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For Trans Children And Their Families, A Time Of Growing Uncertainty



      'For the past five years, Jim and Kate Henderson have been on a personal odyssey. The summer before second grade, their daughter said she felt like a boy and wanted to be treated like one, too.

      '“I realized [then] as a parent that, even if I’m struggling understanding this for myself, I have no more important job in my existence than to ensure my kid feels they’re loved and affirmed for who they are,” says Mr. Henderson.

      'So began a slow, sometimes awkward and occasionally painful process of self-education and protection. Conferences were attended, friends and family were notified, teachers consulted – all with the goal of ensuring their child felt safe and secure.

      'Now with their son in sixth grade, the Missouri family, who requested that their names be changed to protect their child, say they believed they had built a strong network of support around themselves. Their son, they felt, had been given a chance for a normal childhood.

      'But recently they have been pitched into uncertainty, they say, first by the unexpected election of Donald Trump, then by the US Supreme Court declining to hear a major transgender case this spring, and finally by their state legislature contemplating a controversial "bathroom bill."

      '“It’s hard to have parent control around that,” says Ms. Henderson. “That’s a much longer, harder journey than taking care of our one precious kid in our little beautiful family.”

      '“I was hoping we would find some peace and people would move forward,” she adds. “We’re now in the most vulnerable position we’ve been in.”

      'Multiple parents of transgender students, and the teens themselves, say 2017 has brought greater uncertainty than any they've faced in recent years. That it comes after a period of what seemed like growing understanding for trans Americans leaves them feeling particularly unsure of what the future may hold.'


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      This one of the most intense movies I have ever scene.

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      Cross-Cultural Evidence For The Genetics Of Homosexuality


          "Several correlates of male androphilia — biological males who are sexually attracted to men — have been shown across different cultures, which is suggestive of a common biological foundation among them. For example, the fraternal birth order effect—the phenomenon whereby male androphilia is predicted by having a higher number of biological older brothers—is evident in both Western and Samoan cultures.

          "Interestingly, in Western society, homosexual men, compared with heterosexual men, tend to recall higher levels of separation anxiety — the distress resulting from being separated from major attachment figures, like one’s primary caregiver or close family members. Research in Samoa has similarly demonstrated that third-gender fa’afafine—individuals who are feminine in appearance, biologically male, and attracted to men—also recall greater childhood separation anxiety when compared with heterosexual Samoan men. Thus, if a similar pattern regarding separation anxiety were to be found in a third, disparate culture—in the case, the Istmo region of Oaxaca, Mexico—it would add to the evidence that male androphilia has biological underpinnings.

          "The current study included 141 heterosexual women, 135 heterosexual men, and 178 muxes (61 muxe nguiiu and 117 muxe gunaa). Study participants were interviewed using a questionnaire that asked about separation anxiety; more specifically, distress and worry they experienced as a child in relation to being separated from a parental figure. Participants rated how true each question was for them when they were between the ages of 6 to 12 years old.

          "Muxes showed elevated rates of childhood separation anxiety when compared with heterosexual men, similar to what has been seen in gay men in Canada and fa’afafine in Samoa. There were also no differences in anxiety scores between women and muxe nguiiu or muxe gunaa, or between the two types of muxes.

          "When we consider possible explanations for these results, social mechanisms are unlikely, as previous research has shown that anxiety is heritable and parenting tends to be in response to children’s traits and behaviors, as opposed to the other way around. Biological mechanisms, however, offer a more compelling account. For instance, exposure to female-typical levels of sex steroid hormones in the prenatal environment are thought to “feminize” regions of the male brain that are related to sexual orientation, thereby influencing attachment and anxiety.

          "On top of this, studies in molecular genetics have shown that Xq28, a region located at the tip of the X chromosome, is involved in both the expression of anxiety and male androphilia. This suggests that common genetic factors may underlie the expression of both. Twin studies additionally point to genetic explanations as the underlying force for same-sex partner preference in men and neuroticism, a personality trait that is comparable to anxiety.

          "These findings suggest childhood separation anxiety may be a culturally universal correlate of androphilia in men. This has important implications for our understanding of children’s mental health conditions, as subclinical levels of separation anxiety, when intertwined with male androphilia, may represent a typical part of the developmental life course.

          "As it stands, sexual orientation research will continue to evoke widespread interest and controversy for the foreseeable future because it has the potential to be used—for better or worse—to uphold particular socio-political agendas. The moral acceptability of homosexuality has often hinged on the idea that same-sex desires are innate, immutable, and therefore, not a choice. This is clear when we think about how previous beliefs around homosexuality being learned were once used to justify (now discredited) attempts to change these desires.

          "The cross-cultural similarities evinced by the current study offer further proof that being gay is genetic, which is, in itself, an interesting finding. But we as a society should challenge the notion that sexual preferences must be non-volitional in order to be socially acceptable or safe from scrutiny. The etiology of homosexuality, biological or otherwise, should have no bearing on gay individuals’ right to equality."


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          Questions In Search Of Answers


              This report is one that seems to, at least in part, answer a profound question for me, both personally and professionally.

              I have held the hand of many, many HIV patients as they have taken their last breath on this Earth. One of the compelling realities I have had to face is that, had I not been there with them, they would have died alone. How is this possible? Why is this a reality? Could it possibly be that absolutely no one cared about them?

              I recommend this article to you. It might make a little sense to you, too if you are a gay male, single, and wondering what the hell is going on. I hope it helps you. It did me.


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              The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights. A Film.


                  These 30 articles should always be at the forefront of our minds when we enjoy art. Or at least as an Irish citizen, they are in mine..

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