July 30, 2012

Researcher studying bigender transgender is looking for study participants

In April I reported on a fascinating study of the bigender sex switchers.

The study, made by  Laura Case  and Vilayanur S Ramachandran, presented a group of transgender people for whom their sex identity would change or oscillate over time. One day they will feel like women, the next like men.

Laura Case is now following up this study with a new one, and she would very much like to get in touch with people who have experienced something similar.

This follow-up involves completing a 20-30 minute survey/task online on 8 different days, during alternating gender states (spread out over months if need be), and freezing saliva samples (all materials provided and costs covered) on each of the eight days to mail us for hormone testing.

She tells me that the goal is to establish whether there is are any changes in cognitive profiles or in sex hormone levels between different gender states, to provide evidence of biological/physiological underpinnings of bigender and clues about brain-cognition- gender identity links.

She says:

" Prior to enrolling a person in the study, I conduct a 1-1.5 hr phone interview which is similar to the online survey but more extensive. In experimental research we must necessarily begin with individuals who most clearly demonstrate the phenomenon we are interested in studying (gender switching, in this case), and so we are looking for individuals who meet specific criteria in regard to their experience of body and gender, as well as an absence of some conditions that would confound (provide alternative or additional explanations for) their gender switching, such as DID."

People who switch at least a few times a month are probably the most helpful logistically. Laura says that they are definitely looking for people who feel strongly male and then strongly female in those different gender states.

If you are interested in taking part in this study write to Laura at lkcase@ucsd.edu 

July 28, 2012

Can marriage survive one partner transitioning?

Photo from Photos.com
I do not believe there is a clear line between crossdreamers and crossdressers on the one hand and transsexuals on the other.

There are crossdreamers and crossdressers who identify fully with their birth sex and who do not experience sex dysphoria.

But there are also those for whom the dissonance between their body and soul becomes unbearable. They are truly transsexual.

Many of them have made heroic attempts at fitting in and playing the role society expect of them. Those of them who are gynephilic (who are attracted to women) are probably more likely to try to fit in, as excelling in the male role may seem to be the only way of finding love with a woman.

Some manage to bridge the gap between their inner psyche and the external world, but for others the gap becomes too wide. They have to chose a new life or go under. That choice is not easy. Not for themselves and not for their family.

 I don't think there is an easy or correct "solution" to their dilemma. But I do believe we have to talk about it.

I got the following email from "Mary" the other day. I have the permission to republish it here at Crossdreamers. I have made only small changes to the text by anonymizing it and by adding headlines. Any constructive comments are welcome.


Hello Jack,

My name is Mary [name altered]  and I wrote a comment on your crossdreamers blog yesterday. You did comment on what I wrote and I wanted to elaborate somewhat however I am not sure it is best to do it there or privately as I do not want to upset anyone. Also I have yet to come across anyone who wants to say what I need to say. So here I am. 

Married to a transwoman

I wrote that I am a straight female living with a straight man who crossdresses and is now taking medications with the intention of transitioning sometime soon. What I did not say is I am 53 years old and he is 63 years old, he is masculine,always played football,snowboarding, has always surfed and still does, ran a pub and a restaurant. His voice is deep, his body is wiry, his arms muscular and he is definately not outwardly feminine . 

I have know him for 20 years, lived with him for going on 8 of those and it wasn't untill we became interested in each other romantically that he told me of his desire to change gender. My reaction was 'Oh good, that gives me a new girlfriend, what fun'. 

July 25, 2012

Campaign against pathologization of transgender in medical manuals

The Coordination Team of STP 2012, the International Stop Trans Pathologization Campaign, has published a document called  “Reflections on the ICD Revision Process from a Depathologization and Human Rights Perspective”.

The document includes a good discussion on the way the American manual for mental diseases (DSM-5) and the UN/WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) cover transgender issues.

The team argues that both the gender identity disorders and the transvestic fetishism categories ought to be removed from the manuals.

The group is also initiating an International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, which  will take place on Saturday, October 20th, 2012.

July 16, 2012

Summer Break

I am taking short summer break. I will be back with new posts in a few weeks.

I am following comments made on this blog and over at Crossdream Life.

For other blogs covering crossdreaming, see Channel 2.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!