Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder

The Resolution of Treatment

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Artist-Philosopher Chriss L. Pagani, statement and biography
Artist's Statement & Bio


        If you are going through the transition process, I'll say that over a period of two or more years you will gradually adjust to living as your chosen gender. You will learn to deal with "getting read" (being pointed out as a person attempting to conceal their gender) too. ...Every transsexual has this happen to them at least occasionally... and most beginning transsexuals get read a lot.. which is to say that others are always aware of the transsexual's birth gender. You may have to change jobs, complete with a large pay cut... or be prepared to be the official company "freak." Women's jobs pay less than men's jobs. You may find yourself in minimum wage service job after transitioning even though you have professional credentials. Remember that in most jurisdictions in the USA it is perfectly legal to fire you or not hire you because you are  a transsexual.

      Don't expect everyone to understand you and what you are doing, and do NOT expect them to "just accept me as a woman" if they are aware of your birth gender. Some people will be very accepting -- most will at least be polite and only talk about it behind your back -- and a few will be openly hostile. In general, unless you are living in a radical fundamentalist religious community, most people will probably be polite to you --assuming you are a likable person. If you are aggressive in  demanding rights and acceptance, you will get more hostility and resentment.

     Most people are fairly adaptable and would rather get along with you than fight with you. Just don't be shocked when you hear that they are making jokes about you behind your back.. that's normal. If one is to live one's life as a transsexual, then one must learn to live with a certain amount of non-acceptance and occasional nasty comments. These problems will never go away. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or deluded. And you'll hear a lot of BS in the transgender community from people who are lying to themselves in order to deal with their life situation. Don't be one of them. Learn to live in the real world.

        At the end of your RLT, your therapist will refer you to a qualified psychiatrist for a second opinion regarding your eligibility for surgery. To have surgery, you will need two therapy letters (one from your therapist and one from the consulting psychiatrist) and a letter from an Endocrinologist regarding your hormone treatment .. you will also need a month or so of vacation time and about $15,000 to $25,000 cash as sex changes are considered elective cosmetic surgery and therefore are not covered by most medical plans. I believe - and medical research strongly indicates - that these surgeries are actually NOT "elective" in nature, but that's a separate issue. Some national health plans may cover this surgery, however - so you should gather the appropriate information in advance.

        After surgery, you will need to settle into your new life once and for all. This is another thing that TG advocates don't talk about. You need to resolve in your own mind that this is your life - forever. This is an important step as well, and more difficult than you may now realize.

        It is important to know that a high percentage of postoperative transsexuals have after-surgery regrets. It is often only after surgery that they realize that they are are no more happy in their new gender than they were in their birth gender. It happens. The suicide rate for post-op transsexuals is ridiculously high. But even if you feel this way after surgery, you need to get on with your life. This is not an appliance you can return to the store. Accept who you are now, and forget about the past. Your former life is gone. You MUST live the life you have. Otherwise, you may end up as another post-op suicide statistic. This process can work, but it takes a lifetime of effort, and an ability to accept society's non-acceptance of you. Contrary to the heartwarming myth, it doesn't really get all that much better. Once you learn to be as convincing in your new gender role as you can be, any residual non-acceptance or hostility is just part of life. You have to find a philosophical way to deal with it and still be able to leave the house every day. 

     On that point, I have post-op friends who've come to the point of never leaving their homes. They can't go out, can't go shopping. They fear people looking at them and judging them. It's very sad. Yes, they are legally female but they're not enjoying their lives: they are prisoners in a whole new closet of their own making. Don't fall into this trap! 

     For petesake, girl, there are people born as conjoined twins or with horrid physical deformities who learn to live their lives in the world - you can too.  I could write more on possible philosophies that might work for you in dealing with your new life but this may not be the place. Just know that you WILL have to deal with at least a few strange looks and whispers for the rest of your life. Others have gotten through it and you can too. And if you're not prepared to do that, then I sympathize totally and can relate - but you probably shouldn't be going through this process since you will ultimately do yourself more harm than good..




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