(TS): A person who feels a consistent and overwhelming
desire to fulfill their lives as members of the opposite gender. Most transsexuals
actively desire and physically make the transition including Sexual Reassignment
Surgery (SRS: MTF = male to female and FTM = female to male).
A term used to include transsexuals, transvestites, and crossdressers.
It can also represent a person who, like a transsexual, transitions, sometimes
with the help of hormone therapy and/or cosmetic surgery to live in the
gender role of choice, but has not undergone, and generally does not intend
to undergo SRS.
They come in all shapes, sizes, and variations.
Some are extremely feminine while others opt to be as masculine as possible.
Most began their physical transformation in their late teens or twenties.
Others were middle-aged before they made the decision to go through with
it. Many of those who made the change have gone on to enjoy very
committed full-time relationships with their new opposite sex, whereas,
some continue their desire for the same sex that they are now identified
with; whether fully or in part.
In recent years, transsexuals have been featured on television
talk shows; especially those who manifested the physical traits of what
most men consider to be beautiful. They have been targeted by ultra-conservative
hate groups as representing the essence of evil in our society. The
Internet is filled with information concerning them. Yet, regardless
of the tremendous curiosity that they provoke, no single group of people
inspire such strong reactions amongst the general heterosexual population.
The point is that they are a reality, they are people,
and they are in primary relationships with others who fully accept and
|Steps to Sexual
Step 1: Clinical behavioral scientists gather the
information of an SRS applicant to differentiate between those who are
indeed transsexuals and other types of gender disorders. To do this, the
interview includes questions about the gender development of the applicant,
the way the parents have dealt with their childís gender disorder, the
family backgrounds of the parents themselves, identification figures, relationship
with same sex and opposite sex parents, first conscious cross gender feelings,
aspects of sexuality, etc. The applicant must have a confirmed, working
diagnosis of transsexuals and have completed at least 3 months of psychotherapy
in order to obtain evaluation for hormone therapy. During this time, the
M-F transsexual patient can start electrolysis, if desired, to remove unwanted
Step 2: Upon receiving a written evaluation for
hormone therapy, the applicant may then take a copy of the evaluation to
an endocrinologist who offers monitoring of relevant blood chemistries
and routine physical examinations. This is especially important because
hormone therapy may have some irreversible effects and may lead to mild
or serious health-threatening complications. However, if a patient is followed
by a qualified physician who explains what the patient may expect from
the hormones (both positive and negative factors), and regularly monitors
the patientís lab work, he is less likely to run into complications. If
the M-F patient has not already started electrolysis for removal of the
beard, it should be started during the early stages of hormone therapy.
3: The next step is a period of one to two years of cross-living while
the patient continues hormone therapy. The patient lives 24 hours a day
in the gender of choice. Thus, this period is called the "real life test."
During this time, the patient must demonstrate stability and prove functional
ability, become self-supporting, and be socially active. Partial hormone
therapy should be started. It blocks the action of sex steroids in a reversible
way. The M-F bodies do not masculize any further, and F-Ms stop menstruation
and sometimes experience a weakening of breast tissue. On the contrary,
full hormone treatment is not reversible. It masculinizes the female body
and feminizes the male body. The minimal duration of the real life
test is 1 year for F-Ms, 1.5 years for M-Fs. This difference is due to
the fact that the gender role change seems to have more impact on the life
of M-F than on that of F-M, and M-Fs need more time to adjust to the new
Step 4: At the end of a cross-living, an orchidectomy
(tremoving the sex glands of a male) may be performed for the M-F transsexuals.
Implants or breast augmentation and other optional non-genital surgical
sex reassignment procedures are often done at this time. Mastectomy (removing
the breasts) and hysterectomy (removing the uterus) for the F-M transsexual
is usually begun after one year of cross-living. Most patients consult
a plastic surgeon for the mastectomy and a gynecologist for the hysterectomy.
It is also recommended that the F-M transsexuals be in complete understanding
with the surgeon who does his phalloplasty (implanting the male sex organ).
Some F-Ms who have been on androgen for a while tend to get so much clitoral
enlargement that they choose not to have that phalloplasty at all.
Step 5: At this point, a final psychological evaluation
before surgery will be decided. Two written evaluations are required by
at least two clinical behavioral scientists; at least one of which is to
be a doctoral level clinical behavioral scientist and one of whom has known
the patient in a professional relationship for at least six months, before
Step 6: Operating surgery.
Step 7: Post operative or follow-up care after
a patient has completed SRS, for a period of at least three months is required,
however, six months are recommended. This is a period of recovery, necessary
for immediate psychological and social readjustment.
In other words, they are human beings who share with us the
same desires to be loved and needed within the context of a committed primary
Our Own Perceptions...
The pornography industry has given us a very one-dimensional
view of transsexuality. Consequently, they are thought of as some
kind of sexual in-betweens whose purpose in life is to make only x-rated
movies. The truth is that the vast majority of them live normal lives
as everything from bank clerks to medical doctors. Some are even
successful models. Yet, others go on in the same occupations that
they have always worked.
It is also just as much a myth that they spend every Friday
evening in gay bars looking for weekend sex partners. In fact, many
are in full-time relationships.
Regardless of our personal opinions or prejudices, the
transsexual community is growing. It will continue to do so despite
the objections of it's adversaries.
That being said, the understanding that transgendered
individuals are real people will go a long way in reminding all of us of
the determination humans can demonstrate when convinced that they can only
experience a fulfilled relationship as a member of the opposite sex.
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