Monday, 15 August 2016

how I view my own treatment

Untreated gender dysphoria becomes intolerable after a while. It must be addressed somehow and we all eventually arrive at a boiling point where something must be done. The reason our responses vary has much to do with its intensity but almost as importantly our life situation regarding finances, familial commitments and religious views.

I won't deny that my own religious upbringing has strongly forged in me the idea that a full transition is not a desirable goal and yet I have little issue seeing others undertake a process they know is right for them. I am personally stuck on the notion that I should keep the body I was given as intact as possible unless my situation ever became dire. Perhaps you could accuse me of being a victim of my indoctrination.

Also I have seen many cases where the individual blossoms after transition but also others that seem somewhat less convincing. I am particularly skeptical of situations where the person immerses themselves in a thick pink fog which can serve to cloud judgement.

But then I also remember Helene Cote telling me that it was often the patients most enamored with transition that were the least likely to follow through while those most hesitant often went further into the process. This latter group invariably saw it as something they had to do rather than something they desired.

For better or worse this is how I have come to view the treatment of my dysphoria: do the minimum you need to mitigate its pull in order to be able to function. Not everyone agrees with this approach but then it is a highly personal journey with no perfect answers.

That being said, this blog is strongly pro-transition for those who require it.

4 comments:

  1. I am certainly pro-transition for those who need it. For me, religious overtones haven't bothered me much perhaps because I was raised Episcopalian in a very liberal congregation. Regardless, I found this recent opinion in The New York Times very interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/opinion/is-god-transgender.html?_r=0

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  2. I actually saw that article Emma and there was a corresponding rebuttal by another Rabbi who disagreed. maybe its more that God is neither and transcends gender which would be good for people like us as well don't you think?

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  3. Yes, I do agree with you. I am not surprised that there was a rebuttal. When is there not? I do like seeing pieces like this in the mainstream press. It gets people to thinking and maybe even (re)considering their opinions.

    Speaking of that, in a recent post you said how you no longer feel uncomfortable about others finding out that you're trans, and I think that's terrific. I'm less comfortable than you but I've recently been thinking of a couple of men I have a monthly dinner with. I can just imagine one of them saying something like "I don't know any transgender people." To which I may very well respond, "Well, you do, actually!" I mean, why not? It's not as if we're strangers: we've been friends and having this monthly dinner for over ten years. Might as well get to know each other just a little bit more. :-)

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  4. I have been amazed at how receptive people are when you tell them. Just pick your timing and be comfortable and casual about it and you might be surprised at the reaction you get...

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