Monday, December 6, 2010

Transsexuality 101

Someone posted this on a forum I frequent and I thought it was really good. Verbose but not too much so with enough information to get the main points across.

What is a transsexual?
For simplicity, a transsexual is a person whose inner sense of gender identity and brain patterns are completely the opposite of what physical form they are born into. This is a recognized medical condition which is completely unrelated to sexuality or sexual preference at ll, but unfortunately society sees only brazen gay and bisexual people out there using gender bending to express their sexuality and assumes this is what transsexuals are too. A real transsexual has no more in common with a drag queen, gay, or bisexual person than they do with a chimpanzee! They have a deep basic incongruity between their inner identity and their physical form which can only best be expressed as something which is within their very soul. Transsexuality occurs in equal numbers across born male and born female people. Estimates are that approximately 1 in 30,000 people are born with the condition.

How does this happen?
There are many things known today through years of research, though no one single absolute cause has been quantified as of yet. It is almost universally believed that during the formation of the fetus in uteri, a hormonal imbalance affects the development of the body sex characteristics in a way that is misaligned with the core gender bran wiring. The brain "gender identity" is determined very early on in the fetal growth process, though the messages of an incorrect hormone balance sent to the developing fetus' body, redirects the "intended" natural development to the wrong physical gender. Once born, while growing up the body's own hormone generators then further the physical discrepancy - especially once puberty arrives. Unique chromosomal or genetic influences are also possible contributing factors that are being researched as additional contributing components to the phenomenon. It is very important to understand that no two things in nature are alike - there is no black and white bipolar scheme in life, and random types of birth development happen in all species, including transsexuality. Much more common birth development variations include Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome, being Intersexed, or Gender Mosaic.
Transsexuality is not hereditary and a person cannot just "become" transsexual one day. As an extremely complex birth condition the situation is simply a variable in nature and there is nothing and no one to blame. It can actually be a very enlightening, even religious experience about the nature of the universe and humanity far beyond simple primitive bi-polar sociological models. Most transsexuals are acutely aware of something feeling incorrect from a very early age, but lack the ability to approach the issue. Transsexuality is not contagious, a "demon" or a cult into which someone can be enticed into - one cannot "catch" it or turn into it... one is simply born transsexual. It occurs across all races, socioeconomic classes, religions, and childhood upbringings, and has been documented throughout history for thousands of years... many cultures have even revered or worshipped them for having extraordinary vision and wisdom. Transsexuals are actually very good, intelligent, family loving people who are valuable, creative, and productive members of society when given the opportunity to flourish without oppression.

How could someone want "that" surgery?
The person with transsexuality eventually must learn to accept their situation if they are to survive happily in self congruity and not be rendered incapacitated by depression and other co-morbid mental health problems out of frustration and despair. They often have worked very hard at being everything they could for everyone else but no matter how hard they try, they always come up feeling empty and unfulfilled because they are still not whole. These feelings magnify over time until eventually the individual is overwhelmed with dysphoria. They may have tried to live in a role and style that is incongruous for a long, long time until it finally becomes unbearable... this can become a critical life threatening time for the transsexual. To simply try to even live in some sort of duality or "alternative lifestyle" without true physical and social alignment is to just continue the intolerable hypocrisy of a masquerade in a different form, still being something they are not. The ultimate goal is to be truthful and completely real unto themselves as their true gender identity dictates. The only real option left then becomes the social process of transitioning to their correct gender and also the medical process of hormone therapy and surgery. Physical pain and expenses become completely insignificant in comparison to the prospects of having to endure living life in a false way any longer.

The Life Experience of a Transsexual
A person with transsexuality will almost always go through many devastating and long stages of fear, guilt, anger, shame, self loathing and emotional distress though out their life as a result of the incongruity. They know that they will also likely face fear, hatred, prejudice, violence and rejection - sometimes even from those they may love or respect most. No one wants or chooses to have this happen to them, so as a result, transsexuals typically live seriously disrupted lives tangled in deep inner emotional conflict. They must go through a very long difficult process of getting beyond their internalized conflicts and societal pressures by learning to finally accept that this is just who they are, and these are the cards they have been dealt in life. It is then that they realize they must play it out to the best of their ability to achieve congruity, for their own health and well being.
Often those with transsexuality will attempt almost anything in the world to avoid facing their fears and unavoidable situations, including super-human macho activities or careers, marriage, family, extreme creative endeavors or even turn to religion, drugs, or alcohol to escape. Sooner or later though, if they have survived this far, they will find that these things did not work and they must face yet another even greater battle with their transsexual "demon". The fear of facing the issue can instill an emotional paralysis that can be difficult if not impossible to shake. It is then that they must seek professional assistance to gain some kind of movement in their situation. There is an immense amount of deep inner personal work ahead for someone who reaches this point. Many unfortunately, never make it. If they do, they come to realize that the "demon" was an internally fabricated myth woven out of fear of change, emotion, insecurity and social pressure - it was never even really there at all. As US President F.D.Roosevelt put it, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts."

The Final Freedom
Once the transsexual person has overcome their fears, guilt, and shame and accepted themselves and learned to feel self worth, happiness and inner pride, with proper guidance they will move forward through transition and on to establish new lives in the properly aligned role. The period of time can be short sometimes for very young transsexuals who can't find coping skills in life or are less affected by social "role" pressures to conform to - or it can take years, even decades to unfold. The path can be a treacherous, painful, expensive, lonely, and emotional one, but it can be done successfully with the highly rewarding end result of rising above the flames of their torment and dysphoria like a phoenix from the ashes.
To just feel "normal" is something almost everyone takes for granted in life. For the person afflicted with transsexuality, it is the Holy Grail. Once an individual passes through the processes involved, wholeness of being is achieved and the person can transcend their past medical condition and live a balanced, normal life.


JAY said...

I have to disagree that drag queens are not transsexuals. Not all of them are, of course, but a very many of them are. Gay men don't get boob jobs just to perform.

I think you have to consider that some transsexuals find themselves in the gay community, first, before they learn anything about the "T" one, so that's where they eventually identify themselves as belonging.

Sally said...

It's a very usefull post, actually printed it out, and a big thank you for the videoblog, happy holidays
Sally from Denmark

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