May 13, 2023

Lesbian refugees in Kenya teach us that the fight against homophobia and transphobia is a global struggle

Nakafeero Swabulah and her lesbian activists in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya teach us that pro-LGBTQA rights activists face similar challenges all over the world, as their opponents are using similar arguments and tactics.

Nakafeero (left) and one of her fellow lesbian activists in Kenya. (Private photo)

Transgender World has published an interview with Nakafeero called “A lesbian refugee from Uganda is doing her best to assist LGBT people living in a refugee camp in Kenya.” 

In this interview Nakafeero talks about her escape from Uganda — where her mother and sister were killed by homophobes coming for Nakafeero — and about what she and her lesbian crew do for LGBTQA people in the refugee camp.

They are trying to get funds for medication, shelters, food, baby formula, sanitary pads, detergents, clothes, clean water and more, anything that can increase the quality of life of the LGBTQA refugees and their kids. This is not easy, though, as there are homophobic and transphobic thugs in this camp, as well.

Related anti-LGBTQA narratives all over the world

I am not saying that the challenges faced by a Black lesbian woman in a refugee camp in Kenya are the same as those of a white lesbian woman in Germany. They are not. Most queer people in the US and Europe have resources and privileges Nakafeero and her friends can only dream of.

But what I do see is that the homophobia and transphobia found in countries as diverse as Uganda, Kenya, the United States, Russia and Sweden have commonalities. They draw energy from similar psychological, cultural and political forces.

The similarities between Ugandan and American anti-LGBTQA propaganda are, for instance, many:

  • Being queer or trans is either seen as a sexual perversion or a sin (or both). 
  • They claim you can be “cured” of homosexuality and being of trans (leading to a promotion of conversion therapies, “repentance” and detransitioning)
  • Gay and trans people are “groomers” who, with the help of their “ideologies”, seduce and harm children. The “pedophilia” narrative represents the logical endpoint of this moral panic.
  • A tolerance of LGBTQA people is seen as part of a sinister “liberal” or “socialist” campaign in the USA and as an effect of “Western colonialism” in Uganda. This amounts to more or less the same thing, though: Pro-LGBTQA policies reflect “foreign” thinking in violation of “local traditions”.
  • Anti-LGBTQA activists in both the US and Uganda are using legislative campaigns to harm and exclude gay and trans people. This is reflected in the new anti-gay law of Uganda, which strengthens previous anti-LGBTQA legislation. Gay sex is banned, as are gender identities outside what they see as “the binary categories of male and female”. The over 500 bills proposed by Republicans in the USA are mainly targeting trans people, but the rhetoric and logic underpinning them are the same as in Uganda. Indeed, the anti-groomer campaign of the party is targeting all LGBTQA people.

May 2, 2023

Is America turning completely transphobic? Not really!

The current onslaught on transgender people in the US is extreme and destructive, and it is easy to get the impression that most Americans have become rabid transphobes. That is in no way the case, something trans people and their friends should keep in mind.

Fox News is in not a source of fact based balanced information. The fact that they finally have sacked Tucker Carlson does not change that. But the truth is that as far as opinion polls go, they are pretty reliable. 

On April 26 they published a poll that showed that for the most part the majority of Americans do not support the Republican "culture war."

When asked about  the most important issue facing the country today, only 1% answered "Wokeness/Transgender issues".  The fact that the survey saw wokeness and transgender issues as one and the same thing, says a lot about Fox, but the answer says even more about Americans.  Transgender people are not seen as a threat by most.

So what did Americans see as important? "Economy/Jobs" (24%),  obviously, followed by "Inflation/Cost of living" (16%) and "Gun control/Gun violence" (12%). 

As far as gun violence goes, this is not an answer in support of Republican politics. Far from it. American voters favor gun limits over arming citizens to reduce gun violence. 87% support requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers.

Many observers now argue that the Republican Party's obsession with "culture wars" will cost them dearly in the 2014 election. 

Targeting families with trans kids is seen as a major problem by Americans

60% of the respondents say that school boards banning books is a major problem. There is no call for censorship of LGBTQA books in schools.

March 10, 2023

Joanna's conclusion: Transgender people are who they are because nature made them possible.

Today we know very well that being trans isn't a sexually fueled mental illness, however we still need to understand how the nature of wanting to be the other sex encompasses elements of sexual energy. 

Guest post by Joanna Santos

Since all of the trans people I know trace their gender feelings to before puberty, it would be far too simplistic to try and reduce feelings of gender incongruence to sexual dysfunction. 

Blanchard reducing gender identity to misdirected sexuality

However the now infamous Ray Blanchard did his best to do so and by the late 1980's was simply dismissing testaments of early childhood gender dysphoria by his patients as lying (hardly a scientific method) so they could fit a narrative aimed at transition. 

He eventually concocted a theory that attributed that desire as either a misdirected sex drive or wanting to attract heterosexual men as partners (in the case of patients attracted to men). He called the made up disease that supposedly drove those of his patients who were attracted to women "autogynephilia."

At this point let us simply state that some forms of gender variance exist primarily for the achieving of sexual arousal, which only adds confusion to the mix. 

February 27, 2023

Interesting discussions about gender, sex and transgender lives from the Crossdream Life Forum

Selected discussions on gender variance and being various shades of trans from the Crossdream Life forum.

I have had the honor of being  co-funder and moderator of Crossdream Life, a discussion forum for all kinds of gender variance. There are a lot of insightful, clever and compassionate people over there.

I will use this post to draw your attention to some selected threads that bring up new and interesting perspectives on the many variations of transgender, nonbinary and queer existence, as well as on what we might call cigender gender variance.

Keep in mind that me linking to these discussions here is not an endorsement of everything that is said. This is the point of having a discussion forum like this: That members can, within reasonable limits, present ideas out of the ordinary.

A Transgender Typology and Unification Theory

Koloa has presented a very interesting alternative approach to talk about trangender identities and lives that avoid the kind of pathologization we find in many other models.

Are we just protecting cis people and the binary again?

A discussion about the gender binary, gender identity and gender expression.

Jemimah, the transgender Hemingway and more

A complex and multifaceted discussion about sex and gender, which also includes information about the transgender side of Ernest Hemingway.

February 18, 2023

Blanchard debunked: Surveys show that all kinds of people experience "autogynephilia"


Online surveys show that gender embodiment fantasies (called "autogynephilia" and "autoandrophilia" by transphobic researchers) are common among all groups of people: transgender and non-transgender, men, women and those nonbinary.

Anyone who follows the intense anti-trans propaganda of the day, will have made note of the way the "autogynephilia" theory is used to invalidate transgender women and other gender variant people. "Gender critical" TERFs love the theory, as it allows them to present trans women as perverted predators. 

The theory has been falsified and dismissed over and over again, both by scientists and those that truly know something about being trans: transgender people. The tactic of the theory's supporters is often to confuse and obfuscate, or they double down on the analytical basis for the theory, ignoring the fact that it is this world view that has been falsified. Moreover, there is always a small detail somewhere you can use to confuse readers that do not know the topic well, or you can simply lie. 

In this post I am going to present data from several online surveys, some of them quite extensive, that have not been part of the academic discussions about the "autogynephilia" concept, but which nevertheless provide a rich amount of data about gender, gender variance and sexualities.  

They document that erotic crossdreaming (as in imagining yourself being the "other" gender relative to the one assigned at birth) are quite common in all relevant groups of people, straight and gay, women and men, transgender and those that are not trans. The fact that such fantasies are so common, destroys the credibility of the "autogynephilia" theory, which states that only male assigned people who are attracted to women can have such fantasies.

And what is truly interesting is that these surveys look at erotic crossdreaming as part of a much broader phenomenon: Embodiment fantasies in general, where people get turned on by the idea of having a body of any gender, including the one they identify as. This proves that the erotic cross-gender fantasies found in some trans women and other MTF (male to female) gender variant people represent a subcategory of a common human trait.

February 13, 2023

From homosexuality to "autogynephilia": The American Psychiatric Association hasn't learned.

In an obituary about Charles Silverstein, Neil Genzlinger gives some interesting insight into how Silverstein helped remove homosexuality from the American psychiatric manual, the DSM,  back in 1973. 

Silverstein had pointed out how the  American Psychiatric Association had fallen into the trap of creating pseudo-scientific sounding terms for sexualities the psychiatrists did not understand. Yes, this is unfortunately relevant to the trans community community today.

I looked up the original interview from 2019

Silverstein was part of a delegation from the Gay Activists Alliance, and he said this about their meeting with the people behind the DSM:

Syphilophobia and other silly diagnoses

 "I wrote [my speech to the  Nomenclature Committee of the American Psychiatric Association]  the night before, after having studied diagnostic systems, other diagnostic systems. 

What I did was write a parody, a satire, of all the absurd things that the American Psychiatric Association had diagnosed, and some of them were embarrassing. There were silly things. [He mentioned illnesses like “syphilophobia” (irrational fear of syphilis).]

At the end, I said, "These are the mistakes that you made before. You're making the mistake. Now, correct it." It seemed to have impressed them, and this came back to us in a number of publications. That was in February. In December of that year, homosexuality, per se, was eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. 

January 31, 2023

On our post on people's interest in transgender erotic content

Earlier this month we posted an article on the increasing interest in transgender "erotic entertainment".

This triggered Blogspot (on which platform this blog is published) to add a warning screen regarding problematic content. 

We suspect Google, who owns Blogger,  is not able to distinguish between pornographic content and articles about such content.

We take no chances regarding out search engine rankings and have therefore moved the article to another platform. 

You can read the article here.

While you are here, we will use this opportunity to remind you of our social transgender news curation channels. Get a daily dose of up to date transgender news via one of these accounts: Follow: Twitter | Telegram | Flipboard | Mastodon

Site map for Transgender World..Image by Midjourney

January 3, 2023

How trauma may affect the lives of LGBTQ+ people and what they can do about it

Drawing of a sad woman with brown leaves falling.

This post will look at how psychological distress may play out among queer and transgender people and give you an introduction to the concepts of trauma, PTSD and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) in an LGBTQ+ setting. I will point to some steps you could take to help yourself or a friend suffering from trauma related issues. 

By Sally Molay

If the headline above caught your attention, you might know someone who struggles with the effects of trauma. Or maybe you suspect that you yourself carry unresolved trauma and the time is right to look into that. In either case, welcome to this primer and good luck in your important work!

Please note: I am not a doctor or a psychologist. This is not medical advice. I am a queer person and a trans ally. I suffer from complex trauma from childhood emotional abuse. I am also a survivor of sexual assault. I have been fortunate enough to heal and learn through years of therapy. I am also a trained instructor of iRest, a research-based relaxation and meditation technique for healing trauma.

I would like to underline that being trans is not a mental illness. Having a sexual orientation different from the straight one is not a psychological disorder. The current medical manuals explicitly state that being trans is not a mental illness.  However, the ways a cis/hetero-normative world treat queer people can often cause trauma. Moreover, queer and trans people are people like other people, and as such they can face emotional challenges that are not directly linked to their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Which topics are covered?

This is a lengthy post. If this feels daunting, I have included this little menu that you can use to jump to the parts you want to investigate: 

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!