Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

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Siggy
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby Siggy » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:34 pm

My understanding of trans issues is that every single mainstream media portrayal is problematic in some way. Unfortunately, I'm not able to catch this sort of thing myself. It doesn't look too bad to me.

But I sort of sense an underlying message that somehow it's more okay for people to transition if they have some sort of intersex condition. The article doesn't outright say it, but that's what many of the readers are thinking. This is comparable to saying that it's more okay to be asexual as long as you are neurotypical, mid-age, and female.

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Dargon
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby Dargon » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:53 am

I'm seeing what Siggy is seeing. The overt message is that this person is biologically not on the gender binary, and thus it's ok for her to transition to the side she feels right in. The underlying, unspoken message is that only in that circumstance is that ok. Hell, it's hardly unspoken, what with her parents punishing her for being too girly as a child.

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Siggy
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby Siggy » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:18 am

Actually, it was there, in the comments.
In cases where a person is chromosomally entirely male or female, I am opposed to sex change operations (though I would never vote to forbid them). I believe that identity is a mental and emotional matter, which is not determined by our physical appearance.

Of course, the comments are always terrible, so take it for what it's worth and no more.

It's not necessarily an intended message. People with intersex conditions have just as valid experiences as anyone else, and it's just as good a topic to cover. Would it have been any better if they had discussed a person who was transitioning but did not have any intersex conditions? Maybe readers would have just rejected that outright. People have really messed up attitudes towards trans issues, and there isn't any easy solution to it.

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KAGU143
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby KAGU143 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:11 pm

I saw that same comment and it also raised a red flag for me, Siggy, but I have to consider that there might be another way to look at it.
It's a baby step. If somebody is raised from childhood with an inherently skewed set of values then it is nearly impossible for them to do a sudden 180 degree reversal and admit that they have been completely wrong.
However, if they are willing to consider that there might be some valid exceptions which genuinely challenge their worldview then it's a start.
Perhaps it wouldn't be such a great leap for a person like that to consider the possibility that an infant's future gender identity can go beyond chromosomes and might, just maybe, be strongly affected by their pre-natal environment or by any number of other factors which cannot always be demonstrated, but are, nevertheless, very real.

It's like sticking a toe in the door of a closed mind, if you will.
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Dargon
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby Dargon » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:14 pm

That is a valid point, for many, this is a baby step forward.

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Typical P. Pinecone
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby Typical P. Pinecone » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:14 pm

I know some Trans people will claim to have an intersex condition so that people will not react as negatively towards their coming out. In fact, one of the tests a trans person must have before transition is a chromosome count to see if they have a condition. Gender Identity Disorder cannot be diagnosed on a person with an intersex condition.

Intersex and Trans issues are very very linked. Yet both sides desperately want to get away from each other. The Trans community wants to keep any sort of "Oh I have XXY chromosomes so I'm more of a Real Trans person than you" out. Where as the Intersex community tends to not want Chromosome-Typical individuals claiming to be intersex so they can be "More of a real trans person"... etc.
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The Gray Lady
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby The Gray Lady » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:46 pm

Typical P. Pinecone wrote:I know some Trans people will claim to have an intersex condition so that people will not react as negatively towards their coming out. In fact, one of the tests a trans person must have before transition is a chromosome count to see if they have a condition. Gender Identity Disorder cannot be diagnosed on a person with an intersex condition.

Intersex and Trans issues are very very linked. Yet both sides desperately want to get away from each other. The Trans community wants to keep any sort of "Oh I have XXY chromosomes so I'm more of a Real Trans person than you" out. Where as the Intersex community tends to not want Chromosome-Typical individuals claiming to be intersex so they can be "More of a real trans person"... etc.


Um, what? Really? What country are you from? In the U.S., a chromosome count is not required, and furthermore it is a very expensive procedure (and one that certainly isn't covered by insurance here), so I can't imagine why it would be. Plus, there are way more intersex conditions than the ones involving abnormal chromosomes, so the amount of tests required to determine non-intersex status would take up a lot of time (which would exacerbate any suicidal tendencies) and be very cost-prohibitive. And good luck finding someone who knows how to do the tests! My partner is MTF and suspected she was intersex, but has no money to check. The one test she did attempt, she suspects the technician had no idea what she was doing. The doctor who gave her the order also only did so because my partner brought in a bunch of information for her to look at; professionals experienced in dealing with such things are rare. So, some people only discover they are intersex after they have started transition, because the hormones set it off (like one MTF who started having periods after starting on estrogen). In the event that it is discovered that a trans person is intersexed, however, the GID diagnosis will be redacted.

I also haven't seen any of what you described in either the trans or the intersex community, and I'm honestly kind of confused by it. You might want to look up other intersex conditions, since as I said before, having the right kind of chromosomes doesn't mean you're not intersex. And I've found it generally acknowledged that intersex people can be trans too, although of course they have different issues that many trans people are at a loss on how to deal with. I haven't seen a whole lot of More-Trans-Than-Thou going on, either. Both communities seem pretty supportive of each other as a whole, from my experience.

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Siggy
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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby Siggy » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:25 am

I have a friend who is trans and she tells me a lot about various problematic segments of the trans community. For example, she says there's a group of transsexual women who don't identify as transgender. Instead they claim to have Harry Benjamin Syndrome, an intersex condition (which my friend implied was pseudoscientific). Among HBSers, there's an undercurrent of transphobia and homophobia. They look down on transwomen who don't fit rigid traditional female gender roles and on lesbian transwomen. HBSers have also damaged the relationship between intersex and trans people.

It really shouldn't be surprising. Trans people are so embattled just to exist, it isn't surprising that the more-privileged subgroups will sometimes step on the less-privileged groups just to get ahead.

You can see the same patterns to a lesser extent in the asexual community. So often people tell us that we're not really asexual, and that it's really because of trauma, immaturity, fear. Some asexuals' response is to turn around and look suspiciously at the young, the anxious, and the autistic within the asexual community.

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Re: Klinefelter's syndrome and gender

Postby pretzelboy » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:09 pm

A blog that I follow, Crossdreamers had a rather interested post recently on the issue of trans infighting when four tribes go to war. Four sepratist groups and a unionist group are described:
The People's Front of Judea

1. There are some organized crossdressers, who insist that they are gender variant men, and who would rather not see androphilic transgender or transsexuals at their meetings.
The operative phrase here is "We are men".

The Judean's People's Front

2. Then there are the Classical Transsexuals (CT) who argue that they have nothing in common with "fetishistic crossdressers" and "gay effeminate men".
The operative phrase here is "We are women".


Campaign for a Free Galilee

3. The Harry Benjamin Syndrome crowd (HBS) preaches an extremist version of the CT gospel, where even feminine looks and mannerisms are inborn.
The operative term here is "We are ladies".

Judean Popular People's Front

4. The transkids have adopted Blanchard's and Bailey's theory using it to establish a difference between androphilic (man-loving) transwomen on the one side and gynephilic masculine "autogynephiliacs" on the other.

The operative phrase here is "We are naturally feminine."

The Romans

There is a fifth group as well, but they are not separatists. They are the unionists, people focusing on what these clans have in common.

Many of the unionists are active as the T of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trangender) movement. Some of them can be as violent as General Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War. They are not the focus of this post, however, so I am not going to discuss them any further.

The following section titles pretty much sum things up:
The longing for normalcy, Gender conditioning [beginning in childhood], Non-freakology [how to not be seen as a freak], Normalcy is a myth.

There is a very important historical relationship between trans infighting and the asexual community. In college, David Jay was involved in LGBT stuff and was very turned off by the queerer-than-thou that was going on, feeling it was very unproductive. Nat, the founder of Livejournal Asexuality, had come up with the idea of "asexuality" in an online trans discussion thingy (I'm not clear of the specific kind of medium), and was similarly turned off by attempts to define who "really" is whatever and who isn't. They collaborated in making AVEN (and AVEN's FAQ's), and both were very intentional in wanting asexuality to be an identity that anyone could use who felt that the identity was helpful for them. Thus the prohibition against telling people that they aren't really asexual, the focus on asexual identity that we find in much introductory material on asexuality, were both strongly motivated by a reaction against queer infighting, and especially trans infighting.

On the issue of intersex conditions, in DSM-IV's entry for "Gender Identity Disorder" criterion C says:
C. The disturbance is not concurrent with a physical intersex condition.

They are planning on getting rid of this is DSM-5.