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gender expression deprivation anxiety

In this blog I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of Anne Vitale. She is a transitioned woman who has worked for over 30 years in the treatment of gender variant people and is responsible for the term “gender expression deprivation anxiety” which I think it describes very well the condition many of us face.

Her work segues very well as a continuation of Harry Benjamin’s which graded the severity of gender dysphoria into 6 classifications. She does not alienate with caustic language and like Benjamin is highly empathetic of her patients.

I suspect that many if not most of my readers fall somewhere in the middle of that scale and are in the difficult position of trying to balance the challenges of treating their dysphoria while addressing the life commitments they have made to their families. This is no easy task and it has taken me 50 years to find a workable solution that does not involve transition.

Certainly transition is not for everyone and won’t necessarily improve your overall life quality but if we focus on treating the deprivation anxiety then the answer should lie in assuaging it with a dosage that works for you. Everyone is different and while some are happy with an outing a month, others (like me) may require to step out every day. I also know that not all dysphorics crossdress and they try and use other methods to cope.

The good news is that when you find your formula, things get a lot better and I don’t think I have ever felt more whole in my entire life.


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“So how is it going on that front. Meet anyone interesting lately?”

I reflected for a moment and then said:

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She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

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Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them.

Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake.

At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution.

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