Skip to main content

a visit to the sexologist

This past week I went to see Montreal sexologist Helene Cote. She is still affiliated with the Montreal General Hospital gender identity clinic which refers some transgender patients to now world renowned surgeon Dr. Pierre Brassard. The program seems to be ending from what she tells me; at least the one that was under the tutorship of Dr Assalian who oversaw my treatment in 2007.

Helene has treated and continues to treat many transsexual patients and my visit was really just a checkup to discuss where I am. It helps to do this with someone who has seen many other transsexuals and understands how we think (without being one herself).

For one thing I am glad that the therapists like Helene who are working on the front lines do not buy into the AGP myth. I am on the record with her that I am not Blanchard’s biggest fan and have explained my take on the mechanics of arousal (which I will address in my upcoming book). I was also pleasantly surprised to learn from her that the diagnostic world has dropped the use of heterosexual and homosexual to describe patients in favor of the phrases: "attracted to men" or "attracted to women"

The other interesting point she mentioned is the predominance of her patients who come from scientific backgrounds such as engineering, physics and computer science. I have wondered why so many transsexuals gravitate towards these fields myself but have not come up with an explanation that I find definitive.

The session was helpful in that she sees I am on a stable path and it helped me to validate my thought process with someone working in this field. I seem to have arrived at an echelon where I am comfortable and may just remain here. In fact, she told me more of her patients than ever are opting for social transitions and foregoing even HRT and surgery. I personally see this as a great thing because it tailors the treatment to the needs of the individual rather than adhering to a one size fits all formula.

Image result for one size fits all

Comments

  1. I think that determining what we need to do (e.g., social transition, HRT, surgery) is based on what individuals need to feel at home in their own skin. That’s the way it seems to me. I’m not sure I need surgery, for example.

    I am contemplating going on long walks such the Camino de Santiago, which is prioritizing my desire for legal name and gender change so my passport supports my real need to stay in women’s hostels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that should be relatively easy to do Emma. In Quebec it is a formality of paperwork that is required and that is all. Basically it is like swearing an oath whereas before you had to produce proof of GRS.

      Delete
    2. "Should be" and "actually" are two different things in the US. Yes, we no longer need proof of GRS but I'm learning that I need two letters (that won't be hard to get) from a doctor and therapist, go to court (here in Washington state) to have gender updated, and the DMV for the name. I also believe that I need to have my birth certificate updated (in California) to get the passport changed. Yes, it's much much easier than before but nonetheless daunting. I found that we can have a free 1/2 hour appt with an attorney for LGBT matters and mine is next week to see what he/she/they advise!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

another coming out

Recently I had lunch with one of the young estimators who occasionally works with me here in Toronto. We were chatting about work and our respective lives when she queried about my love life:

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

I reflected for a moment and then said:

“My situation is a little particular and if you don’t mind I can share something about myself”

She leaned in a bit and told me to please go ahead.

“I am trans” I said matter of factly.

She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

She is 35 years old and a lovely person which is why I knew I could confide in her. I then added that I had been reflecting on whether I would switch companies and begin working as Joanna and although she is totally open she also knows how conservative our business can be. So I told her that if I did decide to it would definitely be under a different umbrella.

Then yesterday I was coming back to my place and the lady who rents it to me, who is abo…

feeling sexy

Here are the results of a recent survey of genetic women:

“A new hairdo, walking in heels and a glowing tan are among the things that make a woman feel sexy. Freshly applied lipstick, newly-shaved legs and a little black dress also have a positive effect on the psyche”

Are you surprised? I’m not because it is exactly the same list that makes transgender women feel sexy.

For a long time the idea was pandered about that transsexualism was rooted exclusively in aberrant sexuality. But of course you cannot separate the sexuality from the individual because that forms part of their overall makeup and the fact that genetic and transsexual women overlap here surprises no one.

We should also add here that women aren't always thinking about sex and neither are transgender women.

Pre transition transsexuals would not readily admit they found these things sexy because they were afraid to be seen as perverted men in front of gatekeepers who understood nothing about their condition.

Today we kn…

the risks of downplaying dysphoria

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.

Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for dep…