flaunt those legs girl!

Transgender women typically sport great legs, due to pre-HRT (hormone replacement therapy) muscle development combined with post-HRT muscle shaping. The result stands out!

So flaunt those legs girl!

I never wear pants.

And remember that high heels will further accentuate your legs! For tips and video on successfully living in heels see my post “the trick to walking in heels…”. Confidence forms the key ingredient—you must emit badass!

Setting an Example

To encourage you, let me now walk the walk (pun intended):

Grrl on Grrl Podcast interviewed me!

Today my interview with Grrl on Grrl Podcast came out!  We discuss, among other things,

  • The science of gender identity
  • The music of Axis Evil
  • “Ladylike” behavior as a source of personal empowerment
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Psychosexuality
  • Model minorities

Big thanks to June Owatari of Grrl on Grrl Podcast for working so hard to put this together! The music presented during the interviews may be downloaded here.

 

numb penis

To prepare for gender affirmation surgery, I’m having hair removed from my testes and penile shaft through electrolysis. To manage pain, I numb the area prior to each session using tetracaine.

I like having a numb penis. Then I can’t feel a part of my body that I don’t particularly want, don’t feel particularly attached to.

“distorted and out of tune” – a troll (sort of) gets it

I received the following response from a troll regarding music [4] I released recently:

The music is “distorted” and dissonant—and would sound “out of tune” to many who lack musical sophistication. That is intentional. A compositional choice.

And the dissonance intentionally speaks to the experience of feeling “out of tune” as a transgender person. So our troll is correct in his surface interpretation of the music.

But he fails to see where the problem lies. I assume that his interpretation is that the transgender person is “sick” in some way, compared to some standard of wellness that he and most individuals presumably meet.

But the transgender person is actually fine biologically and psychologically, as I’ve demonstrated in my scientific articles [1, 2, and 3]. So the problem emits from living within an unsupportive and hostile environment. This experience causes sickness in all individuals—a feature of being human, not a trait specific to the transgender population.

I sing these songs today so that transgender folks among future generations need not feel “distorted and out of tune”.

About “Axis Evil”

I perform as “Axis Evil“, the musical arm of my outreach work. Please follow the feed on Facebook and Twitter.

Update 20 November 2017

I further discuss the dissonant and distorted features of my music as it pertains to the transgender experience in my March 2017 post “this is transgender music”, which goes into far more detail than this text does.

References

  1. the science of gender identity (part 1: genetics)
  2. the science of gender identity (part 2: brain anatomy)
  3. the science of gender identity (part 3: psychology)
  4. the music discussed above:

lyrics: “Smelly Cunt”

I referred to this song in my recent post “a smelly cunt and a mission from God“, so provide the lyrics here. The piece comes from my debut album “City of God“. The post “this is transgender music” offers a detailed explanation of the lyrics.

Recording

Lyrics

I’ve never had a smelly cunt
but I still fear men in the dark
I’ve never had a smelly cunt
but I still fear rape in the dark

its not who you fuck
its not a caste, not abstraction
there’s no release from this, no algorithm,
no relief

I’ve never had a smelly cunt
so where’s my equal pay?
I’ve never had a smelly cunt
still I’m not a part of this “club”

its social abstraction,
genetic algorithm,
brain development flux
but I know its easier for you to assume I want attention

I’ve never had a smelly cunt
and I’m a better woman than you are

delivering sex appeal to a job interview

About a week ago I attended my first job interview as a woman. There was so much more to think about than before:

  • Fear of discrimination as a woman interviewing for a technical and scientific position
  • Fear of discrimination as a transgender person
  • Keeping my voice in a feminine pitch range for the duration of the interview
  • What to wear

I dealt with the first two concerns by just giving my best absolute possible performance. Nothing else I can do. Similarly, I held the voice up as best I could—really can’t sustain a feminine voice beyond an hour. In other words, nothing much I could do about that than the constant practicing I’ve been doing.

The only real leverage I felt was in choosing what to wear. I originally was going to wear a suit. However, I bluntly decided to favor showing sex appeal instead, choosing an outfit that shows legs and curves (but still wholly appropriate). The company is made solely of men at this point, and I wanted to get into their heads in more ways than just intellectually.

We’ll see how this worked shortly. Here is what I wore:

vocal frequency response

I now can speak consistently for an hour in a feminine voice—decent pitch, resonance, and inflection—before needing to rest. Moreover, my voice now passes on the phone.

So my voice therapist and I decided to tackle my singing range, to feminize that as well. (Followers of Axis Evil know I sing with a masculine voice despite functioning in all other parts of my life using a feminine one).

I needed data to see where I stand currently:

Starting at D3 (146.832 Hz), which lies in the gender-neutral pitch range, I recorded myself singing the words “I am Emily” up the scale in half-step intervals until D5 (587.330 Hz). (But I couldn’t make it that far in practice). I used a synthesizer to provide the pitch at each interval.

I then cut the synthesizer track and ran the vocal track through a frequency analysis algorithm to get a frequency response (Bode) plot:

As you can see from the plot, I can hold it up to about middle C, but can’t currently sustain volume beyond that.

Good baseline information.

the ideal woman (Hell’s r&d department)

I’m simply going to quote the section on creating the “ideal woman” from the Screwtape Letters. You can purchase the book in multiple formats here.

In a rough and ready way, of course, this question is decided for us by spirits far deeper down in the Lowerarchy than you and I. It is the business of these great masters to produce in every age a general misdirection of what may be called sexual “taste”. This they do by working through the small circle of popular artists, dressmakers, actresses and advertisers who determine the fashionable type. The aim is to guide each sex away from those members of the other with whom spiritually helpful, happy, and fertile marriages are most likely.

Thus we have now for many centuries triumphed over nature to the extent of making certain secondary characteristics of the male (such as the beard) disagreeable to nearly all the females—and there is more in that than you might suppose. As regards the male taste we have varied a good deal. At one time we have directed it to the statuesque and aristocratic type of beauty, mixing men’s vanity with their desires and encouraging the race to breed chiefly from the most arrogant and prodigal women. At another, we have selected an exaggeratedly feminine type, faint and languishing, so that folly and cowardice, and all the general falseness and littleness of mind which go with them, shall be at a premium.

At present we are on the opposite tack. The age of jazz has succeeded the age of the waltz, and we now teach men to like women whose bodies are scarcely distinguishable from those of boys. Since this is a kind of beauty even more transitory than most, we thus aggravate the female’s chronic horror of growing old (with many excellent results) and render her less willing and less able to bear children. And that is not all.

We have engineered a great increase in the licence which society allows to the representation of the apparent nude (not the real nude) in art, and its exhibition on the stage or the bathing beach. It is all a fake, of course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn; the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them appear firmer and more slender and more boyish than nature allows a full-grown woman to be.

Yet at the same time, the modern world is taught to believe that it is being “frank” and “healthy” and getting back to nature. As a result we are more and more directing the desires of men to something which does not exist—making the rôle of the eye in sexuality more and more important and at the same time making its demands more and more impossible. What follows you can easily forecast!

my obsession (part 1: introduction)

My primary obsession and my number one suicide prevention technique relate to each other.

First the suicide prevention technique: I maximize my femininity and feminine expression. Do not know why this works, because the most frequent driver of suicidal ideation for me has nothing to do with gender dysphoria (it’s heartbreak). But emphasizing femininity really works for me! My guess is that I’m more “in tune with the universe” when expressing it.

Moreover, beyond suicide prevention, I reach for happiness. Femininity proves key to achieving happiness for me. Vital. A critical path.

But this alone does not suggest any direction regarding the masculinity I retain.

However, now I will discuss my obsession: To rid myself (consciously and subconsciously) of all masculinity. Completely; leaving no trace behind.

This clashes with my conventional wisdom that all individuals channel a mix of feminine and masculine properties. I’m saying I don’t want the masculine at all. Shut that flow down!

At some level I feel that (for me) maximizing femininity requires giving up all masculinity. A zero-sum game. Reality for other people need not align with this.

This series of posts will explore the obsession and how I choose to act on it.

Update 30 September 2017

These next few paragraphs prove rather disturbing: I previously observed in “a compromise adaptation to the problem of suicidal ideation” that I experience my suicidal ideation as internal visions of stabbing my wrists or shooting myself in the head. These visions occurred at some baseline frequency even when experiencing decent mental health.

But after writing the above yesterday, things suddenly changed. I (so far) no longer have these images. But images of stabbing or cutting off my penis replaced them. (I’m NOT going to do this, by the way!). I’ve never experienced genital-targeted self-harm ideation before. Basically I’m perhaps subconsciously redirecting the “blame” for the pain I want to release away from “myself” and toward my masculine genitals—which I’m seeing more and more as separate from myself.

This last part, seeing my masculine genitals as more and more separate for myself, feels natural given that I am on track for gender affirmation surgery. For most of my post-public-transition life, I’ve not cared much what genitalia I hold, as I delivered femininity as core identity and outward presentation.

But, as per my effort to maximize my femininity to increase my happiness, and in concordance with my obsession of removing all masculinity from my life, the nature of my genitalia now matters.

renaming my penis

Many guys name their penises. I never did until about ten years ago when my spouse at the time asked me what mine’s name is. I jokingly and instantly responded “Penelope”. What I didn’t think of until last night was the similarity between the words “Penel(ope)” and “penile”. However, I’m now working under the theory that I did make a subconscious—and rather witty—connection at the time.

So I had a girl’s name (fits who I am) for my cock, though the name has a masculine subtext in context (not a good fit). So I decided to give my penis another girl’s name, one without any subtle masculinity.

Moreover, I quickly named it “Emily” to enforce the mind-body connection. The damn thing is a part of me for now whether I like it or not, and I do gain pleasure from its use. “Emily” will undergo surgical metamorphosis soon, but I’ll keep the name.

Emily is changing. And it is good!

estrogen deficit disorder

Potential correlation: I’ve recently upped my estrogen dose, and have recently been happier than I’ve been at anytime in the last two years. What if the two are related? What if my brain expects a certain baseline level of estrogen to function best that it never received until now?

There is evidence that hormone administration improves psychological functioning in transgender people (see my post “the science of gender identity (part 3: psychology)” for a discussion of this evidence.

Perhaps I finally hit a (psychiatrically) clinical dose.

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.

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

This is my pre-hormone-taking adult brain:

In my post “the science of gender identity (part 2: brain anatomy)“, I describe evidence that certain regions of transsexual brains resemble in size the regions of their cisgender counterparts in the transsexuals’ gender identity.

So I would like to measure my brain region sizes to see how they stack up. Enter image recognition:

This is someone else’s brain, but it shows a visual representation of an image recognition procedure’s results. I discovered I can use the same procedure on my MRI (but without being able to generate the cool image).

I ran the procedure on nine separate images of mine and compared the results by brain region. Here are the Spearman R values for the comparisons:

These results are very consistent, telling me that the image recognition program is consistent. This gives me confidence in using the results in later analyses comparing my brain region sizes to that of a population of cisgender brain MRIs.

Code, Data, and Procedure

Data, code, and instructions necessary to produce these results are attached.

code_and_data

selecting DNA targets for a transgender gene panel

This is a work in progress…

Introduction

There are several genes that some researchers believe are correlated with gender dysphoria and transsexualism. Please see my earlier work discussing some of these genes at “the science of gender identity (part 1: genetics)“.

In particular, there are single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and variations in tandem repeat length in these genes that have been identified. I am therefore designing a targeted DNA sequencing panel for investigating whether a person has any of these variations.

Started with DisGeNET 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0

DisGeNET [1] provides scored relationships between diseases and genes (not that trans stuff is a disease!) based on, among other things, text mining of the literature. Fortunately they also report PubMed IDs for the papers providing evidence of a given gene’s connection to a disease, which allows me to begin my literature search. The following graph and table shows the DisGeNET content I found related to the keywords “transsexualism”, and “gender”. (I allowed partial string matches in the search):

NCBI Gene Symbol NCBI Gene ID Condition PubMed ID Sentence
AR 367 Transsexualism 18962445 Androgen receptor repeat length polymorphism associated with male-to-female transsexualism.
COMT 1312 Gender disorders 17419009 Future studies on the COMT gene in mentally ill subjects should be stratified by clinical subtypes of the disorder, gender and ethnicity.
CYP17A1 1586 Transsexualism 17765230 A polymorphism of the CYP17 gene related to sex steroid metabolism is associated with female-to-male but not male-to-female transsexualism.
CYP19A1 1588 Transsexualism 15854782 However, binary logistic regression analysis revealed significant partial effects for all three polymorphisms, as well as for the interaction between the AR and aromatase gene polymorphisms, on the risk of developing transsexualism.
CYP19A1 1588 Transsexualism 18962445 No associations for transsexualism were evident in repeat lengths for CYP19 or ERbeta genes.
CYP19A1 1588 Transsexualism 25124466 Association study of ERβ, AR, and CYP19A1 genes and MtF transsexualism.
ESR2 2100 Transsexualism 24274329 The (CA)n polymorphism of ERβ gene is associated with FtM transsexualism.
ESR2 2100 Transsexualism 25124466 We investigated the association between genotype and transsexualism by performing a molecular analysis of three variable regions of genes ERβ, AR, and CYP19A1 in 915 individuals (442 MtFs and 473 control males).
HSD17B13 345275 Gender Dysphoria 23045263 Patients with 5α-reductase 2 (5α-RD2) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 (17β-HSD3) deficiencies exhibit the highest rates of gender dysphoria (incidence of up to 63%).
HSD17B3 3293 Gender Dysphoria 23045263 Patients with 5α-reductase 2 (5α-RD2) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 (17β-HSD3) deficiencies exhibit the highest rates of gender dysphoria (incidence of up to 63%).
HSD17B7 51478 Gender Dysphoria 23045263 Patients with 5α-reductase 2 (5α-RD2) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 (17β-HSD3) deficiencies exhibit the highest rates of gender dysphoria (incidence of up to 63%).
LITAF 9516 Transsexualism 1483176 As her twin sister had no sexual identity problems, it appears that transsexualism is not transmitted by a simple genetic mechanism.

References

  1. Janet Piñero, Àlex Bravo, Núria Queralt-Rosinach, Alba Gutiérrez-Sacristán, Jordi Deu-Pons, Emilio Centeno, Javier García-García, Ferran Sanz, Laura I. Furlong; DisGeNET: a comprehensive platform integrating information on human disease-associated genes and variants. Nucleic Acids Res 2017; 45 (D1): D833-D839. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw943