"All people are not heterosexual. Heterosexuality is not superior and is not the norm by which all other sexual orientation and gender identities are measured." --Burnaby, B.C. Schools Draft Policy #5.45

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Evidence

On what basis do people ignore the evidence that shows that transgender people have brain structures usually associated with the opposite sex? Weighing the evidence and disagreeing with it are different from not considering it at all. 

Studies can be overturned. Theories can be supplanted. The evidence may later turn out not to be true or not true in the way we originally thought. But as of March 2016, the evidence weighs in favor of transgender people being real.

If you refuse even to consider it, then on what basis do you ask others to consider evidence in your favor should judgment be directed at you? 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pot Use Linked to Worse Verbal Memory in Middle Age

The Globe and Mail reports that a long-term study has linked use of marijuana to poor verbal memory in middle age. This is relevant to sexual minorities because we are vulnerable to engaging in substance abuse. This is the case for two reasons:

(1) Some might turn to it as a response to discrimination. Promoting substance abuse as a response to emotional stress has a long history in our culture, unfortunately. 

(2) The political left includes both advocates for the rights of sexual minorities and advocates for acceptance and/or legalization of drug use. This might cause gay or transgender people mistakenly to associate substance abuse with acceptance and love. 

Both of these are minor catastrophes. Damaging your body or brain because someone rejects you is a terrible idea. Damaging your body or brain because someone accepts you is a different terrible idea.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Prayer for the Persecutors of Transgender People

I like reading about religion and philosophy. These subjects help me develop myself as a person. The major systems of thought teach us that when someone is unfair to us, we should either (1) not respond with emotion; or (2) respond with kindness, love, or compassion. 

Lately, I've been getting tired of postponing my spiritual development due to attachment to anger or sadness at the negativity directed at transgender people. To be sure, anti-transgender prejudice over the course of my life has been a crucible through which I've become a more compassionate person. Yet, nonetheless, to date, there's a part of me that holds out, a remaining part of me that wants to react.

Since Caitlyn Jenner came out, there have been many anti-transgender articles in the media. While some of them may have made a good point or two, by and large they were deliberately unfair; some of them were downright nasty. I haven't responded to any of them, either by comment, letter to the editor, etc.

I'd like to respond here and now, in this post. I would like to respond in the form of a prayer for those who persecute us. As some of the persecutors self-identify as Christian, I'll cast my prayer in a Christian form:

Heavenly father
Who sent his one and only Son
To save us from our sins,
That we might be redeemed and have eternal life,
Bless your beloved children __________ , __________ , and __________ .

With the help of the Holy Spirit,
may all people learn to work together
for that justice which brings true and everlasting peace
To you be glory and honor for ever and ever. 

I'm not sure I'm very good at writing Christian prayers. The second half is taken directly from Catholic.org because I wasn't sure what to write. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Self-Confidence Training for Transgender People

Self-confidence is very important for extremely small minorities, especially in the wake of a media storm in which a lot of cruel things have been said about transgender people from both the right and the left. I post this video as a beginning point, not as the total of all that we need to do, although putting these ideas into practice will certainly keep me busy. 

I hope you like it. It's here.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Old Days

When I was a teen-ager, there was a Roman Catholic college that I wanted to attend to study nursing. In those days, I idolized martyrs and people who sacrificed for others. I often had flights of the imagination in which I became one of them. In these daydream sequences, there were always certain elements of martyrdom, such as purity of heart and tears. Maybe I was a silly kid. 

I still think sacrifice for others is very, very important. But I don't think a human system can exist solely on mutual help alone. That's because individuals are best positioned to look out for their own interests, and their ability to do so is diminished when all self-help is crudely categorized as selfishness.  In any case, when I look back from this age, the degree and intensity with which I thought about martyrdom and sacrifice as a teen-ager seems a little unhealthy. Also, serving others with practicality and wisdom means surviving to serve again another day!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Welcome, Russian visitors!

This blog has many visits from Russia


As someone who grew up during the Cold War, I am deeply saddened by the current state of the relationship between the West and Russia. I admire Russian culture and history, and I long for peace between Russia and the West, between Russia and America. I hope that Russian visitors always feel welcome on this blog. If you are inclined, I would be very happy if you left a greeting in the comment box!