August 19, 2018

Incels, Crossdreamers and Transgender Women

Natalie Wynn, also known as ContraPoints, has posted an interesting video about the relationship between incel culture and the way some crossdreamers and transgender people experience their lives.
Natalie Wynn, AKA ContraPoints

Unless you have been living under a cosy and warm rock for the last few years, you will know that incels, or "involuntary celibates", represents a sub-culture of seriously depressed and self-loathing men who think they are  inevitable losers in the game of love.

They think of themselves  as unattractive and pathetic "betas" who cannot beat the alpha-males regardless of much they try.

This is mostly because feminism has given women too much power, they say. The women can now go for the alpha-males, all the time. And if a woman does marry a "loser," she will always cheat on him with the mentioned alpha "Chad".

The return of skull measurements

All of this despair is sometimes mixed up with a pseudo-scientific philosophy based on old-fashioned phrenology and eugenics, where the shape of your skull tells you whether you are a winner or not.

The idea is that women are attracted to hypermasculine men with hypermasculine skulls. This understanding is based, I  suppose, on quasi-Darwinistic theories where masculine looks signal that the man is a protector with good genes. You know, in the way the male with the biggest tail is the coolest dude on the block in the world of peacocks.

This leads to a psychological no-win situation for those who believe they have a feminine, weak, skull. If this is the case, there seems to be literally nothing you can do to find true love and happiness. Your inferiority is inborn. End of story.


August 5, 2018

On lesbians, transgender people and feminism


Here is another question I got over at tumblr:
What definition of "lesbian" and "feminist" does this blog use? I appreciate that male-inclusionists use the term egalitarian for themselves. Why use feminist for yourselves when you support gender essentialism and refuse to acknowledge sex-based oppression?
Yes, I know, this is most likely a trans-exclusionary "radical feminist" trying to get me to show the world that I am misogynistic anti-feminist. But I cannot let an opportunity like this get wasted.  Here is my reply:

What is a lesbian?

A lesbian is normally defined as a homosexual woman, meaning that she is sexually attracted to people of her own gender. I believe that sexual orientation can often be more fluid than the binary this concept grows out of allows for, but for many this represents a perfect description of their sexuality.

Feminism

A feminist is a person who supports feminism. As I see it, feminism should at least include the following:

1. A clear understanding of how our societies (which are dominated by men and the Patriarchy) stop women from from achieving equals status to men as regards real power and influence, employment and salaries, legal framework, social welfare and services, as well as personal respect and validation. Moreover, feminism will have to include political means by which to change this.

But that is not enough. The oppression of women is so effective, because it is part of our language, the mental maps we use to navigate the world, and our institutions. This explains why women sometimes are as strong supporters of the status quo as men are (as in women voting for Trump and Putin).

Therefore feminism must include:

2. The goal of replacing the Patriarchy with a new understanding of biological sex, sexuality and cultural gender where men, women and non-binary people are understood as equals – politically, socially, and culturally. This is a society where being a man is no longer understood to be the default norm for being human, and where men no longer dominate.

Biological sex should be irrelevant. Sexual orientation should be irrelevant. Gender identity should be irrelevant. Everyone should be seen as human first, anything else second. But we are definitely not there yet. I live in a country where the three most powerful politicians are women, but where women continues to be belittled, ignored, dismissed and harassed because they are women.

August 2, 2018

What about non- and detransitioning transgender people?

I got the following anonymous question over at tumblr:

Why do you invalidate and devalue the experiences of detransitioners? Stop talking over them just bc they make you feel threatened. They're actually very lovely and they send an important message that we need to explore other options for dysphoria management. What about trans ppl with chronic illnesses that can't do HRT? They need our support but we just ignore them.

Here is my answer:

I do not devalue the experiences of detransitioners, nor do I feel threatened by them.

I have underlined repeatedly that the complexity and diversity of sex and gender lead to difficult choices for many transgender people (and I am using the word transgender in its wide “umbrella” sense here).

People with gender dysphoria may chose not to transition for many different and legitimate choices. I am a gender dysphoric transgender person and I have not transitioned.

Given the rampant transphobia and homophobia in our societies, I am also not surprised see that some who have transitioned find living and presenting as their target sex difficult, and detransition for that and other reasons.

Regretters used in anti-trans propaganda

However, right now the very existence of “regretters” is used by transphobic TERFs and right wing fundamentalists to invalidate the identities of all transgender people.

The argument is that if some are detransitioning, all those who transition are “fake” and that transitioning is a recipe for mental illness and suffering. This is why I over and over again underline the following:

1. Only a small minority of those who transition regret doing so (between 0.6 and 4 percent according to the studies I have read).

2. The great majority of those who transition report a much higher quality of life and health after transitioning. While the attempted suicide rate among all transgender people is around 40%, the similar rate for those that have transition is more or less the same as the general population.

I say this not in order to devalue the experience of detransitioners, but to ensure that their very existence is not not used to undermine the legitimacy of transitioning as an essential  tool in transgender health care.

July 24, 2018

Transphobic propaganda and the myths of desistance and regret

The great majority of transitioning trans people do not regret their decision to live as their true gender.


It is interesting to see how transphobic, lesbian,  "radical feminists" (TERFs) use the exact same arguments that were used to invalidate and marginalize lesbians. 

The most common one was that homosexuality was an acquired sexual perversion caused by the propaganda of the homosexual movement. If you could protect children from the gay movement, there would not be any lesbians.

This is obviously the same argument that is used today to stop lesbians from adopting children. Lesbian parenting is unnatural, will hurt the children and make them gay and so on and so forth.

The desitance-argument

The desistance-argument forms the foundation of the TERF argument against the the identity of transgender people. Since so many gender variant people, in the end, do not chose to transition, the TERFs assume that none of them are really of the gender they claim to be.  They have been duped by trans activists.

This is a completely misleading reading of the research available, as it mixes up gender nonconformity with gender identity. 

Variation in gender expression is used as a way of exploring both identity and sexuality among straight, gay and queer people. You will find “butch”, “femme” and “androgynous” people among all of them. 

The majority of these people are not gender dysphoric. They do not experience a severe misalignment between their gender identity and their assigned gender, or between mind and body. They simply express masculinity, femininity or any other aspect of cultural gender in a way that feels right for them.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!