Archive | transsexual RSS feed for this section

Assessing violence and discrimination against the transgender community

28 Jun

While transgender individuals are a part of the LGBT community, the manner in which they are treated by society as a whole has been pointed out as being significantly skewed in regards to the number of legal issues they often face. While acceptance and understanding of gay. Lesbian and bisexual people have increased greatly over the last quarter century, the transgender community is in many regards in a very distinct and different situation.

In regard to the societal view of the transgender community, most people consider all transgenders to be transsexual simply because they do not understand the many distinct identities that fall under that umbrella term. Because for many transgender people one of the biggest accomplishments they seek in their journey to self identity and presentation is the ability to pass as they gender they identify as, many are for lack of a better term, invisible. They walk through life day to day not exhibiting any signs that they are in fact gender variant. Because of that, when people are identified as or identify them self as such, it is often a surprise which can elicit negativity.

Furthermore, because the transgender community is the minority group of the LGBT which is already a minority, there is often a feeling of being underrepresented or unrepresented by legislation that could serve to protect them. Consider for a moment that of transgender people surveyed, 56% report having been fired from their jobs on the basis of what they believe is gender identity based discrimination. Another 47% responded that they feel they have been denied employment based on their gender identity. An additional 21% report having been physically or verbally harassed in the workplace based on their gender identity. While it can be said that some people may be looking for a darker motive regarding their dismissal from a job or not landing job, there are also others that may have been discriminated against that failed to report it or rationalized another reason.

Then there is the issue of hate crimes. Based on the last full issue of LGBT hate crimes statistics in the US from 2008, of about 1,700 reported hate crimes, about 15% were against transgender individuals which is a tremendous disparity. In order for the numbers to be clearer, consider the following: If 5% of the population is homosexual, and there is an arena with 10,000 people in it, that is 500 GLB persons present. That also would equate to approximately 20 transgender identified people, one being a postoperative MTF, and a little under 1/3 of a postoperative FTM transsexual person. That means the proportion of hate crimes targeted against the transgender community is extremely high.

If all things were equal, each segment of the LGBT would share an equal 25% of the hate crimes reported. However, as all things are not equal. Transgender identified people make up about .2% of the population as a whole and about and about 4% of the LGBT as a whole. That 4% is the victim of 15% pf the reported hate crimes meaning that a transgender person is 38.25% more likely to be the victim of an LGBT based hate crime than a gay, lesbian or bisexual person.

What is saddening is that no real legislation has been put in place to comprehensively protect the basic human rights of transgender people. Small steps have been taken at the federal level like allowing transgender identified intervals with proper medical documentation to change the sex field on their passport and like identification as a result, but little progress has been made otherwise. The US government as a whole has lagged far behind the private sector in regards to equality protections, but even then it is generally the domain of large corporations like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Chase and the like who do so.

While initiatives like “I AM” have been working diligently to raise awareness to such issues, grassroots campaigns of that nature have been slow to build and even slower to find wide acceptance. In the final analysis of violence and discrimination against the transgender community, currently and for the foreseeable future it is one of the most at risk segments of society in the US.

http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/

Advertisements

Transsexualism and the Liberal movement: What were the implications?

27 Jun

The liberal movement as it pertains to transsexuality is not in all reality very liberal. Transsexuals are still the outcasts in society as a whole and even within the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) community. While progress has been made to, specifically over the last decade, to begin offering true equality to this segmented and very misunderstood group of people there is a long way to go.

To understand the liberal movements effects on transsexualism it is important to first understand a least the basics of what transsexualism is. There are many people fond of pointing out that transsexualism is simply more than a mental illness. They often assume these people are fetishists or homosexuals that simply wish to be straight, but as the saying goes, gender is between the ears and not the legs. In fact there is an equal portion of post-operative transsexuals that enter into homosexual relationships as in society as a whole only further proving gender identity and sexual orientation are in no way related.

Transsexualism is in fact a a disorder born of the brain but it is not technically an illness. It is most commonly accepted to be a the direct result of a difference of the hypothalamus and BSTC region of the brain due to an imbalance of the hormonal wash during the natal period which causes the body and brain map to develop differently. Dutch studies have upheld this through postmortem studies of the brains of transsexuals. In fact when a CAT scan is viewed it can only tell if a brain is developed in a male or female pattern, not what the physical sex of the body it comes from is.

Over the past twenty five years or so transsexuals have garnered more and more attention, primarily through sensationalistic television such as the Jerry Springer show that played on this condition for ratings and often portrayed these people in a negative light. In fact more often than not transsexuals and transvestites were lumped together with no differentiation although by comparison the conditions are like night and day. With the phenomena of transsexualism becoming more known, and by most counts negatively known, many trans advocates began standing up to fight for their reputation.

With the rise of the Internet came more open exchange of information and the ability of transsexuals to come out even if only virtually. While the transsexual community in America was often looked upon as some sort of freak over the past decade the tide has slowly shifted and legal protections guarding against discrimination have been enacted in a dozen states and even more major cities. Was this the product of the liberal movement? In all honesty the answer is no.

The simple facts are that the legal rights for transsexuals are lagging behind the rest of the LGBT. While it is illegal to discriminate against homosexuals in regards to employment and housing across the U.S., for transsexuals such applies in only twelve states. Homosexuals may enter military service under the flawed Don’t ask/Don’t tell policy but a transsexual may not. In fact the courts have overwhelmingly upheld that insurance companies not be required to cover GRS (Gender reassignment surgery) the only known effective treatment for GID (Gender Identity Disorder) or associated procedures even when not explicitly stated in policies. On rare occasions the insurer does lose, but it is a rarity. In fact in many cases transsexuals in America have fewer rights than illegal immigrants! Imagine that.

The liberal movement has failed to do anything of consequence to allow for transsexuals to receive medical care, equal employment and housing rights, or even the most basic right to self identity without fear of prosecution in many states. While the expression of gender variance is rarely prosecuted in these days, the fact laws are still on the books against it, and at times are randomly enforced as to the whims of the jurisdictions legal entities is horrific. The liberal movement has failed to do a thing in regards to transsexualism.

So you now ask if that is true than how has progress been made? Quite simply progress has been made by medical research advancing and showing this is not the behavior of deranged individuals but a congenital condition. As such many people become more accepting as it is seen this is something beyond a persons control and predetermined before birth. Transsexuals themselves along with the LGB have become more visible and vocal. With more and more members of the LGBT coming out of the closet and showing that we in fact are normal well adjusted people that are vital to the functioning of society acceptance has grown. The rights and advancements gained by transsexuals is the product of the LGBT movement, not the liberal movement. It cannot even be argued all members of the LGBT are liberal and by extension part of the liberal movement as there are many of us whom identify with conservative organizations such as the Log Cabin Republicans.

The liberal movement has not caused a higher incidence of transsexualism in the population. The numbers have remained fairly steady over the time frame transsexualism has been studied. Although at this time there are more people whom have undergone GRS procedures than at any other that is the product of better procedures and global medicine as countries such as Thailand offer safe, effective, and affordable treatment accessible to even those with limited incomes. The amount of preoperative and non-operative transsexuals has almost remained steady. The only thing that has changed is our awareness of them.

In conclusion as a transsexual person I can say the liberal movement has done nothing, or at best very little in relation to transsexualism. It has afforded no advantages, or even simple equality as a human being. While the liberal movement has not been an enemy to the transsexual community, it certainly has not been the friend it professes either.

Website reviews: Transpeoplespeak.org

13 May

Transpeoplespeak.org is the web based vehicle being used to spread the word regarding “awareness about the diverse communities of trans individuals, families, and allies. The site is designed and maintained by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition with support from GLAD. As a fledgling site, it is primarily maintained by volunteers and interns, but that hardly equates to poor quality. If anything, the quality of content and the user interface is excellent and provides new twists that are both compelling enough to warrant return visits, and informative enough to not be a waste of time.

What you can expect to find at transpeoplespeak.org are  the video and written testimonies of people in the transgender community willing to speak up about their identity, their life, and being transgender. It also serves as the base for the “I AM” project which was developed to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions about the transgender community as well as transphobia. It is also the first portal known to be solely dedicated to providing a place where transgender people can share their stories. There are no ads, nor forums dedicated to any other issues, just transgender people and their life.

Each video and written testimony is heartfelt and goes a long way with keeping with the similar “It Gets Better” project which is aimed at LGB persons primarily. To spend time with these video and written testimonies is almost like actually meeting the actual person behind each and identifying the commonalities you share with them beyond being a transgender person alone. That in and of itself is priceless for many.

The site itself is very easy to navigate and colorful without being obnoxious. Everything is presented with easy to find and access tabs that allow users to quickly jump from one point to the next. There are areas for transpeople, allies, and family members to share their stories as well as an educational area tabbed “Trans 101.” The site does accept donations to continue operating and fund projects, but they are not obnoxious about it, and providing your email for contact does not result in a slew of spam mails.

Overall it is a very enjoyable site that will be a great pleasure to watch develop and grow. The video journals can be quite stirring and help put the face of real and courageous people on the community we call transgender. Transmen and transwomen are equally represented and the overall feel of the site is one of great comfort and acceptance.

Gender change & issues concering married couples

10 May

The issue of gender change as it applies to a married couple is one of the most complex aspects of the process for many transsexual people caught in this position. There are two sides to this coin and each has equally valid concerns that have to be respected, the person changing their physical sex and their partner. While a few people are fortunate enough to be with someone that supports them and can remain in the marriage, that is rarely case as will be examined later. The easiest way to address these issues surrounding gender change and marriage is to go step by step.

The first step is the coming out phase. In some admittedly rare cases the partner is aware in advance of marriage that they are wedding a person that is gender dysphoric. In those instances the odds of a marriage surviving the process of gender transition is excellent. There are no secrets or bombshells being dropped that create chaos. The reality is most partners are unaware of their partners gender dysphoria. At times this is because the dysphoria is being repressed, or in the truly sad cases it is known and the person does not disclose it because they have some personal reason for hiding it. In some cases it may be they are hoping marriage will fix their gender dysphoria, in others it may be they never felt like the right time materialized, or any host excuses.

 

For the individual coming out for the first time this is extremely stressful. Even the person that has a partner aware of it it is under heightened stress because they still have to face the world. Either way this is a very trying period. Each partner will be subjected to public and familial scrutiny. There are going to be legal and professional concerns, even more if children are involved. As difficult as this initial period is, it isn’t too bad in comparison to what lies ahead. In some cases, the simple proclamation of gender dysphoria is enough for some spouses to seek immediate divorce, in most instances however they will remain through this period if for no other reason than the belief this may be a phase.

As the transitional period begins which is when a person begins undergoing counseling as well as HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), some physical modification in many cases, and begins living in their new gender role full-time, is when things get particularly dicey. Now the pressure from outside sources is really turned up. For many spouses this is too much to bear. The changes in physical appearance are usually no piece

of cake either. Add with those factors that thanks to hormone therapy what often happens is the once docile wife becomes more aggressive and the once stereotypical male (hardened/unfeeling) becomes more emotional. In the case of a MTF (Male to Female) it is often likened to compressing puberty and menopause into a two or three year span when moods swings are more so the rule than the exception.

 

With all this the FTM (Female to Male) usually experiences an increased sex drive while the MTF experiences a decline. Sex is an integral part of a healthy marriage and this change in the dynamic is often difficult for their spouse to contend with. Aside from that there is the issue that the spouse often “feels gay” although in most cases they know this to not be true. There are certainly examples where a bisexual partner experienced no problem with these issues, whoever that is not the norm across the spectrum of all marriages.

 

Typically this is the make or break point in a marriage in which a gender dysphoric partner pursues a surgical reassignment. In many cases the transsexual partner has passed the “point of no return” to some degree as hormones and physical alterations have made physical changes. It is clear this is not a phase or bit of exploration, but a real event which is almost certainly going to happen. In a fair portion of cases the couple separates, at least temporarily. Attempts at reconciliation are not that uncommon. The desire for separation seems to come equally from both sides. In some cases the partner switching genders finds that the relationship is not what they want, or vise versa. The reasons for this are numerous and vary by individual as each person is unique. Most often, especially when children are involved, a relationship is maintained although in earlier years this was a rarity.

 

In the case of these marriages where a partner does attain a surgical reassignment the number of marriages that survive is exceedingly low. While no accurate statistics are kept due to no real initiative to track this, the general belief is less than 15% of marriages survive in tact in which the couple continues as they were prior to GRS. In most cases it is believed one or both partners are usually bisexual which makes the transition far easier. In most cases divorce is the final result and friendship is the most that can be hoped for.

 

What is important to remember is that a transseuxual person does not do this with the intent of hurting their spouse. A transsexual person denied the ability to be who they are is often a miserable person emotionally as suicide statistics for this community bear out. They are honestly doing what they feel is best for them and their spouse. They hope that by being who they are they will be happier. In turn it is their desire their partner be happy as well, if possible in some cases by remaining a couple, if not then by moving on to someone else.

 

So far as the spouse of a person changing gender, they need not feel as though they have done anything wrong or harbor any guilt. The best thing they can do is support their spouse and hope for the best for each of them. It is unfortunate this happens, but with societal and medical attitudes changing this is becoming less of a problem with each passing generation. The bottom line is the love you shared does not end because a persons gender has changed, that will always remain even if the marriage does not.

Let’s talk about the T

13 Apr

Kick back, flip that switch on your kettle and make yourself a good brew, but it won’t be what you’re drinking that I plan on talking about in this article. The T that I plan on discussing is the much overlooked T at the end of a fairly widespread and understood acronym in modern society. I’m talking about the T in LGBT. For those familiar with this acronym, you will know it to stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. For those that aren’t, well you just learnt something, and with the price of private tuition being astronomical these days, cheques to the usual address please!

via Let’s talk about the T.

via Let’s talk about the T.

Is a third sex category really necessary?

24 Mar

The third sex designation actually has always existed for the ambiguously gendered (from the genital perspective) formerly known as hermaphrodites, but currently referred to by the kinder term of intersexed. The question therefore perhaps should be whether or not there is need for a fourth gender. Either way, the answer is unequivocally yes!

As a trannsexual person myself, I know all to well the struggle for identity. Not only is it helpful to have a means of identifying oneself regardless of genitalia, but from a legal perspective it would be incredibly helpful. Unless it is something you or to a lesser degree someone close to you is or has struggled with it is difficult at best to comprehend what proper recognition means.

Being able to identify oneself is one of the most basic things in the world. As a male in the world I never felt as if I fit in, even as a preoperative transsexual it was difficult. In fact it was down right scary. To present oneself as one person to the world but still be somewhere in between physically can be an incredible challenge to face from a social and legal standpoint. Such a process is something which in no way happens overnight.

Beyond the physical aspects everyone is quite aware of, it is the legal dilemma which can create an incredible problem. On numerous occasions while awaiting my legal change of name I was asked for identification and on two occasions even disallowed use of my credit card although I looked just like myself in the updated license photo. The second time my card was even confiscated. Even at my own bank I had problems until discussing my situation with the branch manager so that I wouldn’t hae to face embarrassing situation in line. I had been detained by mall security for use of the female restroom even while in possession of notarized notes from my MD and psychiatrist explaining my situation and that I was undergoing the real life test. Granted no arrest or actual jail detention ever occurred from this but it is still an incredibly disheartening experience.

Socially the phenomena is far more difficult personally. To have to explain oneself constantly when carrying out basic functions can be incredibly embarrassing. To have a clerk look at you and say something to the effect of “Well you look female but your ID says male”, or just the simple looks of disgust or misunderstanding are ego blows. It certainly doesn’t have to be this way.

Birth certificates are allowed the designations of male, female, or ambiguously gendered, so why can’t state or federal identification cards? It would take basically zero dollars to allow for the designation of “T”, “TG”, or perhaps “TS” to be used. Of course there should be medical backing for such designations but it would allow for a much smoother transition for people already in a very difficult, personal, emotionally vulnerable position.

Understanding the choice and necessity of sex-change operations

20 Mar

As a person whom has undergone this procedure I can say that this is absolutely a necessary life saving procedure. There will always be people that have not dealt with this type of problem or known anyone going through it that will say it is a sickness requiring alternative or no care at all. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The facts are that according to Dutch studies brain autopsies of persons identifying as transsexual have shown pronounced differences in the BSTC regions and hypothalmus. The suicide rate among transsexuals unable to attain said procedure is alarmingly high, and even higher when considering the number which have attempted suicide. This is hardly a procedure a person undertakes on a whim or out of vanity.

To simply be able to qualify for said SRS (Sexual Reassignment Surgery) one must undergo and survive a myriad of smaller procedures leading up to it. Since I am most familiar with the process I had to undertake I will use that in reference and in no way mean to ignore female to male transpersons. First there is psychological counseling of no less than 10 visits on average over a 6 month average with followups until surgery. A second therapist must then concur after sessions with them as well. Then an MD must physically clear the person as fit to undergo the procedure. Endocrinology plays a major role in administering and monitoring hormone therapy. Electrolysis or laser treatment is almost always a necessary evil and is not only time consuming and expensive, but in certain areas it ranges from uncomfortable to downright painful. Now consider almost no insurance company or governmental agency will help with this process when presented legitimately and the cost alone can be staggering.

Socially there is the real life test of one to two years in which a person lives 24/7 in the chosen gender role. Work and social life are all conducted in said manner. Then the legal aspects come into play requiring in most cases a change of name on every document a person has been issued which is necessary to function legally and socially. Furthermore there is the aspect of dealing with the world during this transition which in all too many cases leads to loss of contact with friends and or family as well as social marginalization.

So after just glancing a bare bones snippet into the actual process of simply qualifying for reassignment surgery there is one question to ask yourself. “Does this seem like something a person would willingly undergo if not necessary?” Of course someone wouldn’t do all this at great expense and pain for kicks. It is therefore a necessary procedure to insure a full contented life for such persons and is in no way anything remotely resembling a simple lifestyle choice.

Should prisoners receive sex-change surgery at taxpayers’ expense?

2 Mar

Whether or not prison inmates should receive gender reassignment surgery (GRS) at taxpayers expense is a much simpler question to answer than many would think. That answer is yes. That may shock, enrage, and befuddle many people but it is the correct answer.

Often times people hearing that positive response jump up on their soapbox and begin spouting off one argument after another against this stance which are in all honesty irrelevant. The reasons this happens so often is people do not understand the reasons behind why this is necessary on a multitude of levels.

 For starters Gender Identity Disorder (GID- Also known as transsexualism and Harry Benjamin’s Syndrome) is a congenital medical condition recognized in the DSMIV as such. In almost every major industrialized nation and other nations with less than stellar records on human rights like Iran this is easily and openly accepted. In the U.S. however it is a hot button topic based on the view of transsexualism from the “Moral Christian Conservatives”, and more directly insurance companies failure to recognize it is a true and treatable condition, and not a fetish or an action carried out on a whim.

The only known treatment to successfully treat transsexualism is GRS. Nothing from electroshock therapy, hypnosis, anti-psychotic drugs, psychiatry, aversion behavior therapy, or prayer, has ever successfully treated this condition. Without treatment the person suffering from GID often ends up suicidal and at times does act out in anti social ways due to the long term suppression of something so basic as individual identity.

Unlike what many people think GRS is only considered an elective procedure in the U.S. which is a break from the major (And most minor) European and Asian nations. Even our neighbor to the north, Canada, recognizes this as a necessary procedure to meet medical needs including the incarcerated. The biggest reason the U.S. does not recognize this as such is because the procedure can be expensive and insurance companies simply do not want to foot the bill for such treatment as part of a basic coverage agreement. Even insures that do offer some coverage for this condition will only do so through large corporations (At increased blanket premiums) and not for individuals. Money is the usual suspect in cases like this.

There are many that ask why any person in prison much less a person on death row for a heinous crime would deserve such treatment. Quite simply they are wards of the state or in some

cases federal government when they are incarcerated. It is then the responsibility of that governing agency to care for these inmates. Cancer patients receive chemotherapy and diabetics get insulin. Psychological counseling or any form of medical care for a legitimate problem is available except transsexualism. In doing so the limited rights they do have are violated. They are put at risk and often subjected to treatment far harsher than the penalty of their crime deserves. Transsexuals in prison whom are placed in general population are the most common culprits of physical and sexual abuse. As such most eventually wind up in solitary confinement. Furthermore these are people that have identified to the opposite gender their whole life. Being placed in such an environment based on a gender they do not identify to is in no way conducive to the rehabilitative process our prisons are so fond of claiming exists when it comes time to receive funding.

 While many people are quick to point out one isolated case of a transsexual prisoner demanding medical treatment for his condition there are literally a few thousand more in the same boat. We hear of the one case of a murderer on death row but not the countless others incarcerated on lesser offenses. Why is that? It doesn’t make for sensationalistic enough reporting. Stories of a murderer sell more copy than a car thief or habitual offender on charges of solicitation. You have to look at the forest and not just the biggest tree to actually get a true view of what is going on. Quite simply these people are being denied their rights.

While I am sorry there are good hard working honest people in this country that cannot afford medical care it is irrelevant to point that out as an argument against providing prisoners medical care. We as a society set this penal system up, and we as a society must abide by it. To deny one group treatment opens the door to denying further groups treatment. One day we may find ourselves saying it’s okay to deny chemotherapy as “Inmate X” is a bad guy and will die soon anyway. Do we want to take on the Scrooge like mantra of “Better to decrease the surplus population.” Is that the way we as a nation wish to be viewed?

As a human being I find there are crimes so despicable that in all honesty I wouldn’t mind seeing the perpetrators of those acts die. As a society there are enough people that feel that way that we have the death penalty in many states. Those sentences are carried out through

the judicial process. It is made clear beyond the shadow of a doubt the punishment fits the crime in the eyes of a jury of the convicts peers. What is being done to transsexuals in prison being denied medical care via hormonal treatment and/or GRS is a death sentence as well. The difference is the punishment of withholding medical care doesn’t fit the crime and there is no due process. Doing so sends the message that it is okay for us to commit crimes against others if we simply don’t agree with the. That is a hate crime by the way to the letter of the laws definition and is punishable by up to seven years in a federal penitentiary. Do two wrongs ever make a right? I urge you again to remember this affects far more people than one twisted individual as many arguing in favor of the negative side of this issue portray.

 We don’t have to like the person or what they did to land in prison, but we do have to treat them as human beings still. That includes the right to medical treatment. Remember this, if we deny for one group based on gender identity, next it may be based on race, religion, age, or any imaginable aspect of being a human. Denial of GRS goes further than it’s affect on transsexual prisoners alone, it opens the door to potentially effecting all incarcerated persons medical care in a very negative manner.

What to expect when preparing for electrolysis

1 Mar

If you have ever considered permanent hair removal like electrolysis but were hesitant because you had the nagging question of just how electrolysis works, and what to expect if you get electrolysis, the answer to that is fairly simple. Electrolysis may seem scary because there are parts of the process that are somewhat scary. Anytime you start thinking of permanently removing anything from your body, you should know the ins and outs of what is going on.

 Electrolysis is hardly a new process. It dates back to England in the late 1800’s where Dr. Charles Michel pioneered the discipline. Over a century later, it still remains the most effective procedure of its kind, even beating out laser treatment and any number of fly by night ointments and creams. The science behind how electrolysis works is really very simple.

Electrolysis is the process of using very thin gauge electrified needle to burn the root of a hair. When the root is dead there is no more hair growth. The needle, or probe, is actually thinner than the hair it is being used to remove which means it can be slide along the shaft of the hair and then through the pore the hair grows out of. Once the probe is successfully inserted, electricity is passed through it, thereby heating the probe and burning the root. The length of time that electricity is passed is determined by how much current is being passed which is dictated by what the patients threshold for discomfort is.

Once the hair has been treated, the technician will use tweezers to remove the hair. If the hair shows a waxy bulb like protrusion at the base and there is no pain felt when the hair is removed, that is usually considered a success. If the hair does not grow back within 90 days, it is definitely dead. If those conditions are not met however, that usually means that the root was not destroyed and the hair will need to be treated again later. There is no need to worry about the electrical current as it is minimal and hair does not conduct electricity so it cannot “jump’ from one spot to another.

Electrolysis is effective, but it is not magic. One treatment is not going to eradicate all of your unwanted hair. There will be unsuccessful attempts, thicker hair is difficult to remove the first try and usually takes multiple sessions before the hair is weakened and the root is properly reached. It also pays to keep in mind that hair grows in three stages; anagen, catagen, and telogen.

The vast majority of a person’s hair is in anagen phase which just means it is actively growing. This is the hair you see on your head, face, arms, or anywhere above the skin. The normal healthy person’s hair is usually about 85% anagen, and once a hair becomes anagen it usually has a lifespan of about 1000 days, but it can stretch out to eight years with very good care. Catagen phase is when the hair is dying and lasts about three weeks. This is a transitional phase to telogen which is when the hair is dead and waiting to shed. It is no longer growing, but it is still somewhat between the root and follicle staying in place by nothing more than friction. The average person loses about 100 hairs in this phase per day. Telogen lasts about ten weeks, but it also ushers in a new growth phase.

 Considering the three phases of hair growth, no matter how good an electrologist is they cannot remove every unwanted hair you have in one sitting because a percentage is dormant. Do not expect total eradication in one or even three sittings. Expect instead that each session should show better results, and eventually become fewer and further between with only general maintenance for strays necessary for a short period of time.

Also do not expect that electrolysis is painless. There is discomfort, and there are certain very sensitive areas that can bring tears to your eyes. Many cite that certain areas of the bikini line can be quite painful, while others express more discomfort in the area just under the nose. Although electrolysis probe, when used properly, will not hit major nerves or blood vessels, you will feel the probe and the current. The higher the current is, the hotter the probe is and the higher the level of discomfort is. The upside to s higher current setting is it accomplishes the job faster.

When preparing for electrolysis treatment, do your homework. If you know you will have the procedure on a sensitive area you may want to consider using an OTC Lidocaine spray beforehand to mildly numb the are if you have no medical contraindications to that product. Do not drink beforehand thinking that will help, in most cases, an electrologist will turn you away if they think you are under the influence. Follow the aftercare procedure your electrologist provides you exactly. Electrolysis does not have to be scary, you just have to understand what is happening.

Website reviews: Transpeoplespeak.org

26 Feb

Transpeoplespeak.org is the web based vehicle being used to spread the word regarding “awareness about the diverse communities of trans individuals, families, and allies. The site is designed and maintained by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition with support from GLAD. As a fledgling site, it is primarily maintained by volunteers and interns, but that hardly equates to poor quality. If anything, the quality of content and the user interface is excellent and provides new twists that are both compelling enough to warrant return visits, and informative enough to not be a waste of time.

 What you can expect to find at transpeoplespeak.org are  the video and written testimonies of people in the transgender community willing to speak up about their identity, their life, and being transgender. It also serves as the base for the “I AM” project which was developed to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions about the transgender community as well as transphobia. It is also the first portal known to be solely dedicated to providing a place where transgender people can share their stories. There are no ads, nor forums dedicated to any other issues, just transgender people and their life.

Each video and written testimony is heartfelt and goes a long way with keeping with the similar “It Gets Better” project which is aimed at LGB persons primarily. To spend time with these video and written testimonies is almost like actually meeting the actual person behind each and identifying the commonalities you share with them beyond being a transgender person alone. That in and of itsel is priceless for many.

The site itself is very easy to navigate and colorful without being obnoxious. Everything is presented with easy to find and access tabs that allow users to quickly jump from one point to the next. There are areas for transpeople, allies, and family members to share their stories as well as an educational area tabbed “Trans 101.” The site does accept donations to continue operating and fund projects, but they are not obnoxious about it, and providing your email for contact does not result in a slew of spam mails.

Overall it is a very enjoyable site that will be a great pleasure to watch develop and grow. The video journals can be quite stirring and help put the face of real and courageous people on the community we call transgender. Transmen and transwomen are equally represented and the overall feel of the site is one of great comfort and acceptance.