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Frequently Asked Questions? FAQs

Which are the best resources for transgender individuals?

For now the Internet will work. However, readers need to be careful that they select qualified sites to read. I suggest that they start by going to the WPATH (http://www.wpath.org) site to use their directory service to find a gender specialist near you. Another great source for parents who are concerned about a child that they believe is gender variant is "The Transgender Child" by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper. It is available at The Transgender Child website.

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Do most transgender individuals have reassignment sex surgery?

I can't answer this question directly. Keep in mind that the term transgender is an umbrella term that covers a large range of gender issues including transsexualism. Only transsexuals ever go on to have surgery. My guess is that most transgendered individuals never seek professional help so that would automatically preclude them having surgery.

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Do most transgender individuals dress as the opposite sex?

Yes...at least some of the time. Transsexuals who go on to live in the opposite gender role, eventually do so full time.

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What is your experience with college-level transgender individuals? Are most comfortable in their own skin?

Today's college age, gender dysphoric youth are much more aware of what they are dealing with. Some of them find ways to express their gender identity issues openly and seem much more healthy than their counter parts who are trying to live what they think is a "normal" life. If, however, the dysphoria is deep seated, there is only so much they can do to feel comfortable. Medical intervention is usually the only answer for them.

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Is there a diagnostic test, for example, genetic testing, that will let one know if they are gay, lesbian, transsexual or heterosexual?

No. there is no genetic test that can be administered to tell anyone what their sexuality is. That can only be done by honest self examination. Transsexualism, which has nothing to do with sexual preference, is different. We can't do a genetic test, but we can administer cross-sex hormones and see if the individual responds positively or negatively to them. That procedure is routinely done after the individual has had an extensive period of psychotherapy and is fully aware of the consequences. A negative reaction would result in extreme anxiety and discomfort. A positive reaction is one where the individual reports a calming affect. Often described as a feeling of well-being.

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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.