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Monday, 7 September 2015

TED Talks- on transgender identity and experience

There are a number of inspirational and thought provoking talks on the transgender identity and experience as part of the online TED Talks series at www.ted.com.
In his talk, How I help transgender teens become who they want to be, Norman Spack outlines the importance of modern techniques early intervention to delay puberty to give teens time to decide who they want to be.

Alice Dreger asks is anatomy destiny? and discusses her work with people at the edge of anatomy, such as conjoined twins and intersexed people, and wonders why, despite the evidence, the medical profession is still fixated on binary either/or concepts of sex and gender, and for whose benefit?

Transgender pageant queen and model Geena Rocera tells why I must come out after keeping her birth-assigned sex a secret from her colleagues and even her agent for years, “not because I thought what I am is wrong,” she says, “but because of how the world treats those of us who wish to break free.”

On the TED talks blog site, a series of 7 talks on the transgender experience to celebrate International Transgender Visibility Day on March 31st features talks by speakers from across the tg spectrum, including retired ex-CIA employee Alice Miller, model Geena Rocera and documentary film-maker Fox Fisher on how his own transition helped to kickstart a mission to help tell the unique stories of gender-variant people. 
Other talks are by Valentijn De Hingh, who has rejected the idea of the binary gender divide to become comfortable with her identity, the founder of Sirius XM satellite radio, Martine Rothblatt, and a fascinating talk by scientist Kate Stone, which isn’t primarily about gender (which she considers the least interesting thing about her) but is a demonstration of the various applications and toys she builds from conductive inks. Watching this, and struck by Stone’s obvious joy and enthusiasm for her work when she demonstrates a handful of music making apps, including a full functional DJ deck on a printed card, my first thought was “I want one of those.” And the second one was “I want her job”.

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