I keep reading people on the internets that say that you cannot change your DNA and this means something about anything. These people aren’t scientists, mind you. Just people looking for any reason they can to negate the existence of other people that they really have no concept or clue about. For the record, I know a lot of things about a lot of things, but I don’t know everything about everything and don’t pretend to be an expert on things that I have a vague notion about. If the subject interests me enough, I will research it. It’s a thing people do to try to understand something rather than tossing out reactionary insults to make themselves feel better about something, of which I cannot be certain. I don’t know what it means to be them and to be so highly ignorant and intolerant. It may be genetic, but I cannot say to any degree…
Speaking of genetics, back to the topic. Science! Some people who know a few terms and whatnot like to throw those terms out to make themselves seem all legitimate. These people say trans people cannot be considered their proper gender because DNA or some such thing (ignoring the incredible variance in DNA, etc…science is deeper than the shallow pool they’ve been swimming in…I could make insulting remarks about their DNA pools being somewhat shallow as well which may result in some manner of negative mutation. I could make those kinds of remarks, but I’m not going to. Not me, no.).
Anyway, I asked Google if DNA could be changed by, let’s say, a bone marrow transplant. Here’s what I found right away, from The Tech Museum of Innovation, a project “supported by the Department of Genetics, Stanford School of Medicine” in an article written by Dr. Azita Alizadeh, who works for Stanford University in their Department of Genetics, which, to me, would tend to make her more of an authority than some person on the internet who says something about the immutability of DNA. But that’s just me.
So Dr. Alizadeh says, “A bone marrow transplant turns the patient into a chimera. What I mean is that the DNA in their blood is different than the DNA in the rest of their cells.” Now this means if you get a bone marrow transplant, you now have two sets of DNA, which is something of a change. Hmmm. Let’s delve further and see if one can change their DNA otherwise…
Look at this! When I asked Google if DNA could be changed, I got a plethora of links, many referring to something called “epigenetics.” Now I won’t pretend to be a scientist (not like others on the interwebz who pretend to be scientists all the time when they talk about science as if they were scientists). Here’s a link to a story in the New York Times about epigenetics and how exercise can change a person’s DNA. Cool stuff. Over my head, mostly. But I’m not a scientist. Then again, I’m not trying to negate the existence of others by claiming that science supports their position. I only claim that science adjusts its views based on what’s observed…That’s actually Tim Minchin’s line, but I agree with Tim.
Science, like DNA, changes over time. We’re not too far off from a future where a trans person’s transition will include genetic therapy to make a Y and X or vice versa. This is just speculation on my part, but I’ve gone to genetic research centers with my son, who wants to be a genetic researcher in the future and has researched being a genetic researcher…I’ve seen the things these folks are working on and to discount what they will or will not discover and speak only in absolutes is contrary to the very basic truth of science as a field of discovery.
Next time someone tells you science supports their position, ask them for documentation. They may not know what they think they know.