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Comment: Transgender etiquette 101 (Score 5, Insightful) 110

by eca212 (#30696458) Attached to: <em>M.U.L.E.</em> Is Back

On the contrary, I think that most if not all transgender people and those who appreciate transgender issues would have a problem with the way this is being handled.

The standard etiquette for referring to a transgender person is to use the name and pronouns they prefer, even when referring to the past. If you don't know the person's preference, use the pronouns that correspond to how they live publicly. This, as well as being the courteous and respectful thing to do, is also agreed upon by the Associated Press Stylebook.

It's the same courtesy we give anyone when they change their name, except that in these cases you're changing the pronouns, too. For example, everyone refers to Laura Bush as Laura Bush, not Laura Welch, even if you're talking about her childhood. If you need to clarify, you still treat the person's current name as the primary name, as in "Laura Bush (born Laura Welch) fell off the swing when she was 5."

The difference is that with transgender people, it's a bigger deal to disrespect their name and pronoun change. It's effectively saying "I don't care what gender you think you are, I know better than you." That's incredibly insulting, demeaning, and disempowering.

It's understandable to be confused the first time you encounter a transgender person, because in over 99% of the population, sex and gender match one-to-one, and they're static final. I mean, they don't ever change. (: So it's understandable to assume that it's a one-to-one unchanging relationship -- until you find a counterexample. At that point, how do you adjust your worldview? Do you dogmatically stick to your view that sex and gender must match one-to-one and must never change? Or do you expand your worldview to account for the counterexamples? It seems to me that both the scientific method and human kindness suggest the latter.

Comment: DDR vs. Estrogen... FIGHT! (Score 1) 1091

by eca212 (#29163703) Attached to: How To Prove Someone Is Female?

In my experience, hormones have a lot more to do with athletics than do chromosomes.

I'm a transsexual woman who was born male (with XY chromosomes and all that usually entails). I competed in statewide Dance Dance Revolution tournaments and did well. Then, around age 24 when I started transitioning to female and taking estrogen and androgen blockers, my stamina decreased drastically, my muscle mass decreased and my body fat ratio increased. I was once able to play for 7.5 hours straight, and soon after transitioning I could only play for a couple of hours without getting exhausted. 10-footer songs that I used to be able to pass without much trouble, I couldn't make it all the way through anymore. I've been training to build up my stamina, and I'm getting stronger and more fit, but I'm still not at the level I was back when my hormonal balance was completely different.

It's not surprising that hormones are the most influential factor, because what are steroids, after all? Testosterone.

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