January 16, 2023

Why are so many men and women interested in transgender pornography?

The interest in transgender pornography is increasing. What can this tell us about gender roles and human sexuality?

James Cantor (part of the transphobic Blanchard/Toronto clan of “evolutionary psychologists”) reacted to my tweet on the Pornnhub report on an increasing interest in transgender content. As often is the case with him and his friends he explained the phenomenon by giving it a pseudo-Greek name:



But does this term help us understand such interests better? No.

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: 

December 7, 2022

Transgender people, evolution and sexual mimicry


 
Are trans and queer behaviors examples of "sexual mimicry"? 

Anonymous asked me the following over at tumblr:

"Sexual mimicry occurs when one sex mimics the opposite sex in its behavior, appearance, or chemical signalling. It is more commonly seen within invertebrate species, although sexual mimicry is also seen among vertebrates such as spotted hyenas. Sexual mimicry is commonly used as a mating strategy to gain access to a mate, a defense mechanism to avoid more dominant individuals, or a survival strategy."

Thoughts?

Gender variance in the animal kingdom

The concept of sexual mimicry is an attempt by some evolutionary biologist to explain gender variance in the animal kingdom.

I know of many female dogs who will gladly hump a bitch in heat. Heck, they may even embrace a human leg in order to get attention or whatever it is female dogs try to achieve by this kind of behavior. It might not be sexual at all in that context. 

October 13, 2022

Do animals have genders? Are there transgender animals? A scientist find some clues among chimpanzees.


Some people are trying to reduce gender to biological sex, appealing to “common sense” or even “science”. This is one way of dismissing gender variance and transgender people. The fact is that gender is a common term used in animal studies.

To simplify: In biology biological sex in animals most often refers to gonads (sperm or eggs), while gender refers to either (1) their behavior and (2) different variants of a specific biological sex. 

(In some animals males and females (as defined by sperm/eggs) may come in different “morphs” or phenotypes. There may be two distinct types of males, for instance, with different body types. Let us leave that aside for now.)

Traditionally the difference between sex and gender has been explained as sex being “biological” and gender “cultural”.

Frans de Waal, one of the world’s leading primatologists, do not see it exactly this way. For him gender is the end result of an interplay between biology and culture. This is also the case for apes like chimpanzees and bonobos, and – as he sees – also humans.

This presentation is based on his new book  Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist, and some of his recent articles.


September 21, 2022

What "queer" means and why it is such a useful word

 


"Queer" is a great word that can be used to describe those who not belong to the heterosexual/non-transgender majority.

Sometimes, but just sometimes, the queer debate becomes so neurotic that it does more harm than good. The discussion about the term queer can serve as one example of this. We have become so afraid of offending anyone that we dismiss terms that can serve us well, because they were once used as slurs.

"Queer" originally meant strange or odd. In the US it became a slur used against everyone cisgender/heteronormative people saw as gay. 

Since the early 1990s, however, an increasing number of gender diverse and non-heterosexual people have been using it as an umbrella term for all kinds of variance in the realms of sexuality and gender. 

Is queer a slur?


How can you use a slur to describe a group of people that is constantly bullied, harassed and invalidated? The answer: Because we can. 

Transgender and nonbinary news curation in social media


We provide links to the latest transgender and queer news and resources through our social media channels on twitter, tumblr, Flipboard and Telegram.

Anyone who wants to keep track of the transgender and queer debate – whether this applies to culture, politics, health or models of understanding – is facing a serious challenge as to how to find relevant news and quality content.

Search engines like Google are becoming increasingly irrelevant in this respect, as few of us go beyond the first two pages of search results and because so much of the content delivered is produced by anti-trans and anti-queer activists.

This is why we need curators who can identify and share relevant content with those who want to know more about trans, nonbinary and queer issues.

Here's the problem: There is, to our knowledge, very few who provide such services. Reddit provides some input of this kind, but it is limited to the interests of those active there. Sites like Pink News, The Advocate, LGBTQ Nation, and Washington Blade provide a lot of useful information, but they are – for obvious reasons – focusing on their own content.

This is why we are providing transgender, nonbinary and queer news curation in several channels, the latest of which is our Transgender World Telegram channels.

Here are our our transgender and queer news sites and accounts:

Trans Express on twitter.
This is our most expansive and up to date news source. We post some five to ten links of relevant content every day.

Trans Express on tumblr.
On average we publish one new post presenting relevant transgender and queer content every day.

Transgender News on Flipboard
Here we present much of the same content as on twitter, but in a practical newspaper format.

Transgender World on Telegram
Telegram is our newest offering. We realized that there were no serious transgender news sources on this popular platform and decided to provide our own. This channel will present selected links from the sources mentioned above.

Photo: Alessandro Biascioli

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