Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kristin Beck Is A Different Kind Of Transgender Pioneer

In 2013, Kristin Beck became the first former Navy SEAL to come out as transgender, which instantly placed her as one of the most high-profile figuresin the meteoric shift in the national conversation about transgender rights. In person, she is instantly open and friendly, happy to talk about just about anything, but her voice hovers just a few notches above a whisper and never any louder, and her demeanor can at times read as diffident, almost shy. In fact, if you had not heard of her, you could be forgiven for never guessing she is an activist who regularly travels the country for speaking engagements, let alone a decorated veteran with 20 years of some of the most grueling combat experiences a soldier can have.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Transsexual Mother

A rarely noted fact is that many, perhaps even a majority, of male-to-female transsexual women are mothers. This may be to their own children conceived before having SRS, as a step-mum to their partner's children, or as the mother of adopted children.


A transsexual women who transitioned and had surgery by her early 20's is very unlikely to have conceived children as a father, typically such transsexuals rarely have sexual relationships with women as a man, and are often still consider themselves to be virgins at the time of their SRS. However as the age of transition increases then the likelihood of children increases. It seems probable that MTF women who transitioned in their late 30's or older, are as statistically as likely to have been married and had children as any men, certainly the limited circumstantial information backs this hypothesis.
Michelle describes how she coped with becoming a mother after her transition at age 30:
"I was confident that being as open and honest as possible would encourage others to be the same. Let’s face it -- female Daddies tend to attract some intriguing questions. I have gradually encouraged my children to call me MJ instead of Daddy, and they are slowly getting used to people referring to me as their Mom. Having two Moms in their lives makes things complicated sometimes, and causes friction between their biological mother and myself. Although I do not wish to compete for the Mom title, it is not socially acceptable for my children to have a female Dad. Keeping the kids interests at heart, it seems easier to allow people to refer to me as their mom, rather than teaching the kids to correct strangers at every turn. I am often accused of "stealing the title". Without having experienced the pain of labour I am apparently unqualified to claim Mom. I believe that how we love and nurture our children is more important than a label, particularly when considering the child’s comfort level in dealing with society. I’m their biological parent and am very proud of that fact. Isn’t there room in their lives for two Mommies? We are still struggling as parents with this issue."
It's often been suggested, even in court, that having their father become a woman must be a traumatic and emotionally scaring process for the children. But contrarily studies have revealed,perhaps against expectations, no evidence of any physiological, sociological, or gender identity damage to such children. Also, statistically the children are no more likely to grow up homosexual or transgender'ed than any other children. For example one key study, "Transsexuals'Children" by Dr R Green concludes:
"Available evidence does not support concerns that a parent’s transsexualism directly adversely impacts on the children. By contrast, there is extensive clinical experience showing the detriment to children in consequence of terminated contact with a parent after divorce.

Continuing contact between transsexual parents and their children has met with significant opposition. Two areas of concern are effects on the gender identity of the children and reactions by the children’s peer group. Eighteen children, 10 boys, 8 girls of 9 transsexual parents, have been evaluated. Their ages range from 5-16 years. All live with or have regular contact with their transsexual parent. No child has gender identity disorder. No child has had extensive conflict with the peer group. All continue positive relationships with their transsexual parent."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Debi Jackson, Mother Of Transgender Child, Gives Moving Speech

"My daughter is six years old. She transitioned, which means she changed her outward appearance from male to female and started living full time as her true gender, when she was four. Until that point she was quite a rough and tumble little boy with a buzz cut and a shark tooth necklace."
And so begins the absolutely beautiful speech Debi Jackson gave earlier this year about her transgender daughter, AJ, at the Unity Temple on the Plaza in Kansas City. As Jackson continues, she outlines how her family came to realize that AJ is transgender, what happened the first day she went to school "in girl clothes" and the bigotry her family faced.
But the best part of the video may be when Jackson addresses the comments she's heard about her daughter and sets the record straight about statements like you "wanted a girl so you turned your child into one" and "kids have no idea what they want or who they are -- my kids wants to be a dog, should I let him?"
Spend six minutes and get to know Jackson and her family a little better. You'll be happy you did.

Friday, May 30, 2014

See how this amazing family deals their transgender son

 Any child would likely be lucky to have Jeff and Hillary Whittington as parents. Ryland Whittington may be especially lucky. Ryland, the Whittingtons tell us through this amazing video they made, is a transgender boy. Now seven, his parents have documented his story with love and understanding and honesty.

Jeff and Hillary tell how they brought Ryland into the world, learned their child needed hearing implants at the age of one, then discovered “Ryland had more to share with us.”....
They spent a few years saying Ryland was just going through a phase, but soon realized it wasn’t.
“When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I can be a boy” Ryland told them.
“Why did God make me this way?,” he asked.....
When the Whittingtons learned 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide, they decided to embrace Ryland as a boy rather than risk losing him. The Whittingtons made this beautiful and inspiring film for the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. They posted it to YouTube on Tuesday. Three days later, it has gone viral, seen by more than 350,000 people already.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Amanda Simpson: Senior Technical Advisor

Barack Obama has chosen Amanda Simpson as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce, marking the first transgender appointment in an American presidential administration.
Simpson has more than 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. While working at Raytheon, she transitioned from male-to-female over a six-year periodand successfully lobbied to add gender identity to Raytheon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.
Simpson also holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration along with an extensive flight background. She is a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience.
She has also been very active politically, having served on the Board of Directors of two national organizations: Out & Equal and NCTE. In Arizona, she has been on the board of Wingspan, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, the Southern Arizona ACLU and the Arizona Human Rights Fund (now Equality Arizona). She also ran an unsuccessful congressional bid in Arizona back in 2005.
The appointment makes good on a promise made by White House Office of Public Engagement (aka the LGBT liaison) Brian Bond, who stated an LGBT would have a visible role in the Obama Administration.
“I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me,” Simpson said in a press statement. “And at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.”

Friday, January 31, 2014

Just a girl, in the world

For Riley's parents, one of the first giveaways was the tea towel. At three years of age, Riley would shape it onto her head like a pair of pigtails and flick it from side to side. "She got into trouble with the person who ran her pre-school," says Riley's mother, Carol. "They said, 'This boy has got to stop playing with the girls and getting the girls to dress him up and wear tea towels on his head.'"

Riley, 15, from Sydney's north shore, is biologically male – but says being born a boy simply never made any sense. The high school student is one of an increasing number of teenagers who identify as transsexuals – those who feel they are trapped in the wrong body. Some are so sure that nature got it wrong that they are taking the bold step of "transitioning" – presenting themselves outwardly as the sex that they feel they are – during their teenage years or even earlier.

For Riley, 2012 has been a watershed year. After going to school with bras secreted under her school shirt and with minimal make-up, she started wearing the girls’ school uniform. She is also doing some schooling of her own, teaching the teachers in the correct use of transgender pronouns. "They were having a lot of trouble with calling me 'she', but they are getting better," she says.

When I meet Riley at her suburban home on a Sunday morning, she's dressed in jeans, knee-high boots, a cropped leather jacket and a T-shirt that boasts she's an "Angel by Day, Devil by Night". Her hair is styled perfectly, framing her prettily made-up face – as befitting for someone who is studying hairdressing part-time at TAFE along with her school subjects. We sit in the living room, where the table is scattered with photos of her as a young child. She seems to be constantly in fancy dress: vibrant-coloured outfits, make-up, glittery headbands. In one photo she's dressed in a cowboy suit but still manages to look feminine.

"All my life I've never really been a boy, I've never liked boy things," she says. "It was always Bratz dolls and Barbie dolls and everything." Her current obsessions are roller derby, vintage fashion and rockabilly music.

Riley's parents, Carol and Chris, have always been incredibly supportive, which has helped her navigate the difficult path through school. "In primary school it was hard but looking back it was easier than high school," Riley says. "When it came to sleepovers, it didn't matter if you were a boy or a girl. Now in high school it is completely different: guys don't sleep at girls' houses, girls don't sleep at guys' houses. People get confused as to which one I am, so sleepovers are not really happening.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Physics teacher transitions and helps others

ARTICLE: "Some of my earliest childhood memories were that there was something wrong because I should have been born female," Jody Rendall said.

She was born David Rendall, grew up in West Chicago, Ill., and became a physics teacher at Big Foot High School. She said she was uncomfortable, racked with guilt from living as something she was not — a man.

After retiring in 2006, David became Jody. "What I've done is called transitioning," she said. "I've transitioned from male to female, which basically means I've taken on my affirmed gender."

"With 99.7 percent of the population comfortable in their own body, they can't imagine what it's like to have that gender incongruity or misalignment," Rendall said. "When I speak to groups, there are a lot of ways I try to get them to imagine it. Imagine, if you're a man, you're comfortable being a man, waking up one morning and finding yourself a woman … but inside, you still feel like a male. That's gender incongruity. That's what it's like to be transgender."

Rendall said growing up in the 1950s and 60s, there was no information on being transgender, no one she felt she could talk to. She went to "a little four-room schoolhouse out in the country," she said, before going to West Chicago Community High School. She had to adjust from going to a school with a two-digit population to one with about 1,500 students.

She was David back then, and her high school experience amplified her discomfort level.

"Frankly, I felt there was something very wrong with me," she said. "And so, I had to carry that secret with me for a very long time."

Others, however, figured it out, and Rendall said she was abused verbally and physically. In a food store where she worked while going to high school, a few employees would wait until no one was around, then punch her in the stomach.