at the genetics conference

We (scientists), suspect a genetic component to gender dysphoria. While that may not be the full explanation, it might be a factor. See “the science of gender identity (part 1: genetics)” for my previous analysis of this subject.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology allows us to edit genomes early in life. The idea is that we can replace genetic mutations that correlate to future disease with nucleotide sequences that correlate to healthy outcomes.

Last October I presented a poster at the American Society of Human Genetics’ annual conference. Most of the workshops I attended were deeply technical, but I attended one about the ethics of using CRISPR/Cas9.

There were hundreds of people in the workshop’s audience, and many big names in the human genetics field. Researchers and M.D.-PhDs filled the room. We agreed that the CRISPR/Cas9 technology could be beneficial to disease prevention.

I stepped up to the microphone at that point (audience feedback was invited) and stated that

We must be careful not to confuse diversity and disease. I like being transgender and would not want that to have been eradicated. Similarly, we must not be hasty to “treat” other socially challenging conditions such as homosexuality and Asperger’s syndrome.

I made it clear that just because someone, somewhere finds my identity distasteful and culturally and/or religiously problematic, it should never be “cured” a priori as if it were a disease.

My statements elicited a full chorus of cheers from the audience, and many complemented me for my courage afterwards.

Fortuna audaces iuvat
DIY brain anatomy: looking for transgender features (part 1)

Post Author: Emily

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