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Nicotine.. still a drug of sorts.. and I'm having issues with quitting...


Guest *Brooke*

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Guest *Brooke*

Hi everyone, I don't really know if this forum goes for all sorts of drugs, including legal ones like nicotine from Cigarette's but I kind of assumed so.. If not, sorries. :(

Well, here's the story, I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 21, and I smoked until I was 25, and I had enough of it, and I ended up quitting on the spot. I could have gone to the gas station, and bought another pack, but I drove right on past, and went home. I had no issues with quitting at that point in time, and it was rather easy to do so. I've been smoking since August of 2010, and things are a lot better off for me this time around, I have a job, and a pretty decent life going for myself, but I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to quit smoking this time around. I've said for the last 10-15 packs, that it'll be my last pack, and I end up going to the gas station and picking up another. :( I really want to quit, and my therapist told me that the chemicals in cigarettes can affect how hormones work, and I'll probably be starting HRT in as little as 3 months from now. Just having a difficult time quitting.. I'd rather not use pills or patches to help me quit either. Any suggestions on daily routines or something to help?

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Hi Alexandra,

I'm probably the worst person to answer your post. I quit smoking about 8 years ago, and am still addicted. My soulmate and I quit together. For her, second-hand smoke is nauseating. For me, it's heavenly!

Is it addicting? OMG yes, at least this person still struggles.

How did I quit? Actually quite by accident. I'd asked my doctor for an antidepressant because quitting smoking was always such a downer. The antidepressant turned off my nicotine cravings! It was so wierd to not need a cigarette. I continued smoking out of habit for a few days - but never with relish - and just a few days later was done.

The thing I've heard with hormones and smoke is that it creates a much higher possibility of blood clots. And many doctors may be reluctant to give full doses of E while you're smoking.

So - you've choices. Stopping smoking is the best. If you're like me and just unable to escape the addiction, then see your doctor. There are solutions. Even though they're not permanent. I still have to decide every day not to smoke again. But, without that medicinal kick-start I could never have quit, ever. If you've more power over the drug, then just resolve to quit and do it. It may take a few days of difficulty, but you'll be on your way. (Tip for surviving those early days - plenty of water and rest)

I've now just passed a year on HRT. And one thing that became clear within just a few months: A big reason for my cravings for nicotine and other drugs was to ease the mental turmoil of living on the wrong hormones. HRT filled that hole. It's a whole new world now...

I hope this helps...

Love, Megan

.

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Guest Guest_SL

I was a smoker for years and consider myself to still be a smoker, just taking a 30 year break. I worked with substance abusers in the military and I've had heroin addicts tell me it was easier to get off the H than to quit smoking. I quit cold turkey and I think that's the best method but it's the toughest.

Every cigarette takes 5 minutes off your normal life expectancy.

Cigarettes raise havoc with your skin and you can keep youthful skin for a long time if you quit.

Just quit. Again, cold turkey is usually the most effective but if you put more and more time between your last smoke, the stronger your willpower will become and you won't want to cave in.

Do what ever it takes but please quit.

SL

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  • Forum Moderator

I was a heavy smoker all my life. My addiction to cigs has never gone away. If i have one i'm off to the races. I've suffered heart attacks and open heart surgery as a result. I'm a member of AA and in that group we learn to ask for help from our fellows and our higher power. After a few years of being sober the message soaked in enough to be able to quit smoking, one day at a time. I don't have to quit forever, just today. The same will be true tomorrow. Good luck its no fun but you can do it one day at a time.

Hugs, Charlie

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Guest Guest_SL

I don't have to quit forever, just today. The same will be true tomorrow. Good luck its no fun but you can do it one day at a time.

Hugs, Charlie

There it is. Charlie says it all. It's that simple and it's hard but the payoff is HUGE! The things kill inside and out. Just think of the money you'll save? Now and down the road.

SL

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Good info here. I also did a couple things to make it a little easier. I knew there were certain times I particularly felt the urge to smoke. I quit reading the newspaper in bed with coffee since that needed a cigarette... got up from the dinner table after finishing... quit drinking Scotch since that Absolutely required a cig... stayed out of bars for a while and so on. I also didn't say " I need to quit smoking", because I dont think the brain picks up the Don't as loudly as the Smoking... Kinda like " Don't think about a pink elephant on a yellow volkswagon".. Every time you think that phrase you think of what you don't want to think about. Sooo, I substituted the affirmation "I want to get healthy" "I want to get healthy" and so on. Oh! last thing, I kept a couple tooth picks in my wallet in case the "Oral Thing" was getting the best of me.

Hope some of this helps!

Michelle

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Guest Guest_SL

Michelle,

Too right about coffee and Scotch! I used to keep my cigarette on top of my alarm clock and I'd have one before I had hardly opened my eyes. And you're right about the power of word suggestion.

I watched a friend, younger than I was, die of emphysema. About 100 short breaths a second and all blue. So starved for oxygen he could hardly hold his head up. Know how long a person can linger like that? A lot longer than you'd think. Watched cancer run rampant through Peter Jennings lungs and he had quit for twenty years!

Good reply Michelle.

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Guest ~DeeDee~

I started smoking at thirteen and finally quit 15 years later at 28, by then I was almost smoking two packs a day. This was the third or fourth time I had "quit" but like Charlie says " If i have one i'm off to the races" and the same holds true for me. All it takes is one slip and your buying a new pack and a lighter within 24 hours. I quit cold turkey the last time, and have never, ever, ever, ever, been so friggin miserable in my whole life. The pain I am going through now with he GID is tough, but nothing compares to nicotine withdraws. I was like Megan Rose also in he fact that I actually have always enjoyed he smell (even second hand) and the act of smoking it's self. I believe that's part of the addiction a lot of people ignore though, as it seems many people focus on the chemical aspects of smoking like like nicotine, it's a lot of the other things like oral fixation of putting something in your mouth all of the time of having something between your fingers. Michelle brings up a great point also in the idea that you have to break habits that go along with smoking. For me it was no more cigs in the car, and no drinking of any kind because will power can be strong, but it is so diminished by the use of alcohol. Another hing that helped me stop was finding something to keep me busy during idle times, when the tough craving would occur. My solution was tying flies ( I love feathers), and I am sure it will be different for you, but I would spend hours on end tying hundreds of flies just to get over those humps. You just have to find something you like LOVE to do in order to keep you mind and hands occupied in order to break the "spell" so-to-speak. I hope this helps a little, as it's a hard road on the way to being tobacco free.

Good luck, and stay strong,

Dee Dee

P.S. I still get the occasional craving even years later, and I just have to think back to how miserable quitting was and is and how I promised myself that there is no way I am ever going through that again.

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Guest Jo-88

How did I quit? Actually quite by accident. I'd asked my doctor for an antidepressant because quitting smoking was always such a downer. The antidepressant turned off my nicotine cravings! It was so wierd to not need a cigarette. I continued smoking out of habit for a few days - but never with relish - and just a few days later was done.

I think I am on the same medication you are talking about, wellbutrin? (aka bupropion, aka Zyban) I just got on it a few weeks ago (mainly for anxiety though), I still haven't quit smoking but Im down from a pack a day to about 2 cigarettes a day, which I would say is a huge improvement. Its also helping me lose weight as its killed my cravings for junk food and caffeine as well... in fact I had to setup reminders on my iPhone to tell me when to eat because I will forget to otherwise.

To the OP I know first hand how difficult it is to quit smoking, Im 23 and have been smoking a pack a day since I was 17 I feel trapped and helpless in the face of cigarettes (its not just the nicotine, because the gums and patches never worked for me, its the act of smoking that I am addicted to). Anyway I know you said you would rather do it naturally but you should consider talking to your doc about it, the stop smoking drugs aren't something you would have to take forever, just until you quit and it shouldn't be any unhealthier than smoking... otherwise its going to be entirely up to your will power to quit, which can be hard to keep up.

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(Jodie - it was actually another unrelated antidepressant, Lexapro. Wellbutrin just made me feel good and I smoked all the more. Everyone's wired differently - I just wish the doctors would understand that a little better. Megan)

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Guest KarenLyn

I quit about 20 years ago. I used self hypnosis. It took me about 3 months of practice to get it right. My husband smokes and we've been together for 13 years and I haven't picked it back up so I'm going to assume it worked.

Karen

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Guest Jo-88

(Jodie - it was actually another unrelated antidepressant, Lexapro. Wellbutrin just made me feel good and I smoked all the more. Everyone's wired differently - I just wish the doctors would understand that a little better. Megan)

Yea for sure, its taken me many a trip to the doctor to finally find something that works for me. I just thought that might be what you were given simply because it is also marketed as just a stop smoking aid (Zyban vs Wellbutrin, even though they are exactly the same). But I just wanted the OP to know that they shouldn't be opposed to seeing their doc about quitting, there are definitely ways they can help you... some people can quit cold turkey and some people need help, no shame in that :)

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Michelle,

Too right about coffee and Scotch! I used to keep my cigarette on top of my alarm clock and I'd have one before I had hardly opened my eyes. And you're right about the power of word suggestion.

I watched a friend, younger than I was, die of emphysema. About 100 short breaths a second and all blue. So starved for oxygen he could hardly hold his head up. Know how long a person can linger like that? A lot longer than you'd think. Watched cancer run rampant through Peter Jennings lungs and he had quit for twenty years!

Good reply Michelle.

I knew an urban missionary in the last year of his life who was attached to a flexible oxygen tube. Even with that, he was constantly gulping for air, and yes, he was blue... It reminded me of a fish opening and closing its mouth... 24 hours a day, every day, constantly craving oxygen...{{{{{shudder}}}}}

Oh yeah, my best friend was diagnosed with lung cancer February 2011 and was dead before November. Nothing glamorous or sexy about rapidly metastasizing cancer "buttons" popping up on your ribs spine and brain. Ask a cancer survivor about "chemo brain", clouds your thinking for a couple days. As far as I am concerned, the tobacco companies are no better than the Columbian and Mexican drug cartels.

Michelle

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Guest Jo-88

Michelle,

Too right about coffee and Scotch! I used to keep my cigarette on top of my alarm clock and I'd have one before I had hardly opened my eyes. And you're right about the power of word suggestion.

I watched a friend, younger than I was, die of emphysema. About 100 short breaths a second and all blue. So starved for oxygen he could hardly hold his head up. Know how long a person can linger like that? A lot longer than you'd think. Watched cancer run rampant through Peter Jennings lungs and he had quit for twenty years!

Good reply Michelle.

I knew an urban missionary in the last year of his life who was attached to a flexible oxygen tube. Even with that, he was constantly gulping for air, and yes, he was blue... It reminded me of a fish opening and closing its mouth... 24 hours a day, every day, constantly craving oxygen...{{{{{shudder}}}}}

Oh yeah, my best friend was diagnosed with lung cancer February 2011 and was dead before November. Nothing glamorous or sexy about rapidly metastasizing cancer "buttons" popping up on your ribs spine and brain. Ask a cancer survivor about "chemo brain", clouds your thinking for a couple days. As far as I am concerned, the tobacco companies are no better than the Columbian and Mexican drug cartels.

Michelle

Oh my god, that is horrible... yea cigarettes are pretty much the devil,I wish I would have never started smoking them. Heres hoping Alexandra and I both can quit soon!

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  • Forum Moderator

I hope you can quit to as i hope i can stay off for years more. Its up to you and up to me. I think there are 12 step programs to get off the butts. I quit using the principals of AA. It works it really does. Don't let those things kill you. I think they are the reason i have coronary artery disease. Not worth it.

Hugs, Charlie

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Guest *Brooke*

Well, I have to thank each and every one of you! Sorry I didn't reply earlier, just been extremely busy, but I read posts each evening when I had some free time. :) The reason I haven't gone to the doctor for it, is that my health insurance from work hasn't kicked in yet, and my extra money is going for my Therapy, and don't want to stop going to those weekly. Your stories are very helpful, as I haven't heard of needing to be hooked up to oxygen... that sounds like it would be a nightmare. Very motivating. I hope to be done smoking within the next week or two, and if not, I may end up just going to the doctor for it, since my insurance should be available then.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest *Brooke*

Not having such good luck with this yet.. I end up quitting for a day or two, and then something happens, and I end up buying another pack. :( I hate that they are so easy to buy.. I mean, they taste nasty to me, and make my stomach hurt... Just frustrating... I think I need to just stop, even if I have a partial pack, I need to just put it away, throw it, smash it... something, and be done. That may be my best solution for now.

I've gotten hired on at my job, which means my insurance will be changing now, otherwise I'd probably just go to the doctor to get on something to help me out a bit.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest notajanedoe

I'm... nnngh! I'm quitting tomorrow. Well, tonight, but it's just a couple hours before I go to bed, so I'm not counting. A 72-hour detox program which should leave me cranky and twitching....

I'm pack-a-day smoker, and this is going to suck, but!....

I get to smell better, and not suffer from nicotine headaches! And I save a ton of money every month! And don't have to worry about it interfering with HRT! My voice (once naturally pretty soft, for a dude's) will heal up!

And, ah, I'd really like to be able to get my breath and stamina back. I want to start working on that ladylike-figure before the the lack of testosterone makes it that much harder.

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I quit about 20 years ago. I used self hypnosis. It took me about 3 months of practice to get it right. My husband smokes and we've been together for 13 years and I haven't picked it back up so I'm going to assume it worked.

Karen

Karen:

I started smoking at 15 and when I reached 30, my cute daughter looked me in the eye, she was 5 years old. Daddy please stop smoking for me. I had read in that nights paper that a guy was doing hypnosis for smoking. Told my wife I was going. I went through the hypnosis. Threw out my cigarettes on the way out. I can't stand second hand smoke anymore or the smell of cigarettes on somebody in an elevator. Hypnosis made quitting easy for me. And when I found my 15 year old daughter smoking, I looked her in the eye and told her I quit for her and only her. I asked her to show me the same love I showed her and quit. She handed me the pack, said dad I'm all done with smoking.. I've never smelled cigarettes on her breath in 12 years and she is now a proud non-smoker.

A side line, our department has a Federal Grant to reduce smoking in the teenage and young adult population of Missouri. I got my daughter a Smokebusters T Shirt. Now if I could just get my son to quit. Kathryn

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  • 2 months later...

i quit for six months recently but unfortunately got tempted and started again, i urge you to look at the positive things of quitting, like how you get your sense of smell back, feel less tired during the day and you simply feel better, the urge to smoke will get less and less as time goes by and the urge will get easier to ignore when you get it, just remember there is no such thing as just one smoke, it will quickly turn into two and soon you will be smoking a pack a day.

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Ditto! I used Chantix to quit and it worked. I only had a few of the long list of side effects. I had to pay my way on that one. I was smoke free for a few months and I started back. Yup, just one. Now I'm back to the same years of misery feelings I had left a few months before. Being broke, it's rollies and the mess that goes with it. I wanted to stop smoking so badly because I want new teeth and I don't want them stained yellow. If I can get past this point of total apathy in my life today, I will quit again. Cigarettes seem to be an amplifier for my depression. I hope I recover soon because I want to deserve that nice new pretty white smile. My only suggestion, keep trying. Jody

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I can vouch for Zyban being very effective as well... I take wellbutrin as an anti depressant, its exactly the same drug as Zyban (bupropion) just with a higher dose and different marketing. I don't think I would have been able to quit without it. I tried some many different things, e-cigs, gum, patches, etc. and none of it worked. With the wellbutrin/zyban in my system I was able to quit cold turkey, one day I just decided not to buy a pack and havent smoked one since. My brother still smokes and I can smell it on him all the time, it grosses me out now... I will never go back to smoking cigs, its gross.

The wellbutrin/zyban also helped me lose some weight too, im down from 233 Lbs to 206 Lbs and still dropping... it works to kill all cravings, not just nicotine, it even helped me quit smoking pot and I dont crave caffeine anymore either. Not to mention after years of being prescribed anti depressants that never worked, the wellbutrin does work amazingly well, its not perfect but it works.

I honestly cant recommend it enough, if you want to quit smoking discuss wellbutrin/zyban with your doctor... its not for everyone though because it is a mild amphetamine which takes some getting used to, I was jittery for weeks after starting it but it does go away.

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Guest Megan_Lynn

Am really shocked to hear someone rave up wellbutrin so high. I had been put on it when I was in the Army and it was one of the worst things ever for me. It made me loose every outward emotion , I was completely unable to express anger , fear, joy, love ect. I was basically a zombie 24/7. It gave me the jitters to making me go from jittery to darn near full blown seizures and was taken off it because of that. I was a 1-2 pack a day smoker then and continued to be the same the entire time I was on wellbutrin. But every medical drug is not for everyone I guess.

As for quiting smoking was able to quit for a 10 month span but then had something happen in my life that would have been a jerry springer hit. I wanted that smoke as a crutch and well very very bad mistake cause just like an alcoholic all it takes is just one and you are back to square one. What make me able to finally quit was my endo. She told me flat out you keep smoking you will never see hrt from me. Took me all of 3 days after that appointment to quit for good cold turkey. After pretty much 25 straight years of puffin an average of 30 to 40 smokes a day. Guess all I needed was a really good reason to quit and being the real me was the best reason ever. It was really not that tough after the first few days but as I said I had the perfect motivator. In 9 days it will be a full 4 years since I last had any tobacco product. Am so much better off because of it. While still as ugly as ever I do look younger then I did 10 years ago. Still from time to time have a want to smoke but its so mild it never bothers me at all. The smell of second hand some is very nasty to me but later after smelling it is when I will have a minor craving for one. Anywho anyone can quite smoking all it takes is to stop thinking you can not do it and just do it. Excuses do not make things happen they stop them. As Nike says just do it.....

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      I've also wondered about the same thing, especially since a lot of media I see, if they include a trans character at all, is usually transfeminine. I think it really boils down to what @Carolyn Mariesaid: how said individuals are perceived in society and the acceptibility of it. It's a shame transwomen and transfeminine people are made to feel bad for who they are or to be afraid of how they identify or choose to present themselves. This might be why you see more stories concerning them. To spread awareness and to show transwomen are not scary and are people just like everybody else.   In regards to transmen and transmasculine people, I've done much reading and thinking, and have come to the conclusion that perhaps such individuals are not explored or discussed is because of a private, safety factor. I've read more and more individuals have been coming out as FtM compared to recent years, such as in the 90s or early 2000's, and they may not be as transparent or as seen as MtF individuals just because of the fact they could face ridicule or repercussion for coming out or exploring their identity. It appears the expression of women is much more flexible nowadays than it was before, but that doesn't mean it is all inclusive. It probably just depends on where you are and the kind of atmosphere that is present.   What I always think is, whether I know it or not, I've at least run into someone like myself without knowing it. It provides a sense of mystery but it's at least a little bit comforting in these strange times.
    • MarkCT
      Hi All   This is my first, and in many was I hope my last, post on this forum but here goes and apologies in advance if it is a bit long winded but I think you’d need to know the full picture if you are going to give me any tips, which I do hope you will.    Back in 1963 my mum’s family (her mum, dad and numerous much younger siblings) emigrated to Sydney as “£10 Pommes”. I was two years old at the time and we were due to join them the following year but for various reasons we didn’t go. My dad had no family apart from his parents, who died many years ago. So, it has always been important to me, my wife and our (now grown up) children to visit the family regularly.     So now we get to the main point. I’ve always been saddened that, whilst everyone of my Aussie family have been so excited to see us when we visit there has always been one exception; a first cousin who was really nice but always seemed very standoffish and distant. You can imagine my surprise when she announced that she had transitioned! I’m not great at social media but my wife contacted her and they converse on and off, not a lot but as much as before she transitioned.    But now with Covid out of the way 🤞we are planning our next trip so (as my cousin is not on the main family WhatsApp group) I wrote to her. I said we (my wife and I) were going to be in Sydney and Brisbane, where most of the family live, but that Ballarat really was going to be just too much of a stretch- especially as she is the only one who lives there. I was amazed and so happy when she immediately wrote back and said she’d make sure she came to see us (if you look at the map and at the cost of flights you’ll realise that is no small commitment).    Now this may seem obvious to you but it is all totally new territory to me and my wife so we are worried about inadvertently saying something that might be hurtful.  so any tips would be most welcome. I have some particular questions:   In chatting do we always use feminine pronouns or do we use masculine when talking about the time before transition (ie our previous visits etc)?   Do we talk about his/her(? )wife, who has now gone her own way, although I suspect they are still friends?    Do we steer well clear of discussing anything at all personal I’m thinking of both emotional and practical issues)? Or perhaps my wife could whereas I shouldn’t?   What do we do about our normal big family gatherings? We’d love her to be there but don’t obviously want to put any undue pressure. We do see on Facebook that some of the family are very kind and accepting but in the cases of a good many others we just don’t know.  Thats just a few of the questions we have but any other comments or tips would be most welcome before we get on the plane from Heathrow at the end of the month.    Thanks 😊    Mark    
    • MiraF
      I think if anyone will take over the US as führer, it will be DeSantis. Trump is already being removed from his position as head of the republicans, with people like fox news and Breitbart saying DeSantis is the future of the party. Considering Trump's incompetence and Ron's actions so far, he may actually be worse.   Apart from that, I agree with you 100%.
    • Vidanjali
      The persecution of Black Americans is not analogous to the persecution of trans people, but there are intersecting features such as disproportionate levels of violence against and systemic oppression. That is, in particular, violence against both groups is not exclusively individually motivated (de facto), but is abetted by systemic oppression (de jure).  So, to gain some context for thinking about this question, I read two articles, one that argues that the 1951 charge of genocide against Black Americans is compelling:   https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/12/26/black-activists-charge-genocide-united-states-systemic-racism-526045   and another which argues it is not:   https://opiniojuris.org/2021/12/30/is-structural-genocide-legally-genocide-a-response-to-hinton/   This second article discusses another article on settler colonialism (linked in both articles) whose author states that settler colonialism is eliminatory, but not necessarily genocidal. The 2nd article's author further suggests that therefore systematic "crushing of spirit" may be better defined as cultural genocide, which was deliberately excluded from the genocide convention, however.   From what I understand, proof of intent is pivotal in charging genocide. That was the main argument against validifying the charge of genocide against Black Americans.    Anti-trans politicians and policy makers tend to (deliberately) mask their intent by claiming campaigns to save the children.    After reading the 2nd article, I began to read about crime against humanity versus genocide.    UN definition of crimes against humanity (CAH): https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/crimes-against-humanity.shtml   Note the UN definition of CAH refers to gender. Remarkably, the UN definition of gender acknowledges gender as a social construct.    Also note, regarding intent, that "[an] important distinction is that in the case of crimes against humanity, it is not necessary to prove that there is an overall specific intent. It suffices for there to be a simple intent to commit any of the acts listed, with the exception of the act of persecution, which requires additional discriminatory intent. The perpetrator must also act with knowledge of the attack against the civilian population and that his/her action is part of that attack." Do I believe the trans population is under attack? Yes, without a doubt. Do I believe it's genocide? I view this as an academic question, albeit an important one. I don't know the answer. I do think that it's possible that someone/some people in power will succumb to hubris and unequivocally declare intent to eliminate the trans population. I don't hope for that, but tbh, at least if such intent is made clear, then there is a clearer path to bringing a charge of genocide or CAH. However, I think that using the trans population as a scapegoat to galvanize ones voting constituency is ultimately of greater interest to those individuals than actually destroying us. Nonetheless, we suffer the collateral damage.       
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