Tabitha Barnard’s photographs display the tenderness and brutality that is inextricably linked in the experience of being a teenage girl. Her images, full of delicate beauty, sun-glazed and etched with the shadows of pine trees, are thrown into relief by moments of quiet, mundane violence: a tooth spat into the sink, or mutilated cuticles.
Does a beautiful and powerfully empathetic trans coming-of-age drama lose its value because its protagonist is played by a cisgender boy?
“Objectives: To review evidence from prospective cohort studies of the relationship between hormone therapy and changes in psychological functioning and quality of life in transgender individuals accessing hormone therapy over time.
Data Sources: MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed were searched for relevant studies from inception to November 2014. Reference lists of included studies were hand searched.
Results: Three uncontrolled prospective cohort studies, enrolling 247 transgender adults (180 male-to-female [MTF], 67 female-to-male [FTM]) initiating hormone therapy for the treatment of gender identity disorder (prior diagnostic term for gender dysphoria), were identified. The studies measured exposure to hormone therapy and subsequent changes in mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety) and quality of life outcomes at follow-up. Two studies showed a significant improvement in psychological functioning at 3–6 months and 12 months compared with baseline after initiating hormone therapy. The third study showed improvements in quality of life outcomes 12 months after initiating hormone therapy for FTM and MTF participants; however, only MTF participants showed a statistically significant increase in general quality of life after initiating hormone therapy.
Conclusions: Hormone therapy interventions to improve the mental health and quality of life in transgender people with gender dysphoria have not been evaluated in controlled trials. Low quality evidence suggests that hormone therapy may lead to improvements in psychological functioning. Prospective controlled trials are needed to investigate the effects of hormone therapy on the mental health of transgender people.”
To cite this article:White Hughto Jaclyn M. and Reisner Sari L.. Transgender Health. January 2016, 1(1): 21-31. doi:10.1089/trgh.2015.0008.
Published in Volume: 1 Issue 1: January 13, 2016
Jaclyn M. White Hughto1,2,* and Sari L. Reisner1,3,41The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, Massachusetts.2Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.3Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.4Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.*Address correspondence to: Jaclyn M. White Hughto, MPH, The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, E-mail: JWhite@FenwayHealth.org
“A crocheted bra top for sale on Amazon received an unexpected bit of publicity after a reviewer used their cat to model the item to show just how small it is. Reviews do indicate that the piece ‘runs small,’ but when one 16-year-old girl received the item, her mother wrote this hilarious review in response:”
“(Boston)—Medical care of transgender patients, including surgical and hormonal treatment, has largely been met with resistance by physicians in favor of psychiatric treatment, owing to misconceptions that gender identity can be changed. According to a review article in Endocrine Practice, there is increasing evidence of a biological basis for gender identity that may change physicians’ perspective on transgender medicine and improve health care for these patients.
The article was led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).”
I received my Underworks Padded Brief which I ordered directly from the manufacturer. The cost was $44.99 + S/H, the total being just under $52 with 3 day shipping.
I arrived in a soft side envelope with no indication of what was inside, if you worry about nosey neighbors. Inside it was sealed in plastic.
The material is heavier than you might expect, but still light enough to be worn all day without issue. It certainly seems as i it should last for a long time, even with daily use.
It is high waisted and helps flatten out your tummy though not as much as a dedicated shaper will. You do have to keep an eye on this as despite what one of the reviewers claimed, it can slip and bunch if you move too much. Also, the legs are a little loose at the hem. It hasn’t caused an issue when wearing jeans, but I’m not so sure about clingy fabrics.
Maybe my thighs just aren’t big enough?
In any case, the real reason for wanting this was to help keep “things” in place and reduce bulges where there shouldn’t be any and again, wearing denim, I do see a noticeable difference.
Here’s the main thing; wearing this I felt instantly more confident in my presentation. The padding gives me the shape I have long wanted/expected and the flatter tummy is a bonus.
I can’t say this is for everyone, it really depends on what sort of look your after and how concerned you might be about unexpected bulges or movement “down there.”
I think, for me, this has been an excellent investment, though I can’t say with 100% certainly until I’ve had it for a few months. At some point, unless something goes wrong, I’ll try and write another review and let you know how it performs long term.
I quit being a fan of Mr. Cruise a long time ago, though a decent actor, he was never someone I thought of as a “must see”, certainly not in the same league as Mr. Freeman, Mr. Nicholson, or even one Mr. Carrie, (despite Dumb and Dumber). I did watch the first ‘Mission Impossible’ but none of the sequels and though I make a point of knowing what movies are out, I have somehow managed to completely lose track of the mans career over the years.
Which brings me to this post…
I remember seeing at least one trailer for this movie and thinking it would interesting. As it turned out, I recently had the chance to see it, and by and large, I was correct. It was interesting and I don’t consider the time watching it wasted, unlike “John Carter” which I think I watched more because it was in the same class as a train wreak and I just couldn’t look away…
Funny enough, I had actually forgotten about this 2013 movie until I saw it at the video store, (which I was actually in because they were have a sale on previously viewed movies, but all the good ones were gone), and already being there, decided to see what they had. Browsing the shelves and finding several movies I wanted to see but they were all checked out, I happened across ‘Oblivion’ which the IMBD describes this way:
“A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.” and stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, and Andrea Riseborough.
Taken at face value as an Action/Si-Fi movie and overlooking some serious plot issues, it really isn’t a bad movie and it is possible to enjoy it strictly for the entertainment value.
If you are like me, however, and you find yourself going over the movie at a later time, you will have some issues but I suppose such is true of most of what you will find in this Genre.
So, if you want a simple recommendation, then sure, I would say watching this is a decent way to spend a few hours, just don’t forget the popcorn and JuJubes…
If you really want to hear some of my other thoughts about this movie, keep reading. Warning, I’m sure there are spoilers in this next part.
Okay, first off, I have issues with the majority of ‘clone’ story lines where the copy manages to have some or all of the memories of the original person. I know this is a useful plot tactic, but is completely unrealistic and has no basis in fact. A clone may look the same, sound the same, and have the same DNA, but these are just superficial aspects of a person. What truly makes each of us unique, even identical twins, is the culmination of our moment to moment experience. No two individuals will ever be one hundred percent identical, it simply isn’t possible and I feel insulted every time a writer tries to convince me differently. I would love to see someone explore this aspect of cloning for a change instead of being lazy and hanging everything on the theory of ‘cell memory’.
Another problem I have is with the use of advance weaponry, which just given the basic physics of things could never work the way they do in movies. Sure it looks cool and the special effects guys get to spend hours and hours adding in glowing beams and explosions, but come on, a light based weapon isn’t going to fire the equivalent of tracer rounds and after being brow beat with such things as a child watching the original Star Wars Trilogy, I would have hoped someone could have come up with something better.
And now another issue with the Earth of ‘Oblivion”. I’m still trying to understand just how everything, the entire city of New York came to be buried. What’s more, there is so much plant growth you would think more than fifty years had passed since the war. The story goes, with the moon shattered, Earth suffered earthquakes and tidal waves and other natural disasters which lead to the way things look in the movie, but it simply isn’t believable. Seeing miles and miles of destruction, that would be believable. Seeing deep canyons made of the buried, almost intact remains of entire city blocks? Not so much. Though it did make for some nice visuals which I suppose was the whole point… but still.
Then there is the little cabin in the woods…
First off, this place is built nestled in a deep mountain valley complete with pristine lake. The surrounding woodland is obviously mush older than the stated timeline, and while I understand the whole world upheaval part of the back story, it doesn’t quite explain the Rocky Mountains feel to the scene with the soaring, snow covered peaks rising in the background.
And then there is one little issue which is never explained, the alien spaceship in orbit is somehow unable to keep tack of where one of the clones goes, and has no way to locate a piece of its own tech? This was something I could over look from the point of the ground station… fly low enough, find natural cover to follow and I could see being able to ‘lose’ them, but not when your talking about a space craft capable of transversing interstellar space and observing from miles above the surface. Again, it may help with the plot, but it’s still annoying.
Despite everything I just complained about, it was a decent enough movie and I didn’t feel cheated for having watched it, I’m just glad I didn’t spend the money to see in the theater.
PixelPumper is the new kid on the block for WordPress blogging software from your desktop for Mac OSX.
(Before I begin, let me just point out I had planned on using the software for a month before reviewing it but the developer has just released an update and I wanted to add my thoughts so far to the discussion.)
If you use a Mac and you blog then you know your choices are limited at best when it comes to how you get a post written and on your site. You can either use the browser based interface which can be problematic or you can use a program such as the defacto standard MarsEdit.
While MarsEdit is an excellent program, it isn’t cheap, costing $39.95. As far as software prices goes this is fairly reasonable in a world where games can cost $60 and professional applications can go for hundreds of dollars. For the not so professional blogger, though, it can be hard to justify the cost for a hobby.
The browser based interface offered by WordPress is adequate for putting up a quick post, but for anything more involved can be tedious, not to mention you have to be online to use it. There are times when this just isn’t feasible or you want to take your time and put together a more visually interesting post and for that you need something which allows you to save a draft locally on your computer. To do so you need an editor such as the above mentioned MarsEdit or PixelPumper.
Well, for one the basic version is currently being offered for free as the bugs are being worked out which makes the price hard to beat. For another, it allows you to create blog posts quickly and easily as long as you don’t need to do anything fancy such as add video or other embedded content.
As you can see, the interface is clean and straight forward, (which is good since the online help leaves a bit to be desired.)
Adding text is the same as you would in any basic word processor and you can adjust the text as needed, though I stayed with the default settings as they worked well enough for what I wanted.
If you want to add a picture to your post, this is the first place you find one of the programs little quirks. Unlike with almost all programs for OSX, PixelPumper doesn’t support Drag and Drop, which means a few extra steps are needed to get your image onto the page. First you need to download the picture you want to your computer, then click the “Add Photos” button on the toolbar. Find the folder where you downloaded the picture, choose it, then click “select” and it will be added to your post. A bit more time consuming than MarsEdit’s Drag and Drop functionality and while it might be a minor inconvenience, you will notice it.
Want to give people a link to follow? It’s pretty simple. Click the “Hyperlink” button in the toolbar, add your information and “Set Link” and your done.
Now with the basic version, you cannot embed video directly into your post. I haven’t read if this is now possible with the new “Nerd mode” or not as there really isn’t much information available yet. I found this lack to be an issue for myself, but if you don’t usually embed things into your posts, then it isn’t something to worry about.
Speaking of “Nerd mode”…
This is an in App purchase which cost $11.99 and adds HTML editing and Online Drafts. I’m just not convinced this is going to give me any additional functionality which would justify the expense.
Now, there are a few issues I have, which in and of themselves are not deal breakers but which show this is still very much beta software…
For one, the “Featured Image” is pointless right now. When I first tried it, it froze the program, the next time it simply didn’t do anything I could see. For the time being it seems best if you ignore it all together.
The second thing is a real issue as far as I’m concerned and I hope it gets fixed soon. When I linked to my WP sites, they all show up as the same blog even though all of addresses are different. What’s more, the name it found to use was of a very old blog which I deleted a long time ago and it refuses to change it to my current primary blog or any of my other blogs for that matter. I have to go and look at the settings for each to see which blog they are linked to.
Another is not being able to edit “Categories” directly. MarsEdit has the same issue and it really needs attention. It’s a pain when you accidentally add something which is already in your list and then every time you want to use it, every version is added to your post.
So, what’s my verdict?
If you need a basic program to create content for your WordPress blog and you want to be able to save local drafts so you can come back and work on it as you have time, then PixelPumper just might work for you. Just be aware it’s not for every situation or need, but for what it is intended to do, it does well enough to earn you consideration.
If nothing else, download it while it’s free and give it a test drive. You really don’t have anything to loose.
copyright by L. Weingarten
(Note: All photographs are copyright by L. Weingarten, used with permission.)
Not being out full time, I have been fortune to not have many personal questions asked, though I have had a few from those I have come out to. I do know that, as time passes, I am more and more likely to have opportunities where I will be confronted and questioned. Admittedly, this is something I’m not looking forward to, I doubt even taking the time to explain myself to someone is likely to change their thoughts and opinions.
Then again, over the same time period Trans* people will be gaining visibility. It is possible some small about of education will begin to take root and those who seek to be more open minded and accepting will understand some things simply shouldn’t be asked out of common decency, if for no other reason. I’m not holding my breath though…
copyright by L. Weingarten
What brought this to mind was seeing a photography project by L. Weingarten titled “A Series Of Questions” and can be seen here: Questions.
The project statement reads as follows;
“This ongoing body of work explores the power dynamics inherent in the questions asked of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and gender-variant people.
Many documentary photographic projects that deal with trans issues exploit the genders of their subjects, pointing to an “otherness” or inappropriately exoticizing their bodies. A Series of Questions seeks instead to make visible the transphobia and gender-baiting that can become part of everyday interactions and lives, forming a fuller picture of the various lived experiences. In so doing, this work contrasts with the dehumanizing approaches that predominate the images made of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and gender-variant people, which often focus solely on their gender or trans status, or use them to further a specific point about social construction and gender.
The subjects hold signs depicting questions that each has had posed to them personally— some by strangers, others by loved ones, friends, or colleagues. Presented on white wooden boards, the questions are turned on the viewer, shifting the dynamics under which they were originally asked, and prompting the viewer to cast a reflective, self-critical eye upon themself, revealing how invasive this frame of reference can be.
As a greater number of subjects and questions are accumulated, a relentless conversation of questioning emerges. Attention is directed not on the backgrounds of the transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, or gender-variant subjects, but on the dynamics at work in these conversations. I am interested in uncovering the typology of these questions, discovering what categories of questions emerge as the script of power dynamics and interrogation is flipped.”
copyright by L. Weingarten
Looking through these photos, I was struck as much by the expressions of the subjects as I was by the questions themselves. I see determination, defiance, and yes, pain. No one can fully understand someones experiences in this life, but as the saying goes; the eyes are the windows to the soul and in these pictures you see why.
This post is going to be a bit of a hodge-podge.
First off, I ordered my wig… finally. I got the one I posted about before, the Glow Girl by Forever Young.
Less than $50 including S&H. I ordered it in I-Heart-Expresso and I hope it isn’t too dark. We’ll see.
When I get it, I’ll write a review.
Last night I did something I wish I could take back….
We rented The Three Stooges. I really don’t know what to tell about this movie other than I could only stand about twenty minutes and then I had to scoop my brain off the floor. Even the five year old said it was stupid. I don’t know, maybe someone else will find this funny, but not this girl. If I want to watch pointless violence and listen to terrible jokes, I’ll sit back and watch the kids, it’s better entertainment and it costs less.
Now onto something better…
We also rented Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
I loved the first movie and so was looking forward to seeing this as well and my hopes were well founded. It was a very good movie and well worth the wait. The storyline is excellent and the dynamic between Watson and Holmes is as lively as ever. It is a gripping, funny, and satisfying story and if you liked the first, you most likely will enjoy A Game of Shadows as well.
And incase your wondering, I am really terrible at movie reviews, I always want to give away the ending.
On a personal note, I find that I am getting more comfortable making small changes to the way I dress when going into public, nothing most people would notice, but that isn’t really the point. These are things I am doing for myself, not anyone else.
I am however, having trouble keeping myself in check. To remember that I present as male, which means maintaining my mannerisms and the way I do simple things like walking. I am still overly aware of how I am moving and it sometimes becomes a distraction.
I want express myself more but I don’t dare.
Something else I need to stop doing is looking at others who are on hormones and seeing the incredible change they go through. It drives me crazy to think it is possible I could have similar results while knowing in my head that taking hormones could do serious damage to my health or possibly kill me. I really don’t want to reach a point where I am forced to make such a choice.