Friday, May 28, 2010

Transgender Love. [beautiful video]

This beautiful video about transgender love is from Warren, aka sillyyetsuccinct on the tube. It is emotional, honest, and raw, and I hope to find a love as deep and fulfilling as Warren and Simon have found one day.

"People find love when they learn to love themselves."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Voice 4.5 Years on Testosterone [still working on my voice]

Yesterday morning I filmed myself playing guitar and working on my singing voice a bit. A video taken a few weeks ago follows for comparison.

Monday, May 24, 2010

TransOhio 3rd Annual Trangender & Ally Symposium [events]

Registration now open for Third Annual TransOhio Transgender and Ally Symposium

Columbus, Ohio — May 22, 2010 — The 3rd Annual TransOhio Transgender and Ally Symposium, which will be held on the campus of Ohio State University from August 13-15, 2010, will feature over 70 workshops and seminars by local and nationally recognized presenters. Registration for this year's Transgender and Ally Symposium is now open.

TransOhio, Ohio's only statewide Transgender advocacy and community organization, has expanded this conference, which originally consisted of a single day just three years ago, to three full days of workshops, seminars and social events, including a day that is specifically set aside for medical, social service and legal providers. "This is the first year we will be hosting a Provider's Day at our Symposium. We're going to be able to offer continuing education units (CEUs) as we've partnered with The Ohio State University's College of Social Work. Additionally, the GLBT Alumni Society – Scarlet & Gay and The Longaberger Alumni House have also been key partners in making this day come together," said Shane Morgan, Founder and Chair of TransOhio. The General Symposium sessions, held both Saturday and Sunday, will occur onsite at the Ohio State University Multicultural Center at the Ohio Union.

"Recently, we've seen several established as well as new medical and legal providers stepping up to learn about the Transgender community and their needs and the issues that are specific to the community. Part of TransOhio's mission is to provide opportunities to continue to develop qualified professionals that the Transgender community can seek out for services," according to TransOhio Board Member Jacob Nash. "People need to know that they have options and need to be able to select a professional who best fits an individual's needs and works for them."

Presentations, workshops and seminars will cover topics such as Health & Safety, Partners, Spouses & Family, Sex & Sexuality, Legal Issues & Employment, Religion and Spirituality, Education & Advocacy and Culture, Media and Arts. Friday night events include a Meet & Greet and the Fabulously Fluid! gender-bending performance showcase. Saturday evening, TransOhio will host a special performance of local performer Sile P. Singleton's – PAINT! A Transformative Project at the Columbus Performing Arts Center's Shedd Theatre in Columbus. PAINT! is set against the backdrop of a socially constructed notion that communities of color are "more homophobic than white communities," Singleton, chases the metaphor of the rainbow from her earliest childhood memories in the church to today's rainbow clad "twirly" boys and "dykes on bikes." Singleton guides the audience through the very personal journey of an American Black Midwest Queer Trans-person and her quest for the symbol of hope and `everlasting inclusion.'

For more information about TransOhio or the 3rd Annual TransOhio Transgender and Ally Symposium, visit or to register.

Shane Morgan
(614) 441-8167

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meet Reuben Zellman, Trans Rabbi [trans & religion]

There is often a preconceived notion that trans people (or LGBT people in general) are not and cannot be religious. While many organized religions still have a lot of "catching up" to do in terms of LGBT acceptance, FTM rabbinical student Reuben Zellman has found his calling and acceptance in reform Judaism.

Reuben also launched a few years ago, an amazing and comprehensive site for anything Jewish and transgender.

Presidential Memorandum: Hospital Visitation.

Presidential Memorandum - Hospital Visitation


SUBJECT: Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies

There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean -- a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.

Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides -- whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay. Often, a widow or widower with no children is denied the support and comfort of a good friend. Members of religious orders are sometimes unable to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf. Also uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives -- unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.

For all of these Americans, the failure to have their wishes respected concerning who may visit them or make medical decisions on their behalf has real onsequences. It means that doctors and nurses do not always have the best information about patients' medications and medical histories and that friends and certain family members are unable to serve as intermediaries to help communicate patients' needs. It means that a stressful and at times terrifying experience for patients is senselessly compounded by indignity and unfairness. And it means that all too often, people are made to suffer or even to pass away alone, denied the comfort of companionship in their final moments while a loved one is left worrying and pacing down the hall.

Many States have taken steps to try to put an end to these problems. North Carolina recently amended its Patients' Bill of Rights to give each patient "the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient" -- a right that applies in every hospital in the State. Delaware, Nebraska, and Minnesota have adopted similar laws.

My Administration can expand on these important steps to ensure that patients can receive compassionate care and equal treatment during their hospital stays. By this memorandum, I request that you take the following steps:

1. Initiate appropriate rulemaking, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395x and other relevant provisions of law, to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors. It should be made clear that designated visitors, including individuals designated by legally valid advance directives (such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies), should enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members enjoy. You should also provide that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national
origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The rulemaking should take into account the need for hospitals to restrict visitation in medically appropriate circumstances as well as the clinical decisions that medical professionals make about a patient's care or treatment.

2. Ensure that all hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid are in full compliance with regulations, codified at 42 CFR 482.13 and 42 CFR 489.102(a), promulgated to guarantee that all patients' advance directives, such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies, are respected, and that patients' representatives otherwise have the right to make informed decisions regarding patients' care. Additionally, I request that you issue new guidelines, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395cc and other relevant provisions of law, and provide technical assistance on how hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid can best comply with the regulations and take any additional appropriate measures to fully enforce the regulations.

3. Provide additional recommendations to me, within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, on actions the Department of Health and Human Services can take to address hospital visitation, medical decisionmaking, or other health care issues that affect LGBT patients and their families.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Falling in Love with a Transgender Man [oprah magazine]

Oprah magazine: Falling in Love with a Transgender Man

For the Bible Tells Me So [documentary film]

This is a wonderful documentary film that takes on the heated debate centered at the intersection of homosexuality and Christianity. Told from a progressive standpoint, this film is truly eye-opening and should be watched by those who oppose homosexuality as well as those who believe homosexuality and Christianity are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Harvard Divinity scholars offer academic testimony while the film also intimately follows the personal lives of several families with gay and lesbian children and the repercussions the hatred of the church has had on their childrens' lives.

For the Bible Tells Me So

Laura Bush Pro-Choice & for Gay Marriage [a little late]

The former first lady Laura Bush appeared on Larry King Live and admitted she tried to persuade George W. from making gay marriage such a big issue.

Major fail.

Still somewhat consoling to know she has somewhat socially liberal politics.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shaving Techniques.

Here's a video from Jason (JayseBallard) demonstrating his shaving techniques.

Here's a fun video from Marek, aka vanness5 , demonstrating shaving with a straight razor:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Diagram of Sex & Gender

Diagram of Sex and Gender
(anatomy, chromosomes, hormones)

male ------------------------------------- intersex ------------------------female

(psychological sense of self)

man ---------------------------------- genderqueer/bigender ----------------woman

(communication of gender)

masculine ------------------------------- androgynous --------------------feminine

(romantic/erotic response)

attracted to women ------------------ bisexual/asexual --------------------- attracted to men

Biological sex, shown on the top scale, includes external genitalia, internal reproductive structures, chromosomes, hormone levels, and secondary sex characteristics such as breasts, facial and body hair, and fat distribution. These characteristics are objective in that they can be seen and measured (with appropriate technology). The scale consists not just of two categories (male and female) but is actually a continuum, with most people existing somewhere near one end or the other. The space more in the middle is occupied by intersex people (formerly, hermaphrodites), who have combinations of characteristics typical of males and those typical of females, such as both a testis and an ovary, or XY chromosomes (the usual male pattern) and a vagina, or they may have features that are not completely male or completely female, such as an organ that could be thought of as a small penis or a large clitoris, or an XXY chromosomal pattern.

Gender identity is how people think of themselves and identify in terms of sex (man, woman, boy, girl). Gender identity is a psychological quality; unlike biological sex, it can't be observed or measured (at least by current means), only reported by the individual. Like biological sex, it consists of more than two categories, and there's space in the middle for those who identify as genderqueer, bigender or neither gender. We lack language for this intermediate position because everyone in our culture is supposed to identify unequivocally with one of the two extreme categories. In fact, many people feel that they have masculine and feminine aspects of their psyches, and some people, fearing that they do, seek to purge themselves of one or the other by acting in exaggerated sex-stereotyped ways.

Gender expression is everything we do that communicates our sex/gender to others: clothing, hair styles, mannerisms, way of speaking, roles we take in interactions, etc. This communication may be purposeful or accidental. It could also be called social gender because it relates to interactions between people. Trappings of one gender or the other may be forced on us as children or by dress codes at school or work. Gender expression is a continuum, with feminine at one end and masculine at the other. In between are gender expressions that are androgynous (neither masculine nor feminine) and those that combine elements of the two (sometimes called gender bending). Gender expression can vary for an individual from day to day or in different situations, but most people can identify a range on the scale where they feel the most comfortable. Some people are comfortable with a wider range of gender expression than others.

Sexual orientation indicates who we are erotically attracted to. The ends of this scale are labeled "attracted to women" and "attracted to men," rather than "homosexual" and "heterosexual," to avoid confusion as we discuss the concepts of sex and gender. In the mid-range is bisexuality; there are also people who are asexual (attracted to neither men nor women). We tend to think of most people as falling into one of the two extreme categories (attracted to women or attracted to men), whether they are straight or gay, with only a small minority clustering around the bisexual middle. However, Kinsey's studies showed that most people are in fact not at one extreme of this continuum or the other, but occupy some position between.

For each scale, the popular notion that there are two distinct categories, with everyone falling neatly into one or the other, is a social construction. The real world (Nature, if you will) does not observe these boundaries. If we look at what actually exists, we see that there is middle ground. To be sure, most people fall near one end of the scale or the other, but very few people are actually at the extreme ends, and there are people at every point along the continuum.

Gender identity and sexual orientation are resistant to change. Although we don't yet have definitive answers to whether these are the result of biological influences, psychological ones, or both, we do know that they are established very early in life, possibly prenatally, and there are no methods that have been proven effective for changing either of these. Some factors that make up biological sex can be changed, with more or less difficulty. These changes are not limited to people who change their sex: many women undergo breast enlargement, which moves them toward the extreme female end of the scale, and men have penile enlargements to enhance their maleness, for example. Gender expression is quite flexible for some people and more rigid for others. Most people feel strongly about expressing themselves in a way that's consistent with their inner gender identity and experience discomfort when they're not allowed to do so.

The four scales are independent. Our cultural expectation is that men occupy the extreme left ends of all four scales (male, man, masculine, attracted to women) and women occupy the right ends. But a person with male anatomy could be attracted to men (gay man), or could have a gender identity of "woman" (transsexual), or could have a feminine gender expression on occasion (crossdresser). A person with female anatomy could identify as a woman, have a somewhat masculine gender expression, and be attracted to women (butch lesbian). It's a mix-and-match world, and there are as many combinations as there are people who think about their gender.

This schema is not necessarily "reality," but it's probably closer than the two-box system. Reality is undoubtedly more complex. Each of the four scales could be broken out into several scales. For instance, the sex scale could be expanded into separate scales for external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, hormone levels, chromosome patterns, and so forth. An individual would probably not fall on the same place on each of these. "Biological sex" is a summary of scores for several variables.

There are conditions that exist that don't fit anywhere on a continuum: some people have neither the XX (typical female) chromosomal pattern nor the XY pattern typical of males, but it is not clear that other patterns, such as just X, belong anywhere on the scale between XX and XY. Furthermore, the scales may not be entirely separate: if gender identity and sexual orientation are found to have a biological component, they may overlap with the biological sex scale.

Using the model presented here is something like using a spectrum of colors to view the world, instead of only black and white. It doesn't fully account for all the complex shadings that exist, but it gives us a richer, more interesting picture. Why look at the world in black and white when there's a whole rainbow out there?

Talk Stealth to Me [being trans in the south]

Meet Drew, aka MrTransTalk on the tube. He just graduated college with a BSW in social work, and is going to be vlogging about mental as well as physical health for transgender people. He also will be focusing a lot of vlogs on his experience being stealth in the south.

Check him out! Here is his intro video:

Talk Stealth to Me:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Coming Out & LGBT Issues with Allan.

Meet Allan, aka drallankock on the tube. He has been working with the LGBT community for 20 years and is here to answer any of your questions or just to talk.

You can shoot him a line directly to his gmail, to speak with him personally.

Post-Transition Voice: Swimming After Surgery & Locker Rooms.

Meet Chris, aka islandofmisfits on the tube. He's been on T for four years and had chest surgery last year, and in this video he recounts swimming in a public place for the first time since his chest surgery.

He also talks about his experience in the guy's locker room and how it wasn't as bad as he expected it to be.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Christian: One Day Post-Op with Dr. Medalie in Cleveland, Ohio

In this video Christian, aka ctshaw84 on the tube shares his top surgery experience with Dr. Medalie in Cleveland, Ohio. He is 26 years old, got double incision, and just had surgery done on the 24th of April.

Send some well wishes his way for a speedy recovery!

Statement on Gender Incongruence in Adolescents in the DSM-5


TransActive Education & Advocacy "TransActive"


April 13, 2010

Contact: Jenn Burleton, Executive Director
Phone: 503-252-3000

TransActive Education & Advocacy Fully Endorses Statement by
"Professionals Concerned About Gender Diagnoses in the DSM"

We recognize that gender dysphoria in youth is a serious issue and may require medical intervention as well as therapeutic support. For those youth who identify as transgender or transsexual, or who express gender dysphoria and discomfort with their anatomical body, early intervention can alleviate future difficulties, and can assist young people to mature in their affirmed gender identity. This is consistent with the American Psychological Association’s goal of promoting “legal and social recognition of transgender individuals with their gender identity and expression” and is especially important for adolescents who typically lack the resources and authority to achieve this goal without clinician assistance.

Statement on Gender Incongruence in Adolescents in the DSM-5

by Professionals Concerned with Gender Diagnoses in the DSM

We are mental health and medical professionals, clinicians, researchers and scholars concerned about psychiatric nomenclature and diagnostic criteria for gender-variant, gender-nonconforming, transgender and transsexual people in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and call ourselves Professionals Concerned About Gender Diagnoses in the DSM. Below are our suggestions for the diagnosis of Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents) in the DSM 5.

Our group recommends a separate diagnostic category for adolescents. Adolescent issues are markedly different from those facing pre-pubescent children and those experienced by adults. Adolescent sexual and gender development are complex processes (Pleak 2009; Striepe & Tolman 2003) and should be clearly separated out with the DSM from the presenting issues of prepubescent children and/or adults.

We recognize that gender dysphoria in youth is a serious issue and may require medical intervention (Spack, 2009), as well as therapeutic support. For those youth who identify as transgender or transsexual, or who express gender dysphoria and discomfort with their anatomical body, early intervention can alleviate future difficulties, and can assist young people to mature in their affirmed gender identity (Cooper 1999). This is consistent with the American Psychological Association’s goal of promoting “legal and social recognition of transgender individuals with their gender identity and expression” (APA 2009, para. 18) and is especially important for adolescents who typically lack the resources and authority to achieve this goal without clinician assistance.

We also recognize the severe harm that can occur and the future problems that can be averted by clinician responsiveness to adolescents requesting assistance toward living in a manner consistent with their gender identities and expression. We therefore support providing reversible hormone blockers to teenagers who are capable of giving informed consent (Gross, 2001) based on scientific evidence that clearly documents successful outcomes for transitioning teenagers (Cohen-Kettenis, Delemarre-van de Waal, & Gooren, 2008). Many adolescents who are forced to wait to access hormones or hormone blockers access gender-aligning medications in dangerous environments without proper monitoring (Rosario, 2009); for this reason, we caution against a 6 month waiting limit, as adolescent mental health can deteriorate rapidly when youth are forced to endure the traumatic experience of daily life in bodies that do not meet their psychosocial needs.

We further caution clinicians against imposing specific packages of medical interventions or dictating the order in which youth receive particular medical interventions, as adolescents’ needs vary considerably and should be addressed, based on individual self-reported need or request.While medical intervention are essential for some youth, others may seek legal or social recognition without any gender-aligning medical interventions. Youth who are utilizing gender-aligning medical interventions, and those who have successfully transitioned without medical interventions, should be considered to have achieved gender alignment.

We believe the focus of this diagnosis should be on dysphoria (defined as distress, extreme discomfort, or an emotional state of dis-ease), because it is discomfort, not a particular gender identity or expression, that is the psychological issue. It is essential that the diagnostic criteria focus on anatomical distress or distress with current assigned gender role, with explicit verbalization from the youth that his or her current gender role or anatomical sex does not match his or her internal sense of gender. Gender dysphoria may also be manifested by distress or discomfort with deprivation (Vitale 2001) of social role or anatomy that is congruent with experienced gender identity. Experienced gender is not limited to fixed binary roles, but may encompass fluidity, masculinity, femininity, both, or neither.

It is important to note that social role transition, or Real Life Experience (WPATH 2001), and puberty blocking medical care in adolescence may have diagnostic value in clarifying gender dysphoria. While transition to an affirmed social role may relieve the distress of gender role dysphoria, transitioned youth may still suffer anatomic dysphoria and remain particularly distressed about anticipated pubertal changes associated with their natal sex. It must be carefully stated that the diagnostic threshold is distress related to assigned gender role or physical sex characteristics and not gender nonconformity due to social expectations of normative gender (Vanderburgh 2009).

Finally, we suggest restoration of a clinical significance criterion, which would clarify that distress, discomfort or impairment must meet a threshold of severity. This would limit false positive diagnosis of gender nonconforming youth who would not benefit from diagnosis. It is crucial, however, that this criterion exclude distress or impairment that is caused by societal prejudice or discrimination. To cast victimization as symptomatic of mental illness would inflict further harm upon victims of prejudice.

Our Suggested Diagnostic Criteria for Gender Incongruence in Adolescents:

A. In youth who have reached the earlier of age 13 or Tanner Stage II of pubertal development, a distressing sense of incongruence between persistent experienced or expressed gender and current physical sex characteristics or assigned gender role, as manifested by the youth’s self-report or documentable observation of at least one of the following indicators for a duration of at least 3 months. Incongruence, for this purpose, does not mean gender expression that is nonconforming to social stereotypes of assigned gender role or natal sex.

1. A distress or discomfort with living in the present gender or being perceived by others as the present gender, which is distinct from the experiences of discrimination or the societal expectations associated with that gender.

2. A distress or discomfort caused by deprivation of gender expression congruent with persistent experienced gender. Experienced gender may include alternative gender identities beyond binary stereotypes.

3. A distress or discomfort with one’s current primary or secondary sex characteristics that are incongruent with persistent experienced gender or with anticipated pubertal development associated with natal sex.

4. A distress or discomfort caused by deprivation of primary or secondary sex characteristics that are congruent with persistent experienced gender or with anticipated deprivation of congruent physical sex characteristics after puberty.

B. Distress or discomfort is clinically significant or causes impairment in social, educational or other important areas of functioning, and is not due to external prejudice or discrimination


Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Delemarre-van de Waal, H. A., & Gooren, L. J. G. (2008).The treatment of adolescent transsexuals: Changing insights. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5(8), 1892–1897.

Cohen-Kettenis, P. et al. (2010). “Gender identity disorder in adolescents or adults,” American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Development. Available online:

Cooper, K. (1999). Practice with transgendered youth and their families. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services: Issues in Practice, Policy & Research, 10, 111-129.

Gross, B. H. (2001). Informed consent. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 4, 24.

Nuttbrock, L., Hwahng, S., Bockting. W., Rosenblum, A., Mason, M., Macri, M., & Becker J. (2010). Psychiatric impact of gender-related abuse across the life course of male-to-female transgender persons. Journal of Sex Research, 47(1), 12–23.

Pleak, R.R. (2009). Formation of transgender identities in adolescence. Journal of Gay &Lesbian Mental Health, 13(4), 282 -291.

Rosario, Vernon A.(2009). African-American transgender youth. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 13(4), 298 — 308.

Spack, Norman P. (2009). An endocrine perspective on the care of transgender adolescents’, Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 13(4), 309 — 319.

Striepe, M.I, and Tolman, D. L. (2003). Mom, dad, I’m straight: The coming out of gender ideologies in adolescent sexual-identity development. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32(4), 523-530.

Vitale A. M. (2001). Implications of being gender gysphoric: A developmental review, Gender and Psychoanalysis, An Interdisciplinary Journal, 6(2), 121-141.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (2001). Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders Sixth Version, Available online:

Yunger, J.L., Carver, P.R, & Perry, D.G. (2004). Does gender identity influence children’s psychological well-being? Developmental Psychology, 40(4), 572–582.

TransActive educates the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community. We provide necessary support to improve the quality of life of transgender and gender non-conforming children, youth and their families through education, services, advocacy and research.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Transitioning in High School.

Here is a video from Shye, aka ShyeAustin on the tube.

He is a 17 year old transguy from Florida and is currently transitioning in high school. I know a lot of guys look back and wish they could have transitioned in high school, but transitioning at a young age presents a whole set of problems- as Shye says, it's hard sometimes having no one to talk to about his trans status at school, and often is the subject of harsh words from his classmates questioning his gender.

This does not go to say that transitioning young is a completely negative experience- it is not; in fact, it is amazing guys can transition so young now and be themselves and get the male socialization many of us feel we missed out on.

He has disabled embedding on his videos, but you can check out his intro video here and his week 40 shot video here.

A Passing Story.

In this video Cam (feedthefire32) tells a funny (and uplifting) story of passing very well while getting his fingerprints done for his name change.

Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen [trans documentary]

Check out the film "Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The "New" Queer Identity: Bois.

Video: A Boi's Life

From the video info:

An intimate look at a slice of the new generation of queer identity: bois. Boi is a term used in the queer community to refer to a person's sexual and gender identity, and it may include: a person who looks and acts like a young, heterosexual male and partakes in casual sex, a transman, an FTM or female to male, a submissive butch, or a bisexual gay with effeminate traits.