DeJuan BurnellTransgender research paperCWP: 10211/17/12Mr. Short The Art of Transgender In boys, the cross gender identification is determined by a marked preoccupation withprevalent feminine activities. They may have a preference for dressing in girls or womensapparel or have a vigorous attraction for the stereotypical games and pastimes of girls. Theyparticularly enjoy playing house, drawing pictures of beautiful females and princesses. Girls withGender Identity Disorder tend to display negative reactions to parental expectations or endeavorsto have them wear dresses. Some may refuse to attend school or social events where such apparelare required. Their fantasy heroes are most often powerful male figures, such as superheros.These girls prefer boys as playmates, with whom they share fascinates in contact sports andtraditional boy games. They may occasionally refuse to urinate in a sitting position, claiming shehas or will grow a penis and may not want to grow breasts or menstruate. She may even verballyexpress she will grow up to be a man. Such girls typically reveal marked cross-genderidentification in role-play, dreams and fantasies. Gender Identity Disorder is defined as a mental disorder characterized by a long-standing, sedulously assiduous feeling that ones biological sex is incongruent with ones genderidentity. Individuals who possess this trait have an excruciating desire to be the opposite sex.Dressing and identifying as the opposite sex causes feelings of pleasure for these individuals. At
times they may even express an extreme dislike for their own genitalia. (Haraldsen, Dahl 2000)This is often referred to as gender dysphoria. As being an active member in the GLBT community, I often seen many people that Icame into contact with, both male and females who have consider transition, and later live as amale or female. Many people undergo transitioning due to the ballroom scene, because their gayparents encourage them to walk balls and have them to transition, because their outer bodyfeatures may have, feminine or masculine characteristics. Transgenderists live as members of the other sex, but without the extreme need or desireto modify their bodies shown by transsexuals. Some live as members of the other sex, whileothers stake out "third gender" status. Transgenderists may take hormones, but do not havegenital sex reassignment surgery. Cross dressers wear the clothing of the other sex on occasion, but do not desire to changetheir sex. They dress for personal reasons, which can range from a need to express their feminineor masculine side to a way to express themselves erotically. Drag Kings and Drag Queens present larger than life images of men and women,exaggerating sexual stereotypes for entertainment or self-gratification. Androgynes, Gender Blenders, and Gender Benders merge the characteristics of bothsexes in ways subtle or shocking. Gender Fuck is the deliberate flaunting of gender norms with agoal of shocking others. Intersexed (hermaphroditic) persons are born with genitals which show thecharacteristics of both sexes. Many have surgery in infancy, and many of those who do grow upfeeling they have been robbed of an essential part of themselves. (Transgendered, 2)
The human body is their medium, the operating room their studio. The tools of their craftinclude multifarious cutting, clamping, probing and sewing devices, as well as digital and lasertechnologies. Most of the work that results is a living art, but this art then turns into science,which makes them work well together. What is the “art” of surgery? The term intimates there is acreative and constructive spirit to the practice. Obviously, an artist is one who is talented andskilled in the practice, and has some natural aptitude as well. True, both of these descriptions canapply to surgery as well so perhaps it is an art.( When The Science Of Surgery Becomes An Art) Gender Identity Disorder is listed in the DMV-IV as a mental disorder/illness. Individualswho experience symptoms of GID are often termed transgendered. In former years, they weremore commonly referred to as transsexuals. Either label is felicitous for individuals who are notmentally accepting of their biological sexual anatomy. These individuals have vigorous desire towear clothing of the opposite gender and to present themselves as the opposite gender while inpublic. Some psychologists verbally express that parental influences, such as extreme proximityto the mother, the absence of the father, or parental dynamics such as a maternal wish for adaughter have been held responsible for the development of GID. It was thought that suchparental characteristics would give the children insufficient possibilities to identify with the samesex parent and/or expose them to cross-gender reinforcement patterns. (Cohen-Kettenis andGooren 1999) In recorded accounts of gender dysphoria in women, females experiencediscomfort with actual female anatomic characteristics like breasts. They also resent theirmenstrual cycle and express a desire for a penis and other masculine traits. Often described as"tomboyish" by their parents, these transgendered women are generally attracted to adultfemales. It is not uncommon for these women to have had sexual interaction with adult males;however they refer to these experiences as unsatisfying. (Mental Health eJournal 1997) Parents
of boys with GID often report that, from the moment their sons could talk, they insisted onwearing their mothers apparel and shoes, were exclusively fascinated with girls toys and playedmainly with girls. Such individuals often show distress about being a boy or having malegenitals. (Cohen-Kettenis and Gooren 1999) I had a chance to speak with a friend, and asked herabout how her life style growing up as transgender women Velasquez express her personalexperience as a transgendered child who upon adulthood, opted for sex reassignment surgery.She expressed: When I was a kid, everyone else seemed to know they were boys or girls or menor women. Thats something I’ve never known; not then, not today. I never got to verballyexpress to the grownups, "Hold on there- just what is it about me that makes you think Im a littleboy?" As a kid I just figured I was the crazy one; I was the one who had a serious defect.(Personal interview Velasquez) These discombobulated children do grow up and during earlyadulthood many realize that there are options in managing their gender dysphoria. There aregenerally two options for treatment when faced with this disorder. GID patients will eitherundergo psychotherapy or opt for sex reassignment surgery. Both treatment plans require astaunch commitment and a clear fixate on the desired goal. The most controversial among these treatments is the life altering sex reassignmentsurgery where the patient’s body is altered to reflect the intended gender. The first sex changeoperations were performed in the 1930s. Many psychotherapists during the1930s viewedtranssexualism as a delusion. They felt that no other method besides psychotherapy could helpthese individuals deal with the emotional conflicts that arose from their inner turmoil.Excruciating therapy and evaluation must be undergone before a successful sex reassignmentsurgery can be approved. Clinicians evaluate the mental health of the potential patient and thenassign a life test where the potential patient has to live everyday as the intended gender to
determine whether or not they can function socially in that gender. (Mental Health eJournal1997) According to a report published in 1997 by the Mental Health eJournal, A 2 year period ofthe Real-Life Experience sanctions for transitionary practices such as changes in jobs, educatingfamily members or employers and it also sanctions time for the individual who may not be readyfor surgery to become mentally ready. Female to Male- In one technique they take a skin graft, either from the innerthigh or the belly, literally rolls it up, and annexes it at the top of the thigh and the bottom of thebelly. Then the patient has to lie in bed for four weeks or so while this rejuvenates up, toascertain the blood is going fine. So you’ve basically acquired what looks like a suitcase handle.They then remove one end from the thigh, so the suitcase handle is hanging down from thebottom of the belly. They don’t have a way to elongate the urethra through this penis, so the manmust pee through the same urethral opening he had when he was a woman. Some men keep theirvaginas; some have their vaginas partially sewn up. Male to Female- the most prevalenttechnique is the one I had: it’s called “penile inversion”. They lay the penis out, and make anincision down the length of it, pull the skin open, scrape out the spongy stuff, being scrupulouslymeticulous not to perturb the blood vessels and nerves. The scrotum sac is laid open, the testiclesare removed and become compost, I conjecture. So then they take the tip of the penis andcommence pushing it in. Like turning a sock inside-out. Everyone has this natural cavity, right,so they push it in. the outside of the penis becomes the walls of the new vagina. The tip of thepenis functions in the position of the cervix. They create a kind of clitoris, utilizing the spongymaterial from the perineum. And they hope for the best. (Bornstein, 1994) In conclusion, symptoms of Gender Identity Disorder are often recognized in earlychildhood.Categorized as a mental illness by psychologists, this label is often in direct conflict
with the way the symptomatic patients view the situation. Societal pressures often keep thesetransgendered individuals in the proverbial “closet” and their life satisfaction level isweakened because of it. Many opt to align their physical bodies with their internal genderpreference and find happiness. Also in order for surgeons to fulfill ones needs, they must masterthe craft, and connect science and art together.
Work CitedR. Haraldsen, A. A. Dahl (2000) Symptom profiles of gender dysphoric patients of transsexualtype compared to patients with personality disorders and healthy adults"Transgender" StudyMode.com. 04 2011. 04 2011When The Science Of Surgery Becomes An Art Christopher F. Hyer DPM FACFASActa Psyciatr Scand 2000 276-281.Yolanda L. S. Smith, Stephanie H.M. van Goozen, A.J.Kulper and Peggy Cohen-Kettenis (2005) Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoreticalsignificanceMeds cape Psychiatry & Mental Health eJournal 2Psychiatry Research Volume 137, Issue 3, 15 December 2005 151-160.P. T. Cohen-Kettenis andL. J. G. Gooren (1999) Transsexualism a review of etiology, diagnosis and treatmentRudolph Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryDiagnosing and Treating Gender Identity Disorder in WomenPerson Interview, Kelley VelasquezMeds cape Psychiatry & Mental Health eJournal 2(5), (1997) Bornstein, Kate (1994)Gender Outlaw; On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, New York, Random House