Female to Male Surgery

The photos above were taken of a female to male transgender person who had a radical breast reduction. I found this photo on a blog of a female who wanted to become a male. The photos are a realistic expectation of what an inividual would look like post-op.

Only a handfill of surgeons in North America are well known for Female to Male chest surgery. The main purpose of an FTM surgery is to construct a man like chest by making an incision under the pectoral muscles parallel to the ribs and the nipples and areola are resized and grafted to a new more manly position. The final step of the surgery is to contour the chest to appear male. Pretty much any plastic surgeon that is experienced can do a radical breast reduction but there is a difference between this and FTM top surgery, the contouring of the chest to look more male is only done by FTM surgeons, the radical breast reduction has not only an incision under the pectoral muscle but also an incision that runs perpendicular also known as an inverted T. Often when one recives a radical breast reduction, not as much breast tissue is removed and the areola is left in tact or can be grafted and resized just like FTM top surgery.

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Theory and Sexuality

Queer theorist Teresa de Lauretis also understands how texts can be reformed and reinvented as shown in the following lines

“Since queer’s opposition to the normative is its one consistent characteristic, it has the potential to invent itself endlessly, reformulating whatever knowledge currently constitutes prescribed understandings of sexuality”.

Teresa de Lauretis theory reinforces that sexual identity comes in many forms, it exists within and should be considered separate from gender, class, race and profession, that which is queer is therefore ever changing as our understanding is always challenged.

The following excerpt from Jacques Derrida’s Structure, sign and play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences shows the chain of transformation throughout time and the importance of recognizing that a texts meaning changes depending on the signifier

“Besides the tension of free play with history, there is also the tension of free play with presence. Free play is the disruption of presence. The presence of an element is always a signifying and substitutive reference inscribed in a system of differences and the movement of a chain”

Derrida really emphasizes the infinite possibility of texts to take on new meanings. Derrida’s theory of deconstruction claims the meaning of text is always changing and impossible to control because of it is subjectivity to individual judgment.

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Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble Notes on Sex/Gender/Desire

Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble Notes on Sex/Gender/Desire

The institution of compulsory or sometimes referred to as naturalized heterosexuality requires and regulates gender as a binary relation in which the masculine term is different from the feminine term and this difference is reinforced by all of the practices surrounding heterosexual desire. Butler posed a question, how does heterosexuality work in that queer space where one is biologically neither male or female or both? Butler often reffered to the cultural matrix that gender identity exists within and that gender can denote a unity of experiences surrounding sex and gender. Butler believed that gender is always a doing, that under gender expression there is no gender identity because identity is a performance, always changing it is simply the expression that is the results of ones current sense of self. Butlers theories incourage the study of discourses about sex and question why are sexes opposite? Butler believes that gender attaches itself to sex, one develops gender and works their way back to sex and that both gender and sex can be constructed as seen in her following quotations about sex and gender.

If one is a women, that is surely not all one is; the term fails to be exhaustive, not because a pregendered person transcends the specific paraphernalia of its gender, but because gender is not always constituted coherently or consitently in different historical contexts and because gender is not always constituded coherently or consistently in different historical contexts because gender intersects with race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and regional modalities of discursively constituted identities. As a result, it becomes impossible to separate gender from political and cultural intersections in which it is invariably produced and maintained”

“Race and class are rendered distinct analytically only to produce the realization that the analysis of the one cannot proceed without the other. A different dynamic it seems to me is at work in the critique of new sexuality studies”

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Transgender Children

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The following photograph is of model Lea T, Lea is seen pictured in the issue of Vogue, and her only condition to her participation was that she be identified as a transgender individual. The following is a quote from her interview with The New York Times

“When you are a transsexual, you look for your future, and you can’t see it,” Ms. T. told Van Meter in the article. “I thought this would be a nice message for another tranny: ‘Look, we can be the same as other girls and boys.’ It’s small, but it makes you feel like you have a little chance. Maybe a transsexual will open a magazine and think: ‘That’s cool. We can be whatever we want.’ That’s why I did the Givenchy campaign.”

Lea (28) got her big break in print and runway modeling when she was hired to work for Givenchy’s May 2010 ad campaign. When the ad for Givenchy was released late fall 2010, the press requested over 400 requests for interviews.

Lea T was even featured as a guest on Oprah Winfrey on February 17th of this year. Leah tells Oprah how she is the child of famous Brazilian Soccer star Toninho Cerezo and she was born Leandro, she says that even raised as a boy she was very feminine and had long hair. Lea’s childhood was plagued with questions of sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2008 Lea began hormone therapy for a Male to Female gender reassignment surgery.

Lea tells Oprah that she was born “Leandro.” Leandro grew up in Brazil, the child of the famous soccer player Toninho Cerezo and a strict Catholic mother. She tells Oprah, in her thick Brazilian accent, that even while being raised as a boy, she had a very feminine demeanor and long hair, and that she questioned both her sexual orientation and her gender identity. Lea was told by the doctors she had to tell her family and she was surprised when they responded the following

“Everybody was thinking it would be a big shock, but actually my father surprised me because [he] took it so naturally,” she said. “He was like, ‘If you’re a boy, if you’re a woman, if you want to be a dog, whatever you want to be, I’m going to love you for what you are.’”

Lea is currently in Milan awaiting SRS/ GRS sexual reassignment or gender reassignment surgery when interviewed by The Huffington Post, she used both terms claiming there is a debate in the transgender community over which term is correct so she used both terms to be inclusive.

We are learning more and more about transgender children, a subject that has been rather taboo to discuss of in the past. ABC did a story of a family who has embraced their son as a daughter.  Jazz was born as a transgender and from the moment he was able to speak he made it clear to his parents that he wanted to wear dresses, he would unsnap his onesie suits at just over a year and he would correct his parents when they said good boy and let them know he wanted them to say good girl.

In Maine, they are considering banning biology- based restrooms gendered between male and female, this ban would include Christian, private and public schools. The idea of a gender neutral bathroom stemmed from people having the freedom to use the restroom regardless of what parts they were born with and what gender they identified with. A born male child was forced to use the male restroom even though he identifies as a girl. This debate has even gone to be featured on the Canadian show Degrassi as mentioned by one of my classmates in her presentation, in which she showed a brief clip of the abuse one student was forced to endure because of the bathroom they were forced to use.

Not only has the issue surrounding bathroom use been brought up to the Maine Human Rights Commission, who found reasonable grounds that unlawful discrimination had occurred when a student wanted access to common bathrooms consistent with the gender they identified with and was denied, the issue surrounding transgender individuals has raised many questions such as the following, Should a male who identifies as a woman be permitted to use female facilities? Should a male who identifies as female be permitted to compete in female sports or does that set the other women at a disadvantage? Should a female that identifies as a man

“The Maine Human Rights Comission has found reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination occurred in a complaint alleging that an elementary school had an obligation to allow a transgender student access to common bathrooms consistent with that student’s gender identity, and the commission is a party to a court complaint in that case,” the commission concluded.

This story doesn’t start and stop with bathrooms and locker rooms…they are taking it through sports as well. It won’t be long until that can of worms reaches major competitive sports. Should a man who identifies as a woman be permitted to use female facilities? compete in female sports? And like wise should a woman who identifies as a man use the male facilities?

Mr. Beatie was legally born a woman but he is legally a man after undergoing a partial sex change ten years ago. Mr. Beatie kept his reproductive organs and was able to conceive using sperm from an unidentified donor. News of the pregnant man made headlines worldwide. Susan Juliette was born in Bend Oregon at St. Charles Medical Center weighing 9 pounds and five ounces after 40 hours of labor. Mr. Beaties wife Nancy has taken hormones to help her produce breast milk and uses a pump to stimulate lactation. The couple has embraced the media attention they have received for their non-traditional family and methods of becoming parents because of this, they have received much criticism.

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A poem written by me

Walk the steps to your door; this is all so terribly familiar

You open the door and I am pleasantly surprised

I have seen you many times before but like in the past, I find my eyes explore

I walk the hall enter your room and sit where I have sat before

In a second it is like I never left

We exchange conversation; I do most of the talking You listen with interest

The music fills my ears and smoke rings  rise

Our bodies touch and the simplest movement catches my full attention

I want to feel your skin against mine; I desire to explore the un-chartered territory

Suddenly nothing else matters but the intense energy binding us together at the seam

Hours pass and our eyes meet and the gaze holds

Strong signals of an unspoken language

When our lips finally meet it’s so right like a perfectly rehearsed play on stage the first time

We understand each other all to well

As our minds race with passionate fantasies our bodies rage with desire

The union breaks before we loose all control, I lay my head on your chest I could lay here forever. – Sarah Anne Perry I wrote this poem as i was reading Giovanni’s room, which inspired me to think about the times we spend with someone which are timeless, when you become so wrapped up in another persons body, the element of sexuality and desire that consumes us to the point we feel as though life has stopped and we could stay there all day.

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The Kinsey Reports

The Kinsey Reports are two books on sexual behavior in humans, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was published in 1948 and Dr. Alfred Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953. The Kinsey Reports are most notably recognized as literature, which changed the perception of sexuality and are considered part of the texts that influenced the changes during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.  Dr. Kinsey founded the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. The Kinsey Reports were controversial and shocked the public because they challenged the traditional ideas and beliefs about sexuality.

“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories”

“The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects”

“While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history… An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life. A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist”

Kinsey introduced the idea of sexuality not in two spaces homosexual or heterosexual but believed a person could exist in many spaces, as sexuality is prone to change over a person’s lifetime. Kinsey believed sexuality could be understood on a basis of physical expression and also individual’s psychological manifestations, attractions, feelings, pleasures, desires and fantasies.

The Rating Description

scale of 0-6 and X for individuals who

0 Exclusively heterosexual

1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual

2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual

3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual (bisexual)

4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual

5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual

6 Exclusively homosexual

X Asexual

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Video Study: The National Film Board of Canada film Anatomy of Desire

Video Study: The National Film Board of Canada film Anatomy of Desire

What makes one person gay, another straight? A quirk of genetics? Family life? Adolescent or early adult experience? Anatomy of Desire examines how science and social politics have shaped our notions of homosexuality through history. Using rare archival footage–from ’60s drag artists and Stonewall activists to filmed psycho-therapeutic “treatment” for homosexuality–the film exposes the joy and pain of a community barraged by outside efforts to define, control and sometimes even to eradicate it. With style and wit, Anatomy of Desire dishes the dirt on the historically rocky relationship between medical science, society and sexuality. Taking a queer look at straight culture and its use of popular media, here’s a film that comes out laughing. And fighting.

                   This is my film review of The National Film Board of Canada film Anatomy of Desire

Throughout history heterosexual males went to bed with teenage boys. Notions of humans having an essence made Medieval Sodomy a sin punishable by death. During the renaissance homosexuals were persecuted in Florence Italy 1 in 10 adolescent boys were killed. Court documents describe cruel acts of dismemberment such as bodies being sawed in half and burned to death.

In the 1700’s, the age of reason and science, people believed that human biology was responsible for many personal preferences and sexual preference was inborn. Claims about biological differences included the following women had smaller brains therefore they are not as smart as men, men with smaller brains were tradesmen, men with bigger brains were scientists and homosexual was a biological disease.

Victorian Society saw homosexuality as a huge threat to Patriarchy. Sexologists started to think of homosexuals as a third gender neither male or female, gay males were men with the brains of women and lesbians were women with inverted genitalia.

Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s liberal ideas flourished, during World War Two there occurred a systematic annihilation of gays, thousands were tortured and executed, even after liberation homosexuals were sent to prison.

Post war thought in psychologists was that homosexuality could be medically cured, psychoanalysts and behaviorists was that sexuality was learned and could be unlearned and that homosexual tendencies were just acting out to relieve anxiety. Intense shock treatments were given to people until the said they did not like the same sex, the reason the person would say they did not like same sex partners was to please the therapist which in many caused depression, shame and loss of self esteem.

In the 1960’s people fought for social revolution and civil rights change. One way people expressed a change in sexuality was through taking off the metaphorical mask of heterosexuality and expressing it in life such as at a gay bar. In New York City police routinely invaded and raided gay bars. In Greenwich Village, New York City in 1969, the police were held hostage during a riot when the law tried to shut down a gay bar called Stone bar. The American Psychological Association targeted mental institutions for their abuse and use of mental shock therapy and believed homosexuality should be legalized. Throughout the 1970’s women’s rights and radical feminism began to change the way people view sexuality forever.

Today researchers continue to ask and attempt to answer questions with regards to sexuality. Is the way a child raised affect who they are such as habits including aggressive play, interest in dolls or trucks, exposure to sexuality, masculine or feminine traits, relationships with friends and family also known as a socialization track. With a revolution came an increase in sexual activity and the 1980’s were known for the realization of AIDS. With the terror of AIDS came a tainted misunderstanding that AIDS was homosexual in orientation a stigma which still plagues peoples concepts towards homosexuality. Today much is done in fund raising for research about and prevention of AIDS.

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Heterosexuality is an institution

The ideas of sexuality and gender are always being challenged. With an increase in openness surrounding sex changes, transgender individuals and homosexuality, we are able to discuss and recognize the concepts of sexuality and gender and the ways in which societies identify heterosexual normativity. Dualism consists of binaries or sets of words which express opposition examples are Man/Women, Black/White, Boy/Girl, Right/Wrong, Moral/Immoral, society has been trained to draw out opposites and create a tension between what fits into accepted categories and what does not. Once one begins to look at sexuality and gender, they realize that heterosexuality is a transparent boundary, sexuality is not defined by biological differences in physical appearance whether homosexual or heterosexual and sexuality is not always gay or straight. Transgender individuals do not fit in the space of binaries because they fail to conform to norms by way of being called into question as gendered beings that are incoherent or discontinuous with regards to being either male or female. Sexuality can not only be seen in a sense of two people having genital sex but also involves whether or not one participates in and what they think about during masturbation, individual fantasies and what one finds arousing. When sexuality is examined as a whole it has no place for homosexual or heterosexual binary thinking because so many individuals engage in behaviors with or have thoughts about members of more than just one sex at some point in their lives. Biological sex and sexuality are not always clear or as natural as we would like them to be and by recognizing this we can only begin to understand the complexity of sexuality and the human race.

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