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user-inactivated  ·  1107 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I opened my coffee shop yesterday...

Yo, I'm forty years old, I've worked my ass off for this to happen.

I've lived so much of my life as a useless wastrel...

Just getting my shit together right now.

You seem to have yourself together much more than I did at your age and you look much better in a suit than I do.

Don't despair.

I've been paying rent on this space for just over a year. My finances are devastated. I've got so many battle scars from dealing with the city. I don't know if I had it to do over if I would, but here I am.

If anyone asked me what I thought of you I would say that you are a smart, articulate, handsome man who is passionate and good at expressing himself in the written word. You have at least one niche that you are destined to fill and will probably inspire many people to reach for something more than they would have without you.

We haven't had many direct interactions on Hubski but I always take note of what you have to offer and it has sadden me whenever you have drawn away from the community because people are shitty. There is something good waiting for you, hope you see it when it pops it's head up.

coffeesp00ns  ·  1158 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Transphobic violence in the punk community

As I mentioned to you in my PM, I'll talk with you out here, not because I've got something against private conversation, but because I am a.) unashamed of who I am, because there is nothing "wrong" with me, and b.) willing to be an educator, and If i'm going to be an educator, it might as well be in a classroom, and not in a private session.

The biggest and most important thing I'd like to impress upon you - and really if you get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING out of this conversation other than this fundamental point - is point B. Not the whole thing, just this part:

    willing to be an educator

The key word is willing. Not every person in a minority is willing, interested, or able to be an educator. On top of that, it is not your right to have an educator. That phrase can sound a little B.S., but the basic concept comes down to this - there is a difference between "I'd like to know about this, can you tell me more?" and "I need you to explain this to me. If I don't get it, then it's not a thing."

You've not really said either of these things, but you did say,

    Conversely, if I didn't take the time to post my doubts, you wouldn't have been able to further attempt to educate me on the issue, and by proxy, anyone else feeling confused about the matter. When people stay quiet on a matter that concerns them, they're stifling their own personal growth, because they're isolating themselves from healthy feedback from people who think differently.

and yes, this is true. However, it is not minimum_wage's job to educate you or anyone else, especially when the information is relatively widely available, and no harder to get a hold of than when you were writing a paper in high school.

So seriously, that's like the "sunscreen good, no sunscreen bad" of communicating with people who are part of a minority, or anyone really - young, old, male, female, anyone whose experience in life is different from yours.

But I'm not here to shit on you, nor for you to feel shit on, which is just as bad as actually being shit on. So let's move on, though it might not feel a whole lot like moving on.

I've got another stumbling block that we're going to have to get over - and this one's a doosey for a lot of people, especially because of the questions it raises the further we get into this discussion (a lot of which get answered with "genetics is complicated").

That stumbling block is this: Gender Binary doesn't exist outside of the societal construct we are familiar with.

What we are all taught in school (and which is reinforced by lots of things in our society, such as gendered marketing), that XY is male and XX is female, and never the twain shall change, is a huge simplification of what we know and have observed about humans and how our chromosomes work. Just zip down to the bottom of this wiki article on Kleinfelter's Syndrome and you'll begin to see what I mean. XXY,XXYY, XYY, XO... It's like a bad game of tic tac toe down there. All of these things are genetic disorders which are completely ignored by a gender binary that says "XY male, XX female". Like, what does that make these other people, some of whom present and are raised male, some of whom present and are raised female.

(side note: when I say "present" here, i mean "how they are generally perceived in the world". It's fewer letters that way, and it's sort of part of the "lingo".)

Now, hidden in that list of chromosomal disorders are two that are really interesting for the topic at hand:

XX male syndrome - in which someone looks like a guy, and develops as a guy, but is sterile and may have small testicles.

Kleinfelter Syndrome - as mentioned above. XXY chromosomes, and the most common Chromosomal disorder. Between 1:500 and 1:1000 men have this condition. that means there are approximately 318 000 men in the USA with this condition, as a conservative estimate. from the wiki -

    Often symptoms may be subtle and many people do not realize they are affected. Sometimes symptoms are more prominent and may include weaker muscles, greater height, poor coordination, less body hair, smaller genitals, breast growth, and less interest in sex.

This is leaving Hermaphroditism completely off the table, even though it relates here for similar reasons.

Also of interest is Androgen Insensitivity syndrome - in which an XY karyotype human has difficulties absorbing the proper amount of testosterone. It's also pretty common at 2-5:100,000. It has 3 forms, Mild, Partial and Complete insensitivity, varying in intensity. Someone with a Mild form might have malformed sperm, but also be less hairy than usual and have a higher voice. Partial insensitivity is a wide specturm (there's a scale from 1-7, and it usually includes levels 2-5). with PAIS you could look like anything from a man with a small penis and some breast development (not unlike Kleinfelter's) to a masculine looking woman with a large clitoris.

You already know what complete insensitivity looks like, because I showed you. I lied to you in this paragraph:

    What we are all taught in school (and which is reinforced by lots of things in our society, such as gendered marketing), that XY is male and XX is female,

under XX is a picture of a woman named Eden Atwood. She is a woman with CAIS. She is an XY karyotype human who developed from the womb as a female. While she is not one of them, there are cases of XY women giving birth, and even one case where and XY woman gave birth to another XY woman - That shit's a scholarly journal, not Ripley's Believe it or Not.

I might as well let the cat out of the bag with the other picture, too. I couldn't find any pictures of XX men (it's not a super common syndrome), so I put in a Picture of Buck Angel, famous Trans Man porn star. Buck is born XX, and transitioned in his... 20s i think?

All of this is to say - The human body is INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED. People often ask the question of "How do Trans People exist?" when really, the question should be "With all the other crazy shit our genetics do, why are we surprised that trans people exist?"

So, that was a lot of writing. I hope you got through it with most of your brain intact - It's a lot to take in.

Trans people, for a minority that represents an estimated 1% of the population, are surprisingly well researched (or surprisingly poor researched, depending on your perspective). The TranScience Paperdex is an incomplete list of the studies that a have been done regarding trans people. Some of them are obviously extremely out of date, but it's an interesting body of work.

Trans people are also nothing new. People cite Christine Jorgensen as a famous early modern case, but really she is just the first trans person that modern western media ever got a hold of. There are many examples of "Third Gender" peoples, all the way from the earliest writings we have in Mesopotamia. Third Gender people are mentioned in the writings of Plato, show up in Old Israeli words, and are even in some current cultures, such as Hijra people in India, and kathoeys in Thailand.

So, now that (hopefully) I've convinced you and others that trans people aren't just mentally ill, or a new fad, onward to specific questions from you.

    I don't know if feeling like you're the opposite gender of what you were born is natural or unnatural.

Is feeling like the opposite gender of what you were born "natural"? Yes. It's just not super common.

    I don't know if undergoing hormone therapy and even surgery to correct such a feeling is right or wrong.

First I'll point out how much total bullshit there is to get onto hormones in the first place. like, I've been head on the road towards hormones for more than a year and a half, and only recently got onto step 1, which is not full hormones. It required hours of counselling sessions, and repeating my "story" over and over to various people until I got sick of minutiae and created a "Party line" that I used for everything to keep a consistent story. To get Gender reassignment surgery I will likely be on a wait list for over 2 years.

Nothing about this is fast or easy, nor is it a snap decision.

But packed into this is also some other questions - what happens if you don't like it? Can we fix the feeling another way?

Well, we know that giving trans people more of the hormones of their expected Karyotype gender makes them feel worse (nor is there any evidence that hormone imbalance exists in trans people), and we also know that Hormone Therapy is associated with a greater quality of life in trans people.

We, unfortunately, have some pretty decent case examples of what happens when you give someone cross-gender hormones and they don't want them. David Reimer springs to mind, though his whole story is sad and it's not just about cross-gender hormones). Feminizing hormones were also used in the UK as part of the Labouchere Amendment (also known as Section 11). They were used to punish gay men who got caught, by reducing their libido and making them sterile. It played a factor in Alan Turing's suicide.

Basically, if you don't feel better on hormones, then don't take them. You can stop at any time, and many of the effects will reverse (though not all). Hormones are the best treatment we've got for Gender Identity Disorder. There are risks (including things like kidney damage), but hey, it's better than the alternative.

This isn't a "just because we can, doesn't mean we should" situation. this is a "we finally have a way for these people to stop hating themselves" situation, and a "wow, these people have been hiding in corners for centuries and just want to be treated like human beings" situation.

Anyways, this post is long enough, and I'm sure question will come up, so rather than pre-empt them, I'll just let them happen.

What does it mean to be human? It's complicated.

user-inactivated  ·  1751 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rape Is Caused by Rapists, Not by Underage Drinking

Looking at what I wrote it's a pile of shit. I took a few pain meds to battle the pain from a strep infection and I'm feeling a little woozy. It is at least decent description of what bartenders have to do to try and prevent sexual assault.

I stop a few rapes a year at my job.

It is my professional responsibility to not let people get insensibly drunk it does occasionally happen. Often a secondary intoxicant is the gateway insensibly drunk, two drinks can look a lot like ten if you have been playing around in the medicine cabinet. The ones on meds are the hardest to deal with, they seem fine after one drink and they can barely stand after two.

Often a person who ends up insensibly drunk doesn't come to the bar but has someone else serving buying them drinks (we have no table service so if it's very busy fuck if we know what's going on our large patio). I'd say that about 90% of people who are too drunk to have free will (the ability to know who they are with, where they are going, and what is really happening to them) make it to the bar at some point before they get out the door.

It's my job to figure out if ladies that smashed are accompanied by someone they can trust before they get out the door and to separate them from predators if I feel they are in danger.

I did say ladies, not because I am unaware that men can be raped but I've never had to save a man from a male predator. I know that there have been men in danger of being taken home by someone with bad intentions at my bar before but I didn't have to handle it. We have a number of fantastic groups of gay regulars at my bar and they seem to always act as a community to stop things like that from happening.

First thing is did they come in with this person they are leaving with or were they talking with that person before they were trashed. If they knew the person before they were shit faced, how did they relate to each other before booze, how are they acting to each other now. This shit is dicey, you do your best to figure out who people are to each other and if they are decent human beings or vile bastards. usually someone is going to the bathroom before these people start to leave, I use that time to do some hard questioning of what ever party I am left talking with.

If you can't figure out if they knew that person before they came in it's red fucking flag time. You can ask a wasted girl if she knows the guy that's holding her up and if she knew him before tonight and she will sometimes say yes even when it isn't true. Because they are trying to leave they have usually cashed out with a credit card so you have at least some parties names. I ask both parties what the other persons name is, if they fail this test I tell the guy to get the fuck out. If they get by the name test and the girl has strongly stated her desire to leave with this guy (yeshh, I....wannnnttts tooo go wish heemm, it's gooodd...) I've done things like take the guys picture and tell him that if he is the white knight he is pretending to be than he has nothing to worry about he will be happy that I've taken the time to try and keep this young lady safe.

If a guy just seems like a totally scummy piece of shit and is trying to get a smashed lady out the front door I just kick him out when the lady goes to the bathroom.

There are always a selection of men who come to the bar that are known creepers. Doesn't make them a rapist but I'm not letting a girl go home with a known creeper if I haven't seen them together before. The "I can't believe that you did that bro, I had that shit in the bag, I thought you were my friend, fuck you man you aren't cool,) shtick that I've received after preventing a terrible thing from happening is truly sickening.

I've seen women who's habits and tastes are well known to me decide to get smashed and end up being led out the door by a man or men they would never even give the time of day to if they were sober.

I've called the cops to get women put in the drunk tank rather than leave with a dude I don't trust.

Several time under strong questioning I've seen a guy who professed to be the boyfriend of or the friend of a smashed women leave when the questioning started to go the wrong way. I've seen them run when asked if they are trying to rape a women.

I'm sure that women who were too smashed to consent to anything have slipped by me and been raped. That sucks, it's enough to make me unable to feel proud of saving anyone from a predator.

I wish people would not drink so much that they are unable to say yes or no or even understand what is happening to them.

I will talk to my daughter about using appropriate care while doing drugs but I know that isn't enough to keep her safe against all dangers. There are many shitty evil people out there and they are capable of terrible deeds.

mk  ·  1905 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Test

:D

StephenBuckley  ·  2057 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A better way to get to hashtags?

I think one of the goals of Hubski is to move away from the idea of content-based browsing and onto user-based browsing. The first is more likely to lead to the glorification of the masses and the second more likely to lead to... well, whatever you want, not whatever everyone wants.

For instance, on Reddit if you want to know about politics then you subscribe to r/politics and whatever makes it to the top there is what you're likely to see, regardless of whether or not it's good, original content or just whatever people have forgotten about for long enough that the repost is worth karma.

On Hubski, all I have to do to make sure I'm seeing interesting political dialogue is follow a user who seems active, intelligent, and focused on politics! Sure, I'll get some of his other posts as well, but they're more likely to be submissions which I'm interested in rather than what hundreds/thousands/millions of users are interested in.

I'm sure that over time some of the more popular users will end up basically being "subs" unto themselves, but the user-follow system is much more likely to please each person individually by avoiding democracy in favor of a sort of information-bubble.

steve13
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