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Topic : 01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

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Created on : Friday, January 12, 2007, 02:23:36 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Imagine waking up one morning and realizing that you’ve been living in the wrong body. That’s what Dr. Phil’s first guest says happened to her. Bernadette started dressing like a boy in high school. Now 37, she wants to be referred to as Cameron, and wants her breasts surgically removed. Cameron’s mom, Antoinette, and her aunts say she’s just angry, lost and confused. Will they ever accept her decision to become a man? Then, Sylvia’s 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, was murdered when a group of boys found out that she was one of them. The grieving mother weighs in on this important discussion. And, should a high school boy who dresses like a girl be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom? That’s the issue one Florida high school faced. The boy’s lawyer and two moms from the community engage in a heated debate. Plus, Jim and Linda’s 4-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, was born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, a condition where she looks like a female on the outside, but inside, she’s an underdeveloped male. Should the parents be forced to decide Kayleigh’s gender? Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 16, 2007, 7:29 pm CST

01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

Quote From: ceildh1

In the case of the young child, there was a special about that on TLC, I forget what it was called, but what really made me stop and think, was the hurt and misery that these people faced when the whole truth finally came out, one small boy was pretty much neutered by a Doctor who insisted he should be raised as a girl easier to make a hole than a pole I suppose, but I think if the child is genetically a boy, then that is how they should be raised, man I wish I could remember the name of that Documentary, can anyone help me out there ?

As for a cross dresser using the female bathroom, in my town, well I live in a small farming town where the men are men type thing the good ole boy mentality runs high.  Anyway there is a man here who dresses as a woman, and when he came into the shop I worked at, we had to let him use  the woman's room as long as there was no one else in there, and on a Friday night after the bars closed, the men's room just wouldn't be safe ( and neither one of us wanted to clean up the blood, not being Fecitious, just realistic).  My heart goes out to that mother whose son was murdered, NO ONE DESERVES THAT just on the basis of a narrow mind or predjudice, and NO MOTHER should ever have to deal with that.

I do hope that Cameron gets the counselling he needs before doing something as drastic as full surgery, and maybe his Mother could be set up with a support group, as far as I see it, its between him and Mom, not aunts and uncles.

This will be a good one to watch, and maybe some could open their minds, and maybe feel some compassion for those who live with this daily.

I believe it was called "Born a boy, raised a girl"

 

please do not hold me to that.

 

<3

 
January 16, 2007, 7:48 pm CST

01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

Quote From: jalpha1

I believe it was called "Born a boy, raised a girl"

 

please do not hold me to that.

 

<3

That sounds right, but I won't hold you to it,promise but I think that was it, Thanks
 
January 16, 2007, 9:11 pm CST

From a transsexual man's viewpoint

Hello.  Just thought I'd share my knowledge on this topic.  I am a female-to-male transsexual...in other words, a transsexual man. 

 

There is an enormous amount of ignorance around this topic.

 

Let me first address one of the common arguments against transsexuals:  the "god don't make junk" argument.  No, god doesn't make junk, we all must believe in our self worth.  But, birth defects do happen.  And having a gender identity inside that conflicts with your outside IS a birth defect.  If a child is born with a birth defect of a cleft palate, does anyone say "god don't make junk" so therefore do not CORRECT the situation?  With surgery?  After all, wouldn't you be "tampering" with how god made this child?  It is no different with gender identity.  Is it that hard to believe that a brain could develop one way, while a body develops another way?  If ambiguous genitalia can form (a birth defect), why is it so hard to understand that a body could develop entirely to an unambiguous physical gender that conflicts with the mental gender? 

 

The most recent psychological and medical understandings of why some people experience gender conflict is because while a fetus is developing, a hormonal surge to the brain happens that results in the brain developing one way while the body develops another.  As some may know, all fetuses begin as female.  When this hormonal surge gets mis-timed, in the case of a female-to-male transsexual person, this means the ovaries did not develop into testes and the clitoris did not develop into a penis.  In the case of a male-to-female person, this means these developments did take place.  Yet the brain developed contrary.  It is that simple.

 

So, who you are...is it your mind?  Or your body?  Your essence is your mind.  Who would want to change their mind to match a body?  You can't!  You can only fix your body to match who you are inside.  Otherwise you are out of integrity with your spirit.

 

I was miserable all my life and felt no meaning in my existence until I finally gained the courage to accept who I was inside and bring my body into agreement with that so I could live and be seen in the world as who I am inside.  Despite what anyone may think, even if the entire world rejected me.  There was no longer a choice in the matter.  It's not a choice.  It had to be done.  Now I feel so free, confident, and happy.

 

Anyone who would judge me...it's not that hard to put yourself in my shoes.  What if you woke up one day and had the physical gender opposite of what you know yourself to currently be inside?  And someone said, "You can never go back, you have to live and be seen in the world as a man/woman (whatever the opposite would be for your case) now.  Everyone is going to call you he/she when you know you are she/he.  You are going to have to wear clothes opposite of what you feel comfortable in.  You are going to have to have body features opposite of what you feel right about."  How would you feel?  Wouldn't it be a nightmare for you?  Wouldn't you feel your life was a lie?

 

Well that's how it is for transgender people.  That's why we need to be able to correct our bodies.

 

In a future post I will explain why surgeries are not so drastic a measure as one may think.  Also, I will explain why, yes, it is important to work with a competent therapist, as it is true that there are some people who do have a mental illness that should preclude them from switching genders.  But this is far from the case for most transgender people.

 
January 16, 2007, 9:46 pm CST

God?

I was about to say the same thing, that if god doesnt make mistakes then why are there so many birth defects, children dieng young?

 (This to the bible thumpers), LIKE IT OR NOT your GOD does make mistakes...Live with it. You want to preach how he made man and woman. Doesn’t Your God also tell you to love all creatures the same?  I am a straight female the normal heterosexual relationship married and kids, Just so you don't get any ideas that it is always the TG/CD that respond to these, I'm so sick and tired of people like you telling other people how they should live there lives.  Be it two same sex people wanting to get married or a male who wants to be a female, WHO the hell are you to judge.  What some one does in there house, with there body has NO EFFECT on you.  Get off your HOLY HIGH horse, until you walk a mile in someone Else's shoe's you have NO RIGHT, to judge.  GOD makes no mistakes?. Then why is it that there are people born with both sexes? Both a penis and a vagina!  Is that not a mistake?  Or is that just the doing of the parents? Scientific fact shows that a man can be born with xx chromosomes, which is a female trait, now wouldn’t it be conceivable that if a man has extra female chromosomes he would tend to feel more feminine?  WHY cant you religious fanatics just let people live, why must you always try and put your nose into others business.  People are dieing all the time because Christians think that they are so superior that they actually go out in KILL, in the name of GOD because people won’t conform to your brainwash.  Killing in the name of god is just a cop out for you to get away with the evil that is in ALL of us. 

 
January 16, 2007, 10:56 pm CST

Surgeries/Hormones

OK, now I will discuss the surgery and hormone aspect of correcting one's physical gender.

 

The conception seems to be by many who oppose such procedures that  a person is "mutilating" their body.  This is simply not the case.  First, one should choose a reputable gender surgeon who specializes in the procedures required.  And, for best results, as with any surgery, one should be in reasonably good health.  I personally have thus far had two of the three surgeries I need.  I will not go into the details of these surgeries here, but my recovery time for these first two surgeries was very quick.  I only missed two weeks of work, and within a few months I was able to resume all normal activities and exercise.  The surgeons take great care to minimize scarring.  Depending on the surgery technique that works best for you body, you might not have any scarring at all.  As I mentioned before, correcting birth defects via surgery is a common practice, and in the case of gender dysphoria, it is no different.  I am sure that God is not against us using our talents via surgery to correct errors.  Especially if overall it results in a person being of improved physical and mental health.

 

As for hormones, another common misconception is that it is hard on your body.  This also is very false.  In the case of a person with gender dysphoria, the introduction of the gender appropriate hormone can be very soothing and calming.  Within just a week of my beginning testosterone therapy I felt in much better spirits mentally, emotionally, physically.  I had higher energy level, better humor, more motivation, etc.  That has only gotten even better in time.  You could possibly compare it to someone with a vitamin deficiency finally getting the nutrient they needed.  Additionally, the effect of hormones doesn't really feel like anything per se.  The changes gradually happen, just like growing older gradually happens and you barely notice it because there isn't any gruelling feeling that goes along with it.  It just isn't a big deal.  There are no major health risks.  There are a few things to monitor, but primarily a person just must now be concerned with the typical health concerns of the other gender.  For example, I now am concerned with things that may effect my heart, such as cholesterol, as for males we are more succeptible to heart related ailments than females. 

 

The important thing for a transgender person is to work closely with medical professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in these matters.  I have found the medical community as a whole to be terrific towards me.

 
January 17, 2007, 12:29 am CST

Psychological factors

Another thing, while I'm thinking about it.  The idea that Cameron has identity confusion because of a negative relationship with his father is preposterous.  There is no correlation.  If that were the case, well, there are an awful lot of females who have had negative relationships with their fathers, but very, very few are transgender.  This is old theory that has very weak foundation.  Again, I'm disappointed that as certain as Dr. Phil can assert his opinion on many other issues (and I often agree and cheer him on), he often waffles on this one.  So, thank god for Oprah who doesn't.

 

Now, that being said, there are some cases, albeit very few, where a person may wish to change genders, or identify as an opposite gender than they physically are born, due to mental illness.  One such case may be multiple personality disorder.  However, there are also cases where a person may have a mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, yet still be legitimately transgender.  In such case, proceeding with gender corrective measures would be beneficial.

 
January 17, 2007, 4:36 am CST

01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

The only person gender matters to is the person involved. It's not up to parents to decide gender. Leave it alone until the person can tell you what they feel like. It's better then making a tragic mistake and traumatising someone for life.
 
January 17, 2007, 5:00 am CST

01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

Quote From: tuffnutt1

I was about to say the same thing, that if god doesnt make mistakes then why are there so many birth defects, children dieng young?

 (This to the bible thumpers), LIKE IT OR NOT your GOD does make mistakes...Live with it. You want to preach how he made man and woman. Doesnt Your God also tell you to love all creatures the same?  I am a straight female the normal heterosexual relationship married and kids, Just so you don't get any ideas that it is always the TG/CD that respond to these, I'm so sick and tired of people like you telling other people how they should live there lives.  Be it two same sex people wanting to get married or a male who wants to be a female, WHO the hell are you to judge.  What some one does in there house, with there body has NO EFFECT on you.  Get off your HOLY HIGH horse, until you walk a mile in someone Else's shoe's you have NO RIGHT, to judge.  GOD makes no mistakes?. Then why is it that there are people born with both sexes? Both a penis and a vagina!  Is that not a mistake?  Or is that just the doing of the parents? Scientific fact shows that a man can be born with xx chromosomes, which is a female trait, now wouldnt it be conceivable that if a man has extra female chromosomes he would tend to feel more feminine?  WHY cant you religious fanatics just let people live, why must you always try and put your nose into others business.  People are dieing all the time because Christians think that they are so superior that they actually go out in KILL, in the name of GOD because people wont conform to your brainwash.  Killing in the name of god is just a cop out for you to get away with the evil that is in ALL of us. 

I'd hope we learned to not blame a higher power for our mistakes?  All the household cleaning chemicals alone is outrageous.  Most water is chemically treated, bottled water was tested and found not as safe as most faucet water?  Food filled with color, flavors? Medications scripted out for everything from in grown toe nails to sleeping aids? I don't think they really know all the effects of a woman taking birth control pills over time to the future generations?  I know we minimzed alot of polution but the effects is still with us.  I think the gene pool is made up from 4 generations on each side?  That is alot of potential for what could be a problem if both parents

carry samy links to problems to thier children?

 

The Bathroom?  Boys = male gender  Girls = female gender !  It is about the gender physically!

We cannot risk some court battle that ends up making bathrooms not private to genders! 

 

How we live, how the generations of dumping oils and chemicals in our ground made mistakes,

diets, medications and life style made mistakes.  Now the children are paying for it.

thats not Gods fault, it ours.

 
January 17, 2007, 5:25 am CST

01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

Quote From: sirtriz

Hello.  Just thought I'd share my knowledge on this topic.  I am a female-to-male transsexual...in other words, a transsexual man. 

 

There is an enormous amount of ignorance around this topic.

 

Let me first address one of the common arguments against transsexuals:  the "god don't make junk" argument.  No, god doesn't make junk, we all must believe in our self worth.  But, birth defects do happen.  And having a gender identity inside that conflicts with your outside IS a birth defect.  If a child is born with a birth defect of a cleft palate, does anyone say "god don't make junk" so therefore do not CORRECT the situation?  With surgery?  After all, wouldn't you be "tampering" with how god made this child?  It is no different with gender identity.  Is it that hard to believe that a brain could develop one way, while a body develops another way?  If ambiguous genitalia can form (a birth defect), why is it so hard to understand that a body could develop entirely to an unambiguous physical gender that conflicts with the mental gender? 

 

The most recent psychological and medical understandings of why some people experience gender conflict is because while a fetus is developing, a hormonal surge to the brain happens that results in the brain developing one way while the body develops another.  As some may know, all fetuses begin as female.  When this hormonal surge gets mis-timed, in the case of a female-to-male transsexual person, this means the ovaries did not develop into testes and the clitoris did not develop into a penis.  In the case of a male-to-female person, this means these developments did take place.  Yet the brain developed contrary.  It is that simple.

 

So, who you are...is it your mind?  Or your body?  Your essence is your mind.  Who would want to change their mind to match a body?  You can't!  You can only fix your body to match who you are inside.  Otherwise you are out of integrity with your spirit.

 

I was miserable all my life and felt no meaning in my existence until I finally gained the courage to accept who I was inside and bring my body into agreement with that so I could live and be seen in the world as who I am inside.  Despite what anyone may think, even if the entire world rejected me.  There was no longer a choice in the matter.  It's not a choice.  It had to be done.  Now I feel so free, confident, and happy.

 

Anyone who would judge me...it's not that hard to put yourself in my shoes.  What if you woke up one day and had the physical gender opposite of what you know yourself to currently be inside?  And someone said, "You can never go back, you have to live and be seen in the world as a man/woman (whatever the opposite would be for your case) now.  Everyone is going to call you he/she when you know you are she/he.  You are going to have to wear clothes opposite of what you feel comfortable in.  You are going to have to have body features opposite of what you feel right about."  How would you feel?  Wouldn't it be a nightmare for you?  Wouldn't you feel your life was a lie?

 

Well that's how it is for transgender people.  That's why we need to be able to correct our bodies.

 

In a future post I will explain why surgeries are not so drastic a measure as one may think.  Also, I will explain why, yes, it is important to work with a competent therapist, as it is true that there are some people who do have a mental illness that should preclude them from switching genders.  But this is far from the case for most transgender people.

Thank you for your posts,

I really hope you have opened a few minds, and if not you have given the rest of us the perspective at least of what you have went through, and I for one thank you for not hiding yourself , and being open and honest to who you are.

Besides, genetalia is only ONE aspect of what makes us male or female as far as I can tell.

 
January 17, 2007, 5:30 am CST

01/17 Gender Identity Crisis

Quote From: nilysm47

I will be the first to say I don't understand . I don't believe God created any junk. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knew us before the world began. Since I don't understand am I to ask for a new brain? It just dosen't seem right.

If you look at just the gay aspect you'll see there is those who respectfully live with their sexual preference left in the bedroom and those who are walking advertisements or debaters on the subject.  If I must make a decision about anyone, it is about who they are, thier actions and what is important in life.  There is many babies born with birth defects, it is not thier fault nor Gods.

Gender is a complex subject especially for those actually born with a defect.  I spiritually think that many who make public displays of any kind of sexual preferences be it gay, perverse, porn stars or spouse swapping is wrong.  Public awareness of the true porblems though is a definate good topic.  I know gay people that don't walk and advertise thier whole life about it and those who everything is about it.  I feel so bad for people who are caught in a body they can't feel comfortable in, but I am not so sure it should be treated like a defect if it is not absolute a defect.

Make up, heels, or perfume does not make a woman,

Beards, Muscle or a deep voice does not make a man.

Skinny, over weight, tall, short, pretty, plain Jane or homely?  When do we fix so much that is wrong inside first before we go cutting up the body?  So many cannot get corrective surgery for actual defects or from bad accidents yet we find ourselves caught up in sex changes as if they are only about a sexually orientated aspect?  It is about more than one aspect.

A new brain would be so cool for those who lost thiers but it is a bit extreme to the loved ones of those with defects, serious injuries?  Since the Bible is brought up so much: look closer because homosexual activity is not new at all.  Most birth defects is!

God did not make junk, he did make a complicated world, we messed alot of it up by judgements that is really his, chemicals, medications and forgetting a person is every word that procedes out of thier mouth and every action not their looks! 

 
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