Posted by: Shula Asher Silberstein | 11 November 2010

Confusion and the Transgender Therapy Requirement

Earlier today, I read about a Mr Charles Kane, a British millionaire who had gender reassignment surgery, then seven years later changed his mind and transitioned back. This story is all over the news because Mr Kane now believes that nobody should transition because they must be as confused as he was.

I’m trying not to devote a lot of time to Mr Kane’s actual story or position because it pisses me off too much. From his comments in the story, it appears his main reason for transitioning was in order to attract men. He could afford to transition over and over while most Transgender people struggle to save enough money to transition at all. And now he dares suggest that because he made a major life decision without thinking things through at all, nobody should be able to get sex reassignment surgery.

Never mind the arrogance it must take to assume everyone’s experience is the same as yours, and never mind that he did not go about things the right way–at all.

Mr. Kane thinks he is a victim of medical services because he was “allowed” to do this, but he is a victim only of his own lack of thought…and now people who actually are Transgender may become victims as well thanks to him.

As it is, the official procedure for gender transition takes years. My understanding is that everyone who wants to transition is required to start with a course of psychotherapy.

This is all well and good for the Charles Kanes of the world who really have no clue what they are doing, but it is an insult to people who have put years of thought into their decision.

Take Gavi, for example. She began experimenting with being a Woman last winter. By April, she was living full time as a Woman. By full time, I don’t mean she dressed as a Woman to go out to the club. I mean she dressed as a Woman everywhere and soon came out to her family. If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, you know she went on a trip to the mountains with them as a Woman and had to fight against some members of her family constantly calling her “he” to each other. After she came back, she was even more determined. When we went to New York, she proudly boarded a plane as a Woman. Recently she went to vote as a Woman. She has gone to doctor’s offices and applied for outside jobs as a Woman. And of course she appears on our Youtube and in our press releases as herself: a Transgender Woman.

But in order to get hormones, she is required to go through therapy to “make sure she knows what she is getting into and really wants to do this”.

Really.

These one size fits all rules waste time and money and make it more difficult for people who know exactly who they are to make their bodies conform to their spirits. It also wastes the time of therapists, who cannot see people who really need help when they are required to work with people who don’t.

Being Transgender, in and of itself, is not really a mental illness the way some people believe it is. Being Trans-curious and thinking you are Transgender could be a problem, especially if you don’t have money for multiple surgeries. However, it still should be everybody’s own business whether or not they want to change their bodies, and if they do so for silly or spurious reasons that really should be their own problem.

Regardless of what Charles Kane wants to believe, he is not a victim here.

People not taking responsibility for their actions drives me nuts. I’ve been seeing it all week. Several abusive transphobic people came out of the woodwork to say insulting things, yet somehow they became the victims when we asked them to stop. I don’t see any difference between these people and Charles Kane, except that Mr Kane is actively attempting to get in the way of Transgender people living their lives in a way that makes them happy.

It’s time to recognise that Transgender people are capable of knowing who they are without years of therapy. Transgender doesn’t mean “sick”. It means Transgender.

I really don’t get why this is so hard to understand.

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Responses

  1. Reading his story, pissed me off as well! How dare him to use his negative experience as a cause to stop everyone from transitioning.

  2. To those who innocently believe that Gender Reassignment Transition (GRT) (not GRS) is a mental condition/disorder I tell them the following: Yes indeed many non-GRT persons have come to this conclusion because cognizance of Gender and Physical Incongruence (GPI) originates in the mind (as does everything else) and thus is listed in the DSM manual.

    I then tell them the following: Whereas bonafide mental disorders are also listed the resolution of GPI comes about at the hands of a MEDICAL DR not a psychiatrist. In short, nothing is wrong with the mind but everything is wrong with the body. Thus since a med doctor supervises the GRT and not a psych, it is a medical condition treated medically. TADA.

  3. In a desperate attempt to bring to an end the dizzying terms that refer to us in transition, I placed my mind in gear and thus the acronyms I coined in the previous entry. If you make an objective analysis of them, there is no reason to use any others any longer. I suppose for clarity relating to target gender, GRTm (small m) would clarify transition to male and GRTf (small f) would clarify a transition to female. Also, for far too long phobic-sounding terminology like dysphoria and Identity Disorder have fanned the flames of hate that essentially serve only to draw a virtual bullseye on our person. Result? Hate speech like “sick”, “it”, and the like by troubled persons that satiate their lust for blood by causing our brothers and sisters to too often play the role of ultimate sacrificial victims. Only by utilizing non-vitriolic terms such as GRT, GRS, and GPI will we stand any chance of reversing such hate and victimization. Love all!

  4. I have to agree with what you say most if not all of us have thoguht about it and have had long hard decision making time from months to years on years. It is not anything with the mind its about the body if the body wasn’t what it was there would be no problem… aside from maybe voice… 🙂 but again thats a phsyical tihng, the years you have to wait is just stupid and as a transgenderd woman (GRTf..MtF) it was quiet difficult to come out in highschool people should be educated in these matters in health classes when they go over sex, that way people understand theres a difference.


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