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.

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  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.

    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.

    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!


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