Further publications on BRCA1/2 variants and their impact on transitioning

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.

Last year, I wrote about case studies of pathological BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene variants in trans people, and how clinicians take these mutations into account during transition treatment. While harmful BRCA mutations are best known for their effect of drastically increasing breast cancer and ovarian cancer risk in cisgender women, these variants represent a concern for transgender women as well, as transitioning with hormone therapy produces the growth of breast tissue considered histologically identical to that of cis women. Trans women can get breast cancer – UCSF Transgender Care has even published recommendations for when trans women should begin receiving regular mammograms – and having a harmful BRCA1/2 variant can increase their risk. (BRCA1/2 variants are also a concern for transgender men, who may still have breast tissue or ovaries, and even for cis men, who can face a higher risk of various cancers from these harmful variants as well.) Continue reading “Further publications on BRCA1/2 variants and their impact on transitioning”

Scraping the bottom of the transphobia barrel: Daily Mail fearmongers about trans-inclusive safer sex advice

The British press often seems to have an insatiable need to find the next big thing to get upset about regarding trans people – and what could be a more sensational topic than having sex with us? This month, the Daily Mail decided it was necessary to express pretend bafflement at NHS safer sex guidance for lesbian women. What’s the issue? Well, the materials outrageously acknowledged that not all lesbians are cis: Continue reading “Scraping the bottom of the transphobia barrel: Daily Mail fearmongers about trans-inclusive safer sex advice”

Zinnia goes to college, gets more knowledge

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been a bit occupied this year – I’m still working on resurrecting the classic Gender Analysis website, and I’m also mostly avoiding getting in pointless fights with terrible people on Twitter all. day. long. Why? Well, I’ve got something else going on: I finally started college this January.

This is especially significant for me given my past experiences with the educational system and how this ended up influencing the course of my life. As a child, I was accelerated two grades ahead, and so I started high school at 12, which ended poorly with lots of bad memories and trauma. Whether from puberty and the accompanying onset of severe depersonalization and depression, living in an unsafe household for years while my mother tried to finalize her divorce from my violently erratic ex-stepfather, simple emotional immaturity and unreadiness for the high school environment, or some combination of these, my time at high school turned into a slow-motion trainwreck of conspicuous failure, disappointing and enraging pretty much every adult in my life. When you’ve been skipped ahead multiple grades due to supposed “giftedness”, this is something everyone expects will continue to manifest itself; it was always clear that I was expected to do well academically and then go on to college, even though doing just about anything was already increasingly difficult, and the prospect of going through two more years of high school was just unimaginable. After years of being berated about this at length on a daily basis and hauled to a succession of unhelpful therapists, I dropped out at 14 due to being wholly unable to function at school, which was honestly a relief to me – I just wanted it all to end. I later got my GED at 18, but I never again wanted to be subjected to anything like what I’d been through. Continue reading “Zinnia goes to college, gets more knowledge”

WHO Reclassifies Trans People: From Mental Disorder to Sexual Health

By Penny Robo

When it comes to medical care, trans people have long been trapped between a rock and a hard place: the same mental health classifications that have been used to stigmatize us has also been our point of access to health services. The American Psychiatric Association used to have us classified as having “gender identity disorder”, changed it to “gender dysphoria” with the release of the DSM-5 to alleviate negative connotations but stopped short of declassification for a very simple reason: removing us from the DSM could be used as grounds for halting treatment.

This week, the World Health Organization made a move to further destigmatize by not simply renaming the diagnosis to “gender incongruence” (which I must admit sounds pretty slick, like the kind of forced slang you’d find in old sci-fi short stories, though to say it seems lightweight compared to the reality of it all is an understatement) but also moving it from the mental disorders category over to the sexual health section. Continue reading “WHO Reclassifies Trans People: From Mental Disorder to Sexual Health”

Colorado Signs Pro-Trans Bills Into Law

By Penny Robo

Two pieces of LGBT-friendly legislation were introduced in Colorado. Today, Governor Jared Polis signed them into law.

The first is a ban on conversion therapy: HB19-1129 prevents health care providers from forcing the awful, abusive practice on minors, and, obviously, provides a roadblock for parents looking to subject their children to it. Maine signed a similar bill into law earlier this month, making Colorado the 18th such state to do so. Continue reading “Colorado Signs Pro-Trans Bills Into Law”