algae: An umbrella term for various simple organisms that contain chlorophyll (and can therefore carry out photosynthesis) and live in aquatic habitats and in moist situations on land. Algae range from macroscopic seaweeds such as giant kelp, which frequently exceeds 30 m in length, to microscopic filamentous and single-celled forms such as Spirogyra and Chlorella. For example, if a gene determines the seed color of peas, one allele of that gene may produce green seeds and another allele produce yellow seeds.

My most vivid memory is as a teenager, nervously buying a pair of pantyhose from a local supermarket and then wearing them home under my pants.

I felt (and still feel) a need to wear woman’s clothes, and I can’t quite explain where it comes from.

allopatric speciation: Speciation that occurs when two or more populations of a species are geographically isolated from one another sufficiently that they do not interbreed. There are 20 main amino acids in the proteins of living things, and the properties of a protein are determined by its particular amino acid sequence.

amino acid sequence: A series of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, usually coded for by DNA.

adaptation: Any heritable characteristic of an organism that improves its ability to survive and reproduce in its environment.

Also used to describe the process of genetic change within a population, as influenced by natural selection.

Species adapt when succeeding generations emphasize beneficial characteristics.

agnostic: A person who believes that the existence of a god or creator and the nature of the universe is unknowable.

Without the need to justify their behavior, and no longer shamed by society perhaps we will be better able to answer this baffling question.