The Compleat DentedBlueMercedes: Essentials

The “Essentials” Tab on my blog was growing too long, so I’ve collected some of my writings that seem to be most sought out.  These are not in chronological order, and like anyone, my opinions evolve, so please weigh these accordingly.  I will try to update this and better categorize / order this as I go along.

I’m also now on Twitter, for those who are interested.

Trans Respect

“Transbigotry?”“And the transgender community will not be helping itself in pushing forward for these kinds of needs as long as it is still wrapped up in exclusion, distaste and division, and creating environments in which advocacy continues to eat its own.”

Medical Issues

“Why ‘Sex Change Surgery’ Is Medically Necessary” - “As much as mainstream society would like to believe that electroshock therapy, anti-psychotic drugs or conversion (“ex-gay”) therapy would help transsexuals “just get over it,” modern medicine has realized that this approach simply does not work, and usually results in suppression, suicide or extreme anti-social behaviour. Aligning body to mind, however, has enabled transsexuals to become valued and successful people in society.”

“Almost A Person”“Imagine being outted every time you buy cigarettes or go to the bar. You apply for a job, and sometimes it is there again: “let’s see your driver’s license.”  Imagine the person carding you and then loudly drawing attention to you with their vocal objections — or even some clerk trying to be nice and say “oh, you’re transgender, that’s cool” and unintentionally informing everyone in the line behind you.”

“Destigmatization Versus Coverage and Access: The Medical Model of Transsexuality” – “This exists specifically because it is classified as a medical issue, and is treated according to the recommendations of WPATH. There are some idiosyncracies, of course… Still, the funding provides opportunity that many non-Canadian transsexuals would leap at within a moment, if they could.”

“3 Models of Transsexuality”“Harry Benjamin himself at one point proposed a continuum based on Kinsey’s model, with surgical transsexuals at the extreme end of it (Type VI), and crossdressers at the median or low end (Types III to I). For CDs, the compulsion to live as a gender other than their physical birth sex is there, but less intense, to the point where part-time, limited experience is enough for them.”

“The Cisgender Everyone Else Standard of Care”“Recently, a query came in from a cisgender male who thought that I might be a good person to ask about finding a surgeon willing to do an ‘enhancement phalloplasty.’”

“uh-oh” – My first post regarding the DSM5 revision and the team assigned to undertake it.

“Scaremongering” – Uh-oh part 2

“The Future of Transsexual Medical Care”“What is needed right now is to assess what our community itself can do in order to (best case scenario) drive the change toward a better model of transsexual health, or at least to (worst case scenario) avoid a future in which transition and surgery are further restricted or made unattainable to the people who need them. I’ve said that I don’t think that we should scrap the existing diagnosis of GID without another medical model in place. We — and our trans medical professionals, students and allies — strongly need to work toward this alternate medical model now…  Because if we don’t, someone will do it for us.”

“Reflections on the Proposed DSM5 Revisions and the Role of Community Consultation”“The proposed revisions for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual edition 5 (DSM-5) — which governs mental health diagnoses — have been released.  The DSM-5 includes diagnoses relevant to the trans community and potentially relevant to other sex and gender minorities as well.”

“The Little Case Study That Autogynephilia Forgot”“Everyone has a sexual identity, some mental image of themselves, to take their place in their fantasies.  That sexual self-identity might be more buff or more sultry, might be more muscled or more busty… they never seem to conform to our physical reality.  It’s just a diversion, after all.  There’s no shame in it.  Unless you have a male body and are picturing yourself as female – then, you’re considered mentally ill.”

Canada

The Status of Transgender Life in Canada – “So while there are more protections in Canada than many states, the transgender communities in many ways lag behind those in the south, with the exception of a few tireless projects in select organized cities.  This is where we need to strive harder.”

“Canada: Bill C-389 Proposes Trans Protections”“As 2010 gets underway, Bill Siksay’s private member’s bill C-3891 will be coming up for discussion to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of protected classes in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.”

“Alberta: Transgender Needs Assessment AB 2008″“It is often said that the measure of a society is the way in which it treats its most disenfranchised.  Addressing transgender issues, many of which overlap with other marginalized communities, can go a long way to creating a better, stronger Alberta.” Note: Written prior to the delisting of health care coverage for GRS in April 2009.

“Alberta: GRS Diary and ‘Community'” - “And Albertans (trans and cis) taught me a thing or two about ‘community.’”

“Alberta: The Parental Rights clause in Bill 44″“As the pioneer who is championing this legislation, it is now up to you to tell us why certain people are so dangerous that the Human Rights Commission needs to protect children from knowing of our existence, and to ensure that some are not educated as to why it is reasonable to respect us and coexist.”

“The Potty War Comes to Canada” - “The Ontario Human Rights Commission will be hearing a case of a woman-only gym owner, John Fulton, and looking at whether or not he refused membership or access to the facility to a pre-operative transsexual. Mr. Fulton says that he simply stated he needed time to think about it, and a week later, he received a letter demanding money. I don’t know if it’s true or not that there’s some kind of extortion at play, but what bothers me is that the media has taken this statement of events as gospel. We’ve not heard the complainant’s side at all.”

“Fetish” and Sex and Gender Minorities

“Fetish, The Other F Word”“the medical community really does not comprehend “fetish,” wrongfully equates harmless practices with paraphilias, and generously applies it to anything they don’t understand or find socially unacceptable.”

“Rocky Horror and the Holy Grail”“Yet something that bothers me (and isn’t mentioned much in the quest for biological legitimacy) is that clear proof of a biological origin would not only fail to convince our detractors, it is also not the holy grail it’s made to be.”

“Risky Thinking”“But if we expect others to allow us to self-define, listen open-mindedly to our experiences and accord the same respect given to anyone else in the human microcosm, do we have to be prepared to do the same?  …  I’d think we’d have to.

Media

“Gives Good Headline: How the Media Loves its Sex Changes”“Transgender people are another matter entirely, and it is still socially acceptable to ridicule, insult, deride and speak epithets about anyone who doesn’t fit strict “male” and “female” gender stereotypes…  Sometimes, I think we should get a medal for providing ample work for comedians and media people.”

“Gives Good Headline II”“it’s clearly become a case of refusing to acknowledge that a need to transition has any basis in reality (not to mention refusing to respect the victim period), more than it is about reporting facts”

Ethics, Faith and “Morals”

Walking Through the Valley of Shadows“With all of the shock, distaste and horror that exists in the Christian church regarding transgender issues, it may completely surprise people to learn that there are really only two scriptures that negatively address transgender people, and it is not for lack of awareness about them”

Conversion Therapy In The Womb?“For one, genetic predisposition — to homosexuality or anything else — does not guarantee that the trait will come to fruition.  We haven’t learned how to trigger various genetic markers, how to make them dominant or certain, how to suppress them, or how to eradicate them.  Yet.”

“Moral”“It is not moral to do these things in the name of someone who said his commandment was that “you love one another.” It is not moral to elevate those who do to the level of being keepers of the faith and the leaders to obey.”

Trans-Related Advice

“Safe Dating, the Silent Alarm and Signs of Predation”“One habit that can minimize the risk is known as the “silent alarm” (sometimes also called the “safecall”).”

Feminism

“The Prerequisites to ‘Woman'” - “Along the way, courts of public opinion developed several different criteria to define “woman,” many conflicting, often designed to be excluding.  In doing so, people looked at the physical, social, experiential and psychological, to arrive at prerequisites…”

Julie Bindel and the Trans vs. Feminism Tug of War“But most dramatically, it forces the branch of feminism that believes that gender was nurture-dictated to open itself to the possibility that it is not wholly so.”

Personal

“Christmas: Baby Please Come Home”“I know what it will say… It will have a lengthy sentimental series of verses of love for one’s son printed on the card, and inside, there will be a two-page handwritten letter from mom about how she prays for me every day and asks God to take away this feeling that I’m a girl…”

Social Justice

“1805 Law Used to Label Women as Sex Offenders”“The sickening irony is that a legal tool meant to help protect children from predators is being used primarily to marginalize and impoverish women.”

Same Sex Marriage: 3 Years On“Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since July 19th, 2005, following a chain of events that began in a Court of Appeal in Ontario in 2003… And somehow, the country failed to implode.”

A History of Gender Variance

Parts 1-6 coming soon

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