Dan Savage On The Gayle King Show - “It Gets Better!”
Why Are Parents Of Intersex Children Choosing Their Kid’s Gender So Early On?
When we hear about an adult woman changing her sex to become a man, we generally label that person as transgender. But what about an adult woman who was never supposed to be a lady? That’s the situation Jim Bruce (pictured) found himself in after being born intersex, with ambiguous genitals, and doctors and his parents making the decision to surgically remove his external organs and raise him as a girl.
Growing up, Bruce always knew something was up, but it wasn’t until he sought his medical records at age 19 did he learn the truth about his intersex birth. From there, he had surgery to remove his breasts and began hormone therapy to transition into a man. And he’s using his story, and his work with Advocates for Informed Choice, to raise serious questions about the harm that can be done about making decisions about what to do with intersex children so early in life. ABC News relays:
“It wasn’t that long ago, and parents were often led to believe they were doing the best thing for the child,” he said. “They still don’t know anything now, and they don’t do any follow up.” At first he blamed his parents, but later realized, “they were only kids, 27 and 29, and they were scared. I never had any doubt my parents loved me very much.”
As little as a decade ago, the medical community thought of gender as a slate that could be erased and then redrawn. Today, gender identification is still not well understood, but experts say that when sex cannot be determined, it’s better to use the best available information to assign gender, then to wait and monitor the child’s psychological and physical development before undertaking surgery, if at all. Waiting until puberty also allows the child to participate in the decision. “Our chromosomes don’t tell us who we are,” said Dr. Arlene Baratz, a Pittsburgh breast radiologist who has two intersex daughters. “We expect XX is pink and a girl and XY is blue and a boy, but we know from children with gender identity conditions that is not always the case, even when their bodies are perfectly typical. Today, we anticipate how the child will feel as an adult and what they feel inside,” said Baratz. “That is called gender identity and the gender role is how we live in society as a man or a woman. So gender assignment is aimed at putting gender identity and role in sync with each other as the child grows older.”
What’s so bad about waiting for the child to develop in puberty before making a decision about his sex? Nothing, really, aside from the societal pressure the parents will feel (to which I say: yeah, so?) and the logistical decisions, like choosing which bathrooms a child will use at school.
And while doctors can often be quite accurate about which gender an intersex child will grow up to identify with, they can’t always be sure. Which means a drastic surgery as a baby turns into an entire adolescence being raised in the wrong body and possibly an adulthood of depression and painful decisions. If waiting a few years can avoid all that, well, that sounds reasonable.
Gay Men and Sexually Transmitted Infections
Dan Savage comments:
Straight men would do everything gay men do if straight men could but straight men can’t because straight women won’t.
If there were straight bathhouses full of women who wanted to have anonymous sex with straight men, straight men would go to straight bathhouses. If there were straight public-sex environments—parks and truck stops and toilets—where straight women cruised for anonymous sex with straight male strangers, straight men would cruise straight public-sex environments.
Not all straight men would go to straight bathhouses and straight cruising areas, of course, just as not all gay men go to gay bathhouses and gay cruising areas. But a lot of straight men would. If they could. But they can’t. Because women won’t.
It’s important to remember this when we talk about HIV infection rates and syphilis rates among gay men. The problem isn’t that these men are gay. The problem is that these gays are men.
Straight men have an external check that makes it more difficult for them to spin out of control sexually. Whether you believe that female sexual reserve/reluctance/caution is about socialization or biology or both, or that it’s a reaction to sad fact the many unpleasant consequences of sex fall disproportionately on women (greater risk of pregnancy (um, duh), much likelier to be the victims of sexual and intimate-partner violence, easier for STIs to be transmitted from male-to-female than female-to-male), female sexual reserve/reluctance/caution exists. It’s consequently much harder for straight men to get laid than it is for gay men to get laid. Gay men tend to get laid more, as a result, some gay men get laid lots, and a core group of hypersexual gay men get laid like crazy and these core group members, according to epidemiologists, fuel the HIV and STI epidemics in gay male communities. (And core group members don’t just sleep with other core group members.)
The challenge that gay men face—and it’s something that HIV “educators” and gay men working in the laughably ineffectual “gay men’s health movement” refuse to acknowledge or address—is that gay men have to find an internal check to avoid spinning out of control sexually. Gay men should be encouraged to find that internal check, challenged to find it, and confronted when they fail to find it.
As I’ve said before: straight people should have more sex, and more sex partners, than they do; gay people should have less sex, and fewer sex partners, than we can. Somewhere there’s a balance.
Obamas Encourage End to Bullying
The Advocate reports:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a video Wednesday inviting people to participate in a conference at the White House on bullying prevention this Thursday.
“This isn’t an issue that makes headlines everyday, but it affects every single young person in America,” President Obama said.
The video is on a Facebook page promoting the website, StopBullying.gov. The page has a specific area addressing bullying against LGBT people. People will gather in Washington, D.C. for the conference, but students, teachers, coaches, parents and administrators are encouraged to participate in the online conversation. Go to the Facebook page to see the video.
Dan Savage at U of Montana: How To
Avoid Developing A Porn Addiction In Montana.
A message to all small-town gay men.
Gay Preacher PWNS Haters
The Gay Preacher: A small group of Christian radicals came to Auburn University screaming at the students about how the are living unholy lives and how they are all going to hell, the students decided to respond back to the radicals.
I love that he quotes the scripture of RuPaul.
I ain’t religious but this is awesome. and Amén to that!
MINNESOTA: Lesbian Couple Enters School Party To Cheers From Fellow Students
A lesbian couple who successfully fought to attend their Minnesota high school’s Snow Days party as members of the royalty court were greeted with cheers from their classmates as they entered the room last night.
Sarah Lindstrom and Desiree Shelton wore matching black suits with pink ties and held hands as they entered the Snow Days Pep Fest at Champlin Park High School in Minneapolis’ northwest suburbs. The reaction came as a relief to the couple and school administrators. The district has been stung by criticism of its policies toward homosexuality and the alleged bullying of a gay student who killed himself. “It felt amazing,” said Shelton, adding that she was too nervous to notice dozens rise to give her a standing ovation as she walked in with Lindstrom. “I think we were too focused on getting to the stage.”After the pair was elected to the court, school officials changed the rules that previously had couples enter the party in boy-girl pairs. The new rules required each student to enter accompanied by a parent or teacher. The school relented after lawsuits from the SPLC and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Christiantist activists have worked to prevent anti-bullying legislation in the district.
CANADA: Catholic School Board Overturns Ban On Gay Student Groups
Earlier this month a Catholic school district in Canada announced that they were banning gay student groups, because, as their spokesperson (pictured below) put it, “We don’t have Nazi groups either.” Yesterday that ban was overturned:
The Halton Catholic District School Board has struck down a controversial ban on gay-straight clubs that some newly elected trustees say did not reflect their views. The policy, set by the former board before the election last fall, had stated gay-straight alliances “cannot be permitted” even though the Ontario government now recommends such clubs, if requested by a student, as one way to promote a feeling of belonging among students of different sexual orientations. But at a meeting Tuesday attended by dozens of opponents to the ban, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Union, the new trustees voted 6-2 to scrap the clause that had sparked outrage from human rights advocates, sparked a protest petition and drawn a thumb’s-down from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
Bigots In Canada: Catholic School District: We Don’t Allow Gays And Nazis To Form Clubs
A Catholic school district in Canada says that Gay-Straight Alliance clubs are not permitted. For the same reason that Nazi clubs are not allowed. Andrea Houston reports forXtra:
The provincial Ministry of Education thinks GSA’s are pretty important. They are encouraged as one of the best ways to fight homophobia in schools and build bridges between all students. But the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) takes a different view. The board feels the groups are harmful, and has issued a ban on GSA’s altogether. “We don’t have Nazi groups either,” rationalizes board chair Alice Anne LeMay. “Gay-Straight Alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church. ”Even if a student asks to start up a GSA, a wall of opposition from the principal to the education director points to a blanket board-wide policy. “If a gay student requests a Gay-Straight Alliance they would be denied,” she says flatly. “It’s not in accordance with the teachings of the church. If they wanted to have a club outside of school, fine, just not in school.”
Man, I hated those snotty kids in the Nazi Club. Such stuck-ups!
This bitch seems to be from Ontario. This is her contact info, just in case you wanna say hi:
Alice Anne LeMay
Oakville Trustee & Chair of the Board
Halton Catholic District School Board