Dysphoria

 

We are special people. We didn’t ask for this. We haven’t done anything wrong. All we want is some peace and to live out our days in some kind of comfort. The gift of life is special. We are part of a species that is rare and not always loved, so we need to get things as right as we can. We never truly belong. We are always lonely, even with many around us. Only another like us can really take the loneliness away. Only that person can know and understand us. Sometimes in this life we have to do what is right for us. We have to stop always considering what other people might think. If we don’t, then eventually we will become no use to people around us or ourselves. If we can break free and become our true selves, then a dream is born, and we will be blessed with something wonderful that no one can take away.

 

 

 

 

Transsexualism is a Gender Identity Disorder in which there is a strong and on-going cross-gender identification, i.e. a desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex.  There is a persistent discomfort with his or her anatomical sex and a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex.  There is a wish to have hormonal treatment and surgery to make one's body as congruent as possible with one's psychological sex.

 

Some Questions & Answers

 

What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender Dysphoria is a general term for persons who have confusion or discomfort about their birth gender.  Milder forms of gender dysphoria cause incomplete or occasional feelings of being the opposite sex.  The most intense form of the condition, with complete gender reversal, is called transsexualism.  A transsexual is a male or female who has a lifelong feeling of being trapped in the wrong body.  The identification with the opposite sex is so strong and persistent that the transsexual feels the only way to acheive peace of mind is to change the body to match the mind.  Some go through the process of living in the chosen role with the help of hormones, eventually leading to sex reassignment surgery.  Others seek help to learn to live with their secret feelings with less guilt and shame.

 

What causes gender dysphoria?
Although life experiences may effect the outward expression of gender behavior, there must be some underlying changes in the brain for transsexualism to occur.  The precise cause of the condition is unknown.  It is now generally accepted that some changes likely occur before birth, causing parts of the transsexual's brain to develop in the pattern opposite to that of his or her physical sex.

 

Do transsexuals have abnormal chromosomes or physical deformities?
True transsexuals have normal XY (male) or XX (female) sex chromosomes appropriate for their physical gender.  There is no laboratory test for transsexualism.  Hermaphrodites and others with ambiguous sex characteristics at birth may or may not develop gender dysphoria.  The vast majority of transsexuals, however, have no identifiable physical abnormality.

 

Is being transsexual the same as being a homosexual or a transvestite?
No.  Homosexuals are sexually attracted to members of their own sex but are content with their bodies and have no desire to change them.  Gay people may occasionally think that changing their sex would help them feel more socially acceptable.  With help, they can come to understand that self-acceptance does not come from a gender change.

Transvestites are men who are preoccupied with crossdressing in women's clothing largely for the purpose of sexual satisfaction.  They are generally happy with themselves as men, but their desire to become women may increase temporarily under stressful life circumstances.
 

 

Can a homosexual or transvestite "progress" to become a transsexual?
Although some cases may appear to have such origins many transsexuals go through a period of transvestite or homosexual behaviour while exploring their true nature.  Transsexualism often crystalizes with increasing age, not reaching its greatest intensity until age 40 or 50.

 

Can a person actually change sex?
Not really.  A person's chromosomes and reproductive organs cannot be changed to those of the opposite sex.  With hormonal treatment and surgery, however, most transsexuals can achieve satisfactory physical appearance and sexual function.

 

Can a post-surgical transsexual bear or father children?
No.  Fertility is lost in the reassignment process.

 

How are prospective patients assessed for possible reassignment?
Individuals who have been referred to a recognized gender dysphoria clinic must first be evaluated by a team of doctors and other professionals.  A detailed history of gender development from childhood through puberty and thereafter is key to the evaluation.  Medical and personal history is also considered, as well as life circumstances and general stability.  Additional psychological assessment may be arranged to clarify unanswered questions.  Care must be taken to ensure that he or she is a good candidate and that, above all, no harm is done.

If any alternatives to reassignment are considered possible, the clinic will actively pursue these options.  It is often the case that individuals initially coming to clinics requesting reassignment discover that there are less drastic possibilities.

 





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