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If these straight boys refuse to date her because she is transgender, then this is a form of transphobia.

 

 

See, this is where a lot of the confusion comes in. Does "transgender" mean simply having the feeling of being the opposite gender, *or* does it mean a person who has actually had surgery and hormones so that they do physically resemble the gender they want? Most of us honestly don't know because it's rarely talked about, so there is a LOT of confusion on that.

 

EDITED TO ADD: Yes, I've read the GLAAD guidelines posted above, but "transgender" can still refer to someone who simply identifies with the opposite sex and may or may not have had surgery. Now, this does not matter if we are simply talking about friendships. But it *does* matter when it comes to sexual/romantic relationships.

 

If we are talking about a pre- or non-surgical transgender female, like Jazz, it is not "transphobia" for straight boys not to be interested in dating her. It's because they are not physically attracted to anyone with a penis. That's it. That's all.

 

If we are talking about a post-surgery transgender female, then a relationship with a straight male might work. I'm sure they have.

 

My point is that we are never going to change what people are inherently attracted to, or not attracted to. Jazz does not want us to change what she is attracted to or what she wants to be - and she shouldn't have to. But in the same way, she cannot expect others to change what they are attracted to or want to be, either.

Edited by radishcake
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transgender Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly. See transsexual.

L.G.B.T. Except in quotations and organization names, seek alternatives to this cumbersome abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. (Take care, however, not to inadvertently exclude relevant information; for example, if antidiscrimination legislation specifically applies to bisexual and transgender people, avoid suggesting that it only affects gay people.) If the abbreviation is necessary as a first reference, deftly explain it at some point. Note that some groups use G.L.B.T. instead. Do not use other, less familiar variations that include additional categories.

 

 

Just wanted to note that it's not "transgendered," even if that seems more grammatically correct (like referring to oneself as "bias" instead of "biased"). 

 

I am curious what alternatives might be less "cumbersome" than LGBT(Q). Everything I can think of is even more clumsy and fraught with potential to offend. 

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See, this is where a lot of the confusion comes in. Does "transgender" mean simply having the feeling of being the opposite gender, *or* does it mean a person who has actually had surgery and hormones so that they do physically resemble the gender they want? Most of us honestly don't know because it's rarely talked about, so there is a LOT of confusion on that.

Transgender means that one's gender differs from the one they were assigned at birth.  The definition is uninterested in what sorts of medical decisions the person makes about their body.  

 

If you are genuinely curious to learn, you can PM me for an extensive list of further reading.  

Edited by radishcake

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Okay, so we're not allowed to ask how the doctors are helping a young transgender person deal with their future sexuality, or with the difficulties a person will face when they want to be female but can never be truly transformed into one.

 

That last one seems to be the biggest taboo of all, but I really don't understand why because I'd think it would be the biggest problem a post-surgical transgender person could face. How does it help to turn away from reality and blame any difficulties in adjusting on "transphobia" in others? I really don't understand why no one is willing to discuss this aspect of being transgender.

 

It did not occur to me that any of this would be offensive in any way, especially on a forum dedicated to a show about a young transgender person and the problems they face. How are people supposed to learn and understand, if no one wants to discuss it?

 

And yes, I did read the link above. It did not answer the questions I have in this post.

Edited by okerry
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okerry, it's very difficult to discern the intent in your posts.  I will simply point out that gender and sexuality are not the same thing.  The definition for sexual orientation is unconcerned about medical decisions one makes for their body.  

 

From what we know of Jazz so far, she is primarily attracted to boys, meaning she is most likely straight (using speculative language because she has offered no definitive statement on her sexuality).  

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okerry, it's very difficult to discern the intent in your posts.  I will simply point out that gender and sexuality are not the same thing.  The definition for sexual orientation is unconcerned about medical decisions one makes for their body.  

 

From what we know of Jazz so far, she is primarily attracted to boys, meaning she is most likely straight (using speculative language because she has offered no definitive statement on her sexuality).  

Human, thank you for your response. I have nothing but sympathy for Jazz and other transgender people. I am a straight female myself, if that helps.

 

I feel that I can "understand" being gay, in the sense that I do think it's an inborn trait just like being straight is inborn. Okay, so someone is sexually attracted to their same sex/gender. Not a big deal. We can all adjust and understand, and it's cool.

 

My concern over transgender is that it so often involves very drastic and irreversible medical treatment using extensive surgery and powerful hormones in an otherwise physically normal body. And when we're talking about suppressing normal puberty in very young teenagers and even pre-teens, I don't think it's "transphobia" to want to ask some very, very serious questions.

 

I have read that the rate of depression among post-surgical transgender people remains very high. I know that most will say, "Well, that's just the transphobia that the person still encounters." But is that the only reason, or is it at least in part because reality dawns that surgery and hormones cannot really turn you into a true version of the gender you want?

 

I am concerned that no one talks about that aspect of it, *especially* to very young kids like Jazz (and the ones on the PBS Frontline documentary) who all seem to believe that they will actually *be* a girl, or a boy, after the surgery as long as they continue their hormones. Yes, they will certainly resemble the other gender. But their DNA and basic physiology will not change. How will they feel when they actually realize that?

 

This got my attention because children are involved. I can't imagine what I would have done if this had been any of mine, but you can be sure I'd be asking these same very hard questions and I sure wish these kids' parents would do the same.

 

Thank you very much for listening.

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See, this is where a lot of the confusion comes in. Does "transgender" mean simply having the feeling of being the opposite gender, *or* does it mean a person who has actually had surgery and hormones so that they do physically resemble the gender they want? Most of us honestly don't know because it's rarely talked about, so there is a LOT of confusion on that.

 

EDITED TO ADD: Yes, I've read the GLAAD guidelines posted above, but "transgender" can still refer to someone who simply identifies with the opposite sex and may or may not have had surgery. Now, this does not matter if we are simply talking about friendships. But it *does* matter when it comes to sexual/romantic relationships.

 

If we are talking about a pre- or non-surgical transgender female, like Jazz, it is not "transphobia" for straight boys not to be interested in dating her. It's because they are not physically attracted to anyone with a penis. That's it. That's all.

 

If we are talking about a post-surgery transgender female, then a relationship with a straight male might work. I'm sure they have.

 

My point is that we are never going to change what people are inherently attracted to, or not attracted to. Jazz does not want us to change what she is attracted to or what she wants to be - and she shouldn't have to. But in the same way, she cannot expect others to change what they are attracted to or want to be, either.

 

Transgender means both "having feelings of being the opposite sex" and "transitioning medically to the opposite sex". Jazz has been on puberty blockers for years and on estrogen for at least two so the only physical trait she has of the body she was born in is the genitalia. By the time she is 18, she will look just like a cisgender woman.

Okay, so we're not allowed to ask how the doctors are helping a young transgender person deal with their future sexuality, or with the difficulties a person will face when they want to be female but can never be truly transformed into one.

 

That last one seems to be the biggest taboo of all, but I really don't understand why because I'd think it would be the biggest problem a post-surgical transgender person could face. How does it help to turn away from reality and blame any difficulties in adjusting on "transphobia" in others? I really don't understand why no one is willing to discuss this aspect of being transgender.

 

It did not occur to me that any of this would be offensive in any way, especially on a forum dedicated to a show about a young transgender person and the problems they face. How are people supposed to learn and understand, if no one wants to discuss it?

 

And yes, I did read the link above. It did not answer the questions I have in this post.

Wow your first part is very offensive. Chromosomes don't matter, in fact, i bet if you went up to 100 cisgender (non-trans people) maybe, at most, one would know their chrosomal sex.

"this aspect of being transgender."

Because that isn't an aspect of being transgender. Hormones are very powerful things and by the time Jazz is 18, she will hormonally be indistinct from a cis female.

 

 

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I was not here trying to be "offensive." I was asking a serious question. I believe most here are saying that the way they *feel* is the only thing that matters when it comes to sexuality, and that's true when it's just you and you alone.

 

I am talking about the physical facts of what makes an individual physically male or female. That matters if the person ever wants a romantic/sexual relationship with someone else. It's already starting to matter to Jazz.

 

I do find it disturbing that no one is willing to talk about that, and that's why I feel concern for someone as young as Jazz. If nobody will even talk to *me* about it - a total stranger on a message board - how much as anyone spoken to Jazz about this? I'm guessing: Not at all. She's being told that if she *feels* like a girl, that's all that matters. Yes, it's all that matters to HER - but simply the way she *feels* will not be enough for the straight boys that she is saying even now she wants to date. Has anyone made sure she understands this? Because I don't think anyone has.

 

That's what my concern is. I can't imagine that Jazz won't need considerable help and support to understand why the straight boys will not want to date her and will not consider her as a girlfriend. How is that "offensive"? Why not help her and prepare her for that now, instead of waiting until she is devastated and then trying to blame it on "transphobia?"

 

QUOTE Chromosomes don't matter, in fact, i bet if you went up to 100 cisgender (non-trans people) maybe, at most, one would know their chrosomal sex./QUOTE

 

Um, I don't understand this statement. Chromosomes control whether an individual is physically male or female. Everyone knows what physical sex they are. Jazz knows that she is physically male and has male chromosomes. Not sure what you are trying to say.

 

Well, that's okay. It's not up to me. But seeing someone as young as Jazz going through this is very, very concerning, especially since neither her parents, her doctors, nor her friends - and not even strangers on a message board - are willing to face the difficult questions that come with it.

 

If this was my child, you can bet that I'd be asking the toughest questions I could think of.

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I think you indicated you had watched Growing Up Trans. The doctors in it very clearly discussed that there is an element of trial and error here; this is a new frontier in medicine as well as socially. I imagine parents of these kids are emotionally tormented about whether they are doing the right thing, but I also think it comes down to what Jazz's mother said: this is her kid, whom she loves more than life. She is going to listen to that child and do what she can to insure her kid's happiness and to minimize her kid's pain. I think it is so unfair to state the parents and doctors are ignorant of the unknown in these kids' futures. They are doing the best they can. 

 

You are making a lot of assumptions regarding what has and hasn't been discussed/considered by Jazz, her family and her doctor. That's all I'm going to say right now because I also find your tone rather demeaning.

 

ETA that Tofu said it better and shorter. :)

Edited by bref
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I hold no judgement against anybody, I've always been a live and let live person. I hope there comes a day when things like Jazz being called a freak by those boys doesn't happen anymore.

I love how her mama came up out of her chair when those boys walked by.

Why does somebody care what somebody else does or how somebody else identifies themselves? It disgusted me seeing those boys call her a freak. She's not hurting anybody! She's just living her life as she feels it should be.

She should be applauded not tormented.

I hope her life is a happy one. She's a spunky girl so I think shell be just fine. She seems like a smart girl, she didn't speak like most 14 year old girls and that was refreshing.

Edited by Maharincess
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okerry, the truth of the matter is that biology is a lot more complicated than XX and XY and not everyone has those chromosomes, even those who have 'standard' gendered genitalia.  This really isn't the place to provide someone with an academic education as it's a tv show about a transgender girl and her family.  If you have those sorts of questions, there are lots of places where you can discuss them.  I've even offered to share an extensive reading list with you via PM or their is the old standby, University of Google.

 

It's unfair and absurd to suggest that Jazz's support group isn't asking difficult questions.  They explicitly stated they were in the episodes, for one.  This isn't about how Jazz feels.  She is a girl.  Period.  I assume you are a woman because you have said that you are a woman.  Period.  You are not required to show me a brain scan, and chromosome test, your vulva, a pelvic ultrasound, or your breasts in order to convince me you are a woman.  

 

I also accept that you are straight because you say you are straight. I accept that Jazz is probably straight because that's what she seems to imply right now.  If boys aren't attracted to her that's one thing.  If they refuse to acknowledge that she's a girl and refuse to date her specifically because she is transgender, that is a form of transphobia.  There really is no debate about this whatsoever.  

 

I accept that Jazz's parents and doctors are ensuring she receives the best medical care she possibly can and part of that includes mental health care, asking questions, further education, etc.  Belittling them for providing this best form of care is truly unacceptable.

 

 

I wonder about the long term physical effects of suppressing her puberty and starting her on hormones so young. Have there been any studies done on this? Is this going to effect her physically 20 or 30 years down the road? I truly hope this question isn't offensive. That's just what was going through my mind when the Dr. said she's showing no signs of male puberty.
I just hope she won't have issues down the road.

She's a beautiful girl. She's lucky to have the supportive family she has, I love that the grandparents did research on transgender people so they wouldn't do the wrong thing.

Definitely not offensive to ask, especially in such a respectful way.

 

As far as I know, the majority of the studies right now have predominantly followed the mental health of transgender youth who begin hormone therapy prior to puberty.  In this, early intervention has proven to be the best option when it comes to decreasing rates of depression and suicide.  Jeanette Jennings noted that it's still considered experimental, which I take to mean that they haven't yet had an opportunity to monitor effects 20-30 years later because it hasn't been that long.  Experimental medicine isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Kids are saved everyday by experimental treatments for any number of things like cancer, diabetes, etc.  It's simply a matter of taking what science knows about the treatment, what they can best hypothesize about the treatment and evaluating that against what will happen if no treatment is offered.  For a cancer patient, no treatment almost surely means death.  For transgender youth, no treatment means going through the puberty for their assigned gender, which is intolerable to most, and greatly increases the type of harassment and discrimination they face in their youth and even later in their lives.  No youth hormone treatment also comes with a significantly increased rate of suicide, suicide ideation and suicide attempt.  

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I do find it disturbing that no one is willing to talk about that, and that's why I feel concern for someone as young as Jazz. If nobody will even talk to *me* about it - a total stranger on a message board - how much as anyone spoken to Jazz about this? I'm guessing: Not at all. She's being told that if she *feels* like a girl, that's all that matters. Yes, it's all that matters to HER - but simply the way she *feels* will not be enough for the straight boys that she is saying even now she wants to date. Has anyone made sure she understands this? Because I don't think anyone has.

 

That's what my concern is. I can't imagine that Jazz won't need considerable help and support to understand why the straight boys will not want to date her and will not consider her as a girlfriend. How is that "offensive"? Why not help her and prepare her for that now, instead of waiting until she is devastated and then trying to blame it on "transphobia?"

 

I agree with this. I hate to label the boys "transphobic" or "offensive" because they are unwilling to date a person who is transgender. That label should be reserved for people that are bullying or exhibiting disgust or violence toward her. But merely declining  to date her should not be considered transphobia in my book.

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Just to be clear why some object to okerry's questions, or at least the way they were phrased:

 

Transgender person: I have always felt female. I have done (xxx) to create a sense of concordance between my assigned gender at birth and the gender I know myself to be. I feel happy and whole now that I am consistent in my gender expression.

 

Responder: But doesn't it make you sad to know you can NEVER BE A REAL WOMAN?

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I agree with this. I hate to label the boys "transphobic" or "offensive" because they are unwilling to date a person who is transgender. That label should be reserved for people that are bullying or exhibiting disgust or violence toward her. But merely declining  to date her should not be considered transphobia in my book.

This is my sentiment, too. The boys can certainly learn to accept that Jazz considers herself to be female, and accept her as a friend, schoolmate, co-worker, etc. But if Jazz has the physical body of a male, and these boys are not attracted to that (in other words, they are straight,) then no, they are not "transphobic." They are simply straight.

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That would be a recipe for disaster, because straight boys are not going to change their orientation any more than Jazz is going to change hers or anyone else will change theirs. So that's why I am wondering how much of this transformation process Jazz really understands, and what she (or any transgender person) really expects from it.

 

This is part of what make it transphobic.  Straight boys need not 'change their orientation' because Jazz is a girl.  Claiming that they'd be gay if they dated Jazz is explicitly not acknowledging her gender.  She is a girl.  Period.  End of story.  There is no debate here.  It's wrong to deny her gender and it's also wrong to create a toxic environment where boys or girls are made to feel gay and then shamed for it if they find themselves interested in a girl who happened to be transgender.

 

It's transphobic to refuse to date someone simply for the fact that they are trans.  Of course, this does not mean that all straight boys will suddenly be attracted to Jazz.  That's not how sexual attraction works.  We all have little things that we like or don't like.  A person's sexual orientation does not change when they date a transgender person.  

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This is part of what make it transphobic. Straight boys need not 'change their orientation' because Jazz is a girl. Claiming that they'd be gay if they dated Jazz is explicitly not acknowledging her gender. She is a girl. Period. End of story. There is no debate here. It's wrong to deny her gender and it's also wrong to create a toxic environment where boys or girls are made to feel gay and then shamed for it if they find themselves interested in a girl who happened to be transgender.

It's transphobic to refuse to date someone simply for the fact that they are trans. Of course, this does not mean that all straight boys will suddenly be attracted to Jazz. That's not how sexual attraction works. We all have little things that we like or don't like. A person's sexual orientation does not change when they date a transgender person.

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that to be honest. Isn't that the same as saying that a straight woman who doesn't want to date a gay woman is homophobic?

I consider Jazz to be a "real" girl. In her mind, heart and soul, she's a girl and I respect and honor that. I'm saying that teenage boys and many men won't want to date a woman who still has a male appendage.

I'm just having a hard time calling them transphobic because they prefer a woman without that appendage.

I have been debating posting this. I truly don't want to offend anybody. I'm enjoying learning more about transgendered people. Because that's what they are...just people like the rest of us. There's not a damn thing weird or freaky about them. Thank you Human for educating me.

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I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that to be honest. Isn't that the same as saying that a straight woman who doesn't want to date a gay woman is homophobic?

A straight woman isn't oriented to be attracted to other women.  This would be true regardless if the gay woman is cisgender or transgender.  The straight woman's desire to not date another woman isn't gay specific.  She doesn't want to have a sexual relationship with any woman.  

I consider Jazz to be a "real" girl. In her mind, heart and soul, she's a girl and I respect and honor that. I'm saying that teenage boys and many men won't want to date a woman who still has a male appendage.

I'm just having a hard time calling them transphobic because they prefer a woman without that appendage.

I have been debating posting this. I truly don't want to offend anybody. I'm enjoying learning more about transgendered people. Because that's what they are...just people like the rest of us. There's not a damn thing weird or freaky about them. Thank you Human for educating me.

I agree that it can be quite confusing and I must admit that I'm not the most eloquent writers so my posts can make for poor explanations.  The language does matter a great deal because saying something in different ways can change the intent. The way you have worded this - "many boys and men won't want to date a woman who still has a male appendage" - divorces the comment from being  a phobic one.  It focuses more on individual attractions that people might have.  We all feel different things, some people are attracted to large breasts, some to hair color, others to height, a lot of people have requirements about what genitals should look like (there are lots of ways that vulvas are formed! plus all the gazillion grooming habits), and more.  It's not something that can really be faulted or judged.

 

On the other hand, something like "men and boys would not date someone like Jazz because she is not really a woman and dating her would make them gay" is transphobic.  It's a comment that is transgender specific, it's phrasing reveals that the speaker does not accept the trans person is the gender they say they are. And, really there's a significant amount of homophobia in this sort of statement as well.  A straight man having a relationship with a transgender woman is not gay or even bisexual.  It simply means that he is in a relationship with a woman, a woman who may or may not be receiving specialized medical treatment, and the way they engage in sex isn't really our business.

 

I hope this makes sense.  

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"Straight boys need not 'change their orientation' because Jazz is a girl. Claiming that they'd be gay if they dated Jazz is explicitly not acknowledging her gender. She is a girl. "

But Jazz has a penis.

How is it hard to understand what a boy would think about this? Why do we need to bend over backwards to understand Jazz only and no one else involved?

I wasn't going to post in this forum because it's obviously a very walking-on-eggshells place and I get that the topic is unusual and, to an extent, unprecedented as far as TV goes. I won't be posting here again but the double standard of making Jazz comfortable but not anyone else was not something I could let go by.

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"Straight boys need not 'change their orientation' because Jazz is a girl. Claiming that they'd be gay if they dated Jazz is explicitly not acknowledging her gender. She is a girl. "

But Jazz has a penis.

How is it hard to understand what a boy would think about this? Why do we need to bend over backwards to understand Jazz only and no one else involved?

I wasn't going to post in this forum because it's obviously a very walking-on-eggshells place and I get that the topic is unusual and, to an extent, unprecedented as far as TV goes. I won't be posting here again but the double standard of making Jazz comfortable but not anyone else was not something I could let go by.

I happen to think it's a very good point about making people other than Jazz comfortable.  It's problematic that boys who might otherwise be interested in Jazz are shamed for it.  People don't share a single set of attractions.  The truth of the matter is that there will be plenty of people who will see Jazz as a girl and who will want to date her regardless of what her genitals look like and yet there is a culture of these people being bullied and shamed, called gay (which is homophobia by the way), and so find themselves submitting to peer pressure rather than taking a stand.  And I don't blame them at all.  It's so incredibly hard, one of the most difficult things, to go against what society is saying.  

 

So if we really want to express our concern for all of those in Jazz's bubble, let's stop being phobics.  Let's stop teaching children, our boys especially, that they can't date who they want without fear of being ridiculed and shamed.  

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I understand what you're saying. The issue is that "gender", "sex", and genitalia (while not the same) are often inextricably linked in most people's minds when they shouldn't be. Most human males have penises, but not every human with a penis is a male. Analogy: Most basketball players are tall but not all tall people are basketball players.

**If a man or boy prefers his sexual partners to not have penises, that fact by itself does not make him transphobic. However, if a man or boy cannot accept that a transwoman is in fact female, regardless of the presence or absence of a certain appendage, he is transphobic.**

I understand this can be a confusing topic at times so I really hope this explanation helps.

i think you explained it well-- i get that one can accept that a transwoman is female, yet not be sexually atrracted to her if she has a penis, and not be labled " transphobic." Also, that a boy who is attracted to Jazz is not gay. However, negatively labeling others can be seen as offensive, too. I think that it does matter to many people ( not all) what genitalia their ( prospective ) sexual partners have, and that issue may cause some problems for a transgender person.

I think Jazz is a lovely girl and wish her the best-- I felt angry and sad when I heard that boy use that offensive term-- wouldn't have blamed the mother one bit if she got up and grabbed him by the throat.

Edited to add: I personally find the term " cisgender" to be limiting and somewhat offensive. I realize it can be useful in this conversation, but like any term, it can develop a negative connotation.

Edited by Adiba
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That would be a recipe for disaster, because straight boys are not going to change their orientation any more than Jazz is going to change hers or anyone else will change theirs. So that's why I am wondering how much of this transformation process Jazz really understands, and what she (or any transgender person) really expects from it.

Oh hey! I'm a trans person and I can answer this! I'm a female-to-male trans person but I've dated trans women before and know several. What we expect from the "transformation process" (I'm going to assume you mean hormone replacement therapy) is to obtain the appearance of the opposite sex. Thanks to hormones being pretty powerful little things, this is pretty much obtainable.

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Thank you for your explanations and for being so patient with me.

I have a question. Is it transgendER person or transgenderED person?

I've been reading and researching this topic all day.

 

Maharincess, I wrote this above, but it's transgender. No "-ed." That always seemed incorrect to me, but it is the preferred nomenclature so I go with it.

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Just wanted to post a note that I know this is a topic fraught with issues but I'm really appreciating the thoughtful and respectful questions & answers shining through.

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Oh hey! I'm a trans person and I can answer this! I'm a female-to-male trans person but I've dated trans women before and know several. What we expect from the "transformation process" (I'm going to assume you mean hormone replacement therapy) is to obtain the appearance of the opposite sex. Thanks to hormones being pretty powerful little things, this is pretty much obtainable.

Okay - but isn't there a difference between having the *appearance* of the opposite sex, and actually *being* the opposite sex? To me, there is a tremendous difference. But I am seeing on this board that some feel there should be no difference at all.

 

There's a lot of talk here about "acceptable language" and so forth. Okay, that's fine - but does it work both ways, or is it purely a one-way street?

 

I can tell you, in all seriousness, that many "cis females" find it very disrespectful for a transgender female to say things like, "I'm a woman now." Now, I can certainly understand someone wanting to have the *appearance* and emotional sense of being a woman, and that's fine with me, but that is not the same as *being* a woman. And believe me, many "cis females" find Caitlyn Jenner saying "I'm a woman now" to be just as offensive as she would find anyone else saying, "You're not an actual woman."

 

So, how do we resolve that?

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Okay - but isn't there a difference between having the *appearance* of the opposite sex, and actually *being* the opposite sex? To me, there is a tremendous difference. But I am seeing on this board that some feel there should be no difference at all.

 

There's a lot of talk here about "acceptable language" and so forth. Okay, that's fine - but does it work both ways, or is it purely a one-way street?

 

I can tell you, in all seriousness, that many "cis females" find it very disrespectful for a transgendered female to say things like, "I'm a woman now." Now, I can certainly understand someone wanting to have the *appearance* and emotional sense of being a woman, and that's fine with me, but that is not the same as *being* a woman. And believe me, many "cis females" find Caitlyn Jenner saying "I'm a woman now" to be just as offensive as she would find anyone else saying, "You're not an actual woman."

 

So, how do we resolve that?

I take it you are speaking of trans-exclusionary radical feminism, also known as TERF?  I think it's a given that exclusionary behavior based on race, gender, religion, disability, and so forth is undesirable and something we should actively advocate against.  Resolving bigotry will continue to be an ongoing process and we may never achieve full equality.  In the meantime, I think it's probably relevant to to point out that no one has a monopoly on what it means to be a woman (or a man).  There is no single defining trait.  

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KillerTofu, I think that's a great analogy. I don't think it over simplifies, it is simple enough to understand but explains it in a perfect way.

I'm going to steal that if you don't mind. I have my own little speech I give when people, like my brother (I'm ashamed to say) make sickening jokes and post transphobic pictures on social media.

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Keep in mind that a trans girl who is already taking hormones may have a penis that is not comparable to a 14 yo boy's penis. I am not a doctor or an advocate. I just like to read nonfiction.

So if someone says that a boy wouldn't be interested in a girl who has a penis, likely her penis is not similar to his own penis, in the way that he thinks of a "penis".

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Keep in mind that a trans girl who is already taking hormones may have a penis that is not comparable to a 14 yo boy's penis. I am not a doctor or an advocate. I just like to read nonfiction.

So if someone says that a boy wouldn't be interested in a girl who has a penis, likely her penis is not similar to his own penis, in the way that he thinks of a "penis".

That's true.  But, there is still nowhere for him to insert his own penis, except her anus, or mouth.

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Let's keep the genital talk really out of it guys. As I said before it's reductive and offensive to make it all about physical transition. Let's leave it at the show knowledge that Jazz has not had that surgery.

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I do too, especially since I've only heard it used in a negative context ("cis-shit," "cis-scum").

Every term is used in a negative context.  Mother, woman, and holy moly we all know how negatively trans* has been used over time.  Something else that was used in a negative, insulting way was "real woman" or "real man".  Cisgender simplifies the language and makes the conversation clear for everyone.   

 

 I've heard it in a negative context once or twice, though the person on the receiving end was definitely a piece of scum (not saying it's right).  For the most part, it's still a largely academic term or used predominantly in discussions about transgender people.

 

Something about the mother I just dont like.The chat with Jazzs grandparents was very staged also,"you dont say the word tranny" was the response to Grandads remark.So are you telling me he only just discovered that after 14 years,and with TLCs camera crew there?

 

Me and my partner sat with our mouths open at grandma,even with the facelift she looked a hundred,yes even with that mountain of jet black hair...

Whether or not she had received a primer on transgender sensitivity language, all reality shows are staged.  It's just a given.  But even then, it wouldn't be unusual for someone to not know the language.  That's why GLAAD issues a reference guide and why it's often posted on many websites.  The grandparents haven't been dealing with this for 14 years, maybe closer to ten or less, and for most of that they were long distance grandparents.  They might not have made it to GLAAD's website often.  

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I do too, especially since I've only heard it used in a negative context ("cis-shit," "cis-scum").

I think if it is used in an academic way for clarity, it isn't offensive to me-- although it does seem limiting in the sense that it sets up a binary view of gender identity. The term may be used by some to set up an " us vs. them " dynamic-- counterproductive, imo. It seems to exclude those who are intersex?

I guess I just don't like being labeled because I am not a transgender person, yet I may or may not identify with gender " norms" that align with the gender I was assigned at birth and present physically ( ? )

Anyway, sorry for rambling, I felt I needed to explain myself further.

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I think if it is used in an academic way for clarity, it isn't offensive to me-- although it does seem limiting in the sense that it sets up a binary view of gender identity. The term may be used by some to set up an " us vs. them " dynamic-- counterproductive, imo. It seems to exclude those who are intersex?

I guess I just don't like being labeled because I am not a transgender person, yet I may or may not identify with gender " norms" that align with the gender I was assigned at birth and present physically ( ? )

Anyway, sorry for rambling, I felt I needed to explain myself further.

Cisgender has nothing to do with whether or not you identify with "gender norms". It's simply a way for trans people to normalize the language (our previous options were either saying "normal" people-which is offensive as hell or "non-trans" which still sets up a dichtomy of transgender people and "normal" people).

 

Okay - but isn't there a difference between having the *appearance* of the opposite sex, and actually *being* the opposite sex? To me, there is a tremendous difference. But I am seeing on this board that some feel there should be no difference at all.

 

There's a lot of talk here about "acceptable language" and so forth. Okay, that's fine - but does it work both ways, or is it purely a one-way street?

 

I can tell you, in all seriousness, that many "cis females" find it very disrespectful for a transgender female to say things like, "I'm a woman now." Now, I can certainly understand someone wanting to have the *appearance* and emotional sense of being a woman, and that's fine with me, but that is not the same as *being* a woman. And believe me, many "cis females" find Caitlyn Jenner saying "I'm a woman now" to be just as offensive as she would find anyone else saying, "You're not an actual woman."

 

So, how do we resolve that?

 

Unless you're deep into gender theory, to most people there is no difference between looking like a particular gender and being that gender. Honestly, I don't feel it's a two-way street when it comes to "Acceptable language". The minority does not have to bend to the will of the majority. To me, we resolve that by educating the masses on transgender issues. Jenner is doing a lot and I hope this show will bring a lot more. (P.s. the quotes around cis females aren't necessary. If you identify as female and were assigned female at birth, you are cisgender.)

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I don't understand why any woman would be offended by Caitlyn or anybody identifying as and declaring themselves a woman. But I would be very upset if I ever heard somebody telling a transgender person that "you're not a woman".

Unless something or somebody negatively effects my life or the lives of my kids and grandkids, then it's none of my damn business. That's how I live and that's how I taught my kids.

I was raised in an extremely racist home. The n word was a regular word in my house growing up. My brothers haven't broken the cycle and raised their kids the way we were raised. I broke that cycle so if I see somebody being wronged, which I consider telling a transgender woman she's not a real woman as her being wronged, I can't keep my big mouth shut. That big mouth has gotten me into trouble and almost gotten me beaten up more than once but I still can't/won't keep it shut.

Sorry guys for my multiple, long, boring, nonsensical off topic posts. Being laid up for the past year and counting makes for some long boring nights.

Edited by Maharincess
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Cisgender has nothing to do with whether or not you identify with "gender norms". It's simply a way for trans people to normalize the language (our previous options were either saying "normal" people-which is offensive as hell or "non-trans" which still sets up a dichtomy of transgender people and "normal" people).

Unless you're deep into gender theory, to most people there is no difference between looking like a particular gender and being that gender. Honestly, I don't feel it's a two-way street when it comes to "Acceptable language". The minority does not have to bend to the will of the majority. To me, we resolve that by educating the masses on transgender issues. Jenner is doing a lot and I hope this show will bring a lot more. (P.s. the quotes around cis females aren't necessary. If you identify as female and were assigned female at birth, you are cisgender.)

Sorry, gotta disagree with you about cisgender labeling. No one should have to bend to anyone's " will", imo. People not entitled to label me by virtue of their minority status. Quotes were used because I am uncomfortable with the label in certain situations. Fine if it's purely a way to distinguish between people who are not transgender and those who are.

Just my opinion and my feeling- not really interested in getting into a debate about gender theory.

Edited by Adiba
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I don't feel comfortable posting in this forum and I wont after this post because it seems like every post offends and is dissected for hints of animosity

Nailed it.

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Okay, here is another thing that occurred to me. It's a serious question and I am urging caution in the case of Jazz and all other young people. If we're going to use such drastic treatment (hormones and surgery), we'd better be very, very sure we're doing the right thing by these kids and, really, for anyone who identifies as trans.

 

Yes, I realize that people say "gender identity" and "being gay" are two different things. They probably are.

 

But for a lot of people, saying "I'm transgender" or "My kid is transgender" allows them to have what is *for them* a far more comfortable explanation as to why their boy child loves pink clothes and sparkly toys. It's an explanation that, frankly, an awful lot of people would still rather hear instead of "I'm gay" or "My child is gay." The world is getting to be a better place for a gay person, but all of the old prejudices have not died out yet.

 

The condition of being truly transgender may exist, but I'll bet it's far more rare than what we are seeing. I think we should be very, very, very careful that this isn't some trendy new thing that people can latch on to because they'd rather have a child who's transgender than have a child who's gay.

 

Why would they rather have that? Because, as we've seen, transgender can be medically treated. It can be "fixed" where being gay cannot (and, of course, should not.) There are still plenty of parents would much rather pretend their kids are transgender than own up to the fact that the kids are simply gay.

 

In the past, attempts were made to "fix" gay people with hormones. (Look up Alan Turing, for one tragic example.) We don't do that anymore. We learned that lesson. But we can fix the hell out of transgender, exactly as Jazz and her parents are doing, and it's perfectly acceptable.

 

Is it really any different? Are we sure?

 

And some kids, who love their parents and are close to them, will go along with this explanation so that they don't let their parents down - especially when they've heard it all their lives. Are we sure Jazz isn't really just a very typical gay boy who's found a way not to upset her parents by having to tell them she's just gay? Because she has seen that they can accept "I'm really a girl! Take me to a doctor for treatment!" much better than they could ever accept "I'm a gay boy and I'm fine the way I am" - ?

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Yes, I realize that people say "gender identity" and "being gay" are two different things. They probably are.

Not probably.  They are.  The terms have different definitions in the same way a lamp and a microwave have different definitions.

 

 

The condition of being truly transgender may exist, but I'll bet it's far more rare than what we are seeing. I think we should be very, very, very careful that this isn't some trendy new thing that people can latch on to because they'd rather have a child who's transgender than have a child who's gay.

Being transgender is rare.  I'm not sure why you think we are seeing a huge rate of transgender individuals.  What we are seeing is transgender issues being discussed more frequently, so perhaps you are confused since it's become more visible.

 

Transgender people aren't a new trendy thing.  It's been around since humans have existed.  We find it discussed in the writings of nearly every culture.  Further, I can't imagine a parent who would 'force' a child to be transgender just because they don't want a child who is gay.  I mean, the idea is preposterous.  And still, transitioning as a child is extremely rare (lets not forget that it's a very new experimental process, only in it's infancy), and even more rare to be able to access these treatments.  Before about five years ago, if people wanted to transition, they had to wait until they were an adult and then often wait some more until they could afford not only the transition procedures but the mental health care because it's almost never covered by insurance.

 

Look, this isn't something where someone can just show up at a clinic, say they want X hormones or blockers because they are transgender and walk out with these things within ten minutes.  No one strolls into a hospital on Monday and comes out on Tuesday having received gender affirmation surgery.  This just isn't how it works.  It doesn't even happen that a child assigned male at birth tells doctor she's a girl, and doctor decides based on a single sentence that the child must be transgender. No one is making these decisions on whims.  

 

To make this relevant to Jazz, she and her parents have discussed aspects of Jazz's medical treatment, both on the show and in interviews throughout the years.  There is a lot of checking in with Jazz to ensure that continuing this treatment is what she needs and wants.  There are discussions with therapists.  Her treating physician is almost certainly trained to ask questions so as to ascertain Jazz's continued assurance that she is transgender.  Right now all of her transitioning is still reversible, when it turns to the irreversible part (like the cross hormones), there will be another round of check ups to make sure this is the right thing for her.  

 

Please get it out of your head that this is all just a whim or that parents are afraid to have gay kids (again, I have to boisterously laugh at this notion, especially seeing that transgender people can also be gay).  Despite the visibility, being transgender is relatively rare.  Just look at the numbers if you don't believe me.  Furthermore, it's not new.  The only new thing here is in how it's discussed, how it's treated, and how society adjusts so as to protect marginalized people.  

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Okay, here is another thing that occurred to me. It's a serious question and I am urging caution in the case of Jazz and all other young people. If we're going to use such drastic treatment (hormones and surgery), we'd better be very, very sure we're doing the right thing by these kids and, really, for anyone who identifies as trans.

 

Yes, I realize that people say "gender identity" and "being gay" are two different things. They probably are.

 

But for a lot of people, saying "I'm transgender" or "My kid is transgender" allows them to have what is *for them* a far more comfortable explanation as to why their boy child loves pink clothes and sparkly toys. It's an explanation that, frankly, an awful lot of people would still rather hear instead of "I'm gay" or "My child is gay." The world is getting to be a better place for a gay person, but all of the old prejudices have not died out yet.

 

The condition of being truly transgender may exist, but I'll bet it's far more rare than what we are seeing. I think we should be very, very, very careful that this isn't some trendy new thing that people can latch on to because they'd rather have a child who's transgender than have a child who's gay.

 

Why would they rather have that? Because, as we've seen, transgender can be medically treated. It can be "fixed" where being gay cannot (and, of course, should not.) There are still plenty of parents would much rather pretend their kids are transgender than own up to the fact that the kids are simply gay.

 

In the past, attempts were made to "fix" gay people with hormones. (Look up Alan Turing, for one tragic example.) We don't do that anymore. We learned that lesson. But we can fix the hell out of transgender, exactly as Jazz and her parents are doing, and it's perfectly acceptable.

 

Is it really any different? Are we sure?

 

And some kids, who love their parents and are close to them, will go along with this explanation so that they don't let their parents down - especially when they've heard it all their lives. Are we sure Jazz isn't really just a very typical gay boy who's found a way not to upset her parents by having to tell them she's just gay? Because she has seen that they can accept "I'm really a girl! Take me to a doctor for treatment!" much better than they could ever accept "I'm a gay boy and I'm fine the way I am" - ?

All right, look, I'm transgender. I didn't just walk into my GP's office and go "hey i'm a dude now, gimme some Testosterone". It doesn't work like that. I've had years of therapy, with 4 different therapists. I've been socially transitioned (presenting as male/going by a strictly male name/pronouns) for four+ years. It took me four years to even think about getting on T, thanks to insurance issues. As of now, I still have to pay out of pocket for my meds because they aren't covered by insurance. (Luckily for me, the clinic I go to does low-cost meds, otherwise it would be $80-100+ every refill.)

 

Your "serious question" is offensive to me. Are there some people who just decide they're transgender on a whim? Yes, there are but they are such a huge minority that to bring them up is just dumb. And most of them never get to the hormone replacement therapy part.

 

And I'm honestly laughing a little at your sugesstion that a parent would rather have a trans kid than a gay kid. My folks have had four years to get used to my new name/pronoun and they still don't do it with any consistency. I know for a fact they'd rather I'd've been just gay than transgender. You know why? Because having a gay kid doesn't reflect badly on them. "Oh your kid's gay? The poor dear, that's just how god made them." But if you're transgender, your parents start looking to blame somebody, anybody.

 

Do you know why we're seeing a lot of transgender people popping up out of the woodwork? Because only now is it starting to be slightl;y safer to be out as trans. With Caitlyn Jenner and now Jazz's show, the mainstream American will have heard of succesful decent transgender people.

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 Okerry was talking specifically about small children and not about adults who transition as adults.  When it is the parents decision to let the young child transition and not an adult's decision- that the family may be more comfortable with saying the child is transgender than gay. I am not saying this but just clarifying what Okerry was talking about.   Most of what you wrote about your decision to transition and your parents reaction to it is not  an answer to her question about small children when the parents decide to let the child transition. 

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Parents can't just decide their child is going to transition, just as they can't just decide their child is going to receive dialysis.  Mrs. Jennings can't walk into her doctors office, say that Jazz's kidneys are messed up and that she demands Jazz be placed on indefinite dialysis and then expect the doctor to meekly comply (and if he does, the doctor needs to have his licensed revoked and possibly indicted).  That isn't how medicine works.  The University of Google and WebMD might make parents more likely to attempt to self-diagnose, but the doctor is the one with the education and skill to make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan or several possible plans to discuss with the parent.  It would be immoral, unethical and a violation of human rights for a parent and a doctor to decide to force a cisgender child to undergo gender transitioning just because the child is gay or presumed to be gay.  I will further argue that it's unethical, immoral and a violation of their human rights to prevent a transgender child from receiving transition care, but we're working towards acknowledging this. 

 

With few exceptions, parents in the US who have the level of homophobia described by okerry are almost certainly going to be equally transphobic.

Edited by radishcake · Reason: modded for off topic
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Parents can't just decide their child is going to transition, just as they can't just decide their child is going to receive dialysis.  Mrs. Jennings can't walk into her doctors office, say that Jazz's kidneys are messed up and that she demands Jazz be placed on indefinite dialysis and then expect the doctor to meekly comply (and if he does, the doctor needs to have his licensed revoked and possibly indicted).  That isn't how medicine works.

 

There is no medicine involved in a 5 year old child that transitions. The parents allow the child to dress as the opposite gender and to be called by a new name and new gender pronouns.  The parents can decide to allow the child to transition. The analogy to dialysis does not work here. Jazz parents allowed her to dress as a girl to go to school. They could have continued to not allow it. It was totally their decision. This is what  Okerry was asking about- when the parents decide in a young child to allow them to transition. I am not saying I agree with Okerry but clarifying the point made.

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Okerry was talking specifically about small children and not about adults who transition as adults.  When it is the parents decision to let the young child transition and not an adult's decision- that the family may be more comfortable with saying the child is transgender than gay. I am not saying this but just clarifying what Okerry was talking about.   Most of what you wrote about your decision to transition and your parents reaction to it is not  an answer to her question about small children when the parents decide to let the child transition.

Yeah and I was mentioning all the hoops I had to go through as an adult to start medically transitioning because if an 18-year has to go through all that an 8-year-old certainly does. The insurance stuff definitely still applies.
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There is no medicine involved in a 5 year old child that transitions. The parents allow the child to dress as the opposite gender and to be called by a new name and new gender pronouns.  The parents can decide to allow the child to transition. The analogy to dialysis does not work here. Jazz parents allowed her to dress as a girl to go to school. They could have continued to not allow it. It was totally their decision. This is what  Okerry was asking about- when the parents decide in a young child to allow them to transition. I am not saying I agree with Okerry but clarifying the point made.

 

No, this is not what Okery is saying.  She's specifically discussing the point where the child begins to undergo medical transition.  Allow me to quote: 

 

 

Okay, here is another thing that occurred to me. It's a serious question and I am urging caution in the case of Jazz and all other young people. If we're going to use such drastic treatment (hormones and surgery), we'd better be very, very sure we're doing the right thing by these kids and, really, for anyone who identifies as trans.

 

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I assure you, okerry, if doctors find parents are abusing their children, they are required to report.  Forcing a child to transition to a different gender when that child is cisgender is a form of abuse and you better believe anti-LGBT folks will latch on to something like that to use in their bigot campaigns.  The doctors would be required to report whether or not they knew that Jazz went on to see another doctor.  Hopefully someday it will also be considered abuse to prevent a transgender child from receiving proper care.  

 

It's relevant to note that Mrs. Jennings state the doctors disagreed about a treatment plan, not about whether or not Jazz was transgender. 

Edited by Human

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Yes, I know about "mandated reporters" but I don't think this falls into that category. If it did, Jazz's current doctor would be prevented from administering treatment, but that's obviously not the case.

 

I don't understand what you mean here, could you elaborate?

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This is the last time I'm commenting here because it's like talking to a particularly dense brick wall and I don't have neither the time nor the energy to consistently check a thread that's starting to become a bit of a trigger but, okerry, I noticed you didn't put forth another more likely option regarding Jazz's doctors, amid your tirade against hypothetical child abuse and your frankly transphobic questions, which is that they simply don't have the experience to treat a transgender child.

 

It really jumped out at me when Jazz's mother said that several previous doctors got "cold feet" when it came to using puberty blockers on Jazz, and they had to look around for a while to find the doctor they're using now. The mother was very dismissive and almost insulting towards those doctors, and I sure wish she'd told us the reasons those doctors had for not wanting to treat Jazz.

 

Did those other doctors really get cold feet? Or did they just recognize that this is simply a child growing up gay and that is not what Jazz's parents wanted to hear? I don't know. I could be wrong. But I sure would want to make certain before starting those puberty blockers and hormones on a child with a perfectly normal physical body.

Doctors don't just give out puberty blockers -which by the way have been proven safe for use in transgender children- like candy. The kids go through years of therapy, most starting when they first announce their cross-gender identification.

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This is the last time I'm commenting here because it's like talking to a particularly dense brick wall and I don't have neither the time nor the energy to consistently check a thread that's starting to become a bit of a trigger but, okerry, I noticed you didn't put forth another more likely option regarding Jazz's doctors, amid your tirade against hypothetical child abuse and your frankly transphobic questions, which is that they simply don't have the experience to treat a transgender child.

Doctors don't just give out puberty blockers -which by the way have been proven safe for use in transgender children- like candy. The kids go through years of therapy, most starting when they first announce their cross-gender identification.

Please don't leave PupCal! I'm sorry if I've said anything offensive. I'm just trying to learn more about the transgender community so I probably ask too many stupid questions.

I understand if you leave but I hope you don't.

Please take care.

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