Thursday, 9 October 2008

Today's Battles

TOP MODEL Contestant is Transgender - Yuck!.

I confess I had some very uncharitable thoughts about the author when I read that. I am a most imperfect human being, and I don't even have the excuse of ignorance as a defence.

And at An Archdiocese of Wash DC Catholic.

I've had some good results when debating with Catholics. Even when they disagree, they tend to be logical and rational, and even charitable. Alas, we sometimes operate from very different premises.

I am extremely encouraged by the fact that I'm not the only one giving rebuttal to these articles. I try to be cool and scientific, whereas many other replies are blisteringly scathing. I have been tempted, sometimes very tempted, to give a dose of well-deserved vitriol with my reply. But what's the point? Either they're operating from false assumptions and pardonable ignorance, so deserve some slack being cut for them, or they are evil bigots who it's not worth wasting spare electrons on. The latter are very rare indeed, in my experience. Most people are basically decent, and the only reason they are engaging in bigotry is because they have high moral standards.

The trick is to make their own consciences do my work for me. And frankly, I'm no saint. If I can't cut others slack, I don't deserve any myself. I certainly could do with some! I thought some very uncharitable thoughts indeed about the author of the first article, and if there is a God, I'll need a lot of forgiveness for that.

Update: My post in reply to TOP MODEL Contestant is Transgender - Yuck! was deleted. Here it is, repeated:
Zoe Brain has left a new comment on the post "TOP MODEL Contestant is Transgender - Yuck!":

I know that most people don't know much about this stuff, it's embarrassing, and not safe for work, and generally icky.

First, I'll have to explain "Intersex". Although 98.3% of people are born normally male or female, 1.7% aren't, quite. Of those, about half have trivial, insignificant differences from the norm, but some of the rest have significant differences. Some people are genetically male, but have female bodies, or the reverse. Others have their genes screwed up, so instead of being 46xx (female) or 46xy (male), they are 47xxy, or even a mix of 46xy and 46xx cells.

Now, I'll explain "What is a Transsexual". Some people - the Intersexed - have normal bodies, normal neural (brain) development, but cross-gendered genitalia. But others have normal bodies, normal genitalia, but cross-gendered brains. Genital development happens in the middle of the first trimester, neural development at the end. Little boys "know" they are boys before age 6, little girls "know" they are girls before age 6 too, and this has nothing to do with their body shape or upbringing, it depends on the neural development that was programmed in long before they were born.

Sometimes - about 1 in 500 according to Professor Lynn Conway, things go wrong to a greater or lesser extent. It's possible to end up with a wholly male body, but a female brain, and a female mind. The opposite happens too, but as we all start with a basically female template, it's easier to have a glitch that stops the masculinization of a male than to introduce extra masculinization in a female. That's why only 1 in 4 transsexuals are "Female to Male", men literally trapped in female bodies.

Many transsexuals whose "glitch" was partial can live with it, in various degrees of discomfort. But in at least 1 in 7 cases, or about 1 in 3500 people, the "glitch" is not partial, it's complete. These people, normal men or women who happen to have the wrong shaped body for their brains and minds, get a very severe degree of discomfort indeed. And it gets worse with age. Their brains just don't work very well with the hormonal blood chemistry they have, and their instinctive behavior is all wrong. Oddly enough, this has little to do with their sexual preference : many such women actually become ostensibly "lesbian" as the result of all the male hormones in their system, and the outside world thinks they're normal, straight males.

There's no "cure" for this congenital condition, but there is an effective treatment that's got a 97% improvement rate. That is to alter the sufferer's body with Hormones, and largely change it so it conforms to the brain's setup. But HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) can only do so much, some surgical "detail work" is usually required so that the sufferer can look normal, and resume their place in society, but as a member of the opposite sex. The one they've always truly been, inside, since long before their birth.

It's just a minor, and quite common, congenital abnormality. Unfortunately, it has far-reaching societal effects. Today, the problem is often picked up early enough so that intervention occurs during or shortly after puberty. But our knowledge of this syndrome is relatively recent, and due to the maternal instinct, a lot of transsexual women (those with male bodies) who were born in the 40's, 50's, 60's or even 70's are married and with children. As the discomfort gets worse with age, many are forced to "transition" at average age 45 no matter what the effect on their loved ones or careers, or suffer permanent and crippling psychological damage. But 45 is an average, some can last till 60, others have to transition before 30.

You can read extracts from some of the many medical papers on the subject at BiGender and the Brain, an article that has made peer-reviewed "best of" collections in both medicine and neurology.

You'll see the Catholic theological aspects discussed (with references) at Christian forums.

You showed malice out of pardonable ignorance, and with the best of motives. You mistook a medical condition for moral corruption. The mistake is pardonable, and understandable. The malice I leave up to you to deal with. I fear you own conscience will punish you far more severely than any judgement I'd pronounce, so please, you're forgiven, and don't be too hard on yourself.

Just please don't do it again, Ok?

Oh yes, my own unusual story is told in COSMOS Science magazine. Biologically female, I had to live most of my life with a masculinised body, when for reasons still not well understood, my body normalised. So I've been in Isis' shoes.

It could have been you. Or one of your children.


Unknown said...

Looks like cheekypinkgirl deleted your comment.

Charlotte said...

You were born the way you are. Isis King, the contestant on America's Top Model, was NOT. He is CHOOSING to be this way. The Catholic Church sees these 2 things as very different - the Catholic Church would never support any human being born completely normal as one gender in changing to another. Your torch for the rights of transgendered people needs to focus on people who are TRULY in the situation they are in through no fault of their own - like you. But those who CHOOSE to disregard the normal functioning body they have - as Isis King USED to have - are sinning against God and going against the very nature God intended for them. And either way-I do NOT want my children or teenagers (or anybody, for that matter) to see this kind of thing on TV and think that it's OK. It's NOT OK if you choose to be something God didn't intend for you to be. Again, YOU are a different scenario - Isis King is the one at fault. You said your piece at my blog, and now I've said mine.

Zoe Brain said...

Hi Charlotte!

Welcome, and I mean that.

I can't say that I'm different from Isis though. The autopsies and the brain scans show that all women, transsexual or not, have the same neuroanatomy.

Now my body feminised naturally, to match my already feminised brain. Others require therapeutic intervention. I don't see the difference as being significant, as Isis never had a "completely normal" male body.

That the difference was not immediately visible makes no odds.

Please may I ask you to read the papers on the subject. I'd also implore you to read up on the Vatican's stance on the issue, and how it came about. You'll find that on the Christian forum link I gave in my comment.

I can understand why you would not want your children exposed to such confusing issues as Intersex and Transsexuality. However, Intersex and Transsex kids exist, they too go to school, and what then?

Today, as opposed to the bad old days when I was young in the 60's, we don't ban kids in wheelchairs from schools. We teach our children tolerance of those people not quite fitting the norm. Even if it is upsetting to them to see some deformities.

In my experience, it's never the children who are uncomfortable, only the parents.

May I thank you for the time you've spent thinking on this issue. And please accept my apologies once more for my uncharitable thoughts.

Since you have deleted my post, would you like me to e-mail the links to you? Or perhaps just reproduce it here on my blog, rather than on yours? Your blog, your rules of course.

Anonymous said...

I've always found it hard to figure out what God meant for people to be. If I can't figure out why God had in mind when Barb got fired or Conrad came down with that fatal illness or Diana got that job offer--and I usually can't, without a lot of hindsight--then I don't think I'd be too quick to announce what God's intention was for someone's gender, either.

Usually you hear "Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain" as meaning "don't curse", but last Sunday our pastor pointed out that using a person's name, in that culture, implied that you had his authority. He said that commandment really meant "don't use God's name to lend legitimacy to your personal agenda". But churches do it anyway--eg prohibiting priests from marrying, or people from drinking alcohol, or ...well, if you've been to church, I'm sure you can make a list. That's why I'm pleased that our Lord boiled it down to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength; and the second is like it, that you should love your neighbor as yourself. In this is the whole of the Law and the Prophets."

RadarGrrl said...

To Charlotte:

As a woman with a trans past, I also did not choose the way I am. But thankfully I'm not responsible to the idiocy of Vatican doctrine, so was able to have it properly and appropriately dealt with.

Anonymous said...

Could you please help with this guy, as he's a pretty tough nut to crack?

Try posting near the beginning of his blog:

He hasn't said a lot about it, but he thinks it's immoral. He considers himself as good as any scientist, though. Thanks!

Maddie H said...

You were born the way you are. Isis King, the contestant on America's Top Model, was NOT. He is CHOOSING to be this way. The Catholic Church sees these 2 things as very different - the Catholic Church would never support any human being born completely normal as one gender in changing to another.

It's interesting that you know one thing about Isis, and suddenly you know her whole life, including the idea that she supposedly chose to be trans, creating a false dichotomy by claiming that Zoe Brain was born the way she was but that Isis King could not be.

You're also wrong about Isis changing gender - she didn't change gender at all. Her gender's been what it is - she changed her body to match that gender.

It's NOT OK if you choose to be something God didn't intend for you to be.

And you know what God intended for Isis how, again?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me God has done nothing and it is a bunch of humans that are acting irrational that do not like anything that is not black or white. If we are made in Gods image then all the faults are also that of God's. Then God is not black or white, just an infinite range of possibilities. I would suppose that is too much for a narrow mind to grasp.

Charlotte said...

From Anonymous, off of my blog:

Anonymous said...
This looks to me like a case of narcissistic rage amongst the trannies:

Charlotte said...

From Zoe, via my blog:

Oh, and anonymous? "trannies", while not as offensive as "she-males" is up there with "wetbacks" and "niggers". Please don't use it unless you mean to be offensive.

The .pdf was interesting - some quotes:

First, I propose that there are good theoretical and clinical reasons for believing that narcissistic disorders are prevalent among nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals. At present, however, there is little solid empirical evidence to support this belief.

Charlotte said...

A comment left on my blog (and I wasn't the one who used that website as a rebuttal, it was someone else):

Warda K said...
Using as a rebuttal is a classic example of an ad hominem attack on the person responding instead of the discussion.

Charlotte said...

From Zoe Brain, via my blog:

anon - changing sex is impossible.

That's both the Scientific view based on autopsies and MRI scans, and also the view of the Church.

All one can do is align brain with body. And in that area, the Church and Science have some differences. The Church sees it as a sign of mental instability - contrary to the evidence.

Most transsexual women - about 4 in 5 - cross-dress to gain some psychological relief from their condition.

I never did. It would be like an alcoholic taking a first drink. I couldn't even wear a pastel shirt.

I had a (mostly) male body, and so I tried to be the best man any woman could be. That meant never relaxing my vigilance, not for a second in 47 years.

A real man could wear a dress, or makeup, for Halloween or as a joke. I couldn't. Not for a second, because if I did, I would have to transition, and my life would be in ruins. I couldn't rush over to see a new baby, as other women could, and as my every instinct said I should be doing. Even walking, I had to use a male swagger, and be careful not to swing my hips as my instincts dictated I do.

When my body started changing, I even subscribed to an f-to-m magazine, to learn techniques of binding breasts and so on. I was so afraid of "Transgender - Yuck!", and too fearful of the effect on all I held dear, and my child in particular.

The magazines remain unread and unopened. I just couldn't do it.

Less than 3 months after looking like an overweight, middle-aged running back, I was threatened with rape by some drunks, to "convert" what was an obvious "Drag King", a woman pretending to be male and failing miserably.

The next day, I went into work in female attire. Within a week, the medics had decided I was more accurately described as an Intersexed woman rather than an Intersexed man, and my health records adjusted accordingly.

I still have problems with back-fastening bras. And I have little clothes sense. But I do have girlfriends who advise me, and now if one tells me she's going to marry her boyfriend and have a family, I can squeal with heartfelt joy. Yes, I know, undignified in a middle-aged woman, but I'm still going through puberty. 50 going on 16.

I spent decades in purgatory, just so my son could be born. It was worth it. But had I known what the relief would have felt like, I couldn't have done it. No-one could.

So when I'm told I'm doing this because of some weird sexual fetish, that I'm narcissistic and selfish, that I should "bear the thorn in the flesh" and should curb my compulsion to play "dress up" etc etc I tend not to be as understanding as I might be.

I also dislike being called dishonest. Mistaken I may be, in error certainly. But dishonest? No.

Zoe Brain said...

Charlotte, I'm so sorry that you found it necessary to take down your post. I do understand though, and it was most thoughtful of you to redirect the posts here, where I hope some civilised, polite and respectful discussion can take place.

I'm truly sorry for my initial uncharitable thoughts. They were not only unkind, but terribly unfair. You have revealed yourself to be one of the better people I've encountered in the net, and differing opinions we may have are trivial in comparison.

You have integrity. You try to do what is right. You try to protect your children. You have not had it easy either.

May God bless you and your union with your husband, and may He bless your children many times over. It has been an honour to meet you.

You're the type who gives conservative Catholicism a good name.

Anonymous said...

Huh, Charlotte has had similar issues?

Anonymous said...

What do you think of "Mrs. Garrison":

Zoe Brain said...

anon - the normal rules of taste, sanity, politeness, bigotry and even humour do not apply to South Park. It is sui generis.

And another(?) anon - Charlotte had her own problems, nothing to do with gender issues, which she elucidated in the post she just deleted. She's a very private person and I have no wish to intrude on her privacy. She only lowered the veil in order to educate others, something I do myself, and with just as much reticence.

They were the kind of thing that could happen to any women. No, strike that, only a woman with a particularly kind and generous spirit. The subject is now closed.

Anonymous said...

Zoƫ you're being to kind. She's not "a private person". She's a close-minded one.

Zoe Brain said...

anon - I genuinely think you couldn't be more wrong.

She and I have differences, and she may have many faults (as do I). But being closed-minded is most certainly not one of them.

My initial impression, based on the unfortunate title of her post, was totally incorrect. By 180 degrees.

That's not to say we don't have real differences. Reasonable people of goodwill can differ. She's proven both reasonable, and with goodwill.

Just the kind of person I'm trying to reach out to. Whether I persuade them or not is less important that they think about the issue from a more informed perspective, and you know what? They can usually teach me a thing or two as well.

Maddie H said...

The fact remains that she claims to know what trans people are really like, what we think, why we do what we do. That she set up a false dichotomy wherein you're a "true transgender" person because of your spontaneous transition, while Isis - who decided to transition was somehow "false."

And these are fairly offensive assertions to make about trans people, and I think it's reasonable to acknowledge that being offended by such transphobic statements is within the realm of a normal reaction.

I'm not saying anything about her state of mind - whether she is a transphobe or whether her mind is closed, but what she said and did on her original post was fairly offensive.

Maddie H said...

The question of whether being trans is a legitimate state isn't a valid question at all. It's not a difference of opinion, not something about which "reasonable people" can disagree. The state of my mind is not something about which reasonable people can disagree.

Zoe Brain said...

Lisa, her experience with "transgender" was exclusively with a professional Drag Queen who was her room-mate for a while. She thought originally that pretty much all TG people were like that, and I can't blame her.

She changed her opinions as the result of our discussion. How much I don't know, but some. She's not closed-minded, and I hope I'm not either.

I do know she wouldn't write the original article now. Was it offensive? Well I'm not an easy person to offend, and I was offended, that's for sure. But I doubt I'd be offended by her views now, even though we may differ.

I hope she hangs around here a bit, as I think her views are useful.

Maddie H said...

I guess I missed part of the discussion before she deleted her post, then.

I'm glad Charlotte changed her mind. :)

Zoe Brain said...

Yes, it's a pity. The problem wasn't so much the TS people, it was the Transphobes the discussion was starting to attract. It was starting to go toxic.

I think it was when Charlotte read Anne Lawrence's defence of TMWWBQ and saw what some were saying about us that she ran away screaming.

She's an Ultra-orthodox Catholic, and so operates from a very different set of axioms than mine.

She's also a fundamentally and unchangeably decent human being, a Christian rather than a "Christian", and can recognise evil - or at least lack of charity and evidence of spite and malice - when she sees it. And she wants no part of that. Not on her blog. I don't blame her.

Now would be a good time for me to thank you, Lisa. "Questioning Transphobia" is an invaluable resource.

I can't believe Stonewall UK nominated Bindell as Journalist of the year. I mean, who's next, Mary Whitehouse?

Anonymous said...

Ignorance I can accept and understand...

accepting a less than open way of seeing the world as being "right" based on religious dogma, I can understand...

basing one's views of an entire group of people on interaction with less than a handful of them, I can understand...

but any thinking person knows that applying a pejorative and inflammatory term like "YUCK!" to an entire group isn't "unfortunate"...having a plane crash on your house or catching the flu or getting laid off in an economic downturn is "unfortunate"...choosing to use language that implies that an entire group of people are gross and unsavory- the kind of term you would use when you step in dogs**t- is deliberate, insensitive, mean spirited and wholly un-Christian.

Zoe Brain said...

Oh, it's Very Christian!

You think Christians, even the best of them, don't make mistakes? Don't sin? Don't do thoughtless things they later regret?

I have a ridiculously and entirely unwarranted high opinion of myself, but even I, the Great Zoe Brain, screw up royally sometimes.

I express myself poorly, I'm arrogant, and am very, very human. I don't just err, I'm sometimes unkind. Not just a pardonable mistake, a crime. I forgive myself though, realising I'm only human - so how can I not forgive others, who also act out of goodwill in the main?

Charlotte won't do it again. Like me, she tries to be creative and original in her screw-ups, and not repeat them.

Anonymous said...

That would all be well and good if she had shown any remorse for creating the inflammatory tone in the first place, that came back to bite her.

But if you read the subsequent entry concerning the removal of the original blog entry, there is none of that- no acknowledgment *whatsoever* that she could have chosen her words more carefully or that she was *in any way* culpable for inciting the anger directed towards her.

Instead she blames the "people out there who purposely search for blog entries to leave their venom on" and "the angry transgendered community" for somehow forcing her to moderate her blog.

Obviously we all make mistakes, but humility and remorse are what mitigate the negative results of those mistakes.

Yes, Christians do thoughtless things they later regret- but that's just it- the only regret I see expressed on her blog is that she can't publicly make whatever inflammatory and defamatory statements she wants to on her blog and expect to get only support for those views from people reading them.

A reasonable person would understand and more importantly acknowledge publicly that using the term "Yuck!" was at best a poor choice of words and ill-advised- but I've yet to see even that tiny concession to establishing good will and finding common ground.

Were that to happen, I would be inclined to treat it as you are doing- but in the absence of that acknowledgment, I just can't treat it as a "mistake"...I'm all for being charitable, but I'm not going to make her apologies for her.

Rickahyatt said...

Because I have been since young central to an inheritance rights case (Never received a penny of it YET!) that would have otherwise shaken the capitalist world (The doc's get unsealed in the Phoenix Federal Court System Columbus Day, the 13th, so watch out!), I first met now legendary Spymaster Markus Wolf when I was only 5 years old, in Augsberg, Germany.
He had agent handler control over my Commie mother, and as such I found myself ushered into US Army Military Intelligence right out of high school, and "Turned."
I was then used to lure him and several very interesting others out, who were then caught red-handed in 1977 and also counter-run. To include a still-active assassination team (Unknowingly to them) that should be stopped!
The proof that Markus Wolf, Erich Mielke, and Dr. Aribert Heim (The trainer of this team) subsequently worked for and were protected by, the CIA, as did Rainer Rupp ("Topas," his wife "Tourquoise," the NATO economist Spy) and others are in the photographs and documents that I have kept from the era, and are now on my website,
I guess it's an amusing thing to hereby document that we knew the Berlin Wall was "Coming Down" even back then, and otherwise pretty much helped Wolf attain his own personal goals of a peaceful reunification of Germany.
When I worked with him in '77, I thought him to be quite a nice guy, actually, and an astute professional in the craft. (Although he obviously didn't like getting caught.)
Being of German heritage, I, too, am quite happy at that peaceful reunification and avoidance of another war.
It's also nice to be able to reveal, now, that Rainer Rupp was deliberately "Kicked Upstairs" to his vaunted Economist role at NATO for in that he passed over so much Disinformation (I gave it to him, I should know). That translates into in that, the current WALMART $ War upon the US is bad, but not as bad as the enemy thought it would be at this current critical juncture of our major elections.
Do me a favor, and help me get my website out there in Europe, would you? I'd appreciate it a lot.
And, also would I appreciate your feedback at rickahyatt@gmail com. I'd especially appreciate being contacted by the WGIS Intelligence Officers over there I knew from the period that might read this, or be told of it.
How can I know of all this? For in that I, myself, was to be the third of Wolf's trilogy, "Sapphire."
How I wish I could be "Schutlen und singen mit Brathendlen und Beir auf dem Wiessen!" Diesemal wieder noch.

Anonymous said...

Tina ignores Charlottes subsequent entry when it says "Now, to be fair, I learned quite alot from the transgendered community because of this experience" and at the end "To Zoe: Thank you for being the one person in the discussion who showed kindness and understanding throughout. I STILL truly think your situation is unique, and I believe with all my heart that you have taken the harder path when compared with the others because you have endeavored to educate yourself beyond the realm of cliches and obvious, easy-to-grasp arguments/defenses. I also respect you for recognizing that we are all fragile, imperfect beings. We all have something to learn and we all have need to learn humility. And I additionally appreciate that you took the time and effort to dig up the Catholic Church's statements on the matter. I wish you, as well, happiness in your life and marriage, and much joy in the relationship you have with your son." So i think zoe is right and tina is wrong. Zoe is usually always right here.

Zoe Brain said...

rickahyatt - last time I got involved with anything like this... well, let's just say I still have the griddle marks on my back from the grilling I got from ASIO. That wasn't my fault either.

It's no secret I've worked on sensitive matters. The trip to Haifa Naval Base was a dead giveaway. But that's all I can say.

Even those who only deal with paperclips act as background noise and concealment to others who deal with more interesting matters. So none of us can comment. We can't say "you shouldn't be saying this over an open channel" and we can't say "I have no idea what you're talking about, I only deal in left-handed bopamagilvies not threaded splunge sockets, Streng Geheim or no". Even if we do. Even if we don't.

This matter is now closed. You know how it is!

Maddie H said...

I'm going to have to make a post about how it's unethical and oppressive to position the idea that children need to be protected from gay men, lesbian women, bisexual people, or trans people, I think.

I mean, it positions them as exceptional and abnormal, judges them as dangerous to children, and naturalizes the idea that they should be hidden and ashamed.

It also ignores the effect it has on children who are LGBT, and are denied education and recourse to deal with that.

Charlotte said...

Hey Zoe,
I just found this essay on a Catholic blog and I thought of you. Not because I think you're doing any of this - you're not - but because I think it's something interesting to think about and because this author put into words what alot of us can't...and also because I think you will agree that in your discussions of transgender issues on your blog, there are people who go down this road without understanding the real impact of what they're doing. I'm sorry that there's a religious aspect to the piece, since I know you don't identify yourself as Christian (although after reading through loads of material on your website, I have to say what's obvious - you would be a model Christian and I wish you would maybe on a personal level re-think your decision.) Anyway, here's the web address:

Charlotte said...

The end of that web address got cut off, the end extension is .htm

Zoe Brain said...

Thanks for the link, Charlotte, it was most thoughtful of you to post it.

If you look at comments on recent blog entries, you will see an anonymous poster we've called "Yosemite Sam", who exemplifies the unfortunate behaviour described in the article.

I sometimes think that Christ knew full well what he was doing when he said "Turn the other cheek". Because it makes the striker so mad that he didn't hurt you,that you think so little of the assault. That's why it's important to do everything with charity, so your act isn't passive-aggressive.

Thanks so much for the compliments, Charlotte. And no need to be sorry about Christian content. I'm with the Bangkok Post writer who recommended Christian Schools for Thai children, as a Christian education made the best Buddhists.

It may be my own arrogance and sinful pride speaking, but although my whole family could do with some prayers for help, I really believe Yosemite Sam has a greater need than even I do. So if you could slip in a prayer for his healing, that would be a favour to me.

I still feel bad about the uncharitable thoughts I had when I read your "Yuck!" headline. I knew it was wrong to be so uncharitable at the time. I didn't realise it was also terribly unjust to you, and while I beg God for forgiveness of my lack of charity, I ask you for forgiveness of the personal wrong I did you in my heart.

I wish I was a "model Christian", but am all too aware of how far I fall short. It was kind of you to say so though, and I do try to be. I just have issues with the doctrine, I don't believe Christ was the son of God, and have grave doubts as to God's existence.I lack the faith which is the bedrock of religious belief.

I don't see that lack of faith as being an excuse not to act in accordance with Christian principles though, no matter how far short I may fall in implementing them. As I do.

Hugs, Zoe

Maddie H said...

I don't know - I feel that when someone says "yuck!" about me or people like me, that my response in calling them out for implying that my very existence is disgusting and degrading cannot possibly be as bad as the dehumanizing nature of the original statement unless I respond with the same kind of characterizations or worse.

Both the "Yuck!" title and the way Charlotte described what she believes to go on in the hearts and minds of transsexual people (women, especially, specifically Isis) was pretty calumnious on its own.

Trans people are are worthy of the same respect as cis (non-trans) people, and it seems like that respect is getting elided to accommodate Charlotte's feelings as a cis (non-trans) person, even though she's already socially advantaged by the fact that not being trans means that no one is likely to try to discredit her life in the same way she tried to discredit Isis' (and all trans women).

I also feel that this elision occurs in agreement that it's reasonable to present trans people as entities that children must be protected from, that we're so morally corruptive and damaging that it's harmful for children to even know we exist. Propagating that viewpoint is harmful to trans people and naturalizes the idea that we're aberrant and freakish, rather than human beings worthy of the respect I mentioned above.

While I appreciate that she took down the post, I'm still left with the impression that you're apologizing to Charlotte for being offended when she referred to a trans woman as "Yuck!"

And that's not something that should ever require an apology.