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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."  
    5261 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
    4132 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  
    3594 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • 18 Feb 2014
      I have copied and pasted an article from today's BBC website as I think that it gives all of us here on Transtastic food for thought. Its not only about gay people but also looks at the LGBT community that we are all a part of.  I have given the link to the article as well at the bottom of the page. "We know that women tend to like more feminine behavioural features and facial features in their men”           Qazi Rahman  King's College London I hope you find it useful and provocative. Pauline xxx   The evolutionary puzzle of homosexuality By William KremerBBC World Service In the last two decades, dozens of scientific papers have been published on the biological origins of homosexuality - another announcement was made last week. It's becoming scientific orthodoxy. But how does it fit with Darwin's theory of evolution? Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's hit song Same Love, which has become an unofficial anthem of the pro-gay marriage campaign in the US, reflects how many gay people feel about their sexuality. It mocks those who "think it's a decision, and you can be cured with some treatment and religion - man-made rewiring of a predisposition". A minority of gay people disagree, maintaining that sexuality is a social construct, and they have made a conscious, proud choice to take same-sex partners. But scientific opinion is with Macklemore. Since the early 1990s, researchers have shown that homosexuality is more common in brothers and relatives on the same maternal line, and a genetic factor is taken to be the cause. Also relevant - although in no way proof - is research identifying physical differences in the brains of adult straight and gay people, and a dizzying array of homosexual behaviour in animals. But since gay and lesbian people have fewer children than straight people, a problem arises. "This is a paradox from an evolutionary perspective," says Paul Vasey from the University of Lethbridge in Canada. "How can a trait like male homosexuality, which has a genetic component, persist over evolutionary time if the individuals that carry the genes associated with that trait are not reproducing?" Scientists don't know the answer to this Darwinian puzzle, but there are several theories. It's possible that different mechanisms may be at work in different people. Most of the theories relate to research on male homosexuality. The evolution of lesbianism is relatively understudied - it may work in a similar way or be completely different. The genes that code for homosexuality do other things too The allele - or group of genes - that sometimes codes for homosexual orientation may at other times have a strong reproductive benefit. This would compensate for gay people's lack of reproduction and ensure the continuation of the trait, as non-gay carriers of the gene pass it down. There are two or more ways this might happen. One possibility is that the allele confers a psychological trait that makes straight men more attractive to women, or straight women more attractive to men. "We know that women tend to like more feminine behavioural features and facial features in their men, and that might be associated with things like good parenting skills or greater empathy," says Qazi Rahman, co-author of Born Gay; The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation. Therefore, the theory goes, a low "dose" of these alleles enhances the carrier's chances of reproductive success. Every now and then a family member receives a larger dose that affects his or her sexual orientation, but the allele still has an overall reproductive advantage. Another way a "gay allele" might be able to compensate for a reproductive deficit is by having the converse effect in the opposite sex. For example, an allele which makes the bearer attracted to men has an obvious reproductive advantage to women. If it appears in a man's genetic code it will code for same-sex attraction, but so long as this happens rarely the allele still has a net evolutionary benefit. There is some evidence for this second theory. Andrea Camperio-Ciani, at the University of Padova in Italy, found that maternal female relatives of gay men have more children than maternal female relatives of straight men. The implication is that there is an unknown mechanism in the X chromosome of men's genetic code which helps women in the family have more babies, but can lead to homosexuality in men. These results haven't been replicated in some ethnic groups - but that doesn't mean they are wrong with regards to the Italian population in Camperio-Ciani's study.   Homosexual activity in animals   Some 400 species engage in homosexual activity, including bonobos (male and female) which are closely related to humans In some cases there are reproductive reasons, eg male Goodeid fish mimic females to dupe rivals Long-term preference for same-sex mates is rare, but 6% of male bighorn sheep (pictured) are effectively "gay" Research on animal behaviour helped overturn Texan sodomy laws - though scientists caution that human homosexuality may be quite different Source: Nathan Bailey et al. "Same-sex sexual behavior and evolution" in Trends in Ecology and Evolution   Gay people were 'helpers in the nest' Some researchers believe that to understand the evolution of gay people, we need to look at how they fit into the wider culture. Paul Vasey's research in Samoa has focused on a theory called kin selection or the "helper in the nest" hypothesis. The idea is that gay people compensate for their lack of children by promoting the reproductive fitness of brothers or sisters, contributing money or performing other uncle-like activities such as babysitting or tutoring. Some of the gay person's genetic code is shared with nieces and nephews and so, the theory goes, the genes which code for sexual orientation still get passed down. Sceptics have pointed out that since on average people share just 25% of their genetic code with these relatives, they would need to compensate for every child they don't have themselves with two nieces or nephews that wouldn't otherwise have existed. Vasey hasn't yet measured just how much having a homosexual orientation boosts siblings' reproduction rate, but he has established that in Samoa "gay" men spend more time on uncle-like activities than "straight" men. "No-one was more surprised than me," says Vasey about his findings. His lab had previously shown that gay men in Japan were no more attentive or generous towards their nieces and nephews than straight, childless men and women. The same result has been found in the UK, US and Canada. Vasey believes that his Samoan result was different because the men he studied there were different. He studied the fa'afafine, who identify as a third gender, dressing as women and having sex with men who regard themselves as "straight". They are a transgender group who do not like to be called "gay" or "homosexual". Vasey speculates that part of the reason the fa'afafine are more attentive to their nephews and nieces is their acceptance in Samoan culture compared to gay men in the West and Japan ("You can't help your kin if they've rejected you"). But he also believes that there is something about the fa'afafine way of life that means they are more likely to be nurturing towards nieces and nephews, and speculates that he would find similar results in other "third gender" groups around the world. If this is true, then the helper in the nest theory may partly explain how a genetic trait for same-sex attraction hasn't been selected away. That hypothesis has led Vasey to speculate that the gay men who identify as men and have masculine traits - that is to say, most gay men in the West - are descended from men who had a cross-gendered sexuality.   Gay people do have children In the US, around 37% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people have a child, about 60% of which are biological. According to the Williams Institute, gay couples that have children have an average of two. These figures may not be high enough to sustain genetic traits specific to this group, but the evolutionary biologist Jeremy Yoder points out in a blog post that for much of modern history gay people haven't been living openly gay lives. Compelled by society to enter marriages and have children, their reproduction rates may have been higher than they are now. How many gay people have children also depends on how you define being "gay". Many of the "straight" men who have sex with fa'afafine in Samoa go on to get married and have children. "The category of same-sex sexuality becomes very diffuse when you take a multicultural perspective," says Joan Roughgarden, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Hawaii. "If you go to India, you'll find that if someone says they are 'gay' or 'homosexual' then that immediately identifies them as Western. But that doesn't mean there's no homosexuality there." Similarly in the West, there is evidence that many people go through a phase of homosexual activity. In the 1940s, US sex researcher Alfred Kinsey found that while just 4% of white men were exclusively gay after adolescence, 10% had a three-year period of gay activity and 37% had gay sex at some point in their lives. A national survey of sexual attitudes in the UK last year came up with lower figures. Some 16% of women said they had had a sexual experience with another woman (8% had genital contact), and 7% of men said they had had a sexual experience with a man (with 5% having genital contact). But most scientists researching gay evolution are interested in an ongoing, internal pattern of desire rather than whether people identify as gay or straight or how often people have gay sex. "Sexual identity and sexual behaviours are not good measures of sexual orientation," says Paul Vasey. "Sexual feelings are."   It's not all in the DNA Qazi Rahman says that alleles coding for same sex attraction only explain some of the variety in human sexuality. Other, naturally varying biological factors come into play, with about one in seven gay men, he says, owing their sexuality to the "big brother effect". This has nothing to do with George Orwell, but describes the observation that boys with older brothers are significantly more likely to become gay - with every older brother the chance of homosexuality increases by about a third. No-one knows why this is, but one theory is that with each male pregnancy, a woman's body forms an immune reaction to proteins that have a role in the development of the male brain. Since this only comes into play after several siblings have been born - most of whom are heterosexual and go on to have children - this pre-natal quirk hasn't been selected away by evolution. Exposure to unusual levels of hormone before birth can also affect sexuality. For example, female foetuses exposed to higher levels of testosterone before birth show higher rates of lesbianism later on. Studies show that "butch" lesbian women and men have a smaller difference in length between their index and ring fingers - a marker of pre-natal exposure to testosterone. In "femme" lesbians the difference has been found to be less marked. Brothers of a different kind - identical twins - also pose a tricky question. Research has found that if an identical twin is gay, there is about a 20% chance that the sibling will have the same sexual orientation. While that's a greater likelihood than random, it's lower than you might expect for two people with the same genetic code. William Rice, from the University of California Santa Barbara, says that it may be possible to explain this by looking not at our genetic code but at the way it is processed. Rice and his colleagues refer to the emerging field of epigenetics, which studies the "epimarks" that decide which parts of our DNA get switched on or off. Epimarks get passed on to children, but only sometimes. Rice believes that female foetuses employ an epimark that makes them less sensitive to testosterone. Usually it's not inherited, but occasionally it is, leading to same-sex preference in boys. Dr William Byne, editor-in-chief of the journal LGBT Health, believes sexuality may well be inborn, but thinks it could be more complicated than some scientists believe. He notes that the heritability of homosexuality is similar to that for divorce, but "social science researchers have not… searched for 'divorce genes'. Instead they have focused on heritable personality and temperamental traits that might influence the likelihood of divorce." For Qazi Rahman, it's the media that oversimplifies genetic theories of sexuality, with their reports of the discovery of "the gay gene". He believes that sexuality involves tens or perhaps hundreds of alleles that will probably take decades to uncover. And even if heterosexual sex is more advantageous in evolutionary terms than gay sex, it's not only gay people whose sexuality is determined by their genes, he says, but straight people too.   The advantages of bisexuality   The anthropologist RC Kirkpatrick has suggested that bisexuality may be linked to better survival rates Citing examples that include pre-colonial Hawaii, 15th Century Florence and 17th Century Japan (pictured) he says that a willingness to have gay sex helped individuals and families form alliances and gain advantages This meant people were able to live longer, have children and provide for those children Qazi Rahman appeared on the Why Factor on the BBC World Service. Listen again to the programme on iPlayer or get the Why Factor podcast. Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook The link to the article is here >>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26089486  
    3368 Posted by Pauline Smith
4,602 views Oct 02, 2012
Visit to the Gatehouse

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

 

 



Your Comments

10 comments
  • Pauline Smith
    Pauline Smith Jamilee, I do know that once all the refurbishments have taken place that Dee + Sally plan to have daytime openings. Once that happens I guess there will be an announcement. Pauline xxx
    October 3, 2012
  • <i>Deleted Member</i>
    Deleted Member Really looking forward to our return visit tonight. Lots of friendly people and lots to do. You really must give it a try!
    October 5, 2012 - delete
  • Josephine Green
    Josephine Green I hope you were gentle with our Pauline and you both enjoyed each other and all the facilities.
    October 5, 2012
  • Pauline Smith
    Pauline Smith Well...Zarah and I didnt make it...we got waylaid at Chez P. P xx
    October 6, 2012