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Non-surgical treatment of transsexualism

On page 51 of Harry Benjamin’s Magnum Opus “The Transsexual Phenomenon” he writes about the non-surgical treatment of transsexualism. Some of you might find this section interesting:

"If the transsexual does find relief in "dressing," to do so would be the first logical advice to be given therapeutically. Its permissive character can be questioned by those who may think of the law before they think of the patient, or who may have insufficient experience along these lines, or who are the type that, automatically, favors prohibition. Too many individuals are that way; what they do not like must be forbidden and punished. Then they are satisfied. I have even met transvestites who dislike (or pretend to dislike) transsexualism so much that they are against estrogen treatment and operation (for reasons of self-protection?). There are also transsexuals who dislike transvestites as well as homosexuals. Intolerance can be found in strange quarters.

It is my hope that this volume may induce doctors as well as laymen who may come across the transsexual phenomenon to assume a tolerant and rational attitude and let the light of facts replace the ever-present twilight of prejudices. Walter Alvarez was right when he wrote in one of his newspaper columns in sympathy with a transsexual that he had met:

“I know that for having written this column, I will get a number of vituperative letters from people who will think that I am foul-minded. No, I am just talking about these people dispassionately and scientifically. Let all of us who tend to look on these people as vile, remember that their mix-up was obvious in early childhood when, surely, there was no vileness. We must all learn to have sympathy for these persons who were so badly gypped by Nature. But for the grace of God, we too might be caught in the same cruel trap”

Living completely as a woman (though illegally) can actually be a life-saving measure for those transsexuals who find an operation unattainable. I know at least a dozen who are in this situation right now. They work as women in offices, factories, beauty salons, as nurses, domestics, and some, alas, as prostitutes, all quite unknown to their employers, associates, or clients. They would best have psychological as well as medical help in addition to living in their female gender identity; but very few actually have such help. Merely the opportunity to talk to somebody about their problems has its therapeutic value. To find some understanding from a doctor instead of coldness, rejection, or ridicule goes a long way toward easing their burden."

Every section of this book shows Benjamin's wisdom and his empathy. Contrast this with the BBL school and their mental illness model spending their time on Twitter talking about Autogynephilia deniers. Benjamin would indeed be very dismayed.


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