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  • 05 Sep 2013
    New studies suggest that transgender civilians are twice as likely to enlist, and transgender veterans are 20 times as likely to commit suicide.     This blog below is from Mother Jones and was written by   —By Adam Klasfeld and Brett Brownell | Thu Aug. 15, 2013 3:05 AM PDT   http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/transgender-troops-twice-likely-serve-twenty-times-likely-commit-suicide   I have reproduced the article below as I think it is of interest to many here, and also given the link to the article.  Pauline xxxx         Ever since she was a boy growing up in small-town Pennsylvania, Zoey Gearhart had "tendencies that were odd." Raised as Robert Gearhart, she would identify with female characters in books and on TV, in video games and movies. She would also wear her mother's fake nails, or make her own out of clay. "I was told to stop in no uncertain terms by my father," she said. In 2007, at the age of 19, she decided to join the Navy. "I thought maybe joining the military would just help straighten me out," she said. "Make me into a normal individual." At first, Gearhart tried to prove her machismo by applying and becoming accepted into the Navy SEALs, the elite force that killed Osama bin Laden. "I used to be in incredible shape," she said. She did preliminary training with the SEALs, but after an ex-fiancee pleaded with her not to continue on to BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition School) training, Gearhart decided to become a linguist instead. The first known transgender SEAL, Kristin Beck, first came out on her LinkedIn profile earlier this year and in her tell-all book, Warrior Princess. On the cover, she sports a long, bushy beard from the days she went by "Chris."     Twenty percent of transgender people contacted said they had served in the military.     While in the Navy, Gearhart kept her female identity a secret, hiding it from a Marine staff sergeant roommate whom she described as a "cave-dwelling dude-bro." After her enlistment term expired in March, she decided not to reenlist so that she could begin her transition to womanhood in earnest. Had Beck or Gearhart revealed that they were trans while still in uniform, they would have received a medical or administrative discharge. Even after the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011, the military still officially forbids openly transgender people from serving. The end of DADT, Gearhart said, "is this landmark for the LGBT movement. But there's that hanging T. Trans service was not even addressed." Transgender soldiers and sailors largely fly under the radar, but they are hardly uncommon. In a recent survey (PDF) by the Harvard Kennedy School's LGBTQ Policy Journal, 20 percent of transgender people contacted said they had served in the military—that's twice the rate of the general population. A 2011 study estimates there are nearly 700,000 transgender individuals (about three people per thousand) living in the United States. Meanwhile, theAmerican Journal of Public Health (AJPH) is scheduled to release a report today, which drawsfrom Department of Veterans Affairs data, showing that the number of veterans accepting treatment for transgender health issues has doubled in the past decade. (While viewing the full report requires a subscription, an abstract should be available online as of today.)     These two new peer-reviewed studies indicate that, beyond being discriminatory, the military's current policy starves the armed services of some of their likeliest recruits, and puts transgender people who serve at greater risk of discrimination, homelessness, and assault than those who don't.     The Harvard study, "Still Serving in Silence," relies on statistics compiled by the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS). It emphasizes that transgender veterans and service members face high rates of job, housing, and medical discrimination. Breaking down the responses between transgender veteran/service members and transgender civilians, the study found that the military respondents were more likely to be fired (36 vs. 24 percent), evicted (14 vs. 10 percent), and refused medical treatment (24 vs. 18 percent) than civilians. Civil rights groups have seized upon these findings to push the Pentagon to allow transgender personnel to serve openly, as they do in the armed forces of Canada, Thailand, Israel, and certain other countries. Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which collected the survey data along with the NTDS, said in a press release, "It's wrong that these brave men and women—who sacrifice so much through their service to our nation—should have to fight for their rights both as active military and then as veterans."     There are nearly 700,000 transgender individuals (about three people per thousand) living in the United States.     Nearly a quarter century later, Brown began discussing the initial results of new research involving transgender veterans. Earlier this summer, at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in San Francisco, he and four other researchers presented data that expanded upon and reinforced Brown's initial theory. They also revealed that the number of veterans diagnosed with so-called Gender Identity Disorder (GID) has nearly doubled over the last decade. University of Rochester fellow John Blosnich, one of Brown's collaborators, says the new study is the largest examination of an American transgender population that he knows of. What's more, the team only counted people diagnosed with GID, rather than all veterans who identify as transgender. "Thus, we strongly believe that our findings underestimate the actual population of transgender veterans in the US," Blosnich explained via email.     While many transgender people find the whole notion of a gender identity "disorder" offensive, the GID diagnosis is often the only way for veterans to obtain treatments such as hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Brown sat on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which has pushed to replace GID with "gender dysphoria"—a term related to the stress transgender people encounter while transitioning, as opposed to their identities per se. The American Psychiatric Association officially adopted the change this past May in its new (and particularly controversial) DSM-5 manual. But the military still bases its ban on transgender enlistment on so-called "medical" restrictions, which shoehorn "transsexualism" into a category it calls "psychosexual conditions." These include "exhibitionism, transvestitism, voyeurism and other paraphilias." Inexplicably, even a heterosexual male missing a testicle can bar an applicant from joining the military, under current standards. "Transsexuality, in military law, it's treated like a mental disorder, some sort of psychosis," Gearhart said.     Veterans Affairs is somewhat more enlightened on the issue. Last year, in acknowledgement of the growing number of transgender vets, the agency sent out a memo emphasizing the need for local Veterans Health Administration (still commonly referred to as the VA) branches to provide "culturally and clinically competent care" to LGBT veterans, says Denny Meyer, a spokesman for the Transgender American Veterans Association. "The VA is progressing," he adds. "The VA is trying, but it is a bureaucracy."     Suicide is also a "major concern" for this veteran population, Brown and his colleagues concluded. Among veterans who use VA services, those with a GID diagnosis were found to be 20 times more likely to kill themselves. Given the currentepidemic of military suicides, that's a problem for the Pentagon. (Veterans Affairs reported recently that ex-military members "comprised approximately 22.2% of all suicides reported" from 2009 to 2012. "If this prevalence estimate is assumed to be constant across all US states, an estimated 22 veterans will have died from suicide each day in the calendar year 2010," the report notes.) Blosnich attributes the elevated suicide risk among transgender vets to "high levels of discrimination, violence, and being held to the margins of society." He adds the following caveat: "To be clear, there is no scientific evidence that GID or being transgendercauses suicidal behavior…It is likely that suicide risk stems from the stress, isolation, and stigma projected onto transgender populations." At the time we first spoke with Gearhart, she was still on active duty, and stationed in South Korea, where she was rebuilding her life after her marriage to a woman in New York City fell apart. "'If you're trans, I'm going to be really pissed,'" Gearhart recalled her ex-wife saying. "I think those were her exact words, I think that I was trying to keep my male self intact for her sake. I really loved her and I didn't want to hurt her, and I didn't want to kill off this person that she loved." Gearhart agrees with Brown's contention that transgender service members often enlist to "become a real man." It was partially true for her, and for many other trans women she's communicated with. "You can go to any trans community on the Net and get that sort of response," she said. Brown has observed that many transgender service members undergo a "breakdown in their hypermasculinity defenses" in a doomed effort to escape their gender identity. In other words, as Gearhart explains, "No matter how deep down you try to send it into your subconscious, it's still there and it still breaks itself out." Indeed, Bradley Manning, the Army private who in July was found guilty of leaking a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks, also struggled with this. Although he requested to be identified as male before the start of his trial, it was revealed during the sentencing phase that he had sent a 2010 email (PDF) to his supervisor, Master Sgt. Paul Adkins, with the subject line "My problem." Manning had attached a photo of himself wearing a blonde wig and lipstick and explained, "This is my problem. I've had signs of it for a very long time… I thought a career in the military would get rid of it." Adkins wrote memos describing Manning's mental deterioration, but did not forward the message until after Manning's arrest.     At the time we first spoke, Gearhart, who is now back in the New York City area, taking hormones for her transition and looking to launch a new career as a chef, was coming from a similar place: "I don't want to lose my benefits, and I don't want to end up with a dishonorable discharge," she said. "So I have been forced to live a lie."  
    5134 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • 02 Oct 2012
    Many of you girls in the North West and further afield have been to Dees dressing service and shopped at her place in Bolton – see her website deeselecta.co.uk for more details of what is available.   This is about her new venture – The Gatehouse – which is a fetish club that has recently opened in Bolton – see  http://www.thegatehousebolton.co.uk/   Dee and Sally are there to greet everyone at the door of the club which has been extensively refurbished by a team of Tgirl workers; and hopefully the full transformation will be completed very soon.  Every 1st and 3rd Friday in the month is Guyz n Dollz nite which is for Tgirls their friends and admirers.     There is plenty of safe parking outside the entrance whether you arrive in drab... or en femme, like yours truly.  As most girls arrive in drab there are changing facilities, plus storage lockers and there will be showers etc in the near future.   To be honest I had forgotten what it was like going to a fetish club, since my days in Amsterdam at the Same Place.  One of the big pluses of going to Dees is the friendly warm welcome from Dee (who is a RG) and Sally (a Tgirl) who both do so much to make both newbies and oldies (me) feel at ease.  I went with my friend Zarah on 21st September and there were over 25 people there – the atmosphere was very friendly and some girls had come from as far away as Birmingham.  And although we had to leave before the witching hour of midnight we enjoyed it so much that we will be going again this Friday 5th October to hopefully meet some of those we met before and maybe some new people.   The environment there is safe and tastefully decorated and there is a dress code.  Soft drinks and hot drinks are available; if you want to drink alcohol then you need to bring your own, though mixers are available.  The club has a wide range of facilities – some of which are still a work in progress – and as I said above the additions should be completed soon. What do the facilities include?   Bar and lounge area, dungeon room, voyeur room , UV room, Play room, peep holes and coming soon there will be a Dark room , cinema, 2nd dungeon room, pole dancing, glory holes and a wet room.   So boys and girls....especially you special girls.  Why not give it a try this Friday or the 1st or 3rd Friday in the month. A good excuse to mingle with those you fancy.    For more details of times and entrance prices and facilities check out the website http://www.thegatehousebolton.co.uk/page13.php   Why not give it a try.     Hugs and Kisses     Pauline xxx    
    4362 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • 15 Sep 2011
    I have been to Dees before.......sometime in the autumn of 2010 when I took a T girlfriend, who was starting out and wanted a wig and somewhere safe to go and be Jenny for an afternoon.  This visit was different though – I was going back to see how it is for new girls to go out somewhere for the first time...without breaking the bank, in a safe place and where you can meet other girls like you and chat.  I was there on the 27th August 2011.   Dee has a complete dressing service and shop at her place in Bolton – see her website deeselecta.co.uk for more details of what is available.   On the last Saturday of every month she runs an afternoon party for T girls and those who like our company; entrance is £10, which includes tea or coffee and sandwiches...and of course being able to dress.   There is plenty of safe parking nearby whether you arrive in drab... or en femme, like yours truly.  As most girls arrive in drab there is a changing room, plus storage lockers and there are other rooms for various beauty treatments, make up, etc . To be honest I had forgotten what it was like to be a new girl venturing outside for the first time – how nervous many girls are and of course worried about how good they look.  It’s a long time since I ventured outside for the first time in Amsterdam in 1996.  The big pluses of going to Dees is the friendly warm welcome from Dee (who is a RG) and Sally (a Tgirl) who both do so much to make both newbies and oldies (me) feel at ease.   The day I was there ......8 other girls were there – Steph, Caroline, Joanne, Vicky, Kat, Petra, Dorothy and Dawn.  For some of them it was their first time out – most of them had only been out as Tgirls in any way since they went to Dees, whether to Sparkle or to Blackpool.  Most had partners some didn’t – it was typical cross section of Tgirls chatting...about make- up, Corrie, how their partners were reacting, should they tell their kids, sex ... all the things we like to talk about. Not forgetting shoes of course..... WE can always  talk about shoes. I went there knowing I would have a warm welcome from Dee and Sally. The huge plus was the fun chatting with the other girls...so much so that I stayed till they threw us out around 6.00 pm.  For any girls living in the North West, or not too far away or who visit Manchester I can really recommend Dees – for her Saturdays and Wednesdays every month and for a place where you can buy girlie things from wigs to shoes (up to size13) at reasonable prices. Give it a try. Hugs and Kisses Pauline xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    3926 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • 25 Nov 2012
    Today was the Manchester transgender day of remembrance at the Sackville Park memorial;   there were between 60 and 70 people there and the ceremony (which was totally non denominational) and started at 3.45 pm took around 1hour.     It started with a moving poem...and then there were readings by various people of all the names of known transgendered people who have been killed or died for their beliefs and life style over the past 50 years. The ceremony finished with a short poem and a statement that all of these names are the only ones that are known (the vast majority were Spanish type names) and that all of us should remember the dead, including those whose names we do not know, who are now at peace.     I left a small bunch of flowers for all the dead, with the simple inscription   In Memoriam For all Transgendered people who have died for their beliefs and way of life Beckie + Pauline and all at Transastic.com   Pauline xxx  
    3421 Posted by Pauline Smith
Member's Blogs 1,503 views Dec 04, 2016
Membership Numbers

To All You Wonderful Transtastic Members

 

Some of you may have noticed that the Transtastic membership numbers appear to be dropping, rather than increasing. 

 

Why?

 

Is this yet another way of testing your patience?

 

We now have a new Transtastic moderating team and Lesley suggested that we cull all members who have not been active for the last 6 months. They can come back and re-activate their profile if they want to, but if they are not active then they do NOT appear as a valid member any more. 

 

When this process is complete we will end up with an up to date list of current members, who are actually active. So for anyone wanting to make new friends or extend their network the members list will only be those memebers who are active. We will continue to delete members on an ongoing basis so that Transtastic remains up to date.

 

Future changes will include

 

1. Moderator approval and rating of all photos, which also means zero tolerance of cock pix as profile photos. At the moment this is policed retroactively but that will change.

 

2. A firewall between the safe and adult parts of the site...so that those members who don't want to look at genitals dont have to, and those who do can. Just no profile photos of cocks or panty bulge.

 

3. Making the chat room workable

 

4. Energising the forums and blogs and other add ons here

 

Our goal is to make this a site where it's actually fun to be a member, and that you can feel safe to be here. It will take more time and patience from all of you. But we are working on making Trasntastic better and it will happen. Anyone who thinks they can help us in any way then please contact any one of us.

 

hugs

 

Your Transtastic Moderating Team xxx

 

(Christine Taylor, Julia Dream, Katie Glover, Lesley Carrington, Pauline Smith, Rachel Maxwell.)

 

 PS Much as we would love to have the figures of those ladies in the pic ....we don't, but we all try to look our best

 

 



Your Comments

3 comments
  • Carol Tights
    Carol Tights Keep up the great work. Due to some personal issues I was off the site for a long time (too long, I know) and had to re-activate my profile. All those involved with techie stuff - Well done! It was so, so easy to re-activate and come back on here. I...  more
    January 5, 2017 - 1 likes this
  • Deleted Deleted
    Deleted Deleted Thank you Carol, the praise is very much appreciated and welcomed with open arms.

    Great to have you back too. huggz xx
    January 6, 2017 - 1 likes this
  • Tanja 609
    Tanja 609 Try to get the eventpage going, checking for events is soemthing a lot of us do, once we are logged on , we also check and comment other things, a good event page always generates traffic in my mind.
    Oct 7