Case series of trans women suggests HIV drug efavirenz may make oral estradiol less effective

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

Transgender women face a highly elevated prevalence of HIV infection, with Becasen et al. (2019) estimating that 14% of trans women in the United States are HIV-positive. Trans women of color are disproportionately affected: 44% of black trans women and 26% of Hispanic/Latina trans women have HIV, compared to only 7% of white trans women. A recent case series reported in Transgender Health highlights one way in which HIV medications may interact with cross-sex hormone therapy and require changes in the HRT regimen used. Continue reading “Case series of trans women suggests HIV drug efavirenz may make oral estradiol less effective”

So they finally got their straight pride parade

By Heather McNamara

Since the dawn of pride parades, homophobes have been demanding to know “why isn’t there a STRAIGHT pride parade, huh?” Many patient queers have articulated far better answers to that question than I ever could. Personally, I prefer just to respond with “Fuck off.” At least as far as I have always been concerned, it isn’t important how we respond anyway. The question has always been a mixture of an empty threat and a poorly laid trap intended to make some kind of point about how they, too, experience discrimination from queer people and we should all just “be equal” (read: shut up and get back in the closet so they would no longer have to acknowledge our presence). And for a long time anyway, it was an empty threat. At least until John Hugo, Mark Sahady, and Chris Bartley set out this past June to make all of our nightmares come true. Continue reading “So they finally got their straight pride parade”

Zinnia’s continued college adventures: summer 2019

A couple months back, I went into some depth about my personal history as a student, my struggles with high school in adolescence, and my decision this year to go to college for the first time at age 30. I can hardly overstate what a big deal this has been: the college environment is a wholly new experience for me, and it’s been extraordinarily productive in directly addressing the longtime personal trauma of dropping out of high school at 14 and having felt massively inadequate and insecure about myself and my capabilities for most of my life until now. Continue reading “Zinnia’s continued college adventures: summer 2019”

New study on trans women’s developmental milestones: Self-awareness precedes disclosure by several years

I’ve previously criticized Lisa Littman’s study of the alleged condition of “rapid onset gender dysphoria” – since corrected as “perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria” – on the grounds that its methodology, solely relying on the reports of parents about their children’s history of gender identity expression, will by design entirely fail to capture the developmental processes that trans people experience prior to expressing their gender externally in a way that would be perceived by others. The suggestion that their transgender identity should be regarded with suspicion as a mere passing phase or transient interest rather than a genuine expression of gender dysphoria, and that any kind of affirmation of their “newly” expressed gender is therefore likely to be premature or inappropriate, may thus be unwarranted. The study’s corrected title much more accurately describes the limits of this methodology: parents may indeed perceive that their child’s transness has simply appeared rapidly. But this is just an incomplete picture – it does not account for trans people’s experiences of gender dysphoria before coming out, and this limitation does not therefore mean that these experiences never took place. It is a study of parents’ secondhand perceptions, not trans people’s firsthand realities, and asserting that there must have been an actual “rapid onset” of gender dysphoria based solely on the former is a mistake.

A recent study in Transgender Health provides further information on those unseen developmental processes of gender identity in trans people, and it does so via the appropriate method: by asking trans people themselves. Continue reading “New study on trans women’s developmental milestones: Self-awareness precedes disclosure by several years”

The Rule of Mattress-Eaters: Media sensationalism is different for trans people – but it shouldn’t be

Stefonknee Wolscht, a Canadian trans woman who “takes on the persona of a little girl” as part of “reverting to a childhood she finds comfort in”, has been subject to an extraordinary degree of negative media and public attention for several years. Wolscht, who was told by her wife to stop being trans or leave, lost her job, attempted suicide, and spent months in a homeless shelter, then had her image used by an Alaskan anti-LGBTQ  group as part of their campaign against a nondiscrimination ordinance in the state. She’s had her photo used by anti-abortion activist Jonathon Van Maren in an article about a completely different person accused of sexually abusing several children. She’s been subjected to extensive, invasive personal attacks and stalking on websites like Encyclopedia Dramatica and the anti-trans Kiwi Farms forums, and Redditors seem to find her story important enough to dedicate walls of text to criticizing her existence. Wolscht was previously forced into hiding due to the sheer quantity of messages threatening her with death and mutilation. Recently, anti-trans YouTuber Blaire White, desperate as usual to position herself as the only acceptable trans person on earth, got more than 600,000 views for a video about Wolscht which she describes as: “A 52 year old man leaves his family to become a 6 year old girl. Let’s talk.”

And all I can think is: Must we? Continue reading “The Rule of Mattress-Eaters: Media sensationalism is different for trans people – but it shouldn’t be”