Welcome to Debbie Ballard's Transgender Information Site.

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When I was growing up, I knew I was a girl inside, and I hated being forced to be with the boys. I also had two cousins who had similar feelings. This may have been genetic (androgen insensitivity syndrome) or environmental (miscarriages were a problem for the family so their mothers took DES).

Until I was 6, I just played with the girls. Sure the boys made fun of me, but I didn't care. I had my friends, and they were girls, and I liked it that way.

However, my grandfather wasn't so tolerant. In church I would hang out with the girls, play with the dolls, rock the baby doll to sleep, play in the "kitchen" in the nursery. It was summer and I was wearing shorts, I was 4 years old and my hair was a little longer than usual. 

The teacher said "Woody, you have such a wonderful granddaughter, thank you for bringing her."

Grandpa decided he would "fix" the problem by shaving my head with sheers and no guard. It pull my hair and cut into my scalp, and I screamed the entire time. It was terrifying. The whole time he was telling me "Your NOT a GIRL, you ARE a BOY, and I will MAKE you LOOK like a boy if I have to shave your head to do it."

After he did that 5 or 6 times, I was 6 years old. I told my mother "I want to be a girl". Grandpa had terrorized me into never saying I AM a girl. My mother hoped that I would grow out of it. She let me dress like a girl for about 2 days and then I had to stop, because Dad didn't like it.

My other two cousins were having similar issues. Their parents were also not supportive.

When cousin David got by a car while riding his bike, Grandpa sent a preacher to "Minister" to David. The pastor told David that he was an ABOMINATION for wanting to be a girl, and that the pain and suffering he experienced as a result of the accident were "God's Punishment" and that Hell would be so much worse.

All three boys were bullied, attacked regularly, because they were so feminine that they couldn't hide it, even when they tried very hard.

David was the first to go. When he was 11 years old, he gave himself a shot of the stuff they use to put dogs to sleep. He had held the dogs when his father put them down. He knew how much to use based on his weight. He knew he would get calm, then sleepy, then die. He wrote his note AFTER giving himself the shot.

Mark, the other cousin, not only had a very strict and religious father, but also had a big brother who was a horrible bully. He preferred to play with his sisters, but his father insisted that he play with the bully. Mark hated it.

Mark was 14 years old. He had told his parents he wanted to be a girl, and they took him to a psychiatrist who put him on sedatives and lithium, "For Depression". Little was known about Gender Dysphoria back then.

Mark took the pills, 2 every 15 minutes for 3 hours, then he chugged down a bottle of liquor. The combination of the Lithium and the alcohol caused his liver to pump his bloodstream with formaldehyde. He wrote his note as he began to get sleepy. He fell asleep in his locked room, chair propped against the door, and was found several hours later when they had to break the door down.

I was 11 when I noticed changes. Rather than try to kill myself right away, I tried to castrate myself. I poured boiling water on them, I tied them with rubber bands to cut off circulation, I even used a board and a large hammer to try to crush them. I even tried cutting myself with an Ex-acto knife. I realized I would never be able to do it myself. At school, when the boys got violent, I'd let them kick me between the legs, hoping this time, the doctor would HAVE to remove them.

When I was 15 years old, I found out that I had a bass voice. I could struggle with being almost six feet tall, but I couldn't accept this. I turned to drugs and alcohol, tried several times to overdose. I walked in front of cars and trucks, careful not to cause an accident in the process. I drank on 40 milligrams of Valium I had received for Epilepsy (misdiagnosis of the drug withdrawals), and had also taken 10 mg of Clor-tremeton.

I must have tried at least a hundred times to end my life over the next few years. Somehow, I always managed to survive in spite of my best efforts. Often it was miraculous. I even drank a pint of liquor after taking Antabuse that morning. It should have killed me but a neighbor girl talked me through it, threatening to call 911 if I fell asleep or hung up.

Today, I realize that I am the product of thousands of miracles, surviving injuries and overdoses that should have killed me a hundred times or more. My mother had survived Polio, my father had survived Asthma. I would have been a miscarriage if my mother hadn't taken DES. I should have died of a dozen diseases, including a few that almost DID kill me.

I realize that maybe God wanted me to survive, and tell my story, so that maybe I could help others avoid the horrors of being gaslighted, tortured, and abused.

Gaslighting, Conversion Therapy, and other forms of denial aren't just harmful to someone emotionally, it can be FATAL!

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Many conservatives feel that granting civil rights to people of color, or LGBTQ people, is giving them "Special Rights", rights that others do not have.  The reality is that Civil Rights are the same rights that most people, especially middle class white Christian males simply take for granted.

These Civil Rights are spelled out in the Constitution of the United States, is the amendments known as the "Bill of Rights" as well as the 14th Amendment.

These first 10 Amendments were so much a part of the constitution that many states refused to ratify the Constitution unless the Bill of Rights was included.  These rights were spelled out explicitly because these were things that the British Military and the British Business owners had done to the people of the United States.

Prior to the end of the Revolutionary War, the British regularly seized people's homes (Hamilton lost his home to a British General), and the British Navy routinely kidnapped men to crew naval ships.  Crews were subjected to cruel and unusual punishments that included flogging, being hung by the arms from the yard-arm, being keel-hauled, and worse.

Companies sympathetic to the Crown were often given goods and raw materials seized from reluctant providers, with the business owners acting as if they WERE the government.  Of course, slavery was quite common, especially throughout the south. However, a slave who was freed could be captured by men who captured runaway slaves, since they didn't have an owner, they could be sold, usually somewhere far from the master who set them free, and be forced back into a life of slavery.

The fundamental principle of the "Bill of Rights" is that the rights of individuals supersedes the rights of the Federal Government, the rights of States, and the rights of Businesses or organizations, including religious organizations.

The First Amendment is a very broad and comprehensive one.  It guarantees freedom of Religion, but more importantly the freedom FROM religion.  You have the right to worship in the way you choose, and you cannot be forced to worship as someone else chooses.  This goes back to the purges done by the Church of England and Bloody Mary, and before that the witch trials that often involved torture, forced confession, and naming other innocent people targeted by people in power. Names given under extreme torture.  We'll cover this more in the Fifth Amendment.

The other aspect was freedom of expression, this included freedom of speech, freedom of press to publish, even freedom of expression in the form of fashion, dress, and mannerisms.  Adams, the New England conservative Vice President, and Jefferson, the French Diplomat turned Secretary of State, both had a role in Washington's cabinet.  Ben Franklin's key role in getting the help of the French was due to his peculiar sense of fashion and ability to communicate and negotiate with the King of France through the mistresses of both Franklin and King Louis.  Adams considered it deplorable, Jefferson became even more artful at negotiating with the French.

Keep in mind that the First Amendment also prevents a church or members of a religion from organizing criminal activities.  For example, a preacher can't demand a witch trial of a non-member so his parishioner can seize the land of the condemned witch.  In fact, churches are barred from committing criminal acts, such as Quakers helping slaves escape.

Therefore, you don't get to use "Religious Freedom" to engage in criminal acts against someone who is perceived to be gay, transgender, or lesbian.  For example, a Christian Doctor doesn't have the right to refuse life-saving therapy.   Even if you have a verse in your Bible that says gay people should be killed, any form of attack or violence could subject not only the attacker to punishment, but also the preacher as a conspirator.

The Second Amendment protects the right to form organized militia.  This INCLUDES the right of those in that militia to own and bear arms, ranging from small arms like pistols and rifles to artillery and even explosives.  Keep in mind that in much of the country, there were no formal police forces, because the Federal Government was not allowed to simply invade a city and take control.  Individuals needed to be able to have weapons to protect themselves from animals, natives, and looters.  The concept of self defense is also a critical element of this right.

On the other hand, the Second Amendment is also tied to the concept of a "Well Organized Militia".  Meaning that men who aren't well disciplined, such as a man getting drunk and shooting someone in the bar, would still be subject to the full penalties of the law for murder.  Furthermore, if someone is consistently a drunkard, he is not "Well Disciplined" and therefore forfeits his right to deadly weapons.  In the time of the early Constitution, taverns were permitted to have patrons, especially those with a history of being not well disciplined, surrender their weapons while they were in the tavern, and to refuse to return them if the drunken man was obviously violent.  They could pick it up the next day.

The Third Amendment says that the military can't just invade your property in peace time, and even in time of war, the homeowner has the right to compensation as well as reembursement for damages.  This also means that a soldier doesn't get to be rude and obnoxious, stealing food, clothing, or raping the owner's daughter.  This is a blurry distinction, Sherman's skirmishers were violating this right.

The Fourth Amendment is a big one for the LGBT community, especially for Transgender people.  Imagine being forced to drop your pants to show not only your penis but the exact size of your penis, at any time on the demand of even a janitor or building worker.  Imagine a male mall cop going into the women's bathroom, pulling your wife out of the bathroom, and then pulling down her pants and underwear in full view of others to confirm that she is female?  Imagine the male guard pulling you out of the bathroom to see if you are "Big enough" for the men's room.  Imagine your most personal secrets, your sexual practices with you wife, your purchases, and any personal information, were made public simply because someone thought it mind be funny?

The second Amendment says you have a right to privacy of your body, as well as your personal affects, and even your personal history.  The only time such disclosures, searches, or examinations are permitted are when the case has been presented to a judicial authority and the judge is convinced that you have collected information through legally authorized channels and methods that shows that you have probable cause for such an invasion of privacy.  Even then, the disclosure can only be made public if the defendant requests a public trial.  The founding fathers considered privacy very important.

More importantly, investigators don't get to go on a fishing expedition.  For example, they can't make random checks of anyone entering the bathroom, and they can't get a warrant to search your house for whatever they might happen to find.  If they want to look for drugs, then even if they see your dress in the closet, they can't disclose that information.  If they get a warrant to check your e-mail for classified messages, they can't publish your personal messages, or even use them in court.

The Fifth Amendment is usually known for the part about not being tortured into confessing to a crime you may not have committed.  Police try hard get around this one, but there are some pretty strict rules on what they can and can't do.  Something even more important is the "Due Process" clause. "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."    Later amendments go into details on what constitutes Due Process.

Here's the beginning of Due Process - the 6th Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Charging a transgender person with a criminal act for using the bathroom would require that all of those in the bathroom at the time in question be called as witnesses, and might even be required to testify for the defense.  if a transgender person is accused of sexual assault by one woman, and all of the other women say they didn't even notice either of them, the pretense of "protecting women" would nullify the case.

The Eighth Amendment is another biggie.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

For the LGBT community, this is a big issue.  Many LGBT people are subjected to cruel and unusual punishment every day as they are growing up.  Imagine going to school every day knowing that a dozen or more boys, most bigger than you, would be hitting you, kicking you, for 15 to 20 minutes each time, 3-5 times a day.  Imagine the terror of having to walk to school every morning, knowing that you experience this pain and suffering.  Then imagine that between beatings, you were threatened verbally, whispers from others in your class.  Imagine coming home in pain, going to the doctor, and being hospitalized because the bruises on your stomach and back have made the doctor worry that you have had internal organ damage.  Imagine having to explain the beatings at school to the doctor, then imagine the school trying to deny it.

Many transgender girls, while still pretending to be boys, are presumed to be gay boys.  Most of the bullying and violent attacks that happen to pre-tranisition girls also happen to feminine gay boys as well, or boys who out themselves thinking that there is a mutual interest.  Just being PERCEiVED as gay can trigger violence.  No due process at all.

Imagine being the parent of this child, knowing that they will never be "one of the boys".  You've watched your child grow, bu they isolate themselves, avoid boys their own age, and the only time they seem to be really happy is with their are hanging out with the girls, the OTHER girls.  You know she's a girl inside, and yet she is so terrorized by the boys she is forced to play with, who bully her, that she is terrified to say anything.

Keep in mind that "Bathroom Bills" like HB2 are treating transgender women like vicious violent criminals and rapists, for going pee in the restroom that draws the least attention.  Using teh bathroom that matches the gender assigned at birth by someone who has transitioned could be a violation of the 4th, 5th, and 8th Amendments.

Think about it.  A transgender woman spends 1 year getting Real Life Experience before starting hormones.  They have to live and socialize in their true gender.  Initially, they may only live as a girl during the evenings and weekends, usually for 4-6 months.  By the time they are going out in public regularly or going to school, they look, act, walk, talk, and in every other way live as girls or women.  With hormones, they can very quickly develop very noticeable breasts, made even more so by a padded bra, often only lightly padded, like any other girl going through puberty.

Now, imagine a young girl, 13-16 years old, with 36-C breasts, make-up, curves, and long hair and make-up, looking as pretty as the other girls in the school, and she required to not only use the boy's locker room, but is also required to shower with the other boys.  Imagine the unpleasantness.  Keep in mind that the Puberty blockers will shrink what was probably already very small to begin with, making her look even more like a pretty girl in a shower room full of horny teen-age boys?  If she's a straight girl, she's probably enjoying the view of one or two of the boys, but there are some things a teen age girl just doesn't need to see.  And of course, the boys get to see the teeny weeny weeny - along with big beautiful breasts - talk about an invasion of privacy.  Keep in mind that most states don't allow Gender Confirmation Surgery until she's 18.

There's that "special bathroom", that can be over a mile walk to leave one class, go to the designated bathroom, then try to get back to the next classroom, all in 10 minutes or less.  And of course, this makes it even more obvious that they are different in some way, making them targets for even more bullying.  More cruel and unusual punishment.

Of course, those of us who have experienced this kind of harassment have an understanding of the frustration for people of color.  Yes, we have the ability to try to hide I could almost pass as a boy, and almost always be just another girl in the crowd, while people of color have no way of hiding their skin tone.  The doctor or lawyer or engineer can be pulled over for "Driving While Black", and standing on a street corner waiting for an Uber can be enough to result in an unwarrented "Stop and Frisk".

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President Obama did exactly what the Constitution of the United States REQUIRES him to do. In this case, states have opted to revoke the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th amendment rights of transgender students.

Forcing a transitioning transgender student to shower and go to the bathroom with boys forces them to be exposed to cruel and unusual punishnment. Even a pre-transition boy often experiences severe beatings, whippings, and sexual assaults, for being so "Girly" or being a "Sissy".

Keep in mind that a transgender girl who is anywhere near the age of puberty is practically begging her doctor to block the production of testosterone, to chemically castrate them. Even though the medications will shrink their genitals by up to 75%, transgender girls hate their "boy bits" and would have them removed in a heartbeat if the laws allowed it. Medical guidelines force transgender girls to wait until their 18th birthday. Under special circumstances, they can have GRS at 16.

If the GOP wants to have a discussion about what constitutes a legitimate transgender girl, I think that's very appropriate. There are already some standard guidelines that have been recommended by the Medical profession.

A boy can't just go to the coach and say "I'm transgender, I want to shower with the girls". There are a few other things that a transgender girl has to do first. She WANTS to do it, but it is part of standard treatment protocol recommended by WPATH.

First, a transgender girl must get "Real Life Experience" (RLE), which means they have to look, act, and dress like a girl every day for at least most of the hours away from school. Often, they start the process after school, at home, with a few girl friends who know and understand. The transgender girl often socializes with girls from a very young age, so the girls often see that he is transgender even before the transgender boy is aware of it.

The real life experience goes from an hour or two a day, to 60-100 hours a week, all the time that she is not at school. At school, she still has to pretend to be a boy, as best as she can. Often, it is during this period that the parents first contact the school administration to determine when the child will go to being a girl full time.

Normally, a the child will live full time, 24/7 as a girl during the summer vacation prior to the September that she will start school full time as a girl. Once she starts school as a girl, she must continue to look, act, and dress, like the other girls. Of course, she wants to dress like the other girls, she naturally acts like the other girls, and with help from the other girls, even in a locker room, she would look like the other girls.

Keep in mind that transgender girls don't THINK like boys. A boy sees a pretty girl in a pretty dress, with her hair nicely done, and well done make-up and thinks; "She's hot, would she go out with me?" A transgender girl looks at the same girl and thinks:
I love that dress, I wonder where she got it, I hope they have it in my size,
I wonder if I could fix my hair like that, my hair is probably too straight, but I'll talk to her about that.
I like how she does her make-up, I should try the light shadow to bring out my eyes too.
I'll invite her to hang out with me and the other girls.

Even if she is attracted to other girls, she is more likely going to want to have the other girl make the move, so she is not going to put herself at risk of not only being rejectetd, but also of being rejected by ALL of the other girls. Girls are her friends.

A transgender girl in the showers or locker room would be as modest as any of the other girls. She'd probably keep herself covered, possibly even showering in a gaff or similar hiding underwear. More often, the school arranges a private area so she can take her shower without exposing herself to the other girls, or she would take a shower earlier or later, so that she isn't standing with her hated "bits" showing for the world to see.

If the girls DID see her bits, they wouldn't see much. The hormones would not only shrink the penis to about 1/2 inch or less, but would make erections completely impossible. To a normal cisgender boy or man, this would seem to be a fate worse than death. But to a transgender girl, an erection is hated, ejaculation is gross, and the LAST thing they want to do is show off their big erect "junk". Even in the early stages, the "tuck" while still possible, normally makes arousal both painful and pretty much impossible. Later, they pack it into the scrotum, making it even more impossible.

Quite simply, your daughters are probably under far less threat by a transgender girl in a locker room than they would be with a cisgender boy at a party or a date. She's probably safer with the transgender girl than she would be at church.