The Biology of the Transgender Self

I do not study Epigenetics nor am I scientist. I am an author, Ontologist, and teacher. What I have written is based on what I understand from my research and might have a few flaws, but on the whole I believe it is true to fact. The lesson below is a part of my new book in progress called Sexual Fluidity and Gender Revolution.

 The Biology of the Transgender Self

Knowledge of self, awareness of self and the ability to communicate in some manner the awareness of self are all a loose definition of consciousness. In the study of beingness we often use the phrase I am I, I am the self, the awareness indicating our consciousness. I do not believe our brain and body rule our consciousness singularly, but understanding that brain is directing actions and that mind or consciousness is both and yet not of both is important to unravel the mystery of self.

In the case of a transgender individual (and there are more than binary transgender{s})self is the same, perhaps a bit confusing being caused by the mix signals emitted by a binary society that has labeled all bodies as male or female. Gender identification and self are as individual as our fingerprints. Gender begins in utero during the first trimester. But before we get to the birthing of a transgender person we must understand how the basis of all life determines how our brain will come to work and perhaps perceive.

It all starts with DNA. DNA is the chain of links in our body that tell cells how they are to behave. It tells cells if they will be eyeballs, skin, noses and more. The DNA sequence never changes, but the activity of DNA can radically and perpetually change. The genes tell the cells we grow to behave like our parents, they are our inheritance.

Life in our cells is biodegradable and breaks down and must be rebuilt. The NA does not breakdown or change. There is so much DNA in the cells that it becomes entangled in knots. External factors can change how these DNA knots are formed. These knots are like small machines making many things happen within a cell, connecting paths, constructing things all making life occur.

If everything breaks down daily in our cells how do we remember past one day? The DNA must remember some how. We know the DNA sequence does not change if it did our body would be growing new extra parts like a new ear or lips. Think of the knots a DNA memory. The knots change shapes. And event in life can change how these DNA knots perform.

An event in life can change how the DNA knots act. In an intense childhood event, stress hormones flood our brain. These hormones don’t change the DNA sequence but they do change the part of DNA with the guidelines on how to reduce stress. This piece of DNA gets tied up in a knot and the dumb builder machines can’t read the instructions for building stress control and reduction devices. This is happening on a, minuscule level while on the larger scale you are loosing the ability to reduce stress. This is how the DNA is able to remember the past and affect our actions and emotions.

To The Birthing

An inseminated egg grows into a baby. The DNA process requires thousands of decisions to be made. Different decisions come at different time during a pregnancy, should a cell become a heart cell, brain cell, or a blood cell?

These same DNA workings happen in other parts of the body. The forerunner to the genitals transforms into either male or female. This happens in the first trimester of pregnancy. The precursor brains transform into male or female in the second trimester of pregnancy.

The scientific working model that in the womb is that the area of the genitals transformed one way while the brain transformed another way. The brain is giving the transgender person an innate sense of who they are. We know that the male and female brains are different, think, and relate differently.

The sense of self is not seated in the genitals but rather in the mind in the consciousness. If the brain is saying I am female then the person is female, the same for male. The genitals do not determine gender.

Science is beginning to understand how the hormones trigger the formation of these DNA knots. For instance the hormones connected with the thyroid transcribe and tell the DNA how to use the codes (tell the knot machines how to rebuild cells each day). HRT gives the DNA instructions to cells to reduce hair growth or start growth etc. Neither hormones nor body changes create the transgender self.

The self is seen and develops out of our emotional reactions to relationships with our environment, parents, and growing sense of reflection of life. The growth of a transgender consciousness must wade through dual response. The conflict between and inner knowing and what they were told to believe about their body and gender. In a world that has been steeped in binary ideals and labeling since Adam there is a long phylogenetic history to over come.

© Suzanne Deakins                                                                                                                         from Sexual Fluidity and Gender Revolution


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