Showing posts with label Transgender. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transgender. Show all posts

February 28, 2019

Split Sex Animals are Not Unusual in Nature and it Should not be For Humans


By Karen Weintraub

All serious butterfly collectors remember their first gynandromorph: a butterfly with color and pattern that are distinctly male on one wing and female on the other.

Seeing one sparks wonder and curiosity. For the biologist Nipam H. Patel, the sighting offered a possible answer to a question he had been pondering for years: During embryonic and larval development, how do cells know where to stop and where to go?

He was sure that the delicate black outlines between male and female regions appearing on one wing — but not the other — identified a key facet of animal development.

“It immediately struck me that this was telling me something interesting about how the wing was being made,” said Dr. Patel, a biologist who now heads the Marine Biological Laboratory, a research institute in Woods Hole, Mass., affiliated with the University of Chicago. 

The patterning on the gynandromorph’s wing shows that the body uses signaling centers to control where cells go during development and what tissues they become in creatures as diverse as butterflies and people, Dr. Patel said.

Gynandromorph butterflies and other half-male, half-female creatures, particularly birds, have fascinated both scientists and amateurs for centuries. The latest sensation was a half-red, half-taupe cardinal that became a regular visitor in the backyard of Shirley and Jeffrey Caldwell in Erie, Pa. Although the bird would have to be tested to confirm that it is a gynandromorph, its color division strongly suggests that it is, scientists say.

Split-sex creatures are not as unusual as they may seem when one discovery goes viral, as the Cardinals did. It extends beyond birds and butterflies to other insects and crustaceans, like lobsters and crabs.

Scientists say these instances of split-sex animals and insects could offer clues to why some human diseases strike one sex more than the other.

Researchers thought they had figured out the genetics of birds and bees, but gynandromorphs suggest that there is more to learn, said Jennifer Marshall Graves, a distinguished professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. 

Mammals have X and Y chromosomes, birds and insects have Z and W, and some reptiles can change their sex depending on temperature, or a combination of temperature and sex chromosomes, she said.

It was believed that the sex of a bird was determined by a protein made by the DMRT1 gene, which would reach all the cells of the bird through the bloodstream, Dr. Graves said. But for two sides of the bird to share the same bloodstream but not the same sex, there must be more to the story.

Hormones can’t be the sole drivers of sex either, but they most likely play some role, said Arthur Arnold, a distinguished research professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. In a paper published in 2003 in PNAS, Dr. Arnold showed that in gynandromorphic zebra finches, brain cells on the female side were more masculine than comparable cells in a typical female. 

A chicken with bilateral gynandromorphism.
credit Michael Clinton/Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

How gynandromorphs are born at all still remains a mystery. For birds, the most likely explanation is that a female makes an unusual double-nucleus egg cell, one with a Z chromosome and one with a W chromosome, and each is fertilized by a Z sperm, making some cells ZZ and others ZW in the same individual, Dr. Arnold said.

“Although this happens regularly, it’s very rare,” he added. Gene editing is tricky in birds, so it has not been possible to experimentally induce this phenomenon in birds, and it’s not well understood, he said.

The same process is very unlikely to happen in mammals, he said. Female mammals naturally have two of the same sex chromosomes, and the instant a mammalian egg and sperm fuse, “dramatic changes prevent the entry of a second sperm.”

Gynandromorphs occur naturally, usually resulting from a random genetic error, Dr. Patel said. The phenomenon can be inherited — with some flies and moths passing unstable sex chromosomes down to their offspring, he said. But it is also possible that stress can cause the unusual sex split.
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It’s impossible to track an entire population to understand what percentage have unusual sex chromosomes, Dr. Patel said. In the lab, scientists have used radiation to create gynandromorph flies, he said, but it is difficult to sort out the potential causes — including environmental harm — in a wild population.

Why cells of opposite sex end up on opposite sides of these gynandromorphs remains unclear, Dr. Arnold said. “I don’t have a good explanation,” he said.

Although many of the birds studied have been roughly 50 percent male on one side and 50 percent female on the other, a 2010 study in chickens showed that the cells weren’t that evenly distributed.

Animals can also develop as mosaics, with some cells genetically different from others. Some of Dr. Patel’s butterflies, for instance, show male coloration and patterns on parts of a wing, rather than the entire side.
From left, a male Pamela butterfly, a mosaic gynandromorph and a female.
Nipam H. Patel 

From left, a male Pamela butterfly, a mosaic gynandromorph and a female.CreditNipam H. Patel

Dr. Arnold said his own research on sex genes has implications for treating a variety of human diseases that seem to vary by gender. His U.C.L.A. collaborator, Rhonda Voskuhl, has found, for instance, that in multiple sclerosis, a genetically female mouse with two X chromosomes fares worse than a mouse with an X and a Y, even if they have the same hormones. Understanding why females fare worse could help explain and treat M.S. in people, where there is also a gender difference, with women accounting for three times as many cases as men.

Obesity, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s, even aging differs by sex, Dr. Arnold noted. Twenty years ago, he said, scientists didn’t think that sex chromosomes played any role at all in causing sex differences in these diseases. “But now we know it makes a difference in mice so we can say: Where does it make a difference in humans?” he said.

A better understanding of the role of sex in disease would eventually enable better treatments, he said. “That’s kind of the hope — that sex differences are not only important to understanding diseases in men and women, but also to developing a more fundamental understanding of the disease processes so that you can manipulate them,” Dr. Arnold said. 

In most cases, losing a chromosome or having an extra one is lethal, said Jeannie Lee, a geneticist, and expert on the X chromosome at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Most people have 46 chromosomes, with 23 inherited from each parent. A few chromosomes can come with an extra copy, including chromosomes 13, 18 and 21 — which is commonly called Down syndrome. Losing any chromosome other than a second sex chromosome is always lethal to a fetus.

But the sex chromosome is the only one that people can survive with just one copy, Dr. Graves said. “Girls with a single X and no Y suffer few anomalies because the second X is largely inactive anyway. After all, males have only one X,” she said.

People with anomalous numbers of sex chromosomes, such as those with Turner Syndrome, have a range of problems from virtually no issues to infertility, heart problems, and cognitive impairment. About one in 2,500 girls is born with Turner Syndrome. It is also possible for people to be intersex, born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male, which may but doesn't have to involve sex chromosomes, according to the Intersex Society of North America, an advocacy group.

It is not clear what mechanisms the body has to ensure that most men get only one Y and most women get two X chromosomes, said Karissa Sanbonmatsu, a structural biologist and principal investigator at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. In typical females, one X is usually — but not always — turned off, she said, and some research suggests that there is a mechanism that counts how many X chromosomes are present and generally turns off all but one of them.

The interplay between genetics and hormones is complicated, she said. “Genetics produce hormones, but then the hormones can reprogram DNA,” she said, which might explain why there is a mismatch in some people between their sex chromosomes and their sex hormones. “That’s very speculative,” Dr. Sanbonmatsu said, adding, “It’s hard to get funding to do this kind of research.”

People with androgen insensitivity syndrome, for instance, are born with XY chromosomes, but develop as female, because their cells cannot process male hormones. “So, it’s as if the testosterone doesn’t exist,” she said. They are infertile. 
The more science learns about sex, “the more we find anomalies,” said Alice Dreger, a historian of sexuality.

“Nature’s dealing with conformity all the time in brutal ways and loving ways and all the rest of it,” Dr. Dreger said. “It doesn’t follow the human fantasy of everybody having to be normal. And humans don’t follow that ridiculous idea either.”

A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 26, 2019, on Page D1 of the New York edition with the headline: Split-Sex Decisions

February 21, 2019

Martina Navratilova Ties Have Been Cut to an LGBT Group Because a Transexual Issue in Competition

Martina Navratilova has come under fire for her comments
 I don't like to post about dissagreements within a family unless it could be translated into a teaching moment. We sometimes refer to "gays" as anyone on the LGBTQ group. Most people do it to shorten the phrase and make a connection that this group have things in common. But this group of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transexuals and Queers have very little in common in biological or at least sexual orientation terms. We could call a gay person which is usually reffer to also as a homosexual or a man that  whose sexual orientation is another man but we can't call him a lesbian which is a woman attracted to other women or sexual orientation to a women. Even a bisexual is not like a gay person. A true bisexual is a man or woman attracted to both sexes. That is very important to a gay man who wishes to have a monagamous relationship but might be reluctant to go into a relationship with a bisexual man because of the fear that one day this man might need a vagina to make his day a better day.  Now when we go to the transgender part of these letters things get even more diffiucult to lump together. This is what she is is saying. When a man goes through the process of biological changes in his body, the end result will be a man that looks like a woman and mentally a woman, whose always been a woman and thought as a woman. But what does not happen is that biologically even with the sex organs of a female, biologicaly this woman will have the physical strenght  as she did with a body of a man. So for a competition sake this gets dicey. I don't have any problems to bring this forward because it makes a difference in athletes life's and competion should be fair. Now what is happen is that an LGBT sporting group has cut its ties with tennis legend Martina Navratilova in a dispute over transgender sportswomen. But I don't think that is as important than being fair to this transexual athletes.                      Adam Gonzalez

The nine-time Wimbledon champion and LGBT campaigner was accused of being transphobic after saying that it was "cheating" to allow transgender women to compete in women's sport, and claimed they had a physical advantage.
In an article for The Sunday Times, Navratilova wrote: "A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires."
She added: "It's insane and it's cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair."
The column caused a backlash among other LGBT campaigners and sportspeople, including Rachel McKinnon, the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title, who called the comments "disturbing, upsetting and deeply transphobic".
Navratilova’s friend and former coach is Renee Richards, who was born Richard Raskind and competed in the US Open as a man before having gender reassignment surgery and competing as a woman.
LGBT group Athlete Ally said Navratilova's comments were "transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence".
The group added: "This is not the first time we have approached Martina on this topic. In late December, she made deeply troubling comments across her social media channels about the ability for trans athletes to compete in sport. We reached out directly offering to be a resource as she sought further education, and we never heard back."
A Stonewall spokesperson told The Telegraph: "Sport should be welcoming to everyone, including trans people. We need clubs and governing bodies, as the experts, to consider how their sports’ individual policies can work to be as inclusive as possible, and what advice and guidance they’re giving to ensure all people, including trans people, can take part in sport."
Richards suffered death threats and other players would walk off the court when she appeared, but others including Chris Evert and Virginia Wade did play against her. She now describes herself as a “reluctant pioneer”.
Navratilova ‘came out’ as a lesbian in 1981 and campaigns for LGBT rights. In 2017, she wrote an open letter criticising Margaret Court, the former world number one, for “demonising trans kids and trans adults” by claiming that gender dysphoria was the work of the devil.
Telegraph UK

September 24, 2018

A Transgender in Kosovo Trying to Change his Name: "Shadow life is not life, it is just survival".

© AFP | Blert Morina, a transgender man, is one of those leading efforts to bring Kosovo's marginalised LGBT community out of the shadows

On paper, the legal request was small: changing his name from Blerta to Blert.
But it was a big -- and risky -- move by Blert Morina, a transgender man trying to bring Kosovo's marginalised LGBT community out of the shadows.
The request to change his name to the more masculine version, and his gender to male, was rejected by authorities in the tiny Balkan democracy, where a gay and trans community is forced underground despite progressive laws in its 10-year-old constitution.
There are no gay clubs or bars in the capital Pristina, and only two coffee shops are considered safe in the city of half a million. There have been reports of owners of other cafes kicking gay customers out on the street.
Determined to change this way of life, Morina has filed a case with the Constitutional Court, despite the dangers that come with going public.
The 28-year-old only knows a few openly gay people in Kosovo, where the majority of the population are Muslim ethnic Albanians.
"For me it is very important to continue this route, because it is the first case (of its kind), we need to prove that you can push this till the end," he told AFP, speaking inside a secret "safe house" in the capital. 
It is the headquarters of his NGO, Centre for Equality and Liberty (CEL), which purposefully does not list the address on its website.
The details are shared by word of mouth among members, a network estimated to be around 1,800, according to the NGO. 
"I am out therefore I am," reads a banner above the entrance to the living room.
- 'We will burn you' -
A 2015 study of the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) found that Kosovo is the most homophobic country in the Balkans, a region that is not known for tolerant views on sexuality.
More than 80 percent of LGBT Kosovars interviewed said they had been subjected to psychological abuse because of their sexual orientation, while 29 percent reported being victims of physical violence.
Lend Mustafa, another transgender man who works with Morina, rattles off the threats he has received for his own transition and broader LGBT rights campaigning.
"After being the main speaker at last year's pride parade I personally received hundreds of threats from religious extremists, including life-threatening ones," he told AFP.
"Most of them are: we will eradicate you, we will burn you, you are ruining our society, what is this perversity that you are advertising in the media, etc."
Despite a high number of threats and even physical attacks in recent years, only around 20 cases have been reported to the police since 2012, according to the Center for Social Group Development, an LGBT advocacy group in Kosovo.
"This happens either as a result of fear of retaliation, fear of exposure, or fear of no proper investigation and treatment of the case by law enforcement authorities," the group said in a 2016 report.
- 'Shadow life' -
Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is outlawed by Kosovo's 2008 constitution, which was written after the former province split from Serbia in a bloody separatist war.
It is "one of the most advanced constitutions in the region in terms of human rights and in particular LGBT rights", said Habit Hajredini, who leads a government office in charge of minority rights.
But the letter of the law has little bearing on reality.
"We need to work hard in raising awareness to understand the importance and rights of this community," Hajredini said. 
There are also public figures who espouse openly homophobic views. 
Fuad Ramiqi, a leader of the Islamic Movement to Unite political party, has said that LGBT people should seek medical care because "they have deviated from their reality".
"If (accepting them) is a condition (for European integration) it is better for Kosovo not to enter Europe than to fulfil it," he told AFP.
President Hashim Thaci attended the first two pride marches in Kosovo in 2016 and 2017, saying last year that "all citizens have the same rights, regardless of ethnicity or gender".
However, Mustafa says most politicians do not forge meaningful links with the community but only attend events like pride parades to "please foreign ambassadors".
"Almost none of the officials genuinely identify with us, but they feel it is a forced imposition from abroad and a condition for integration in Europe."
For now, most gay Kosovars are relegated to "the shadows," said Mustafa.
"Shadow life is not life, it is just survival".

September 12, 2018

What is The Reality About Islam Prohibiting Homosexuality and Transgenderism

Many LGBTs face discrimination, humiliation and hate-crimes simply by being who there are. Many are denied jobs because of their appearance and some are kicked out of their homes in their teens when their families discovered their gender identity or sexual orientation.
This violence spills to non-LGBTs as well. In school, kids who display non-gender conforming behaviour, whether they are LGBT or not, for example effeminate boys are often bullied and beaten up.
In a recent Seremban case, a transwoman was brutally assaulted by eight men and was hospitalised in critical condition. Recently, two women, accused of being lesbians were publicly caned and fined by the Kelantan Shariah court.
Religious institutions and their clerics give out the message that it is okay to punish and harm LGBTs. Many Muslims agree that LGBTs deserve punishment because of these three main beliefs:
1) LGBT di laknat Allah (LGBT is cursed by Allah)
2) LGBT berdosa/haram (LGBT is sinful/haram)
3) LGBT bertuhankan nafsu (LGBTs are lustful).
First of all let me clarify. LGBTs do not chose to be who they are. I know because I am one. I am a transgender and a Muslim. Being a transgender has nothing to do with lust. It is my gender identity.
I did not chose to be a transgender.
As for back as I can remember, I have been this way, and it took me a long time to accept myself. It was only my faith in God, that I did not try to commit suicide due to all the negative reactions from society. They say Allah Most High condemns me. It is not Allah who condemns me but unthinking humans without compassion.
To be true to my faith, I have researched on what really Islam has to say about people like me. And I want to share with you what I found from the works of distinguished Muslim scholars who have contributed greatly to the tenets of Islam. I have also given the references of my sources at the end of this article.
In the hadiths (sayings of the Prophet), the terminology for a gender variant individual (transgender or effeminiate men) is a mukkanath. The mukkanath was recognised in 5th Century Arabia as effeminate males who may or may not have lust for women.
According to respected Sunni scholar and Hadith collector Imam An-Nawawi:
A mukhannath is the one (“male”) who carries in his movements, in his appearance and in his language the characteristics of a woman. There are two types; the first is the one in whom these characteristics are innate, he did not put them on by himself, and therein is no guilt, no blame and no shame, as long as he does not perform any (illicit) act or exploit it for money (prostitution etc).
The second type acts like a woman out of immoral purposes and he is the sinner and blameworthy.
It is important to differentiate the two, the first category are those whose effeminate qualities are in-born and do not have sexual attraction towards women. Hence, there is no blame, guilt or shame. 
The other category are males who are lustful of women and who impersonate women in order to gain access into women's spaces deceitfully. The second category is the one that is often quoted by anti-LGBT Muslims who said that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had cursed LGBT.
They often rely on this hadith: “The Prophet, peace be upon him, cursed the effeminate men, who are males, and the male-impersonators, who are women, and he said: Evict them from your houses, and the Prophet, peace be upon him, evicted such-and-such...” — Bukhari, Authentic Traditions, Book LXXII (Dress), Chapter 62: (774)
The words “who are males” and “who are women” are obviously redundant here because the grammar does not really require them to be used.
Masculine gender is already provided grammatically by the endings on the words “impersonators” and “effeminates,” and feminine gender is already provided in the words “impersonators” and “male-pretenders.”
Given the emphasis, the curse is specifically directed only at “true males” (and “true women”) who deceitfully impersonate with the ulterior motive of gaining access to unsuspecting women or to the wives of unsuspecting husbands.
Hence, it is important to understand the historical context during Prophet Muhammad's time, where gender variant individuals were recognised and accepted as part of the fabric of society. The Prophet Muhammad did not punish gender variant people nor did he try to cure them. In one hadith, the Prophet was also recorded to have saved the life of a mukhannath, an effeminate man, when the others wanted to kill him.
Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 41, Number 4910: Narrated AbuHurayrah:
A mukhannath who had dyed his hands and feet with henna was brought to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He asked: What is the matter with this man? He was told: Apostle of Allah! he affects women's get-up. So he ordered regarding him and he was banished to an-Naqi'. The people said: Apostle of Allah! should we not kill him? He said: I have been prohibited from killing people who pray.
In the Quran, Allah talks about his creation that comes in many colours and diversity (Fatir 35:27-28). The Quran asks us to be compassionate and merciful and learn from each other our differences, because if Allah wanted, He could have easily created all of us of One people.
“If thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind One People: but they will not cease to be diverse.” (Hood: 118)
Another Quranic verse has been intepreted by some scholars to show that the Quran recognises that there are some people who are “non-procreative,” thus neither male nor female:
“To Allah belongs the dominion over the heavens and the earth. It creates what It wills. It prepares for whom It wills females, and It prepares for whom It wills males.”
“Or It marries together the males and the females, and It makes those whom It wills to be non-procreative. Indeed He is the Knower, the Powerful.” (Al-Shura:49-50)
This leads to the fact that Islam recognises khunsa, or intersex, people who have both male and female genitals and are usually non-reproductive. Many people condemn LGBT, but they don't really know what it means. Within the LGBTs, there are also intersexed people whom Muslims condemn too easliy.
There are many variations, shades of khunsa. Some have both male and female genitals very clearly apparent, but most intersex have slightly more of one and less of the other. Some appear physically of one sex, but have the internal organs of the other sex.
Scientific and medical knowledge in endocrinology and genetics have revealed that what we call gender or sex morphology comes in shades, rather than black or white, depending on how you catergorise gender traits.
Since the Olympics introduced gender testing, they have had a surprisingly hard time determining a standard sex or gender test on female atheletes, the rationale being to eliminate men who pose as women to compete unfairly.
Olympians who have female genitals and appear female in all appearance have been found to have the XY “male chromosomes” or XX/XY chromosomes and many other variations.
Some who are clearly female in their appearence with XX chromosomes have unusually high naturally occuring testosterone level that might give them an “unfair” advantage to other women, and some have been found to have semblance of male internal reporductive organs whom the athelete themselves were not aware of.
This has caused much embarrassment to the atheletes that many have decried the use of gender testing on female atheletes.
Forn and an article about complexity of gender testing by the Olympics committee, click here.
Estimates of the number of intersex people vary widely, ranging from one in 5,000 to one in 60 because experts dispute which of the myriad conditions to include and how to tally them accurately.
At the top end, the estimate of 1 in 60 includes a very large population. Perhaps that is why khunsa or intersex
people are recognised and accepted in Islam, and Islam gives them the right to chose their gender.
I would just like to leave readers with this verse among many from the Quran, where we are reminded to have compassion and mercy and not to shame, revile and humiliate another.
“O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that latter are better than the former. Nor taunt one another, nor revile another by nicknames....” (Hujrat: 11).
And finally, Islam is a religion of peace and mercy, and Allah is the Creator of all including all the diversity of humans, creatures and plants. As Muslims, we humbly say that we may not understand everything, so we leave all judgement to Allah, who in His infinte wisdom knows best.
1. Skovgaard-Peterson, Jakob. Defining Islam for the Egyption State. Muftis and Fatwas of Dar-Al Ifta. (pg 329)
2. Rowson, K. Everett (Oktober 1991). “The Effeminates Awal Madinah.” Jurnal American Oriental Society (Oriental American Society) 111 (4): 671-693
3. Queer Sexuality and Identity in the Quran and Hadith
4. Al Muqni, Matan. al Sharh al Kabeer. volume 7 347–348.
5. Bukhari, Hadith Sahih, Book LXXII (Pakaian), Bab 62: (774)

August 22, 2018

17 y.o. Fmer. Disney Actor J.J.Totah Comes Out as Transgender Female


   In a personal essay published Monday on Time, 17-year-old Totah, who stars as Michael Patel on Mindy Kaling’s comedy Champions, revealed, “I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female” and also announced her new name: Josie.
Totah, a former Disney actor, shared that throughout her childhood, “people would just assume I was gay,” and when she entered into the entertainment industry, “people kept assuming my identity.”
“Numerous reporters have asked me in interviews how it feels to be a young gay man. I was even introduced that way before receiving an award from an LGBTQ+ rights organization. I understand that they didn’t really know better,” Totah wrote. “I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy. But that has never been the way I think of myself.”
Up until now, Totah hasn’t corrected people’s assumptions: “I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted, that I would be embarrassed, that the fans who knew me from the time when I acted in a Disney show would be confused.”
Now, Totah has chosen to be open after realizing “over the past few years that hiding my true self is not healthy.”
“My pronouns are sheher and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah,” said Totah.
While Totah shares that she “always knew on some level that I was female” from the time of adolescence, “it crystallized about three years ago when I was a 14-year-old watching the show I Am Jazz with my mother.” (At the end of June, TLC star Jazz Jennings underwent gender confirmation surgery.) Totah explained, “As I learned more information about hormone replacement therapy, I knew that this was what I had to do. I looked over at her in the middle of the show and said, ‘This is me. I’m transgender. And I need to go through this.’ ”
Her mother was immensely supportive, and Totah swiftly met with doctors and was put on a hormone blocker. “From that point on, I hit the ground running.”
“Like many trans people, I developed serious anxiety as I hid who I was. In some ways, I felt like I was lying by letting people believe I was that gay boy,” wrote Totah, who admitted to hiding girls clothes under sweats. But “once I got on the hormone blocker, which basically stopped my testosterone, that part changed. I wasn’t waking up every day and panicking. ‘Is there hair on my face? Is my voice getting deeper?’ ”
Now that Totah openly identifies as Josie, she said, “it feels like I’m being seen.”
“I have come to believe that God made me transgender. I don’t feel like I was put in the wrong body,” she wrote. “I don’t feel like there was a mistake made. I believe that I am transgender to help people understand differences. It allows me to gain perspective, to be more accepting of others, because I know what it feels like to know you’re not like everyone else.”
Kaling, 39, shared her support for Totah in a tweet, writing, “I love you, Josie. I’m so glad you’re able to speak your truth and live as your authentic self. You’re also so damn talented – I can’t wait to write for you again!” Earlier this year, Totah, who grew up in a small town in Northern California and goes off to college this week, told PEOPLE that she “stuck out like a sore thumb” during her childhood.

I love you, Josie. I’m so glad you’re able to speak your truth and live as your authentic self. You’re also so damn talented - I can’t wait to write for you again! ❤️๐Ÿ’•❤️๐Ÿ’•❤️
 “There wasn’t a lot of diversity in all genres, whether it was race or ethnicity or the LGBTQ community. I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb. I came to the conclusion, I had to at such a young age, if no one was going to be like me than I just have to own it. If I can’t be like everyone else than I might as well just own who I am,” she said..
She added: “I felt like I was kind of forced to because I was so different I just had to stick with it. In a way, that helped me stay true to myself and honor myself. I was literally so different that I could not hide or be shy. At such a young age, I just stuck with that.” 

August 16, 2018

Oklahoma School Closes After Facebook Parents Threaten to Castrate 12 Year Old Transgender Girl


An Oklahoma school has been temporarily closed after a group of parents hurled abuse at a transgender student on Facebook.
Twelve-year-old “Maddie” (not her real name) has identified as a girl since 2016. She had previously used the staff bathroom, but following renovations she struggled to find it and instead used the girls' facilities. 
Speaking to KXII News, Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, said her daughter started at Achille two years ago and has only ever been known as a girl. “We had no problems when we first started,” Rose said. “She hadn’t been told where the staff bathroom was. Before she was able to be told, she had to pee, so she used the girls' bathroom one single time.”
Rose said the threats against Maddie have scared her. “These are adults making threats—I don’t understand it. She’s an awesome kid. To see any fear in her, I can’t explain how bad that hurts me for them to hurt her.”
According to News 4, Achille superintendent Rick Beene said they closed the school to avoid demonstrations. “The problem is, when you get into a small town, you don’t have to get a permit to demonstrate, therefore the problem with that is you don’t know who’s showing up, you don’t know what time they’re going to show up or anything like that,” Beene said.
“The thought was, for law enforcement, that you can have an opposing group that might be here and that could lead to problems so law enforcement asked me if we could shut down until Wednesday so they didn’t have to worry about those 360 kids in addition to what they were already having to deal with.”
Despite this, a small rally was held in support of Maddie on Tuesday morning. People picketed with signs reading “Love one another”, “#Love4Maddie” and “Bullying ain’t OK”.

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This brought tears to my eyes. Right in my backyard. — I need to know how Achille ISD supt., @joy4ok, and other authorities plan to protect this young girl from future violence and abuse. We have a duty to protect our children. @oksde

Speaking to KXII News, Maddie’s mother, Brandy Rose, said her daughter started at Achille two years ago and has only ever been known as a girl. “We had no problems when we first started,” Rose said. “She hadn’t been told where the staff bathroom was. Before she was able to be told, she had to pee, so she used the girls' bathroom one single time.”
Rose said the threats against Maddie have scared her. “These are adults making threats—I don’t understand it. She’s an awesome kid. To see any fear in her, I can’t explain how bad that hurts me for them to hurt her.”
According to News 4, Achille superintendent Rick Beene said they closed the school to avoid demonstrations. “The problem is, when you get into a small town, you don’t have to get a permit to demonstrate, therefore the problem with that is you don’t know who’s showing up, you don’t know what time they’re going to show up or anything like that,” Beene said.
“The thought was, for law enforcement, that you can have an opposing group that might be here and that could lead to problems so law enforcement asked me if we could shut down until Wednesday so they didn’t have to worry about those 360 kids in addition to what they were already having to deal with.”
Despite this, a small rally was held in support of Maddie on Tuesday morning. People picketed with signs reading “Love one another”, “#Love4Maddie” and “Bullying ain’t OK”. 


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