September 22, 2017

The LT Story: On How the Medical System Can Be Used To Force Transgender People Back Into The Closet

Illustration photo by Evgenyata Manenko
The medical system continues to be used to invalidate transgender identities and force gender variant people to live up to the expectations of traditional gender roles and identities.  

Here is the story about a member of the Crossdream Life forum, a Portuguese MTF transgender youth, who was committed to a mental hospital by force, most likely for being transgender.

Last fall the Crossdream Life Forum (CDL) got a new member, a Portuguese, 19 year old, male to female transgender.

I always use the term transgender in its wide umbrella sense, indicating some kind of gender variance. As far as I am concerned it is always up to the transgender person to decide what this means as regards gender identity and pronouns. She accepts both female and gender neutral pronouns. She thinks of herself as feminine transgender and non-binary.

Since this article is about a person who is still in a legal conflict with the medical establishment, I am going to refer to her as LT here.

The threat: Hospitalization and anti-psychotic drugs

I had met LT for a couple of times in the CDL chat room. She normally kept herself in the background, but would offer a comment from time to time. I remember I tried to entice her to tell us something more about her, but at the time she preferred not to.

Later on, however, she became more open in the chat room, and in July this year, I got a disturbing personal message from her. A doctor threatened to put her in a mental hospital, planning to give her anti-psychotic drugs.

She told me about parents who did not understand her, and who definitely did not accept her transfeminine nature. LT argued that her parents thought of her as “crazy”. I doubt they used the term in its clinical sense.

September 18, 2017

What Pepsi Cola Can Teach You About Sex and Gender

Pepsi Max promises max masculinity, here symbolized by
three phallic bottles.
Pepsi Max is dying, and Coca Cola Zero is disappearing from our shelves. What is happening in the Cola world and what does it mean for sex, gender and the understanding of transgender lives?

The first time I heard about Pepsi Max was back in 1993. I saw some ads promising "Maximum Taste. No sugar." I remember my first reaction was: Why on earth would someone drink a cola drink that is not sweet?

When I did taste it, in France I believe, I realized it was just another no-calorie soft drink with an artificial sweetener.

It tasted more or less the same as Pepsi Light (Diet Pepsi for Anglo Saxon readers). For all practical purposes it seemed PepsiCo had launched the same drink with a different label.

Defined by the symbols, not the content

I was wrong. The drink might have been the same on the inside, but it was very different on the outside. The cans and bottles  were black, they were masculine and they had the word MAX written on them in glowing, testosterone-boosting, lettering.

Indeed, the advertising gave the same message. This was a calorie free "hard drink" for real men who would not be caught dead with something white and girlie.

It took a loooong time, but Coca Cola eventually got the message, launching Coca Cola Zero in 2005. The cola expert would probably be able to taste the difference between Coca Cola Light/Diet Coke and Coke Zero (given that the two contained different artificial sweeteners in some countries), but most people would find it hard to pass a blind test, in spite of constantly changing formulas.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!