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grades of transition

For those of us who don’t fit perfectly into the binary model, the term transgendered may be a good descriptor. In fact it should maybe stand in as short hand for the phrase “transcending gender”

But for type V and VI transsexuals things are a little different since their primal requirement seems to be full and complete transition. The question for me then becomes: how much is the drive towards full physical transition based on an absolute necessity?

I have less trouble understanding androphilic transsexuals since their transformation is clearly a win-win scenario; they are not only highly dysphoric but are also attracted to men. But for gynephilic transsexuals should physical transformation be so obvious since they are still sexually drawn to women?

It is true that the hormonal transformation process leaves most transsexuals with severe erectile dysfunction and most genetic women are hard pressed to accept a partner’s transition so perhaps it’s a moot point but, with the understanding that gender identity and sexual orientation are not linked, what is the impetus for modifying the genitalia in this particular group? Is the objective to feel wholly and entirely a woman in every sense?

I suppose what I am getting at is the question of determining how much of gender dysphoria is rooted in a deep desire for freer range of gender expression and how much is it about changing sides and fully becoming the opposite gender with everything that entails. That question may be hard to answer even for the person since this stems from a place in our brains that we ourselves do not comprehend but the question does beg for an answer.

The evidence we have is that only a small percentage of gender dysphorics go on to have bottom surgery which leaves a larger group in various states of transition. This fact may fit well with the theory that this is a graded condition since you stop the process when you have attained a state where you are happy. And isn't that the goal most of us are after anyway?


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