I was raised in white racist South Africa. It wasn’t a fun place. By the government’s standards, if you were white, then you got to (and had to) live in a white-designated area. If you were not white, then you got to (and had to) live in a non-white-designated area. In common business areas, stores were mixed-race but restaurants and bathrooms were not. Romancing someone outside your race meant a prison term for you. White men and black women, or vice versa, were not even legally allowed to be in the same car together.
By the government’s standards, if you had white ancestry, and only white ancestry, you were white. If you had any non-white ancestry whatsoever, you were non-white. So visually you might have a pale white skin, the sort of Aryan blonde hair and blue eyes that would make a German Nazi like you on sight, but by South African government standards if you had one drop of non-white ancestral blood in your veins, you might as well be pitch black, and off you go to live in the non-white area.
This makes for an interesting analogy to transsexual brain structures.
Dutch scientists have shown, with autopsies, that transsexual girls have a brain structure that’s in many ways physically similar to that of genetically integrated girls and physically dissimilar from that of genetically integrated guys.
More recently, some studies were done using MRI technology. The relevant article reported findings that showed transsexual guys (born with female plumbing but a male brain structure) having totally male characteristics. There was no continuum. In behavioral patterns, the transsexual guys lived in a way that was fundamentally male. Even when trying to live in a female role they nevertheless came across as totally “butch” — no wiggle room.
By contrast, the same study showed transsexual girls (born with male plumbing but a female brain structure) having blended male and female characteristics. There was much more of a continuum, a gray area. In behavioral patterns, many transsexual girls did (in addition to liking girly things) also showed a liking for traditionally male-culture things such as guns, cars, airplanes, martial arts, the military and so on — with a sincerity that goes beyond trying to grudgingly fit into the culturally-assigned role of “live as a guy would.”
This reconciles well to another study that showed transsexual girls having left brains identical to genetically integrated males, but having right brains that are structurally very different from genetically integrated males.
Left-brain activity tends to be credited with certain categories of cognitive processing. An informal, oversimplified summary would say that left-brain activity tends to be more analytically-based and right-brain activity tends to be more intuitively-based. The precise science is vastly more complex and subtle but even so it’s valid to say that a person with a left brain similar to males and a right brain similar to females is going to think in male ways in some arenas, and in female ways for everything else.
And so, an individual doesn’t have to be a 100% girly girl so as to be a transsexual girl. This is relevant because part of the coming-out process invariably involves many people arguing with a transsexual girl about her own gender, and saying things like “but you’re so into cars, and several guy-ish things” as if to scrape together circumstantial evidence to convince the transsexual girl that she is a deluded, confused male. These latest studies show how such objections properly merit a zero on the relevancy scale. Sincerely liking some male-culture things in no way detracts from the likelihood that a transsexual girl is a transsexual girl.
I’m a typical example. When I was a young teenager, I was making candles, knitting, sewing buttons on everything, crocheting, and doing origami — and yet I could tell you vast amounts of detail as to automotive trivia. I was drawing pretty pictures — including of cars. By age fourteen, I was taking bicycles apart and refurbishing them while being able to play the piano, self-taught, very well (albeit only the Ninth Symphony, Fuer Elise and the Moonlight Sonata). I was good at martial arts but even while I was winning a fight I was in tears, plus I focused on Judo (“the gentle way”) and I threw and then immobilized my opponent. And so on.
This reconciles to the test results of a Stanford University formal gender brain test that I took. The test results show that my feminine characteristics are very strong … I am in fact more feminine in my thinking than even 85% of genetically integrated girls. However, my male characteristics are very strong too. The latter aspect didn’t bother the transsexualism-savvy professional who was tasked with interpreting the test results. Her conclusion: I’m a transsexual girl.
She’d given her verdict and that was all there was to it, logically. Still, to me, it seemed too good to be true that I am actually a girl brain-wise, structurally — and I can stop fearing that I might somehow be some nut-case guy who’s delusional. So I remained at least a little bit worried … the strong male characteristics in my test results have always bothered me.
Eventually I figured that I’d had testosterone raging throughout my veins ever since puberty and that probably had a significant effect on how I thought, and I’d also tried to live in a guy role for so long and so diligently that this probably had an effect also. Still, I didn’t want to be like a bad scientist who throws away test data that doesn’t match a cherished hypothesis.
This recent study explains it all in a way that finally and cleanly resolves that concern.