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A 58 yr. old single transwoman who loves quiet walks and 'pushing the envelope' in transadvocacy. A great sense of humor, loving to laugh, but dead serious when involved in human rights efforts.

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Welcome to the blog that is intended for education, information, entertainment, news and advancement...and it's all about the Transgender community! If you're a transgender individual, I hope it provides you with all of the above as well as empowerment; if you're not a transgender, hopefully this blog will help in giving you a better understanding of the transgender community and that community's issues, achievements/abilities, "temperaments" and diversity. Overall, I hope your visit proves to be an interesting one.

Remember: "Communication is the Doorway through which Understanding may Walk."

Winnona Houston

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anderson Cooper and the 'Hair Growth-Trans'; Can You Say "BOGUS"??

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted Sept. 15, 2012


Anderson Cooper


"abitchforjustice": Yesterday my estimation of Anderson Cooper, television journalist, did a complete "360o". He went from being a concise, creditable television journalist to being a muckraker akin to a Jerry Springer, with his show on a "Transsexual Woman Who Was 'Turned transsexual' by a Hair Growth Product". Now this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!!

I'm going to be right out front with this, so no one will get the wrong idea about how I feel about my community (transgenders). In this piece, I'm NOT going to use female pronouns with regard to this individual, "Mandi", because I am of the opinion that he is BOGUS. 

That being said, this is what I have to say about this farce...



"Mandi"


Now here comes "Mandi" on the Anderson Cooper show, claiming that when she used a hair growth product, taking pills that contained Propecia (with finesteride) [obtained over the internet, though he claims to have researched it and found it approved by the FDA, although their plants were located in India], (paraphrased)  "I had never put on a piece of woman's clothing...I had 'questioned my sexuality a bit when I was younger', I had an uncle who was gay...I questioned if I was bisexual, but I decided I liked women..." [here to his credit, Anderson Cooper reminds him (and audience) that 'sexuality' did not equal 'gender identity']...in answer to Anderson's assertion that he found it hard to believe that "all of a sudden you have these feelings that you are a woman", "Mandi" says, "All I know is that it was a 'life or death' struggle... I went through severe depression, ...by 2011 my marriage was ended.. I was living alone, having physical feminisation symptoms to my body; I was having breast growth... I was having female feelings as well, stressing me out to no end...I was having panic attacks that sent me to the hospital emergency room..."

THIS IS SO BOGUS! C'mon, Anderson! Didn't you even have your producers check with doctors to see if this is even possible? Why didn't you have a medical doctor (or psychiatrist) on board to question the possibility of this fraudulent claim? If ANY research at all had been done, you'd have found out that transsexualism is caused by biochemical construction involving the brain (even to the size of it); was any research done to determine whether or not this pill could have effects there? Where is the documentation?? Did anyone even contact the company that sells this pill? You diminished your own credibility as an "in depth" journalist not to have dug a little deeper.

This man is trying to set the basis of a possible lawsuit against the company that makes this product. Either that, or he figures it might be the most palatable reason to give his wife and family for his transition...or maybe he just has overall mental problems...

But this is tantamount to someone saying, "I used 'Secret deodorant' for its effectiveness, and I started feeling like a woman" or (in your case, Anderson) "I took a 'Midol' for a headache and became gay"...

The airing of this foolishness makes the effort at progress for the transgender community that much more difficult, depending on how many weak minds give it credibility, but I think it makes you look like a fool.

One more thing; I see that "Mandi" is wearing store-bought hair...did the crap he took GROW HAIR???

16 comments:

  1. First off, I cannot sue and have no financial interest. The Supreme Court ruled last year if you take a generic drug, as I did, you cannot sue.

    I came out as transgender to all the people in my life the year before I found out I was diagnosed with Post Finasteride Syndrome.

    I believe that we are all born the way we are. However, throughout life, we are all also affected by chemicals that enter our bodies. The science is very clear that both sexual-orientation AND gender can be not only aff
    ected, but changed completely, by chemicals that affect our bodies, in some cases physically changing the structure of the brain.

    Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality has now sent me 2 private apologies for her public slams of myself and Anderson Cooper for trying to create a scientific discussion regarding a drug that is destroying the lives of thousands of men who are suffering with 60+ cognitive, emotional and sexual permanent effects of Post Finasteride Syndrome after taking a hair loss drug for men they were told would simply regrow their hair. However, she has not been willing to issue an apology in the same public manner that she issued her damaging comments. She has told me "she is not a scientist", while I have told her that I don't believe someone in her position, with her job title. should refuse to consider scientific studies in her own determination of who is allowed to "be transgender" or not. I have heard from several other men myself who feel as I do after taking Finasteride for hair loss, but there are thousands more who are suffering with the condition, including 8 documented suicides. As Director of a group that is supposed to fight for the right of every person who feels transgender, it is irresponsible what she did this week and, in my opinion, signals to others who may feel as I do that they would not be accepted if they tried to accept themselves the way they feel now after having their brains and bodies permanently altered by a chemical drug without their consent.

    It does not take anything more than a few minutes on Google to find a plethora of scientific evidence showing that gender identity most definitely can be affected by drugs, including Finasteride - the hair loss treatment for men, which is also a main drug prescribed for use in transgender hormonal therapy.

    Finasteride has been PROVEN to raise Estradiol levels in men. I have posted on my blog at MandiMcKee.com several times now various university studies showing that raising the level of Estradiol in male brains in rats over 3 months PHYSICALLY CHANGED the brain from male to female.

    I found it interesting in the article below that the doctor disagreed with the use of the term "gender identity disorder" and pointed out that he believes this has to due with physical brain differences matching the opposite sex.

    Piece those things together above, and I do not understand why some people, especially Mara Keisling at the National Center for Transgender Equality, feel so threatened by the FACT that the gender of the brain can be changed, even late in life. Read the Wikipedia entry for Estradiol under the section "Role in Sex Differentation of the Brain" and it will tell you it plays a crucial role in determining male/female identity of the brain - both prenatally - and THROUGHOUT LIFE.

    In my opinion, Mara Keisling should issue a public apology for what she did this week, not only to me, but to Anderson Cooper, a journalist who did not deserve her attempts to latch on to what would have been a valuable scientific discussion just to give herself 5 seconds in the limelight.
    ------------
    Excerpt from article below:
    Some are labeled with "gender identity disorder," a psychiatric diagnosis. But Spack is among doctors who think that's a misnomer. Emerging research suggests they may have brain differences more similar to the opposite sex.

    Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2012/02/20/sex-changing-treatment-on-rise-among-children/#ixzz26XfKPKLb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, I will say that I appreciate your taking the time to post the above comment & explanation of your situation in your comment above.

      Additionally, I will say this that Anderson Cooper and you did yourself a disservice not to go into greater detail and offer (from what I saw of the episode) the scientific proof and documentation(s) [of other cases], if you wanted to make a case against the use of such a drug. It left a lot of room for doubt...

      However, you may trust that I will "spend some time on google" and offer a more in depth view of this phenomenon in a future post.

      If all is as you say, I don't understand why Ms. Keisling shouldn't be willing to offer a public apology; after all, NO human being is beyond mistake...I will be the first to admit it if I honestly feel that I have made one...stay tuned.

      Delete
  2. It seems that the producers on the show did not want Science brought up. The following is a comment to Jose Fernandez on Mandi McKee's Facebook page:

    Thank you Jose. I will agree that it did raise awareness, and that is good. I'll be honest though - I told them I would prefer to leave the show 10 minutes before when they told me "not to mention any science or studies", and I should have. I had agreed to be on the show under the clearly stated agreement that the studies and research into Post Finasteride Syndrome would be discussed, both as a way to increase awareness of PFS and as a way for the public to put my story in perspective. At the last minute I found out the expert researcher who was going to be on the show was cancelled and then I was told not to mention any science 10 minutes before airtime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sooo, this episode (through no fault of Mandi's) WAS calculated to be "sensational", rather than "informative"?? So apparently it's STILL "SHAME ON YOU" Anderson Cooper Show...

      Delete
  3. Mandi - you are completely WRONG in your assertion that Finasteride can RAISE oestrogen levels. What it can do is block the formation of dehydrotestosterone (DHT) from the testosterone produced by the testes and the adrenal glands. DHT is generally considered to be far more potent than testosterone and is also known to accumulate in the scalp area which then kills of the hair root. By inhibiting the production of this chemical, it gives the chance for any hair follicles to begin hair growth again (but if the hair root has been inactive for too long even Finasteride cannot revive it).
    To claim that Finasteride raises oestrogen levels is both spurious and misleading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Uren (or is it "Dr.", *smile*)Do you think then, that this may be the reason the producers of the show did not want "mention of science or studies"...in order to maintain the 'sensational revelation' flavor of this episode?

      Delete
  4. Well, it is Dr actually (PhD in Chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years) - and it could well have been the reasons why the producers did not want to raise any scientific studies - but that of course is speculative.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There you have it, loyal readers; word from a scientific professional.

    However, as I did say I would look up (via google) information myself (and besides I'm from Missouri; you've got to show me, *smile*), I've gone to a couple of internet sources, and have found the following:

    From "Propecia.com": (http://www.propecia.com/finasteride/propecia/consumer/index.jsp?WT.svl=2&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=propecia&utm_campaign=Branded+Campaign+NEW&gclid=CLO059r3urICFQY3nAodYjsAgg)

    In clinical studies for PROPECIA, a small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects, such as less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen. Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men and went away in men who stopped taking PROPECIA because of them.

    In general use, the following have been reported: breast tenderness and enlargement (tell your doctor about any changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain, or nipple discharge); depression; decrease in sex drive that continued after stopping the medication; allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives, and swelling of the lips and face; problems with ejaculation that continued after stopping medication; testicular pain; difficulty in achieving an erection that continued after stopping the medication; male infertility and/or poor quality of semen; and, in rare cases, male breast cancer. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

    (NOTE: Nowhere in this narrative did it give credence to an affection of the brain or its size; additionally, it appears that any side effects go away if one "discontinues use"...)

    I also checked with "Wikepedia" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finasteride), and found under 'Adverse Side Affects', basically the same thing. There was absolutely too much to add here, so in a nutshell, I will say that the only point that really agrees with Mandi's story is the side effect concerning severe depression/anxiety.

    Now perhaps Mandi's erectile dysfunction, combined with extreme depression (not to mention the "early questioning of Mandi's sexuality"), breast swelling (maybe with discharge) and lack of desire for sex [with wife] all conspired to make this individual believe that "turning transsexual" was what was happening. I'm not sure; I do know that I could not find any other documented cases such as this one. I must therefore come to the conclusion that whatever the case may be, the Anderson Cooper Show did a disservice the community at large to promote such erroneous information, and the transgender community specifically for the same reason.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Propecia (finesteride) blocks binding of DHT, which is potent form of T.

    A small portion of this unbound DHT plus a small portion of normally circulating T is then converted into estrogen. That's why men have estrogen in their bodies; just like women have small amounts of T.

    Yes, men have estrogen in their bodies at all time, the fatter you are, the more you'll have (since it increases T to E conversion). The difference that this unbound DHT conversion makes to serum level estrogen is well within normal male range (so no feminisation there).

    A secondary effect is that unbound DHT, through a feedback loop of the pituitary gland very slightly decreases T production from the testes. So, all in all, finesteride can have a very slight de-masculinisation (similar to the one in a man 10 year older, which has lower T for example) rather than a feminisation effect. Some men (1%), because of that effect have problems on finesteride maintaining (but not getting) and erection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your contribution to this conversation. Now the question remains, does this effect lead to "turning" an ordinary heterosexual male transgender? Your explanation gives a breakdown of erectile dysfunction, but leaves that 'side effect' in question. Gender identity is the issue here, and whether or not this chemical effects that.

      Delete
  7. Based on the information provided by Dr. Carol (as well as my own research and another friend who is studying her Master's in Chemistry), this chemical DOES NOT AFFECT GENDER IDENTITY!!! Hundreds of thousands of men take this drug annually, but do all of them decide to transition? I don't think so. Check out this website: http://propeciahelp.com/overview, AND it states this little gem: "7). While these studies report that finasteride was very effective at treating symptoms of the disease, the mechanism by which finasteride could alter aspects of sexual behavior in humans is not presently known."

    THIS is from a MEDICAL JOURNAL for Behavioral Neuroscience. It is safe to say that gender identity is embedded, and either you are trans, or you are not. One does not wake up one day feeling like a woman, it is a long and arduous journey of self discovery and awareness. I think it is very silly to assume that Finasteride caused (pardon any misgendering) HIM to want to transition. And one last thing, in the United States, one of the MAIN DRUGS used in hormone therapy is SPIRONOLACTONE, NOT FINASTERIDE. In Europe it is Androcur or Cypertone Acetate. Finasteride CAN be used as an anti-androgen, but only when taken in HIGH DOSES.

    I'm sure that the ".something" they prescribe to him are not enough to cause that large of an imbalance. And just look at "MANdi"... clearly the finasteride has not had that much of an effect on him. As a transwoman, I am appalled that he would participate in an egregious form of folly just to get his 15 mins of fame. He needs to have a stadium full of seats.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well Mandi, as you can see (if you have been following this conversation), I have been as fair and open-minded as can possibly be to your situation, and the overall conclusion is that you and Anderson Cooper have collaborated to provide us with BOGUS information, that without some DOCUMENTED PROOF that propecia (finesteride) causes transsexualism, will remain a BOGUS claim.

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  11. Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a
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  12. Welcome! I am glad you enjoyed your visit here; you might like to try the "transgriot" as another site for incisive, thoughtful and thought-provoking posts on transgender issues...

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