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Why We Love 7-Year-Old Transgender Activist, Avery Jackson, And Her Incredible Family

Why We Love 7-Year-Old Transgender Activist, Avery Jackson, And Her Incredible Family

Why We Love 7-Year-Old Transgender Activist, Avery Jackson, And Her Incredible Family

Posted: 05/21/2015 10:00 am EDT Updated: 05/21/2015 12:59 pm EDT

By Alex Temblador | The Next Family

via Why We Love 7-Year-Old Transgender Activist, Avery Jackson, And Her Incredible Family.

Debi Jackson gave an amazing speech on Avery’s transition that went viral. She counteracts the ignorant and hateful comments about transgender persons with humor and Bible verses.
Debi Jackson spoke on the “Listen to Your Mother Show” about Avery’s transition, a speech that got a lot of attention on YouTube. Her speech is honest and at times, humorous. More importantly, it shows the diversity of transgender families and the amazing love and support that any mother (and father) should show their children regardless of gender identity.

Church to Monitor BSA Policy Discussion

Church to Monitor BSA Policy Discussion

Church to Monitor BSA Policy Discussion

SALT LAKE CITY —

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded Thursday to an indication by the Boy Scouts of America of possible policy changes in relation to gay Scout leaders by issuing the following statement:

We have noted the comments by Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates in relation to possible policy changes in the Boy Scouts of America. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will, of course, examine any such changes very carefully to assess how they might impact our own century-long association with the BSA.

via Church to Monitor BSA Policy Discussion.

Epigenetic Control Offers a Rational Explanation

Epigenetic Control Offers a Rational Explanation

By Dr. Bill Bradshaw.

A recently published paper provides an important framework for understanding the biological mechanisms that are responsible for programming sexual orientation during embryonic development. The work is entitled “Homosexuality as a consequence of epigenetically canalized sexual development.” It was published in The Quarterly Review of Biology (Volume 87, No. 4, pp. 343-369, December 2012), by William R. Rice (U. California, Santa Barbara), Urban Friberg (Uppsala University, Sweden), and Sergey Gavrilets (U. Tennessee). The authors have reviewed a very large body of published experimental evidence about sexual orientation, including the hormonal control of brain development in male and female fetuses, and placed it in the context of the most recent knowledge of how the expression of genes is regulated.

For 50 years, data from animal experiments have pointed to the role of the group of steroid hormones called androgens (testosterone) in programming sexual differentiation. A simplified model of what was thought to happen is as follows: Males have an XY sex chromosome constitution. A gene, SRY, on the Y chromosome directs the embryonic gonads to form testes, which synthesize testosterone, which in turn programs development of the male genitalia, male brain, and male reproductive behavior. Femaleness has been regarded as the “default” program: in the absence of testosterone, the genitals, brain, and reproductive behavior (including sexual orientation) become female. The most recent, data, however, demonstrate that this model is incomplete. There are critical times in embryonic development, including humans, when the testosterone levels of male and female fetuses overlap. Moreover, studies at the molecular level show that different genes are being expressed in the two sexes even before the fetal gonads start producing steroids. Among the arguments made in their paper, Rice and his co-authors explain how there are biochemical mechanisms in males that boost/augment testosterone effects in males, and blunt/reduce those effects in females. This helps us understand why simple tests of the blood levels of steroids have not distinguished gay from straight people.

A large body of evidence supports the view that core sexual orientation is rooted in biology and is not the result of psychosocial influences (such as inadequate parenting). A good source for that information is Gay, Straight, And The Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, by Simon LeVay (Oxford University Press, 2012). That homosexuality has a genetic basis is clear from twin studies conducted in several countries. The degree to which two members of the same family are both gay increases as their genetic similarity increases; identical twins have a greater degree of orientation concordance than fraternal twins. But the concordance is not 100%. In the most recent public example, NBA basketball player Jason Collins has disclosed publicly that he is gay; his identical twin brother Jarron, apparently, is not. Those people who activated, leading to the production of proteins that determine the structure and function of that cell. This is a straight-forward concept we can all understand. A sperm fertilizes an egg, and cell division produces multiple copies of that first cell of the embryo. All of the descendant cells are genetically identical; their DNA content is the same. At some point, however, a group of cells follows a unique pathway and specializes to form a brain. Others follow different paths to generate a heart or a kidney. They do this because of epigenetics – complicated programs of genetic expression and silencing directed by the molecules that modify DNA or its molecular surroundings, thus determining whether genes are in a condensed, inaccessible and inexpressible state, or not. The same epigenetic mechanisms explain why one in a set of identical twins is gay and the other is not. Rice et al. demonstrate clearly how epigenetic control offers a rational explanation, consistent with a large number of known facts, for the development of a samesex sexual orientation in some individuals. It is known that the biochemical mechanisms that mark (or label) DNA epigenetically do so at specific times in development. At other times these marks are erased. Importantly, the normal introduction or erasing of epigenetic marks that occurs from one generation to the next can fail to take place. Based on these observations the authors propose that some male offspring can be feminized because of epigenetic alterations in the transmission of their mothers’ genes, and some female offspring can be masculinized because of epigenetic alterations in the transmission of their fathers’ genes. This important addition to the scientific literature not only provides a sound theoretical framework for understanding how sexual orientation originates, but will prompt laboratory researchers to carry out the additional, specific investigations that can validate its proposals. Empirical evidence continues to mount, demonstrating what we have always known from the personal experience of our LGBTQ family members: sexual orientation is not a choice, a temptation, a temporary pre-disposition, or any other inaccurate and uninformed assumption. New Insights into the Biological Origins of Homosexuality are critical of biological explanations for homosexuality, especially those who believe sexual orientation is amenable to change, through reorientation therapy and the like, invoke environmental influences to explain this lack of complete concordance. But Rice, et al. present the evidence that the explanation is, in fact, a biological one, an important principle called epigenetics.

The prefix epi- means on top of, or in addition to – in this case something in addition to the presence of DNA. Epigenetics refers to the well documented fact that gene expression in a cell of the embryo is not only dependent on the information encoded in a DNA molecule, but in the way that DNA is structurally packaged. The biochemical packaging determines whether a gene will remain silenced, like a light switch in the “off” position, or expressed; with the switch in the “on” position, a DNA sequence will be activated, leading to the production of proteins that determine the structure and function of that cell. This is a straight-forward concept we can all understand. A sperm fertilizes an egg, and cell division produces multiple copies of that first cell of the embryo. All of the descendent cells are genetically identical; their DNA content is the same. At some point, however, a group of cells follows a unique pathway and specializes to form a brain. Others follow different paths to generate a heart or a kidney. They do this because of epigenetics – complicated programs of genetic expression and silencing directed by the molecules that modify DNA or its molecular surroundings, thus determining whether genes are in a condensed, inaccessible and inexpressible state, or not. The same epigenetic mechanisms explain why one in a set of identical twins is gay and the other is not.

Rice et al. demonstrate clearly how epigenetic control offers a rational explanation, consistent with a large number of known facts, for the development of a samesex sexual orientation in some individuals. It is known that the biochemical mechanisms that mark (or label) DNA epigenetically do so at specific times in development. At other times these marks are erased. Importantly, the normal introduction or erasing of epigenetic marks that occurs from one generation to the next can fail to take place. Based on these observations the authors propose that some male offspring can be feminized because of epigenetic alterations in the transmission of their mothers’ genes, and some female offspring can be masculinized because of epigenetic alterations in the transmission of their fathers’ genes.

This important addition to the scientific literature not only provides a sound theoretical framework for understanding how sexual orientation originates, but will prompt laboratory researchers to carry out the additional, specific investigations that can validate its proposals. Empirical evidence continues to mount, demonstrating what we have always known from the personal experience of our LGBTQ family members: sexual orientation is not a choice, a temptation, a temporary pre-disposition, or any other inaccurate and uninformed assumption.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates Another Same-Sex Wedding, Gives A Special Shout-Out To The U.S. Constitution

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates Another Same-Sex Wedding, Gives A Special Shout-Out To The U.S. Constitution

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates Another Same-Sex Wedding, Gives A Special Shout-Out To The U.S. Constitution

The Huffington Post  |  By Paige Lavender

Posted: 05/18/2015 1:05 pm EDT Updated: 05/18/2015 1:59 pm EDT

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated a same-sex wedding over the weekend, and according to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, the Notorious R.B.G. gave a big shout-out to the U.S. Constitution.

via Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates Another Same-Sex Wedding, Gives A Special Shout-Out To The U.S. Constitution.

Mama Dragons

Mama Dragons

Need a Mama Dragon or want to become one?

Mama Dragons is a space of support for women navigating the waters of LGBTQ issues within their family or community. We strive to make this space free of judgment between members.

We strive to create a safe place for conversation and support for individuals regardless of their beliefs or participation in religious community.

We validate that this journey is one that requires humor, anger, patience, and love and honor each person wherever she is currently. All stages are to be simultaneously honored here.

Consequently, Mama Dragons is not the place for mocking, arguing, or attempting to convince anyone of anything.

Click here  to Mama Dragons…