Sunday, October 26, 2008
The discovery of a genetic variation in male to female transsexuals adds weight to the view that transsexualism has a biological basis, the Australian researchers behind the find say.
Their study shows male to female transsexuals are more likely than non-transsexual males to have a longer version of a receptor gene for the sex hormone androgen or testosterone.
The findings from the largest-yet genetic study of male to female transsexualism are published online today in Biological Psychiatry.
Study leader, head of molecular genetics at Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Associate Professor Vincent Harley, speculates, based on cell studies, that this genetic variation might reduce testosterone action and "under-masculinise" or feminise the brain during foetal development.
"Studies in cells show the longer version of the androgen receptor gene works less efficiently at communicating the testosterone message to cells," Harley says.
"Based on these studies, we speculate the longer version may also work less efficiently in the brain." . . .Read More
The refurbished apartments at the former Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland are now open for retirement living, though residents need not be retired to settle in. Nor do they need to be lesbian, gay, straight or transgender.
They need only to want to live in a diverse community within one building, a community modeled on author Armistead Maupin's fictional series, "Tales of the City."
Maupin's characters all lived in a San Francisco apartment on Barbary Lane. It was a place where homosexuals and heterosexuals — young and not so young — built friendships and camaraderie and no lines were drawn on which lifestyle was acceptable. Everyone was accepted.
So goes the philosophy at today's real-life Barbary Lane Senior Communities, where, say representatives of the 46-unit Art Deco historical building at 1800 Madison St., aging baby boomers can live in a "richly diverse community."
"The conformist generation is diminishing," said Dave Latina, president of Barbary Lane Senior Communities, at a grand opening event held Thursday. He spoke of long-retired GIs who were accustomed to taking directions and not rocking the boat, and pointed out that baby boomers (defined by the U.S. Census as those born from 1946 to 1964) have a far different take on life. . . .Read More
A father of a 10-year-old daughter has now decided to live the rest of his life as a woman.
Two months ago, a former first sergeant who served 10 years in the Singapore navy sent a mass SMS to all his friends.
It said: “Dear friends, I have changed my name from Frankie to Fanny.”
Some laughed it off as a prank. Others called up Frankie Ler, 34, and were stunned when he told them he had decided to become a woman.
The divorcee and father of a 10-year-old girl told them he had started “transitioning”: He had grown his hair, was taking female hormone pills, and had begun wearing women’s clothes.
“I didn’t want them to get a shock if they bumped into me on the street,” said the administrative assistant, sitting in a Rowell Road Cafe with her daughter. . . .Read More