Puberty Blockers

I’ve spent a lot of time (too much many would say) responding to YouTube comments from folks that support bans on puberty blockers, call them dangerous and even evil, and claim that there’s some wave or push for kids to start taking them. So, I went for a dive to find some information about what they are, how they are used, and what the side effects are, to make my responses more well-informed than just what I’ve gleaned from our Transistance coverage. I’ll eventually use this as a basis for a Puberty Blockers information page, but here’s what I found to start.

Puberty blockers are widely believed by the medical community to be safe and very helpful in the case of gender dysphoria, particularly in mitigating depression and suicidal ideation as patients grow into young adults. A quick google search on “Puberty Blockers” and reading the articles on the medical sites (like Mayo Clinic and Children’s Hospital St. Louis and many others) seems to provide decent evidence that they are safe when monitored regularly by doctors including bone density tests and supplements to ensure healthy bone development.

Lupron, a puberty blocker (that is commonly used in BC for gender dysphoria) was studied (and I assume has been used) as an alternative to surgical castration in male pedophiles because it blocks the release of testosterone. Hence the claims we hear that puberty blockers are used in chemical castration. However, it isn’t a one and done. It’s a shot administered every month and because of the decreased testosterone, patients reported significantly reduced pedophelic urges (as confirmed by polygraph tests). Info taken from the summary paragraph of this clinical trial: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00220350

I did find several spots saying there aren’t currently enough studies of long term affects, as well as the statement that drug companies are hesitant to submit data to the FDA due to the current political firestorm, which means there is more information out there that we don’t get to see because of this anti-trans wave.

I found this article of some females who took Lupron as a puberty blocker and had some nasty bone-related side effects. https://www.statnews.com/2017/02/02/lupron-puberty-children-health-problems/ But again, there isn’t evidence in this story that bone density was monitored and I suspect it’s cases like these that lead to the rigor around puberty blockers and bone density monitoring.

So, my conclusion:

  • Is it the “wild west” when it comes to puberty blockers? No
  • Do we know everything we need to know about long term affects? No
  • Is there enough evidence to label these drugs as “dangerous” (or “evil”)? No
  • Should these drugs be taken/administered with great care and regular monitoring and follow-up? Yes

Emily Kleckner
Founder & President
The Transverse

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Dartti!

It started with The Go-Go’s. I was ten and their debut album “Beauty and the Beat” came out and hit the radio. I LOVED “Our Lips are Sealed” and the few others on the airwaves. I loved their music but, I never really got into the albums. I’m not much of a music lister and I never really got into buying albums. Funny thing was, every time I heard one of their songs I knew, I would get this little voice in my head saying things like “you’re a bigger fan than this” and “they deserve better from you”. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This never happened with anyone else I listened to.

So, I would answer back, “what the hell does that even mean?” and “where is this coming from?” Did I listen? No. For decades I put up with this guilt trip I played on myself. To be honest, I don’t come to new music easily. Whenever I’m listening to music, I’m drawing (im a cartoonist) or I’m driving and all I want is familiarity. But, one day I decided to finally give The Go-Go’s their due respect. So, I put on Beauty and the Beat. It started strong with Our Lips are Sealed and How Much Moore. Great! But then I got into unfamiliar territory with Tonight, Lust to Love, and This Town.

If you’re not familiar with The Go-Go’s, these songs have a DARK tone. I wasn’t ready to hear this from a group I had always perceived as just cotton candy. I turned it off. I didn’t like what I heard. And that BOTHERED me. But why? Had I let them down? This hung on for a week, all the while I asked why this is bothered me. Shortly after, I saw on YouTube a trailer for their new documentary. I still admired the hell out of them so I watched it. It’s in this Jane Weidlin says how at their heart, their music is punk. PUNK! I needed to hear this. So I go back and start over.

From that moment, it was like hearing them for the first time and I LOVED it!. I couldn’t get enough. How do you listen to something so wrong? I was elated and felt fulfilled in becoming the fan that little voice told me I was. At this time I’m deep-diving into all their music and I’m learning all the lyrics. I love to sing but I’m too shy to do it in front of anyone so, I sing in the car alone. I’m embarrassed to admit that when I do, I pretend to be on stage singing. So, doing this to The Go-Go’s was no different. I was having a blast. But something happened. Organically. At some point, I realized that in my little singing fantasy, I’m a woman. This never happened. Ever. So, I paused and said, “what the hell is going on?” I couldn’t think of an answer so I put it out of my head.

It happen again later. And again, I asked myself the same question. Now I feel I should mention I was never raised in an environment that taught me being “gay” was bad. Because of this, it was easy for me to push it out of my mind, guilt-free. No questions asked. No asking “what’s wrong with me?” I would later realize this was something I did all my life and got very good at. I decided to go with it. It was fun. It made me feel good. It was harmless. It was really nice to escape into this fantasy. But it didn’t take long for it to become a detriment. It started to HURT to turn off the music. That’s when I said “OK! WHAT’S GOING ON?! Why does seeing myself like this make me so… HAPPY?” So happy. And it was around here I had what I call The Dream.

In it I was in a boutique. My wife, her friend, and (to keep the go-go’s theme strong) Jane Wiedlin were bringing me shoes to try on. And if it’s not clear, women’s shoes. I couldn’t get over how these made me feel. How beautiful. How… right. None of the women spoke but, there was a sense of inclusion, belonging… sisterhood. That it was ok to feel this way. And I knew, inherently that it wasn’t a cross-dressing thing. (something i have never done) It wasn’t a feeling of “it’s ok for a man to wear women’s shoes and clothes”. No. It was “it’s ok to BE a woman. To finally be YOU.” I woke from this with the most beautiful, warm feeling I have EVER felt. It was so real, it was palpable. And all I had to do was close my eyes and just FEEL it and live in that moment. But the worst part was to lay there for a period of about an hour and have that feeling just fade away into memory. It was painful. And again, “what the hell was THAT all about?”

The next days I had this internal dialogue about whether or not I should tell my wife. About a DREAM! I felt like I did something wrong and I had to come clean. I actually had a tug-of-war with myself on this. Eventually, I did. Out of the blue, I said, “hey, haha, want to hear a funny dream I had?” She said that seemed sweet and was happy I had such a nice dream. I felt like a great weight had been lifted. But it didn’t stop the thoughts. At this time I’m also starting to experience a few disconnections. Things that were heading to the same point I didn’t see at the time. First was my connection to the only two things I contributed to my masculine identity. My mustache and my pipe smoking. These things made me feel masculine. The only things. And, I wanted them. I really did. But the things that centered me were now growing distant.

I started to hate the way my mustache felt, looked, acted. I started to have thoughts of shaving it. Something I NEVER thought of before. Hell, my wife had never even seen me without it. How could I even consider it? And my pipe? It was a source of Zen-like meditation. I LOVED to sit on my porch and enjoy a bowl. Now, I couldn’t even bring myself to do it. And when I did, it didn’t feel right. The time between smoking went from days to months. All the while I asked myself why is this happening and why I was feeling this way about something I loved for over twenty years. Something that DEFINED me.

The other weird thing was one day I was sitting on a bench, people-watching. It became obvious to me that I was only watching men and that I had this expression on my face. One of disgust. It shocked me when I realized it but thought, “I see NOTHING of myself in these people. At all.” I have never been the manliest of men but I always felt I was a member of the club, if, for nothing else, by association. Not any more. And now I’m starting to panic. Why am I feeling this way? What does this mean? Am I trans? No, I’m not trans… how could I be? I’ve never had a trans thought in my life… That’s when I said “Oooooo-kay… past things all of a sudden make a hell of a lot more sense now…” I realized that all my life, I would play this game where if I saw a girl that had something I wanted, something feminine, I would say “gee, I would wear my hair like that… if I were a girl.” Or “I would wear makeup like that… if I were a girl.

But I’m not” and push it away. Then I said “SHIT! I’m still doing that NOW!” When growing up (70’s, 80’s), I NEVER saw anyone like me. And the biggest factor was, I LIKED GIRLS! If I ever saw any kind of trans representation it was always a flamboyant gay man transvestite. (always gay) If someone just told me I could be a cat-glasses and mom-jean-wearing woman that LIKES WOMEN… This began self-analyzation as I have never done before. Remember what I said about how I felt about keeping that dream from my wife? I was now having that same tug-of-war about telling my wife about THIS. And it’s WAR! A war between my heart and my brain.

My heart is saying “TELL HER!’ and my brain, “DON’T TELL HER!” Do I say something? How can I? How can I not? It all came to a bursting point on Father’s Day (and yes, im a father) of 2021. It’ was a little after midnight and I and my older son are still up. I say “I’m… I’m feeling restless. I think I’m going for a drive.” I NEVER do this. So, I got into my car, got out on the freeway, blasted my Go’Go’s playlist, and SANG! For over three hours, back and forth on the freeway. I have NEVER felt my heart breaking like that. I had resigned to burying this deep and I was dying for the woman I realized I was but could never be.

I was singing my swan song. I limped home, throat raw, and unable to keep my eyes open. I climbed into bed but I didn’t sleep. At all. It was about 7 am and I couldn’t take the war inside of me and the stomach knots. I got up and sat in the quiet. My wife got up about an hour later and immediately knew something’s wrong. She sat and asked if everything was ok. I squeaked out the most pathetic “yeah” I have ever said. Now she REALLY knows something is wrong. “What’s wrong?” she asked. Again, I squeaked “nothing.” If ever there was a time to tell a convincing lie, this was it. Then, after what HAD to be 30 of the most awkward seconds of silence, I had THE MOST out-of-body experience in my life.

I started to feel words come up my throat and they’re not the words I wanted. Again, my heart was saying “TELL HER!’ and my brain, “DON’T TELL HER! YOU’LL RUIN EVERYTHING!” I literally watched myself, totally on autopilot, say “I want to be a woman…” I looked over at her and her response was, “really?” I just spilled everything. And for an hour she listened. There is more nuance to this but, that’s when I, when Dartti began. And it all started with The Go-Go’s. Those five women allowed me to see me as MYSELF when it seems all other avenues from my sub-conscience to my conscience were blocked. It saw its “in” and took it.

They mean EVERYTHING to me. They’re like oxygen. I often wonder what I would say to them but, what does a captive say to their liberators? For nearly twenty years, I was slowly dying inside and couldn’t figure out why. I pushed people away and isolated myself. My emotions died as well. Except for anger, of course. I mastered being an island in a sea of people. I never fit. I never spent a single day comfortable in my clothes, my skin. Until now. Now, I’m Dartti. And I have never been happier.

My advice to you is don’t ignore the little voice in your head. And stop gas-lighting yourself. This is you we’re talking about. You really do know who you are.

✨ If you’d like to become one of the next spotlight’s please send us a message and we’ll send you a form for you to fill out x

📜 < Tags: #lgbtq🌈 #lgbt #lgbtqia #pride#transvengers #trans #transgender #transvisibility#transition #transisbeautiful #gendereuphoria#transwomen #transgirl #transfem #girlslikeus#wontbeerased

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Brendon!

Our newest spotlight from the southern United States the very handsome Brendon! (He/him/His)

Currently I am 19 years old, but when I was 15 years old I came out trans man! When I turned 16 I started taking testosterone, and just recently had my top surgery 3 months ago!! I love to play the ukulele and have an obsession with Disney World! In fact as I’m typing this right now I’m at Disney. I’m also a photography major in college!

My advice to anyone starting their transition is give things time. Don’t expect your life to become perfect as soon as you come out. It will get better, so as hard as it is, try to be patient. Especially if you are medically transitioning, make sure to be extra kind to your body.

IncrediblyTrans Spotlight Nina!

Id like to introduce this gorgeous spotlight Nina (She/Her) from the United States!

When i was little, about 4 to 6 years old, I believed that I was actually a girl! More than anything I wanted to be treated as one. I would came out of the shower using a towel on my head and another to cover my chess. At times I would wear my grandma’s powder “to do” or simulate my make up, trimmed my eyebrows and I was always singing songs of female singers. Growing up I always wanted to play with dolls. I remember always thinking, why I couldn’t wear the clothes, accessories, etc, or do what other girls would. I didn’t understand it!!!

Then I realized that those thoughts and behaviour started to bring me problems with the people that were supposed to love me the most and I quitted. Somehow I was able to hide it, or at least tried, for most of my life. I went through a lot of struggle during my childhood and adolescence. Just the though of me being like that was a hard thing to deal with. But I couldn’t help it! It was my nature, my essence, my very deep true self. I felt guilty most of my life until I started making peace with myself.

Having unchained my mind from others thought’s and expectations I decided to accept me and love myself first. I reset my brain and started to put my pieces together like a puzzle. Today, Im happier than ever because for the first time in my life I can proudly say: THIS IS ME!!!!

✨ If you’d like to become one of the next spotlight’s please send us a message on Instagram and we’ll send you an online form for you to fill out!

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All trans stories are valid

The Transgender show gets to the heart of what it means to be trans; navigating fear, self-acceptance, rejection, abandonment, physical changes, medical hurdles, and tough decisions, all amidst societal pressures and outright persecution.

Every week on The Transgender Show, Emily interviews members of the TGNBNC+ community as well as family members. Viewers will find comfort, encouragement, and growth throughout the program as Emily probes guests’ experiences, sharing in both their successes and challenges. It’s at times touching, at times heartbreaking, but always uplifting, and inspirational.

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