Tag Archives: Transitioning

WIN A FREE Autographed Copy Of Transgender Journey: Real Stories From Around The World!

Here’s your chance to win a FREE Autographed copy of Transgender Journey: Real Stories From Around The World!

Front CoverAll you have to do is:

1. Upload a video to YouTube (any length) answering the question: “What would you tell someone who is transgender or gender queer that is contemplating suicide?”

2. The title of the video needs to be “Transgender Journey: Real Stories From Around The World – MY Answer!”

3. In the description of the video, you must put the following:
“If you need to talk to someone, please contact the Trevor Project immediately 1-866-488-7386. For more info on the book, visit http://www.transgenderjourney.weebly.com

4. Email the link to your video to: transgenderjourneybook@gmail.com by 11:59pm EST August 31st!

One person will be randomly selected to win a free copy of the book and it will be shipped to them!

Winner announced on Sept. 1st!

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Transgender Journey: Real Stories From Around The World – BOOK RELEASE!

Front CoverIn January 2015, I asked 10 questions. These questions were answered by Transgender / Gender Queer individuals from all around the world that included: all walks of life, all shapes, sizes and ages with different beliefs and life experiences.

I had no idea the profound responses I would receive. Transgender Journey: Reals Stories From Around The World is an intricate look inside the personal lives of almost 40 people located in countries spanning from the United States all the way to small dot on the map called Slovenia.

The words inside this book reach into the depths of the soul, awakening anyone who picks it up to read. This book is perfect for those who are new to the journey, for family and friends who want to learn more, or for anyone who loves reading about the fascinating journeys of others.

You may laugh, you may cry. No doubt this book will make a lasting impression in your mind (and heart) for years to come. Learn about the obstacles, the joy, the depression, the fear, the happiness, the triumph…and everything in between.

Real Stories. Real Lives. Real Answers.

Buy a copy today!

View the website!

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Switching a Gene in Adult Mice Easily Transforms Females Into Males

 The technology might allow for mid-life human sex changes with no surgery

Apparently men and women are not that different after all. In fact, the sexes are so similar that women have to fight their entire lives just to remain women — at least on the genetic level.

A new study finds that turning off just one gene, shared by all mammals, turns ovarian cells into testosterone-producing cells found only in the testes — and this is in adults.

In the study, published in the new issue of the journal Cell, researchers knocked out a female-promoting gene in adult female mice. The FoxL2 gene works by suppressing a male gene. When FoxL2 is switched off, the male gene, called Sox9, takes over, sending signals that turn ovarian cells into cells normally found only in the testes. The female mice produced as much testosterone as male mice, about 100 times higher than the concentrations normally found in females. Essentially, the ovaries turn into testes.

Minnie or Mickey? Roger McLassus via Wikimedia

A mouse with this gene manipulation is able to produce male sex hormones, but is infertile, the researchers say.

The findings suggest that maintenance of womanhood, or at least of the ovarian phenotype, is an active process throughout life, according to the researchers. The constant struggle between female and male genes could help explain changes like facial hair and a deeper voice among post-menopausal women, for instance. It could also illuminate genetic issues in transsexual people, perhaps explaining why some seek gender-reassignment surgery.

Co-author Robin Lovell-Badge, from the Medical Research Council’s National Institute of Medical Research in north London, told the Independent newspaper that the therapy could provide an alternative to those surgeries.

“It’s still very speculative, but it’s possible that this approach could produce an alternative to surgery and the removal of gonads — ovaries and testes,” Lovell-Badge said.

The gene is shared among mammals, so it’s not related to the rise of intersex fish throughout the U.S. Gender transformation is common among some fish species, and even the unusual increase in intersex black bass can be attributed to synthetic human hormones in the water supply, rather than a genetic change.

While it appears easy to genetically transform female mice into males, the study does not discuss going the other way. But in humans, a male-to-female surgical operation is somewhat simpler than a female-to-male operation, according to a 1996 study from the British Journal of Sexual Medicine. The relatively small body of research on the subject also suggests male-to-female operations are more common than female-to-male operations. The gene knockout could be a simpler method for female-to-male transformation.

Via Independent


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Filed under Medical, News, Transitioning

Want More Hair? Awaken Dormant Follicles

Around ten years ago or so, having facial hair was something more of an embarrassment than something I embraced. I was pre-transitioning, living as “female” and all the bleaching and waxing became more and more a pain in the butt.

I was embarrassed because my natural state of being “hairy” was looked down upon by my female cohorts.  Women are supposed to be hairless (society would like to make you think) and I certainly bore my Italian ethnicity…with not much pride.

In attempts to help boost my self esteem, my mother offered to pay for treatments of electrolysis and then, eventually, laser light hair removal. Even with over $1,000 down the drain, I still had facial hair.

A few years later when I came to terms with my gender identity, I was VERY thankful I didn’t kill off all of the hair follicles and there were feisty survivors that remained.

I’m telling my story, because there might be others out there with similar experiences. Some things that were a social taboo living as “female” are now praised as we live as “male”.

I have been blessed in my ability to grow facial hair naturally, yet it is not as thick as I would like and it is not all over my face. I realized some hair follicles were killed in my previous attempts at “hair death” and I shrugged it off for a long time as an, “Oh, well! Atleast they aren’t all dead!.”

In late fall of 2010, I had a friend mention that he was using minoxidil. He had great success applying it to his face twice daily with a Q-tip. I decided to finally give it a try.

At first, I noticed that it seemed to discolor my hair, lightening it. It also made the hair fall out and be thinner at the first few weeks to a month. Then, I noticed a gradual shift forward as the hair seemed to re-thicken back up. Yet, I never experienced any major changes over a period of 4 months or more. I also only applied it once daily.

This morning I was thinking about my past hair removal and decided to do some research on it.

I found out some VERY interesting information!

I read that per square inch of the body you have a minimum of 1,000 hair follicles. The problem is that most of them lay dormant, meaning they stay “asleep” and do not produce hair. When you get electrolysis, they remove an average of 5 – 100 hairs per square inch of active follicles, so even when they are killed, you still have all of those dormant follicles remaining. (read all about it).

I then researched laser light treatment and it stated it only works 80% of the time and usually the hair remains gone for a long period of time, but usually not forever. (read all about it).

I decided to see if there was a way to “awaken” these dormant hair follicles and I found out…there is! (read all about it).

Tamoxifen (generic version known as Nolvadex) is an anti-estrogen steroid.

Now, that is one word that makes my eyebrow raise…steroid? Hmm. It appears that you can buy it as a pill (more pills? ewww!) OR a topical cream (BINGO!). It is primarily used to reduce breast cancer in female patients. (read all about it).

Am I going to try this? I’m not sure. I am not one to “try” things that affect my body until I do plenty of research. My health is #1.

I’m putting this out there for guys just so they know, all we have to do is somehow “awaken” these dormant follicles and PRESTO CHANGO, we can have a full 5 o’clock shadow over time!

Here are some mobile phone photos of me I took this morning showing my chin hair and sideburns.

 

My sideburns do grow past my earlobes, but I keep them trimmed for a more professional look. I also have hair just below my lower lip.

 

Leave comments if you find more research!!!

Happy hair growing, fellas! 😉

Written by TRISTAN “SHIMMER” SKYE

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Filed under Education, Research, Transitioning

Macho Men & The Femme Factor

Sabrina Pandora

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a bit of a division in the trans community, such as it were.  I thought I’d take today to comment on it.

Y’see, there are certain inequalities that exist in the trans community.  Well, let’s be honest, there are a lot of them, but today we’re going to examine one so that I can move on to my point.  And that inequality is in passing.

Between transmen and transwomen there is a very, very clear division on this, and it has been pretty accepted, so I don’t feel as though I am overstepping my bounds in making this observation.  Transmen have an easier time of it when it comes to passing than transwomen, at least on casual inspection.  After all, a short haircut, men’s clothes, a binder and a little bit of swagger can go a long ways.  Add a little facial hair to that equation and very few people really question what’s under there.  They are far more likely to jump to the conclusion ‘gay man’ then they are ‘trans man’.

But for transwomen it is usually a whole lot harder.  Trying to dress up a Y chromosome in a pretty package and make it look X so that society won’t freak out, discriminate and laugh at you is a whole lot harder.  This is arguable, but again, I’m pretty sure that I’m on target here.

So with that logical assumption made, we move on to my next observation, which is segregation between the gender fences in the trans community.  How often do you see transmen and transwomen hanging out together?  Seems pretty seldom.  Transwomen and transmen flock together all right (so long as the trans women are all either unpassable or uncaring- but that’s a column for another time).  But the intermingling just doesn’t seem to happen.  Now why is that?

Observation has told me that it is the Passing Prejudice.  The rule that says that if you are trans and you spend time with someone who does not pass well enough, then you are instead making yourself suspect as well and bringing down your own passability.  Now, mind you, this rule also applies to straights who hang out with non-passable transfolk, but somehow it usually doesn’t bother them as much.  Go figure.

Because as mentioned earlier, transmen often pass reasonably easily, whereas transwomen do not.  So in order to keep themselves from being ‘read’, they avoid their opposite numbers when they can, and certainly don’t make a habit of socializing with them.  Besides, there is that not-so-vague and not-so-quiet notion that has been circulated that transmen somehow view their sisters in transition as somehow idiotic and ridiculous.  As they are working so hard to distance themselves from stereotypically feminine behavior, habits and lifestyle, transwomen are often rushing headlong to embrace it, some at a breakneck pace.  It just makes no sense to many transmen, and much like so many activists look at the overblown drag queens on floats in parades and shake their heads that these are their representatives to the community and how they are viewed by the world at large, so too do the transmen look at the 50 year old transwoman in the too-short vinyl skirt and six inch heels and fishnet top and bra with a bedraggled wig and sigh.

But there’s something that they are missing out on, and I think that it is important enough to mention and shed a little light upon.

You see, transwomen are a huge resource for transmen that are being largely ignored.  Yes, they do tend to have their idiosyncrasies and they do have their moments, but there is a simple fact that most transmen seem to overlook when considering them.  You see, transmen, particularly when they are first starting out, do not usually have an understanding of the nuances of masculine society.  They do not understand the subtle body language, the power of a nod up or down when passing another man, the difference in the way that a self-confident man walks versus an angry man or an effeminate man.

Sure, we can argue all day about the definitions of masculinity and how it is up to the individual to define that for themselves.  You betcha, that is quite true.  But the reality of the situation is that while society has some pretty preset and concrete ideas of what is femininity, it has even stronger ideas about masculinity.  And they are very simple, very basic and very, very concrete.

And transwomen know them better than anyone else in the world.

Why?  Because they did not come naturally to them… they had to learn to emulate those masculine behaviors and adhere to those masculine codes in order to learn to survive in the society that they never chose, but was thrust upon them.  Crossing your legs the right way, keeping those hand gestures tight and firm, portraying the acceptable emotional states… all of these things and so many more are all something that transwomen had to learn, because for so many of them, it did not come naturally.  They had to ape the men around them, and often through ridicule and hazing did they find what was acceptable.

So when they encounter transmen, here is a golden opportunity.  Any transwoman who had to unlearn behaviors and body language could potentially make a fantastic tutor for transmen who are trying to hone their own masculine behaviors.  Just as walking in heels takes practice and comes with a learning curve, so too does walking in sneakers as a guy, or cowboy boots.  Women walk with their elbows in, one of the keys of feminine body language, whereas men bow their elbows out to take up more space and appear larger.  Women run their fingers through their hair one way, men do it another.  Seldom will you see a woman rubbing the scruff of her chin while thinking, whereas men seldom play with their lower lip when in thought.

All of these subtle nuances that could be transferred… lost.  And I imagine that there is some teaching to go in the other direction too, but on that I can’t speak… after all, I know a few transmen in passing, but I can’t say that I am close friends with a single one.  Why?  Because I am a transwoman.  I am high femme, and I’ve yet to meet a transman who thought I had a single solitary thing to offer him, forget about actually befriending me and spending time around me.  And apparently in this I am not alone, as I poll other transwomen that I know, and find that while we know others of our own estrogen-fueled tribe, the testosterone tribe is unknown to us all.

So here’s the call to our brothers in transition… in many cases, we’re here, we know, and we can be an invaluable resource for you if you can get over stubborn pride and seek us out.  We spent years pretending to be men, so we know a bit about the subject of outward shows of masculinity.  Perhaps we might be able to help you become the man that you want to be… and perhaps you might be able to steer us away from floral prints and leather miniskirts.

 

Written by Sabrina Pandora

TQ Nation contributor

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Filed under Spout Out, Support

TQ Nation Review: Good Vibrations (Packers & STPs – Oh My!)

Need a Packer?

I recently purchased a few items and have come to a very satisfied conclusion, so i figured I’d blog about it for the reference of others…
————

After being referred by a friend, I went to GoodVibes website and right away liked what I saw.

Immediately there was a tab labeled Gender Expression and there they had EVERYTHING I was currently looking for.

Their GV Soft Pack is THE MOST LIFELIKE PACKER at this price that I’ve seen in a while. They’ve got it in 3 colors, and 2 very believable and life-like sizes. I read in their review that the packer had “a slightly firmer inner core [which] allows for more rigidity to the shaft [and] result[s] in [it’s] more realistic feel”, so I was curious and wanted to see for myself. Ranging from only $24-28, it seemed like a pretty logical risk to take, so I signed myself up for a 4-inch.

As soon as I put this little guy on I felt comfortable, and SUPER passing. This thing REALLY feels real. The rigidity of the inner shaft makes it hang in a more believable manner and it fits perfectly into the harnesses (mentioned in the following paragraphs) elastic pouches so it stays in place giving the wearer confidence that his bad boy isn’t going sliding down his pant leg when he stands up….. *sigh*

An item I’ve been badly needing to upgrade in one of the everyday-undergarments used for ‘passing’ was a COMFORTABLE harness that STILL has OPTIMAL PACKAGE CONTROL. They have several genius harness options, the style i purchased has just a plain (thin in depth, thick in width) elastic band around the waist, and a simple leather section stitched to the waist-band with a little, to be frank, elastic pouch for the balls of the packer to sit in. I purchased one in this style WITH leg-straps and one WITHOUT leg-straps.

The harness WITHOUT leg-straps stays in place just fine, the leather is smooth and adjusts to your body temperature just like the material of the packer, so it doesn’t irritate and it provides a layer between you and your packer, helping in the ‘stickiness’ department that I know alot of us Boys stuck in the south have to deal with in the depths of the summer.

ALSO, my partner and I noticed, as i was about to check out the ‘cart’, that they carried an STP (Stand To Pee) device, one intended not just for fTms but for any female-bodied person who wants to pee standing up for any reason (camping, dirty bathrooms, NO bathrooms, etc.). They’re cheap and they come in a rainbow variety of colors.They’re of the most basic of concepts, just a bit of a drain/slide with a wider end that goes against you and a thinner end with a run-off spout.

So, to conclude my rating on my positive experience with Good Vibes, I give them an overall 5 out of 5 stars for swiftness of delivery, quality and availability of product, and for throwing in a free sticker [:

Written by: Dae Jedic, TQ Nation Sponsorship Director

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TQ Shout Out to Chaz Bono & Video Clip Submissions Wanted!

Chaz Bono Shout Out:

Okay — for some reason, Chaz Bono has been on my heart the past two days. I’ve read some articles and know he has a lot of support; however, he also receives a lot of opposition, disapproval and has many “haters”.

Being in the public eye is not an easy thing, especially being the child of not just one celebrity, but two. I have read comments by the general population and some of the negative feedback truly shook me and stirred up my soul.

Chaz is courageous to be a voice for our community…a group of people whose voices have been silenced by years of opposition (even from within the GLB community).

I wish we could make him aware of this website and also provide him with a safe place full of support and love.

I also want to thank all of those in the public eye that is not afraid to have a voice. We have many trans people who are a positive representation of us worldwide, from entertainers to comedians to musicians to artists to authors to activists…

TQ Nation: Calling All Citizens:

We live in a very hateful world, so it is very important for us to show extra support and give love to our family within our community.

This website is my home and all of you are my family. This place not only is a safe world for you, it also is for my wife and I.

I would like to make a video for YouTube with clips from all of you who want to send one to me. You can email your video clips to: tnt@transqueernation.com — I want clips that say anything from why you are a citizen here, to if you found your love here, to it being a place that has helped you, anything you want to help others become aware that there is a place for them too here in TQ Nation.

I will edit the submissions and post it on YouTube.

Deadline for your video submission (no more than 45 seconds long, please) is: November 25th

Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful community.

Remember: Each of us has a VOICE…so, Use It Wisely 🙂

We are ALL striving to build a BRIGHTER tomorrow…

Much love,
Tristan

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Filed under Entertainment, News, Shout Out, Support, Updates