#1 [url]

Feb 26 17 8:21 AM

Of course, there are some fundamental differences, but where exactly they are: in gender core, in personality or in life events? I assume that Felix refers to some biology differences about gender core.

It can be (and probably it is), that gender core consists from mutiple deals, and there are simply not enough deals in wrong (or right!) position to trigger strong reaction in early childhood.

It can be, that personality makes the difference, some children agree with parents, but some are stubborn enogh.

Or it can be, that events of life can make the difference. For example, if some boy was growing in relative isolation, barely seeing girls at all, how can he formulate idea, that 'he' is acually 'she'? Or it can be strong pressure from parents, pees, or teachers.

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#3 [url]

Feb 26 17 9:21 AM

Sure there are differences, but are there differences in kind or just gradual differences along a scale and at some point something tips the scale? Who could say? The only thing I can compare it with are a few strange recollections about myself from around age 4. For instance, for some reason I demanded (and got) a baby carriage and a doll to run around with at that time. I also loved playing with doll houses and wanted one of my own. But was this because I was playing with a few girls quite intensively around this period, and they influenced me, or was it a gender identity issue that later got resolved by me deciding (under pressure) to be a boy? It's unfortunate that I seem to have lost quite a lot of memories from this period, like it's something I've since repressed.
Only thing I clearly recall is that through age 5-6, when I identified as a boy without question, I often glanced over at the girls playing with the kindergarten dollhouse, and feeling this intense yearning to join in. Only I knew that I couldn't. Cause boys aren't supposed to do that.
Ontologically different or gradually different? Again, I'm not really sure.

Barbara, it wouldn't surprise me if children might have a clear and deep seated idea about their gender identity from the earliest onset on. It might be difficult to explain from a purely materialist perspective, especially if it's slanted towards nurture, but suppose our souls existed before we gelled into our physical bodies. Then it would be only reasonable if we entered the world with certain expectations of what gender role to play this time around. It could also explain why sometimes nature might be messing things up for us.

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting."

- Khalil Gibran

If I cannot be a feminine traditional woman, what's the point of being a woman?

- Me

Last Edited By: Monique Feb 26 17 9:34 AM. Edited 7 times.

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#4 [url]

Feb 26 17 1:30 PM

Really, to be honest, I'm just enjoying the new web service I discovered for polls and tests etc. I'm collaborating with various people on web projects and they've taught me some stuff about engagement. After battering everyone with my ideas, I'm really enjoying what others think.


p.s ... my own answer is "We can't know..." But it remains a fascinating question. Did anyone listen to the podcast?

But, I have to say, April...I've become increasingly skeptical about the suppression argument. I don't think we suppress...it's just like..we don't know what we are.


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#5 [url]

Feb 26 17 2:26 PM

Recent results of brain scans shows significant differences, which can be interpreted as differences between early and late transitioners. To make it simple, eraly transitioners tend to have brain structure like some blend of male and female brain, and brains of late transitioners show patterns, uncharacteristial to both male and female brains. There are differences, which we can't ignore and so we can't say that we have two different manifestations of the same phenomenon. There are differences not only in brains stucture, but also in a life stories.

But I think it's mostly matter of interpretation of results on small groups. We do not know, are those differences mostly linked to gender core, or to extroversion/introversion, for example. Causel direction between late-onset people and introversion also can be in both directions, or here can be one common cause, like "Figure out later in your life, who you are and what to do with all this, my dear introvert. With love, Mother Nature".

Imagine a boy, who at 11 is catched by parents, wearing sister's clothes. In hostile environment he would be, for example, sent to Dr. Zucker, and probably would figure out, who he are much later in life. In supportive environment he would likely to continue wear girl's clothes, and maybe he would decide to live as woman at 18. We will interpret his brain scans as typical to late-onset, but being late-onset is a product of society, not biology!

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#6 [url]

Feb 26 17 6:40 PM

Felix wrote "Really, to be honest, I'm just enjoying the new web service I discovered for polls and tests etc. "
Your polls are generating debate Felix so keep them coming. :)

For my own experience - I did leave you a comment on Transcend. In this I think I am saying the same thing as Barbara and April (feel fee to smack me up-side the head if I put words in your mouths ladies). I know I suppressed my feelings because I dreamed about transitioning from the age of 9, I was also caught (more than once) by my mother crossdressing and she pushed an explanation on me each time, so I did not have to explain it! I was 9! or course I was not going to argue. Also my family (as with many others) had very expressly defined gender roles...no mixing of men's and women's stuff at all! Is it any wonder I could not talk about it.
I can report that after a time my very strong desire to be female did abate sometime in adolescence, however when those feelings returned in my mid 30's they felt exactly the same as when I was 9. So I think the better question would be: why did my strong desire to be female abate for a time? Why do so many of us live a life, marry, have kids, build a career and then decide one day - huh... I'm a woman.
I can tell you that if I had seen Zucker as a 9-10 year old I would have followed everything he said! That is the safe thing to do. But I stopped myself long before my parents engaged psychiatric help - that's how I know what my reaction to Zucker would be... I did not need his program to suppress my feelings.

We need therapists to help parents deal with their kids - help them get over their knee-jerk reaction to expect conformity and actually encourage their kids to express their real thoughts.

Barb - if you have a link to some of that brain research I would love to see it.

*hugs* Bobbi

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#7 [url]

Feb 27 17 6:03 AM

For brain scans, I have found https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180619/

I think that there is at least two components in supression, first is "I shouldn't be that way" and second component, that grows from binary thinking and makes all ideas about being somewhere on the spectrum virtually unthinkable. Something not unlike this: "You want to be her, but you are not really all woman inside, isn't it? So you are a man. Case closed.". Understanding and knowledge was a powerful tools to remove supression to me, to the point when I can't say for sure, it was more about suppression or not having information.

Another factor may be testosterone level. Like testosterone somehow messes with your head and forces you to "be a man".

Why Blanchard invented his two-type classification? Why it was invented in 80's and was not rejected as something absurd? Can it be, that in 80's contrast between people, who can fit themselfs into binary and those, who spent decades trying to fit and failing, was most prominent?

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#8 [url]

Feb 27 17 7:03 AM

I have thought about this a lot, and I think the main difference is (and I don't mean to state the obvious): time.

I'm almost 61 and although plenty of people transition in their 50s and 60s I don't want to deal with it, at least right now. I do believe that if I was, say, in elementary school or younger - today - I would be insistent, consistent, and persistent with my parents, and would transition via puberty blockers and later, hormones and surgery.

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#9 [url]

Mar 3 17 12:32 PM

Emmaweet wrote: "I have thought about this a lot, and I think the main difference is (and I don't mean to state the obvious): time."

Time to think and accept is import Emma - totally agree. However, life is so tragically short. The discussions on this forum have forced me to relive things that happened over 40 years ago and they are as clear to me as if they happened only yesterday. I do not know if I had a chance to do it all over again today if the outcome would be any different, because the Zuckers and Blanchards of the world seem to still hold a large sway over the authorities. I like to think it can be different for the kids who are 9 years old today and turning to parents and doctors for help and that's why I keep talking about this I guess. I feel regret for myself and for all those kids now dealing with the same thing... only their outcome is not yet history - it can be changed.

I want to say more but I'm tearing up.

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#10 [url]

Mar 22 17 11:11 PM

Not really, we are the survivors that managed (like our LGB cousins who did the same thing) suppress, 'cope' , hide what we felt. We developed acts to 'pass' as men. And some of us were successful ...for awhile. Along the way many of us tried self curing, we honed and developed those 'coping 'mechanisms with lots of self policing.
But there was a price for that.

Many of us that tried that didn't make it, due to direct and indirect (drugs, alcohol, risky activities, etc) suicide.

And then, because it takes so much mental and emotional energy to maintain that act, we come to a crunch. sometime and then there is another peak in suicide rates, with those that can't deal with it ending it then and those that can having to face a risky and difficult transition..

I'd have transitioned as a kid, or at least as a young adolescent if I could have. I'd been a lot happier too.

The difference is knowledge and acceptance. I didn't know why I felt the way I did (even thought I was gay for awhile) or what it meant, just that I wasn't supposed to act in certain ways in front of others and there was no one else in the whole world like me. Even when I got to university and got into the library and looked up papers on trans people...well firstly there was almost nothing and what I found was horrific. Drove me even further into the closet.

I was lucky that I had the right type of mind (and luck) to develop pretty good coping mechanisms, became a workaholic, near alcoholic, did lots of extreme activities, kept busy all the time. But when I got tired and stopped all the same old feelings came back whether I was 6, or 16, or 26 or 36 ....and I'd feel guilty and horrible about it.

And the endless melancholy I always had, that this was not the life I wanted or who I wanted to be.

So the difference is just better times now for the kids and they don't have to go into the horrible, dark, lonely closet like we did. And we are scarred by it, there is no way we were not damaged, we were, and not just physically by having the wrong puberty.

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#11 [url]

Mar 23 17 1:20 AM

Melancholy and restlessness. Melancholy as a feeling of loss of what could have been, and restlessness as a way of controlling the feelings.Those feelings alone is more than enough to cope with for any human being. And on top of that they have decided that we also have to cope with shame. That is horrible.

And yes, that is why we have to help younger trans and queer people as much as we can.

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