IFGE promotes acceptance for transgender people. We advocate for freedom of gender expression and promote the understanding and acceptance of All People: Transgender, Cis-gender, Transsexual, Crossdresser, Agender, Gender Queer, Intersex, Two Spirit, Hijra, Kathoey, Drag King, Drag Queen, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Butch, Femme, Faerie, Homosexual, Bisexual, Heterosexual, and of course - You!

Transitioning In a Great Social Filter

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

?Have you ever wondered why I have long hair??

?No. Lots of people have long hair.?

?Have you ever wondered why I have my ears pierced??

?No. Lots of guys have their ears pierced. What the hell are you getting at??

?Pete, are you going to tell me you?re gay? Get on with it already; it?s no big deal!? This from a second friend.

?Do you know what gender identity is??

?Yeah. I saw it on Oprah a while back.?

?Well, what is it, then??

?Well, ah, well, it?s how you see yourself, as a male or female?you know, like I identify myself as female and you, well, you identify yourself as male.?

?Well, that?s what I?m dealing with. Gender identity.?

Ask Ari

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

Dear Ari,

My partner and I are considering
having a woman carry our child through surrogacy. We?re not biased as to whether we have a boy or a girl, just as long as
the baby is healthy. What are your thoughts about having opposite gender role models in the child?s life? We?re aware of some studies that reflect that the children of gay and lesbian parents do very well socially, but we feel that our child, whether it be a boy or a girl, should get to know the ?culture? of the opposite sex. Is having our sisters and our own moms in the child?s life enough, or should we seek out another individual to be in his or her life?


Eunuch of the Sun

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Tucker Lieberman

It?s not surprising that almost every culture has a form of sun worship. What does it mean ?to worship,? really, but to humbly adore an awesome beauty in recognition of our dependence on it? The sun is a natural object for adoration. It causes crops to grow and provides light by which to see. Beyond human reach, it reminds us of our dependence and ignorance. It symbolizes egalitarianism as it shines equally and without hesitation on people of all colors, shapes, sexes, and characters; paradoxically, it can also symbolize judgment, as if it were a fierce, all-seeing eye. Its heat can yield pleasure, or a slow death. And its daily death in the west and resurrection in the east symbolizes eternal life.

From the Bridge

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

Sex and Marriage... and Mr. Bailey

A word from the Chair of the IFGE Board of Directors

The challenge in writing a quarterly column is that one is forever locked in a time warp? needing to say something relevant to the current events of, in this case, July ?03, when the world will have danced for four or five more months and set itself in a completely new arrangement by the time this is read. Not only will those July events seem distant, but my words, perhaps, archaic.

The Ups and Downs of J. Michael Bailey

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

J. Michael Bailey is Chair of the Department of Psychology and Professor at Chicago?s prestigious Northwestern University.

A Ph.D. graduate of Louisiana?s Baylor University, he is trained in clinical psychology and known as a sexologist. The bulk of his research has concerned the behavioral and vocal mannerisms of gay men.
This year, Bailey made a play for the big time?if one considers the talk show and lecture circuit the big time?via a book published under the imprint of the prestigious National Academies of Science. The title is The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism.

There?s a New Doc in Town, and She?s One of Us!

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Monica F. Helms

?Sheriff! Sheriff! The new doc just got off the train!?

?Calm down, Cleatis. Iffin? ya seens one doctor, ya seens ?em all.?

?Not like this, Sheriff. This doctor?s a ?she?!?

?Well, I?ll be hornswaggled. We got ourselves another Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman!?

In Trinidad, just 126 miles south of Colorado Springs, where the fictitious Dr. Quinn hung out her shingle, a new pioneer woman has come onto the scene?only this one is doing sex reassignment surgery. Dr. Marci Bowers, 45,
a successful and award-winning OB/GYN doctor from Seattle, has decided to use the knowledge and skills she has learned to give back to our community. After all, she is one of us.

Transformed by HIV/AIDS

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Shirley Boughton

My efforts to control and suppress my transgender urges failed in a spectacular way. In 1983, in a moment of weakness, I lost control and acted out on my transgender urges by dressing as a woman and engaging in sex with a man. This was the only way, I thought, that I could be affirmed as a woman.

Following this incident, I knew my efforts at control and suppression would not work. I finally got up the nerve to bring my wife in on my deep secret, and together we sought professional help. I still kept the fact of the sexual encounter from her, hoping I had avoided being infected by a sexually transmitted disease. The AIDS virus had not yet been identified; AIDS was called Gay Related Immune Deficiency, or GRID. I wasn?t gay, so I didn?t think I was at risk.

Viewpoint: Why the Bailey Controversy Is Important

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

In 1979, Boston?s Beacon Press published Janice J. Raymond?s pseudoscientific polemic The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. Based on her Ph.D. thesis at Boston College, Raymond argued that male-to-female transsexuals (or, in her terminology, ?male-to-constructed females?), are tools of a patriarchal medical system, designed to make women obsolete.

Raymond?s book appeared in the same year as a methodologically flawed and almost certainly fraudulent study by Jon Meyer and Donna Reter of Johns Hopkins University, published in the professional journal Archives of General Psychiatry. Together, these two publications?one a 200-page political manifesto masquerading as science, and one a six-page politically-motivated article which also masqueraded as science, dealt American transsexuals a blow from which they are only now recovering.

Will Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Offer the ?Final Solution? to Homosexuality and Gender Variance?

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Petra De Sutter, M.D., Ph.D.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
is a technology that screens embryos, obtained through in vitro fertilization,
to be screened for genetic status; only embryos without abnormalities are transplanted into the uterus. PGD is currently most often performed for genetically inheritable diseases such as cystic fibrosis or chromosomal imbalances in the parents, as an ethically defendable alternative to prenatal diagnosis and interruption of an affected pregnancy. To date, about 1000 children have been born worldwide following PGD, and many pregnancies are ongoing (Tanner, 2002).

The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism by J. Michael Bailey

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

Review by Marisa Richmond, Ph.D.

Transsexuality has become an increasingly popular topic of study by many therapists. Many support groups are contacted, often by graduate students seeking to expand their knowledge in a field that is not well-understood by outsiders. More and more, members of the transgender community are speaking for themselves through books and journals, produced both for the transgender community and various professional communities. One new entry in this field is by
J. Michael Bailey, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern Univer-sity. Bailey?s contribution to the field is, however, marked by numerous snide remarks about transsexuals and shows an incredible disdain for the community he purports to support while simultaneously using very poor methodology in making his claims.

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