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Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference - Part II

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So day 1 is done - such a long day!  I volunteered to help with set up, so I was there starting at 6 a.m. But all totally worth it :-)

On a matter of personal achievement first - during one of the panels I actually spoke during the Q&A. Perhaps seems small, but 3 or 4 years ago there's no way I would have done that - it was a fairly large room with about 50-60 people. No way. So that's a nice sign of what transitioning has done for me :-)

The most interesting/controversial part was a lecture on "The Biology of Gender." It was a single presenter discussing the science and theories behind gender identity and gender variation. During the Q&A several people criticized it from the perspective that it was very binary - and he generally agreed (that the research itself tends to be biased in favor of the binary). Fair enough. However, I think this is an area where science and culture get conflated sometimes. Leaving aside the terms "sex" and "gender" for a moment - in my view there are 2 things going on: (1) there is what we are born, physiologically, biologically, neurologically, etc., and (2) there is the social construct that got built on top of that - sometimes with some basis, usually not.

Regarding #1, I think we all exist on a spectrum from male to female - some in between, some "mixed" at birth (at least I think that's the prevalent theory about being transgender - genitalia developed one way, the brain the other). I also think that most reputable scientists - although they shorthand it as "male or female" - acknowledge that it's a spectrum and not a binary (they don't, for example, deny the existence of intersex individuals).

Anyway - I'm not sure why I just started that, but curious if others have thoughts :-)



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Great job Chrissy with your presentation. My thought for trangender medicine are as follow. The body with introduction of hormone of opposing sex make things to happen regardless of personal beliefs. There are cases when thai boys are given estrogen and sold as lady boys into prostitution at young age. Because of the suceptible nature of children and the growing popularity of the internet and a growing amount of transgender people as a result, i question if this is awareness as much as it is going be about issues like insecurity, being bullied, or blindly following others down a long road that unwittingly lead to sterilization. It's also possible that the awareness has made it easier to talk about. Had things been different for me, maybe I would have fathered children. Given my roll of the dice, I dont think that going to happen.

Medical tests that should have been perform for me, were not and i had to live in secrecy for year and years afraid to tell anyone. Because of the length of time I have not been expose to tetosterone (almost my entire life) and the already existent amount of estrogen within my body, it easy to see why I chose the latter even though I am biological male. I do not want to put myself through the upheaval of dealing with large amounts of testosterone now when i have lived my life without it. That why I am a TransWoman because I choose to be it. It makes sense to me why I could not be a man and why I dont want to take the elixir of T. 

Whether my identity as a transwoman arose at young age due to the lack of testosterone or was inherent in me since birth is a mystery. I'm not focus on that. I'm happy to live as I am now. The estrogen was scary for me as well as changing genders, but illusions fall aside and the truth reveals itself. This internal conflict of living a false identity resolved itself and I felt PEACE. I did it for myself and not others. I hope those who choose to transition, consider the same. The estrogen gave me confidence in myself and made me love who I am and I never experience this when i identified as male.

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