Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Cutting Edge-July 2013

By Barbara F. Anderson, Ph. D., LCSW
“The International Journal of Transgenderism,” Jan.-Mar. 2013 features an article, “Transsexuality Among Twins: Identity Concordance, Transition, Rearing, and Orientation” by a renown researcher in the field, Dr. Milton Diamond.  It examines the interface between genetic and environmental factors in the development of gender identity through the study of identical and fraternal twins.  As you can imagine it was difficult to locate subjects for this study.  Finally 112 sets of twins within which one or both had transitioned from one gender to the other were included.  Some of the findings are as follows:  It is more likely that identical twins and male twins (as opposed to non-twinned siblings) would both transition suggesting a role for genetic factors in the development of gender dysphoria.  However, the majority (56%) of identical twins did not transition, concurrently reinforcing prior knowledge that “even identical twins … are not completely identical in gene configurations.”  For a fuller discussion of this subject, see N. L. Segal’s book, “Born together-Reared Apart,” published in 2012. At the end of the article the author pleads for twin sets to enlarge the study with the aim of improving the lives of transgendered people.  If interested, please contact Dr. Milton Diamond, Univ. of Hawaii, School of Medicine, e-mail:

 A recent communication I received advises that as of June 13, 2013, the Social Security Administration has changed its decade-old repressive post-SRS-only policy.  Now, with a physician’s letter, transpeople will be able to modify their gender marker on their Social Security account.  This should aid individuals seeking employment or those who have been discriminated in employment because of mismatched identity documents. For more info:

 “Transgender Police Officer Settles Claim Against Bay Area Police Department” is the June 18, 2013 headline of an article on the Transgender Law Center’s website.  Officer T., a 17-year veteran of an unspecified police department , was  “subjected to serious discrimination and harassment by other officers after he transitioned from female to male.”  He claimed that he was repeatedly intentionally referred to by the wrong pronoun and called to crime scenes to pat down female suspects.  This continued for 7 years and in that time his superiors refused to intervene on his behalf.  As result, Officer T. “suffered extreme emotional distress that negatively impacted on his health and his economic security….”  With the assistance of the TLC and the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center a resolution satisfactory to all parties was reached.

 The San Francisco Public Library is mounting an exhibit called, “10,000 Dresses,” by Marcus Ewart & Rex Ray.  It consists of images from the 1st book on the subject of transgenderism for children.  Described as a fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside, the exhibit is in the Main Library, 2nd floor until August 31. 

 California is poised to become the first state to require schools to let kids choose bathrooms and
sports teams based on their gender identity, marking some of the strongest protections for transgender youth
in the country. The Associated Press reports that California already had legal protections in place for
transgender students, but the new bill made those rules more explicit. AB1266 allows K-12 children "to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception rather than their birth gender. A San Francisco Democrat who sponsored the bill said the clearer rules ensure some of the state’s most bullied children will get a “fair shake.”
The AP notes the education department of Massachusetts and many school districts around the country are adopting similar rules.

A long debate preceded the 21-9 vote in the California State Senate, including one objection from a senator who suggested that the rules would allow mediocre male athletes to join female sports teams for competitive advantage.

 “Small Town Security” is an American reality TV series appearing on AMC.  The unscripted show focuses on a small, family-owned, private security company located in a rural town in Georgia in which one character, Lieutenant Croft, an F-to-M, is outed.  Stay tuned.