Tuesday, 4 December 2012

On gender transition

As some may know I'm very much in favour of equal opportunities, supporting those who challenge older stereotypes as well as supporting groups like Press For Change. 
In the last few days the American Psychiatric Association board of trustees approved the latest proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders otherwise known as DSM-5 to the effect that unlike previous guidance no longer places being Transgendered as a mental disorder.
Today I felt like talking about it.
There are and have been many definitions   of what Transgendered means so much so fallings out over them aren't exactly uncommon but the simplest is you feel an overwhelming urge from within to present socially in a gender role the opposite of what the social norm of someone with your anatomical appearance.
I can see how that can regarded as progress although you say if you yourself are Transgendered, well how do I argue I have a medical need for say re-assignment surgery?
I've always had a this take on it.
It's a language issue at the core. Mental Disorder to some equals mental health issue and you don't wish to be bracketed say with people who maybe deluded. I'd say it's a social/psychological issue stemming from other peoples refusal to allow you to be you.
In order to live you life as you, you don't have to go down the route of taking hormones or having body surgery although hormones apart from developing the breast tissue also have other effects such as mood and so on.
It's a step that takes you toward 'full participation' in the gender role you feel but it's not the whole of it. The whole of it is about your personality, how you project that out in that World that may not know what to expect and for male to females the whole of ones femininity.
Sometimes I feel some people obsess more around GRS as a procedure that has to be gone through rather than the cultivation and expression in their lives of their sense of self.

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