Monday, July 14, 2008

My Facial Feminization Surgery

"This is a 3 min 41 sec video diary of still images from my Facial Feminization Surgery by Dr. Spiegel on Dec. 16, 2006. It was very very painful but worth it." Vicki Estrada

Trans parents, trans kids: two new guides

by Dana Rudolph

Jul 10, 2008

Two new works offer much-needed guidance for families with transgender members, but each approaches the subject from a different perspective. One addresses parents of transgender children, while the other targets children of transgender parents.

The Transgender Child, by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper (Cleis, 2008), is subtitled, "A Handbook for Families and Professionals," but speaks mostly to parents. With even mainstream media such as NPR and the parenting magazine Cookie broaching the subject of gender variance in children in the last few months, the appearance of a thorough, authoritative work for parents is long overdue. This book fills the need with balance and sensitivity.

The authors have each published other books on LGBT parenting: Brill authored The Queer Parent’s Primer (New Harbinger, 2001) and co-authored The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth (Alyson, 2002). Pepper, coordinator of LGBT Studies at Yale University and an editor at Curve magazine, wrote The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians (2nd Edition, Cleis, 2005). In addition, Brill has extensive experience working with gender-nonconforming and transgender children and their parents. She started a parents’ support group at Children’s Hospital Oakland, founded Gender Spectrum Education and Training (, and co-produces the national Gender Spectrum Family conference (

Brill and Pepper draw on their own knowledge and that of professional therapists, lawyers, endocrinologists, and activists. . . .Read More

Retrospective: Sex-Change Pioneer, Dr. Stanley Biber

by Jeff Brady

All Things Considered, January 19, 2006 · The king of sex-change procedures has died. Dr. Stanley Biber performed more than 5,000 such operations over more than 30 years. In the process, he turned the tiny town of Trinidad, Colo., into the sex-change capital of the world.

Listen Now

Gay men and straight women have similar brains, study says

The research suggests a basic biological link between sexual orientation and a range of mental functions.
By Denise Gellene, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 17, 2008

The brains of gay men resemble those of straight women, according to research published today that provides more evidence of the role of biology in sexual orientation.

Using brain-scanning equipment, researchers said they discovered similarities in the brain circuits that deal with language, perhaps explaining why homosexual men tend to outperform straight men on verbal skills tests -- as do heterosexual women. . . .Read More


What does gay look like? Science keeps trying to figure that out

Finding common biological traits -- things like hair growth patterns, penis size, family makeup -- might one day shed light on the origins of sexual orientation.
By Regina Nuzzo, Special to The Times
June 16, 2008

Last month, Sen. John McCain dropped by “Saturday Night Live,” drawing laughs from his promise, if elected president, to fight expensive federal projects -- such as, he spoofed, a Department of Defense device to "jam gaydar."

That was a joke. But some scientists are, in a way, working on gaydar, the supposed ability to discern whether a person is homosexual by reading subtle cues from their appearance. Just don't refer to it that way. The preferred term is "sexual orientation correlates."

These scientists are searching for innate traits that might not appear to be related to sexual orientation or even to standard clichés. So measuring a subject's shoe size is permissible; asking about ownership of Barbra Streisand albums would be cheating. Some inborn traits might be expected if homosexuality is -- as most scientists believe -- rooted in biology, and they might provide clues about the biological origins of sexual orientation.

Finding and solidifying these links isn't easy. Studies contradict each other, and some promising paths don't pan out. (A link between male homosexuality and finger lengths isn't holding up, and a claim that gays have distinctive fingerprint ridge patterns is largely discredited.) Scientists don't always agree on how to interpret the results, and more progress has been made with regard to men than to women. . . .Read More