Pro Bono


Researchers in Sweden provided the most compelling evidence that being gay or straight is a biologically fixed trait. Reviewing brain scans, researchers found that key structures in the brains of gay people resemble those in straight individuals but of the opposite sex.

For the most part, straight men have asymetric brains. The right hemisphere is slightly larger. Gay women were found to also have this asymetry. Meanwhile, gay men had more symetrical brains like those of straight women.

How do there findings relate to the transgender community?

Researchers unfortunately, have yet to extend their research to include transgender individuals.

Experts do agree on two crucial concepts: being transgender is not a choice and biological sex and gender identity are two different things. Labeled a psychiatric illness (“Gender Identity Disorder”) by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), transgender patients are not adequately covered by health insurance, which often denies them hormonal and surgical therapy, claiming they are non-covered cosmetic treatments.

In 2008, the American Medical Association House of Delegates passed a resolution for insurance to cover treatment of gender identity disorder in adolescents and adults. Unfortunately, many transgender patients continue to receive inadequate medical coverage and resort to buying hormones illegally and undergoing surgery in countries outside the United States where it is cheaper.

No one knows how many transgender people exist. Hopefully as more and more come to light, the public and political opinion will change toward them and treat them less like freaks and more like individuals who have grown up feeling isolated, ashamed and bullied.


As of recent, the biggest public figure to come out officially as a transitioning F to M is Chaz Bono ( Chastity Bono), daughter of Cher. Chaz’s decision to go public with his private struggle is extremely brave. His publicist said, “It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue …”.

Unlike most other transgender individuals, Chaz represents a small minority who has money and family support on his side. I do commend him for his willingness to go public with such a private matter.

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