lately i’ve been doing alot of research…i won’t bother going through all of it here.
it was brought on by an article i had read that stated that men, who because of cancer or other mishap, have had to have their penis removed, experience “phantom limb” sensations commonly felt by other people who have had other kinds of amputations.
the article went on to say that transgender persons, both those who have had their previous genitalia re-fashioned into a vagina, and those who have had the penis removed entirely do NOT experience “phantom limb”.
this seems to me an important point.
my research led me to MRI studies of the brains of persons from both these groups. and then into another area, which is not directly related to the whole ‘transgender’ mind research, but was interesting in that it pointed out how much more there is for us to learn about the mind and identity.
this other avenue dealt with folk who “suffer” from xenomelia which is defined as the oppressive feeling the sufferers have that one or more of their limbs is ‘not theirs’. Here are a few of the names the condition has been known by:
Amputee Identity Disorder
Body Identity Integrity Disorder.
now, before anyone can get the idea that i am attempting to equate transgender/transsexual persons with those that fit into this group let me assure you, it is not my intent.
what i found very interesting in my hours of finding and reading scholarly research about all of the conditions mentioned in this post, was that one’s identity ~ whether body identity, or gender identity ~ is born out by correlative MRI evidence that these minds are different, right down to the very structural and/or electrical activity, than the minds of neuro-typical, cis-gender persons.
this would seem to settle the question once and for all as to the authenticity of transgender and transsexual persons…it would seem to lay to rest all those trolls who comment at the bottoms of blogs and articles about trans-issues, that equate our transgender children’s identity with fantasies about what they’d like to be when they grow up…
it is highly unlikely that the functional MRI of a cis-gender child considering a future occupation would reveal much of a difference between one who wants to be an astronaut and another who sees himself as a ballet dancer. the brains of our transgender children are structurally and functionally more similar to their affirmed gender than to the gender to which they were assigned at birth.
with every further bit of research done with regard to brain/mind and body/identity, evidence emerges about just how little we know, and how much there is yet to learn. but one thing seems clear, our transgender children ARE exactly who they say they are. no matter what the trolls and closed-minded people might believe.
to any person raising a transgender child, i highly recommend doing some research. not because it gives authenticity to our kids ~ they have that whether or not science can validate their experience ~ but do so because being able to cite such research confounds the simpletons who judge.
then ignore both the research and the jerks…and simply love your child. that’s the fun part!