Welcome To the Anne M. Vitale PhD Website

Frequently Asked Questions? FAQs

Could you enlighten me as to what would be an acceptable solution to my lifelong dilemma. I am a female and definitely heterosexual, I tried the lesbian thing and although I think women are beautiful, I have no interest in them sexually. I have been all my life distinctively male in my interests and behavior. I have no interest in female clothing or activities and feel very uncomfortable when I force myself. It just doesn't feel like me. I am not aggressive like many males, although I am somewhat dominating. At best when I am engaged in a male-like activity, such as doing construction work, the guys forget I'm a female and treat me as one of them. I have never had a successful long-term relationship (I'm 48). I am uncomfortable every day and have no idea how to resolve my dysphoria or to have a successful relationship.

Most of my gender dysphoric female clients seem to be a bit more certain than you about having a male inner sense of self. As a result they come to see me with more of an intent to transition than to sort things out. Your situation seems more like the gender dysphoric males I see in that they do want to try and sort things out first. Transition seems to be way in the back of their minds even for those that do go on to transition. A good gender specialist should be able to help you fit all the pieces together and find your place in the gender spectrum. With that knowledge you can decide what to do next. If you tell me where you live and the names of a couple of other cities you are willing to travel to, I will try to find someone to refer you to.

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How can I safely transition around my parents when I know they disapprove of transsexual or transgendered persons. I am moving out of state soon to live my life far from home so I want to hide this as much as possible. Do you have other advice for me on this topic?

The only way to transition around parents is by telling them what you are up to up front. If you decide to move away from them, unless you do not want to see them again, you still have to tell them. Hopefully you can get them to understand that transsexualism happens and being disapproving of it, in my opinion, constitutes irresponsible parenting. If you are working with a therapist--and that is always a good idea-- she or he can help provide educational material for them and perhaps personally intercede for you.

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Is transsexualism rampant in this time/generation?

The short answer is NO. I doubt if there are any more gender dysphoric people today than there ever were. Especially if we assume that the cause of the disorder is congenital. The big difference now is that it can be successfully treated and more and more people world wide have access to the helpful information over the internet.

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Is there a particular age when someone realizes that he/she is a transsexual?

There are two important times in a transsexual's life. The first is when he or she realizes that he or she is gender dysphoric and admits to him or herself that he or she wishes they were the born the other sex. That can happen anytime in childhood but usually around the age of 6 or 7. The second is when the individual realizes that the dysphoria is not going to go away and that the anxiety over the issue has become problematic for them in their daily life. About then, the individual should be familiar with the phenomenon and know of it as transsexualism. The second situation can happen anywhere from their early teen years to mid adulthood.

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Are genetic or native males more prone to transsexualism than genetic females?

We don't have any specific data on whether gender dysphoria occurs more often in genetic male or genetic females. Western society allows females to express masculine behavior in dress to a degree that is not allowed for men relative to their need to express an innate sense of femininity. That difference may account for the fact that more males present not only more often but in greater distress than genetic females. However, I would venture a guess based on those gender dysphoric females I have worked with and how they reflect upon their lives and relationships that gender dysphoria occurs at about the same rate for both men and women.

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DISCLAIMER: 

Nothing on this site should be viewed as providing therapeutic advice. No formation of a client/therapist
relationship with Dr. Vitale is intended or to be implied or inferred. The information provided in this site is for educational
purposes only. I attempt to keep the information current but make no representation or warranties in that regard. You should
not rely upon this information as a substitute for consul with a qualified mental health professional.