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Frequently Asked Questions? FAQs

Do most people with Gender Identity Disorder have a deep-seated feeling of being inferior to the sex that they long to be? (i.e. not just being the wrong gender, but also feeling rejected by them?)

This is a far more complicated issue than I have time to address right now. However, I will say this. I don't think so. In fact I know for certain that most people who transition come to understand their situation better than the either/or comparisons you are suggesting. It doesn't take long for a post-op person to understand that although they now look and act very much like the gender they aspired to all their life, to realize that in fact that is as close to being absolutely male or female they will ever get. That does not, however, mean that they are inferior in any way. It is simply a different state of existence and has it's own virtues. People who transition are notorious for fitting back into society quite comfortably without notice. Rejection, unless one makes a special point of declaring one's transsexual status is rarely if ever an issue.

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I don't want to sound lengthy, but I have a few questions. I am sixteen, but I have already come to the conclusion after about three-four years of feeling that way. A few problems I have is that I keep second guessing myself and that my mother found out once and said that I was making it all up. Also I really don't act like a girl though I feel that I am one. I have heard of people creating masks for their male exterior in this type of situation and that may be it. Do many people have these questions and doubts and if I have them then does that mean that I am not a girl and that I have evaluated my person incorrectly? I am just distressed and want help. I have been driven to the point of almost suicide in regards to this question though i have been talked out of it repeatedly with such success that I realize that it is an ignorant thing to do. I do a lot of research on this and I have come to the conclusion that as soon as I get to college I am going to seriously consider transitioning (even though I will be broke and it is highly costly). I am at the point to which I will pay any price to become who I am, but I am terrified. Not of the changes themselves I even want to go as far as SRS seeing that looking at my penis is something that weighs down my soul, I even gone as far as to already pick out my name when it came to me and I realized that my name was Katrina (this was before hurricane Katrina so I am not basing it off of that), but of how others will react. I don't want to lose my family or friends and that terrifies me. I guess I am rambling on purely for the sake of trying to get someone to listen (though I have talked to my school psychologist many times), but not to be rude, but he is not as well versed in transsexuality as you are and it gets hard talking to him about it. I just want simple advice on what I should do and if you recommend getting over my fears and going through transition as soon as possible or if I should wait on the issue. Things get confusing and I would like advice.

With the exception of your age, your situation is very common among gender dysphoric males when they first come into see me. No matter how badly they need to be female, everyone is frightened of loosing family and friends if they were to transition. Resolving all of that is a major part of what working with a good gender therapist is all about. If you tell me what part of the country you live in, I will try to find a therapist to recommend to you. Perhaps you can get your family to take you to see him or her. In the meantime take care of yourself. I look forward to hearing from you.

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What treatment is there for transsexuals?

The currently accepted and effective model of treatment for gender issues is based on the Standards of Care (SOC) written and enforced by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. The tripartite treatment plan outlined in the SOC, involves an extended period (usually about 3 months) of psychotherapy prior to making a referral for hormone replacement therapy. This period is followed by an extended time (at least one year) in which the individual is required to live successfully full time in the new gender role prior to getting a referral for sex reassignment surgery. Although the SOC are minimum guidelines to be used to set eligibility criteria for patients, in actuality the course of treatment can be tailored to the individual's needs, and is usually negotiated among the patient's therapist, administrating endocrinologist and surgeon.

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What other treatments are there?

Male-to--female Transsexuals often undergo electrolysis or laser treatments to remove their beard and body hair. Transsexuals might also seek speech therapy to help attune their voices to their acquired gender.

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Are there any rules governing this treatment?

Although there are no legally binding rules, standards of care have been drawn up by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The association has established standards of care for the treatment of GD, which is generally accepted by medical providers across the world these standards are revised from time to time to take into account new scientific information, and were last updated in 2014 with version 7. They provide directions for the treatment of transsexuals, which may be modified in line with a patient's particular needs and circumstances. They include minimum eligibility requirements for some procedures, such as referrals for hormones and for genital surgery.

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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.