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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. This worked waaayy better than I expected. The flowers I planted were early summer blooms so when they had run their course is about when the zinnias started taking off. I will definitely be purchasing this item again next year!! Did a full border and some in the Did a full border and some in the garden with this.

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Within TWO days I saw some sprouting already. I planted these late March NC all around the fence of my kitchen garden and have been in full bloom since May. Science and observation and reality should matter to everyone, and I hope they matter to you. And this chorus of opposition consists of none other than those most affected by this: That conversation has since elicited a variety of reactions: We, the undersigned trans women and trans-feminine individuals, are appalled at recent attacks on trans woman journalist Parker Marie Molloy published by Calpernia Addams and Andrea James on the Huffington Post and Boing Boing.

They display homophobia, transphobia, ignorance, dishonesty, and hatred throughout. We believe that these pieces should not have been published, and that they are not representative of the views of trans women as a community. Calpernia Addams and Andrea James do not speak for us. Addams and James have chosen to focus on an individual trans woman and personally attack her at length.

In reality, the conduct of RuPaul and others has been widely criticized by vast swathes of trans women. This is not a new critique that has only arisen due to a lack of experience among young queer trans women. It is a long-standing and well-supported objection, one which has been articulated by trans women of all ages and sexualities. Addams and James ignore this in favor of needlessly inflammatory rhetoric, a regressive defense of gay and lesbian transphobia, and unmitigated contempt for the gender and sexuality of queer trans women.

Their columns do not contribute to this discussion in any meaningful way. To the contrary, young trans women can offer a fresh and contemporary perspective to balance the traditional and stagnant views of those like Addams and James. Whatever decades of experience with trans issues that Addams and James have had, it has not served them well in these recent columns. Here, Addams has done exactly that. This is not a meaningful argument; it is only more of the same classic transmisogyny. This is, at a minimum, inconsistent. Contrary to James, we do not accept that drag performance is itself a valid excuse for cisgender people to use transmisogynist slurs.

Such a rationale is nonsensical. When a word becomes so closely associated with open hostility toward a marginalized group that it is widely considered a slur by the group it targets, this is not itself a justification to continue using this word. It is rather obviously a compelling reason not to use it. Cis people using transmisogynist slurs are not violating a taboo when the use of such slurs is already broadly accepted among cis people. Most of society does not consider it taboo to refer to trans women in these terms — there is no taboo to break.

Cisgender male drag queens are assigned male at birth, and they neither consider themselves to be women nor live as women in their everyday lives. Unlike trans women, they are not the ones who regularly face the consequences of widespread transphobia and transmisogyny, and they are not confronted with the fallout of normalizing transmisogynist slurs.

This transphobia is no more excusable — it is equally deserving of scrutiny. We do not share this belief. Elitism and exclusion of queer trans women from queer culture. We believe that trans women have every reason to be angry at the mass media legitimization of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender men, and we question the value of learning from this culture or participating in it, let alone building upon it. It is no point of pride to tolerate a transphobic culture. We ask that Calpernia Addams and Andrea James refrain from publishing further columns exhibiting this variety of homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, misgendering, ageism, and unwarranted hostility toward other trans women.

We further ask that Huffington Post, Boing Boing, and other outlets refuse to give a platform to any columns endorsing such prejudice, whether by Addams and James or by others. This letter will be updated regularly. Guest post by Trinity Pixie. My previous post, Green , which I presented without comment, was actually a piece of creative nonfiction. I lived in a place somewhere between rural and suburban. Many houses, few businesses, no public transit.

There was a convenience store about a mile and a half away, a grocery store about ten, and in between were a number of people who would likely recognize me from pre-transition — many of whom were happy to attack me previous to transition, without the excuse of queerness thrown in. I was explicitly not invited to family functions, and forbidden from telling anyone, even my siblings, of my trans status.

I had access to medication and health care used as a bargaining chip, was told that I was faking the severity of my disability. I had my own father threaten me with physical harm and make me fear for my life, all the while being told I was the one harming the family. My parents are atheists.

They have used labels like secular humanist to define themselves. The reasons, the arguments they would use to defend what they did, how they treated me, are secular. They are also just as valid as any secular arguments against abortion , so why is it that a leader of the secular movement will acknowledge those arguments, but not acknowledge my parents? Why are you comfortable with violations of the rights of cis women, but not with people like my parents? Who believe slavery should have been a state-by-state issue, and have a secular argument for that.

You need to ask yourself: Trinity Pixie is a member of the Secular Woman advisory board. The past few years of my life have featured various events that repeatedly force me to update significant parts of how I understand myself. I used to see little purpose in life and no path forward for myself, until I created an ongoing open-ended project to direct my energies toward, and coincidentally slid into utter femininity in a matter of months. Then I started HRT and gained the perspective to see just how awful, how suffocating, how unbearable things were before — and how it brought me to a place where I was finally a happy, functional person who truly loved life.

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Many of my writings should be considered mostly obsolete for that very reason. I thought I had fixed this. I thought I had found the answer — the reason why I had felt so pervasively uncomfortable for all of my life, and the solution that did what nothing else could and actually made everything better. I thought I was in the clear to check that off as decisively handled.

I was wrong about having fully understood the nature of my problems. And I was wrong about the extent to which transitioning could adequately address them. My dysphoria feels like depression. Other people had to tell me. I did my best to convey how this felt for me:. Many trans people told me that this article resonated strongly with them; some said it was as if they were reading what could have been their own journal.

Others pointed out that there was substantial overlap between what I described, and the symptoms of depression. To show a connection between these experiences and gender dysphoria, I had to rely on one key point: I figured all I could do was ignore it as much as possible and focus on whatever positives I could find — I gave up hope of ever truly fixing this. I saw these things as two parallel lines, each progressing on their own path but never intersecting.

So it came as a surprise when these two things began to interact: I started HRT in , and almost immediately felt free of all the crushing negativity for the first time in my life. Thus, I learned to recognize dysphoria. I did not learn to recognize depression. Around the end of , I started experiencing what seemed like the same thing all over again:. Because I had previously associated these feelings with dysphoria, my first guess was that all of this had to be linked to gender-related factors.

So that was where I started: Was it my recently-adjusted progesterone dose? I switched back to my previous dose — but the relief was only temporary.

Zinnias for Alicea: 23 Short Stories Exploring Relationships Between Men and Women

Surgeries, obviously, are not quite so accessible or easy to experiment with. I was starting to get scared. Things were fine before. That just sounds really abstracted, though. She started a new life with me, in a place where everyone knew me as a woman. She let me know that starting hormones would make me even more desirable in her eyes, not less. It sounded familiar to her, and she raised the possibility of depression. My next, even more desperate question: I only go to my gynecologist for HRT and the associated check-ups and blood monitoring. Trans people have often found that when they seek care for any sort of illness, their doctors advise them to discontinue HRT regardless of whether their current health problem has any connection to this.

This issue is more than anecdotal: We do, so seeking care can be a difficult thing to contemplate. So I went with the option that we already knew the most about. To me, he seemed like the best bet. Outness is a risk factor for refusal of service: Fortunately, all of this turned out to be a non-issue. He asked how I was feeling, and I told him everything — the way that life had somehow become unbearable for no apparent reason, and the dread I felt at having to face every single day.

Everything he said gave me the impression that he understood this well. We worked out a balance of which medication would be both affordable and effective for me, and ended up settling on his first recommendation — something he felt would give me more energy. People widely regard being trans as an undesirable existence. This urge to avoid the possibility of transness manifests as a staggering variety of excuses and denials. The cis people around us, often our parents and relatives, may claim that our gender-related feelings can instead be explained as a product of:.

These are all things that trans people have actually reported hearing from various cis people, and this is not an exhaustive list. Given the prevalence of these creative explanations, trans people in search of reasons to doubt their own transness have ample opportunity to seize on them as well.

But this fervent effort to locate any possible alternatives to transness extends beyond the poorly-informed folklore of laypersons. Under his direction, this program has subjected children to a form of reparative therapy to discourage them from being trans or questioning their gender. He posits that their desire to live as another sex is instead largely rooted in family issues:. First, he thinks that family dynamics play a large role in childhood GID—not necessarily in the origins of cross-gendered behavior, but in their persistence.

Wishing to be a girl will only make you unhappy in the long run, and pretending to be a girl will only make your life around others harder. Whatever conflicts or issues that parents have that prevent them from uniting to help their child must be addressed. He points out that the burden of living as the opposite gender is great, and should not be casually embraced. Failure to intervene increases the chances of transsexualism in adulthood, which Zucker considers a bad outcome. For one, sex change surgery is major and permanent, and can have serious side effects. Why put boys at risk for this when they can become gay men happy to be men?

Alice Dreger, a bioethicist who previously compared gender-questioning kids to children who unseriously pretend to be train engines , promotes a similar idea.

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Dreger likewise depicts transitioning as undesirable, and endorses alternatives where possible:. Sex-changing interventions are nontrivial. They involve substantial physical risk, including major risk to sexual sensation, and a lifelong commitment to trying to manage hormone replacement. And the clinician who tries to get a gender dysphoric kid to learn to like her or his innate body really is a Nazi?

What if a boy could go to school in a dress and still be a boy? As a trans woman, my diagnosis of depression exists within the context of these widespread attitudes. Commonplace medical practices reflect this overabundance of caution, something which became all the more striking when compared to my recent experiences. Unlike in , I did not need to find one of the few therapists in a city of millions who would evaluate me and provide a lengthy referral letter for treatment.

Instead, I was able to go to the same doctor as the rest of my family, and soon found myself sitting in an exam room full of detailed posters about depression and the drugs that might help.

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Within 30 minutes, I walked out with a prescription in hand. Trans people are often asked to consider whether they may just be depressed cis people — but depressed cis people are rarely asked to consider whether they might be trans. What am I supposed to make of that? And what will others make of it?

For one, there is no reason why gender dysphoria and other mental illnesses should be seen as mutually exclusive. For that matter, neither does childhood bullying, sexual abuse, autism, and so on. Those also make me feel pretty terrible, but it would be absurd to claim that only one of these is responsible for the entirety of my physical pain.

Does it seem at all realistic that there would be no occurrence of depression among trans people? People sometimes get depressed, and trans people are people. Scientific studies confirm, rather predictably, that gender dysphoria and depression can coexist. A study of trans people found that they experienced psychiatric conditions at a rate similar to cis people:. In fact, the incidence of reported psychiatric problems is similar to that seen in the general population. Similarities in incidence included depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

And a study found comparable levels of mental health conditions in people diagnosed with gender dysphoria:. Mood disorder was the third most frequent 1. Furthermore, studies of trans people undergoing medical transition have consistently confirmed that these procedures are significantly helpful in addressing the symptoms of other mental health conditions, and increase our general well-being.

Hormone therapy, in particular, stands out as a key factor in reducing levels of distress. A study followed 57 trans people before and after HRT and genital reassignment surgery, and found that starting HRT was associated with a marked decrease in depression and anxiety:. Significant decreases were found in the subscales such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal sensitivity, and hostility. Furthermore, the SCL scores resembled those of a general population after hormone therapy was initiated. Another study of 70 trans people examined their self-reported stress and their blood levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.

Being on HRT was linked to a reduction in perceived stress levels and cortisol awakening response:. At enrollment, transsexuals reported elevated CAR; their values were out of normal. They expressed higher perceived stress and more attachment insecurity, with respect to normative sample data. And in another study of trans people, initiation of hormone therapy was associated with reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety:. A study tracking trans people before and after hormone therapy found that their levels of depression, anxiety, and functional impairment were much lower after HRT:.

And a study of 67 trans people found that those who received HRT had a higher quality of life , reduced depressive symptoms, and better self-esteem:. After adjusting for age, gender identity, educational level, partnership status, children at home, and sexual orientation, hormonal therapy was an independent factor in greater self-esteem, less severe depression symptoms, and higher psychological-like dimensions of QoL psychological well-being and taking care of oneself of the SQUALA.

These studies suggest that the relief of depressive and anxious symptoms I experienced upon starting HRT was not something I only imagined — it is a phenomenon that has been repeatedly observed among many other trans people.

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Conversely, those trans people who did not receive HRT were noted to have higher levels of these depressive and anxious symptoms. For trans people who are depressed, treatment for depression is not a substitute for transitioning — it is an additional treatment for an additional condition. If anything, I know that the experience of transitioning has put me in a far better position to handle a challenge like depression. Eventually, I took a more proactive stance, realizing that it would be better to avert those changes as early as possible. And when I finally started transitioning, I was astonished that I had been missing out on the mental benefits of HRT for so long.

What I learned was: As soon as I recognized that I was likely experiencing depression, I made an appointment — there was simply no good reason to put it off. The sooner I received treatment, the sooner I could start getting better. Transitioning taught me what it was like to feel truly good for the first time in my whole life.

And this contrast showed me that what came before, the fog of constant unease and dissatisfaction and emotional numbness, was not normal. I knew I had to do something to fix this. As I described it to my doctor: Transitioning, quite simply, improved me. It made me into a more confident, capable, perceptive, outgoing, and overall emotionally well-rounded person. And it made me realize that I matter. At last, I love the person I am, the face I see in the mirror, the mind that can finally work at its full strength.

Transition made me care about myself, and now I know that I deserve the best in life. Heather says that my mood is more like that of when I first transitioned. And it does feel like that. I once described HRT as like running my consciousness through a noise removal filter, and my antidepressants seem to have a similar effect.