Myths about Transsexualism
MYTH: Becoming a transsexual (TS) is a matter of choice. FALSE.
While transsexuals are commonly lumped with homosexuals it is erroneous popular wisdom that choosing one's gender is similar to choosing one's sexual preference. Gender is programmed in the individual's brain prenatally and/or during the first 18 months of life. There has been no appreciable success in changing this initial polarization through psychoanalysis or other types of therapy such as aversion therapy. The syndrome is accurately described as a birth defect rather then a preference. Most transsexuals would, if given the choice, opt for being "normal" to escape the anguish entailed in transsexualism.
There is a big difference between sometimes fantasizing what it would be like to have been born a woman and suffering with the transsexual syndrome. Studies reveal that more women than men would prefer to have been born the opposite sex, but that does not make them transsexuals since they know they are women and are reconciled to remain in their gender of birth for the remainder of this incarnation; and yet, paradoxically, there are many more out-of-the-closet and/or self-diagnosed male-to-female than female-to-male transsexuals.
Bearing in mind that ALL fetuses start out female we should, rather than saying a TS is a MAN who changes into a woman, say a TS is a FEMALE who failed to develop completely into a man and therefore has to be assisted, through medical intervention, back to an externally female physical state.
MYTH: A TS is a male homosexual. FALSE.
Transsexualism is a function of gender-identification. A gay man has male gender-indentification. Gender-identification is distinct from sexual preference. A TS does not usually identify with gay men. Likewise, gay men do not usually like transsexuals.
MYTH: A transsexual is a transvestite. FALSE.
It is true both the transvestite and transsexual wear feminine clothing, but they do so for different purposes. While the transvestite often dresses for the physical pleasure of this form of fetishism he always retains or reverts back to and maintains his male gender-identity. Strictly speaking the transsexual is NOT crossdressing when she wears feminine clothing. Rather SHE is crossdressing when wearing masculine clothing to conform with Society's dress code for the physical male.
MYTH: A transsexual is created (manufactured) simply by lopping off the the male genitalia and replacing it with a surgically created vagina. FALSE.
The only parts excised are the gonads (testicles) and the spongy inner tissue of the penis. ALL other tissue is reconstructed to form the female genitalia. A vagina IS formed, but it is lined with the inverted penile tissue while the scrotal tissue is used to form the labia majora and minora. The results are more a reconstruction of what Nature, herself, would have used had She decided to do the job correctly rather then requiring surgical intervention to correct Her mistake. The state-of-the-art of reassignment surgery has advanced so far that gynecologists are often, at least initially, deceived by the reconstructed female genitalia and identify the post-operative TS as a hysterectomized genetic female.
MYTH: A transsexual is neither a woman nor female, but simply a feminized male. FALSE.
Some Fundamentalist Christians, conservative medical and Behavioral Science practitioners affirm this belief. However, sex and gender is not as simple as some would like to believe. It is true that some publicly known transsexuals look like partially feminized males, but the degree to which a person is a woman or female should be judged on a profile of several factors, not solely by or on outward appearance. The predominant theory is: transsexualism is a type of birth defect and gender reassignment is its remedy.
While a TS can never be 100% female, primarily because of her lack of internal secondary sexual characteristics, she can be 100% woman and certainly 100% feminine.
MYTH: A TS liking girls/women cannot be a TRUE transsexual. FALSE.
Here again, gender-identification is distinct from sexual preference. Most transsexuals are heterosexual (preferring males) while some are bi-sexual and a few are obligatory (exclusively) lesbian.
MYTH: A TS with serious psychological and/or social problems cannot be a true TS or stable enough to attempt cross-living and/or surgery. FALSE.
This myth is oft times subscribed to by the so-called professionals operating TS "programs". What BIGGER problem could there be then having the body of the wrong sex? And what bigger step to solve the person's problem than to correct THIS problem BEFORE attacking others? Many of the problems, both psychological and social, are direct results of the individual's transsexualism.
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