Trans kids do just fine if you let them, major study says

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Some things seem to be obvious but in the face of ignorance and hate it can’t hurt to lay out the scientific facts. That’s exactly what a study of trans- and cisgender kids recently did. And they found that that trans kids are indeed the same as any other kids.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers from the University of Washington’found no difference in gender expression between trans and cis kids.

“Trans kids are showing strong identities and preferences that are different from their assigned sex. There is almost no difference between these trans and cisgender kids of the same gender identity — both in how, and the extent to which, they identify with their gender or express that gender,” wrote lead author Selin Gülgöz.

More than 300 trans children aged between three and 12 took part in the study on gender development, the largest of its kind, along with 189 of their cisgender siblings and a further 316 cisgender control subjects.

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Murray Hall: The politician who broke 19th Century gender rules

emHistory & People 1 Comment

He was a hard-drinking, twice-married businessman and politician in 19th Century New York – but Murray Hall had a secret which was only revealed after his death.

Murray Hall had a reputation for hard living – drinking, smoking, playing poker and even brawling with a policeman. He also had an active political career and a business as a bail bondsman.

So far, so ordinary for a man at the time. But one aspect of his life remained a secret until he died from cancer in 1901. That was when it first emerged that Hall had been assigned female at birth.

It was later reported that he had been born in Govan as Mary Anderson. According to a source quoted by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, he began dressing as a male in his teens, then fled to America when his first wife disclosed his gender to the police. It was there that he took the name Murray H Hall, before marrying for a second time and beginning his business and political career.

Writer and archivist Mel Reeve said there had been a “huge backlash” in the media after his death. “People were very angry and felt like they’d been betrayed, but obviously he was just living his life how he wanted to – which was as a man,” she said.

Newspapers reported breathlessly on the events in articles which reflected some of the attitudes of the times. The New York Times, for instance, accused him of “masquerading” in male attire. It said Hall had a reputation as “a ‘man about town’, a bon vivant, and all-around ‘good fellow’.”

One senator described how Hall used to “hobnob with the big guns of the County Democracy” and said that he “cut quite some figure as a politician”. He added: “He dressed like a man and talked like a very sensible one.”

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Tumblr was sold, porn ban stays

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Rumours about Tumblr being sold were making the rounds for a few months now and many people hoped that a new owner might get rid of the site’s dumb porn ban that effectively killed the platform.

Alas it wasn’t supposed to be. PornHub, who promised to undo the porn ban if they manage to buy tumblr, let us down. After driving Tumblr into the ground, Verizon just sold the site for peanuts to Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. And they’re keeping the porn ban in place so Tumblr’s days of being a haven for the queer community, nsfw content creators and fandoms are definitely over.

Mr. Mullenweg said his company intends to maintain the existing policy that bans adult content. He said he has long been a Tumblr user and sees the site as complementary to WordPress.com. “It’s just fun,” he said of Tumblr. “We’re not going to change any of that.” — Wall Street Journal

In a statement made up of words that definitely mean something, Verizon characterised its sale of Tumblr as “the culmination of a thoughtful, thorough and strategic process” and called Automattic “the perfect partner” which “will unlock new and exciting possibilities for Tumblr and its users.”

LOL.

Update: Reportedly Verizon/Yahoo sold Tumblr for less than $3 million. We could have bought it with a GoFundMe. For comparison, Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Amazing how easy it is to burn a slick billion and destroy one of the biggest websites in the world just by banning porn.

Alan Turing will be the face of the Bank of England’s new £50 note

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The Bank of England has announced that Alan Turing’s will appear on British £50 notes starting 2021.

“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said. “As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

Turing was a computer scientist whose innovative thinking was integral to breaking Nazi codes during World War II. Despite his heroic deeds, he was deemed a criminal less than a decade after the end of the war when he was found guilty of having sex with a man. He was sentenced to chemical castration in 1952 and eventually driven to suicide.

“It’s important that we remember and recognise the impact of LGBT figures throughout history, so it’s great that Alan Turing will be the face on the new £50 bank note,” Kim Sanders, director of communications at LGBTQ+ rights organisation Stonewall in the U.K, said in a statement. “It’s vital that we celebrate LGBT history, which is often less visible, and make sure that we represent the diversity of those who paved the way before us.”

Years after his death, Turing’s early contributions to technology have become more fully embraced, materialising in a movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, an official royal pardon in 2013, and other accolades.

The Bank of England received 227,299 nominations after it put a call out for suggestions for a scientist that should be featured on the £50 note. Finalists included Ada Lovelace and Stephen Hawking. The photo of Turing will be a 1951 portrait, his signature from the visitor’s book at the famed Bletchley Park, where code breaking efforts were concentrated during the war, and a quote of his from a 1949 interview with the Times of London: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

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Lasting Marks

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The story of sixteen men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Thatcher’s Britain was told by the police, the prosecution and the tabloid press — but not by those in the dock.

Lasting Marks is the story of a group of men, brought together through their shared sexual desires, and the vice investigation (named ‘Operation Spanner’) that followed when the police acquired a video tape of these acts being performed, Lyne delves into a somewhat forgotten, historic case in this informative and engaging film.

Troye Sivan on being effeminate

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“I have to get comfortable with the fact that I am kind of effeminate sometimes–or really effeminate sometimes. That I want to paint my nails. Overcoming all those stupid rules that society embeds in you as a kid about gender and sexuality is a conscious task. I have almost exclusively LGBT people around me [now]. That instilled a sense of confidence in me. That I have every reason to be proud of who I am.”

Read the whole interview with Troye over here.

Ronan Parke just came out

emHistory & People, Music, Music & Dance 28 Comments

To the surprise of exactly no one Ronan Parke came out as gay in an interview with Attitude. While many people never harboured any doubt about him not being straight the singer and former Britain’s Got Talent finalist never talked about his sexuality in public.

It looks like his former label was not comfortable with the possibility of his orientation alienating teenage girls which they considered to be his target audience.  If that’s the case it would just once again show how disconnected major record labels like Sony are from reality. If anything, a queer heartthrob like Ronan would be even more of an idol for a generation that grew up on Tumblr and fanfiction.net.

“I remember trying to come out to my parents: I was young – I can’t remember how old I was, around 7 or 8 – and I went downstairs to the lounge and stood in front of the TV and got the remote and went ‘Mummy, daddy, I have something to tell you!’ All dramatic [laughs] And they just went ‘Yeah, yeah, we know, you’re gay’, and they just got the remote and unmuted the TV! I was like [dramatic gasp], ‘What?! But they just always knew. And after that, I just never had to [come out] to my friends. But I’ve always identified as a gay man and I’ve always been very proud to say it.”

Read the whole interview over here.