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Benefits of Transman Top Surgery

If you’re uncomfortable in your body, it can make transitioning between genders even more challenging. How you feel about the way you look can have a significant impact on your mental health. If you’ve been thinking about transman top surgery, it’s essential to explore the benefits to ensure you make an informed decision.

Decrease Body Dissatisfaction

Transmen who experience gender dysphoria and feel like they are the opposite sex of their physical body often feel dissatisfied about their breasts. It can be frustrating to have a body that doesn’t match your identity, particularly with social interactions. When you undergo transman top surgery, you decrease body dissatisfaction and feel more confident in your appearance. Statistics show that Transmen who are uncomfortable with their breasts and have them removed, report feeling their body more aligned with their gender identity.

Fulfill Your Social Role

Transgender individuals often face problems with people treating them in accordance with the incorrect gender. While you can verbally correct people, it creates challenges when encountering strangers or feeling like you need to constantly correct the people around you. After transman top surgery, you will conform more accurately to your social role, allowing people to visually associate you with your preferred gender.

More Comfortable Clothing

Wearing clothing designed for the opposite gender of your body can be uncomfortable. It often feels like you can’t find something you like that fits your body correctly and looks good. After you complete your transman top surgery, you will gain confidence in the way you look and feel more comfortable in the clothing you wear. It may seem like a small thing, but it can have a significant impact on how you feel and the overall state of your mental health.

If you’re thinking about transman top surgery, contact us The International Center for Transgender Care to schedule a consultation to talk to our experienced surgeons.

Tips for Making the Most of Transgender Therapy

As you go through your transition, you will go through a lot of emotions and need the appropriate support to protect your mental health. Finding a therapist who specializes in transgender therapy will give you the best results. The following will help you understand how to make the most of your therapy sessions.

Be Open and Honest

It can be intimidating to speak about your deepest thoughts to someone else. However, that’s the most critical element in successful transgender therapy. It’s critical to feel like you are in a safe place without judgement and fear. The more open and honest you are with your therapist, the better they can guide you through the challenges you face.

Reflect Outside Appointment Times

Transgender therapy isn’t effective if you are not applying in you life what you are learning during your sessions. The way to make the most out of your therapy is to reflect on what you talked about in-between your therapy sessions. Take notes of your thoughts and any questions you may have to talk with your therapist at your next session.

Bring Up Your Concerns

A therapist is there to help you learn how to productively navigate the challenges you face and concerns you have in your daily life. Some individuals are hesitant to bring up their concerns during transgender therapy because they fear judgement and ridicule. However, a transgender therapist is looking out for your best interests and wants to provide you with tools and resources to help you overcome any challenges. Don’t hesitate to bring up any concerns, even if they are concerns that center around your therapist. They are there to help.

If you’re interested in transgender therapy to help you through your transition, contact The International Center for Transgender Care to schedule an appointment.

How to Prepare for Transgender Reassignment Surgery

Undergoing transgender reassignment surgery can be a freeing experience, giving you the body you feel belongs to you and reflects who you are. However, it’s essential to understand these surgeries are a significant commitment and require careful preparation. Your surgeons will help you through the preparation process, but it can be useful to know what to expect before you speak with a surgeon.

See a Therapist

Most transgender surgeons will require you to meet with a therapist prior to agreeing to perform transgender reassignment surgery. It’s critical for individuals to be sure of their decision and to protect their mental health to ensure the best chance of success. The length of time you need to be in therapy will depend solely on you. Once you get the go ahead from your therapist, your surgeon will schedule your procedures.

Meet with a Surgeon

Because transgender reassignment surgery is a significant commitment, you will need to meet with a surgeon ahead of time to discuss the pros and cons and determine whether surgery is right for you. They will ask questions about your general health and what you want to achieve with surgery. The surgeon will give you essential information about the various procedures and help you build a plan that will help you get the body you deserve.

Follow Your Pre-Op Instructions

After scheduling your transgender reassignment surgery, your surgeon will provide you with a list of pre and post-op instructions. You must follow these instructions closely, or you risk the surgeon denying the surgery due to safety issues. These instructions may include refraining from certain medications before your surgery and when you should stop eating and drinking before your procedure.

If you’re interested in transgender reassignment surgery, contact The International Center for Transgender Care to schedule an appointment to meet with our qualified transgender care team.

Tips for Handling Gender Dysphoria in Children

It can be frustrating and confusing for parents to help a child who is experiencing gender dysphoria. Many parents feel helpless and aren’t sure what they can do to encourage their child and help them through this challenging time. The following tips will help you handle gender dysphoria in children, so you can set your child up for success.

Listen to Your Child

One of the biggest mistakes parents make when dealing with gender dysphoria in children is not letting their child take the lead. Many parents have a clear picture of what they expect from their child and may not really listen to what they’re saying. The best thing you can do is let your child talk about what they’re going through and follow their lead through the process. It’s a lot to take in for anyone, let alone a child, and they need someone they can rely on to let them talk things out.

Encourage Exploration

Some parents refuse to accept gender dysphoria in children and brush it off as a passing phase. For many children, this is their reality and won’t change over time without the appropriate support. Encouraging your child to explore their identity by trying new activities, different clothing, or anything else is the best gift you can give your child. They will feel safe in their pursuit of finding their true identity and have a better chance of making a sound decision.

Schedule Therapy

Therapy is a useful tool for handling many of life’s challenges, including gender dysphoria in children. However, it’s critical to look for a therapist who specializes in transgender care to ensure they are talking to someone who understands what they’re going through. It can be helpful for you to attend some therapy sessions yourself to gain the tools you need to make life easier for your child.

If your child is experiencing gender dysphoria and you’re not sure where to turn, contact The International Center for Transgender Care to schedule an appointment to discuss the best way to proceed.

What Life Is Like for Me & My Transgender Daughter – Kimberly and Kai Shappley

Source: The Story of My Transgender Daughter Went Viral.

I used to say, “After this fight is won I’ll go back to my ‘normal’ life.” But I can’t.

It’s been more than a year since I first shared the story about my transgender daughter, Kai, but the ball started rolling long before it published in April 2017.

Kai transitioned publicly right before she entered kindergarten. Around that same time, the superintendent of our former school district in Pearland, Texas, gave an interview to the Houston Chronicle in which he compared bathroom use by transgender students to pedophilia and polygamy. That’s when the momma bear in me came out and an active political role became a necessity.

I started by attending school board meetings and giving speeches. As a Christian mom to a transgender kid, I couldn’t stand by and let this far right, ultra conservative, Christian man be the mouthpiece for my faith.

I couldn’t stand by and let this ultra conservative man be the mouthpiece for my faith.

We struggled with the school district all the way into Kai’s first grade year. Despite multiple requests to do otherwise, they continuously used her birth name (Joseph) and wouldn’t let her use the appropriate bathroom. My daughter, who loves school and wants to be an astrophysicist when she grows up, would come home crying.

So, over spring break of that school year, I felt it was necessary to move my family to Austin, Texas. On Kai’s first day, one of the first things I noticed was a rainbow poster stating, “We’re an LGBT affirming school district.” Suddenly, Kai was just a kid with normal childhood issues. But the reality continued to hit that our battle wasn’t over.

Source: Read More

How the Military Became the Country’s Largest Employer of Transgender Americans

By Ben Christopher

Why did Lily Kidd join the Marines?

Ask her about it now and she offers a variety of answers. She needed to escape an unaccepting family. She wanted to experience life outside of Alabama. She was eager for a physical challenge (“I don’t go half in on anything,” she says).

But she also joined the United States Marine Corps because, as a twenty-year-old living in the Deep South with a fiancé, Lily Kidd was still presenting herself to the world as a man.

“When you’re growing up as a boy, feminine traits are pushed away,” explains Kidd, a transgender woman who is now 28 and lives in San Diego. “The Marine Corps—that’s the ultimate way to say, ‘hey, you know what, I’ve got nothing to do with that stuff.’”

Last June, the Department of Defense announced that transgender men and women could no longer be discharged from the military on the basis of their gender identity. While the reform arrived too late for Kidd, who was kicked out of the Marines in 2014 after coming out as trans in her seventh year of service, the shift in policy has brought new public attention to the singular challenges (and for many, the very existence) of transgender service members.

But Kidd’s experience is not unique, nor even particularly rare. While media coverage of high profile trans service members like Chelsea Manning and Kristin Beck often presents the stories of transgender troops as novel—a singular juxtaposition of gender nonconformity within institutions that prize conformity above all else—they are anything but.

In fact, the available evidence suggests that transgender Americans serve at rates well above the national average. Though the data is sparse, studies estimate that trans men and women are anywhere from two- to five-times more likely to join the military as their cisgender (nontrans) counterparts. For all its perceived conservatism and raging heteronormativity, the United States Armed Forces is almost certainly the largest employer of transgender people in this country.

Trans service members and veterans offer a variety of explanations for this disparity. For some, the military uniform functions as gender camouflage—a way to forestall uncomfortable questions from friends, family, or spouses. For others, joining the armed forces offers financial security and community to a group that is disproportionately denied both. For Lily Kidd, both aspects motivated her decision to serve.

As both a hiding place and a safety net, the military has become an unlikely refuge for thousands of transgender Americans.

Rough Estimates 

You can tell a lot about a society based on the data it collects.

No branch of the United States military gathers statistics about its transgender service members because, up until June of this year, they did not officially exist.

Likewise, estimates of the American transgender population are notoriously unreliable. The U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t ask about transgender identity, though as Mona Chalabi writes at FiveThirtyEight, the results probably wouldn’t be reliable if they did. “Transgender” has no universally agreed upon definition, and many respondents might be reluctant to honestly answer a question about it from a federal agency. The surveys that do exist tend to focus on particular geographic areas or only target the LGBT population.

Still, what rough estimates there are suggest that transgender people are overrepresented in the military. Perhaps dramatically so.

The most prominent of these estimates comes from the Williams Institute, an LGBT-focused think tank based out of UCLA. In a report from 2014, authors Gary Gates and Jody Herman estimate that approximately 15,500 transgender men and women are serving and that an additional 134,300 trans Americans are veterans. Given a national population of 700,000 (another rough estimate), this suggests that over 1-in-5 (or 21.4%) of all openly transgender Americans are in the military or have served at one point.

Compare this to the average adult American service rate of 10.4%. Transgender Americans, in other words, are estimated to be twice as likely to join the military.

ScreenShot2016-09-28at4.10.05PM

 

 

“Assigned Male at Birth” refers to trans women along with all gender nonconforming people whose assigned gender at birth was male. Data source: Williams Institute. Chart: Priceonomics

According to the Gates and Herman, the disparity is true of both transgender men and women. Trans people assigned female at birth were estimated to be nearly three times as likely to serve as the average adult woman, while trans people assigned male at birth were 1.6 times as likely to serve as the average man.

The Williams report estimates have been criticized on methodological grounds, so the figures should be taken with a grain of salt. But it does provide one piece of evidence about a larger trend. And there are others.

In 2013, a team of epidemiologists at the Veterans Health Administration published a study on the prevalence of “gender identity disorder” (a classification since abandoned by the American Psychiatric Association) among the millions of veterans within the VHA system.

After poring over hundreds of thousands of health records from between 2000 and 2011, the researchers found that roughly 23 out of every 100,000 patients in the VHA were diagnosed with GID. That is over five times higher than the total population rate of 4.3 per 100,000.

John Blosnich, the lead author on the paper, acknowledges that using GID diagnosis codes is a “very flawed way” to identify transgender vets.

“If you can imagine, a trans person comes into the V.A. or any sort of medical center with a broken arm, there would be a [record] for a broken arm, but there wouldn’t be an ID code for Gender Identity Disorder,” he explains. “So it’s probably an underestimate, if anything.”

Like the estimates provided in the the Williams Institute, the VHA report provides an imprecise statistic. But taken together, they point to the same broader conclusion.

“I think it’s pretty apparent that, yes, trans people are more likely to serve,” says Jake Eleazer, a doctoral student at the University of Louisville who is writing his counseling psychology dissertation on the experience of transgender service members. Eleazer is also a captain in the Kentucky Army National Guard, a board member with the LGBT service member advocacy group, SPART*A, and a transgender man.

“But then it does lead to the question,” says Eleazer. “Why are trans people more likely to serve?”

Read the full article here

 

Being Transgender in a Binary World 

By:  Loree Cook?Daniels – Director, FORGE Transgender Aging Network, USA

Abstract: This essay discusses ways in which people attempt to reconcile or resolve their own cognitive dissonance engendered by transgender people in a society in which gender is perceived as both binary (male OR female) and immutable (an unalterable state or condition).  The author suggests these cognitive dissonance reduction methods may be utilized in other situations where an adult is exposed to information that “doesn’t fit” what they already know.  Much, if not most, of the time we seek to teach someone something new, they already have the cognitive scaffolding for it. It’s possible to teach someone a new recipe because they’ve followed recipes before; this is a simple add?on, a logical expansion, to what they already know. Or take a new software program: if someone has already used a computer keyboard and function keys or pull?down menus, it isn’t too hard to learn additional ways those can be used.  What’s much harder to do is teach someone something that seems to contradict what they already know. When your organization is courting an age discrimination suit because one of your managers is certain that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” how do you budge that certainty to make room for other possibilities?

Continue reading Being Transgender in a Binary World 

How Gender Reassignment affects the mind

This is a very interesting article on how gender reassignment affects the mind.

Rewire Me has run dozens of articles on people’s conscious journeys toward healthier, deeper, more spiritually attuned ways of living. I’ve written about religious experiences that are so powerful they seem to spontaneously rewire the whole person, transforming him or her into not just a better person but a completely new one. Such rebirths, I’ve noted, are often marked with name changes: from Jacob to Israel or Saul to Paul. But religious conversion isn’t the only reason people change their names. Some of the best-known name changes of our era have involved changes in gender, from George Jorgensen to Christine Jorgensen, from Tracy Langondino to Thomas Beatie (who gained tabloid attention a few years ago when he became the world’s first pregnant man). What happens in the brain and the mind when gender presentation is aligned with how a person has always felt?

The animal kingdom is one place to look for insight into this question. For some species, sex changes are part of the ordinary cycle of life. Justin Rhodes, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, has been conducting a long-term study of clownfish (also called anemonefish), the colorful fish that live in symbiotic partnerships with sea anemones in the warm shallows of the Indian and Pacific oceans. (Nemo of Pixar fame was an Ocellaris Clownfish, or Amphiprion ocellaris. Some 30 other species have been identified.)

Read More on Rewire Me

Texas school officials don’t understand transgender athletes

Source: Washington Post

By Katelyn Burns May 4 at 6:00 AM – Katelyn Burns is an essayist and a trans woman. She lives in Maine with her two young children.

Misguided, overzealous rules wind up not being fair to anyone.

Last week, a Texas court dismissed a lawsuit that sought to ban Texas transgender high school wrestler Mack Beggs from wrestling in the girls division. Beggs was assigned female at birth and has been taking testosterone to raise his hormone levels to that of any other teenage boy as part of his medical transition. Since the University Interscholastic League has explicitly stated that Texas athletes must only compete in the gender divisions of their birth certificates, Beggs wrestles against girls and dominates his competitions.

The policy in Texas is unfair to cisgender (non-trans) female athletes, who are forced to wrestle against boys like Beggs, as well as to transgender girls who were assigned male at birth but are on hormone replacement therapy.

Texas’s policy, along with the six other states that define high school athletic gender divisions according to the gender on birth certificates, has no basis in scientific reality when it comes to how hormones work. The difference in musculature between men and women comes entirely from the difference in how efficiently our sex hormones build muscle. Testosterone, the primary sex hormone in cisgender males, is better at building muscle more quickly, which is why men have larger muscles than women, on average. Having more muscle also helps burn fat faster, which is evident when you hear the common lament from women how “it’s unfair that men lose weight faster.”

When transgender boys like Beggs medically transition, they get testosterone injections to bring their hormone levels in line with cisgender boys and reap the athletic rewards of doing so along the way. You can see this very clearly by examining Beggs’s dominance against female competition, as well as just looking at his muscular development. The lawsuit that was dismissed claimed that by taking testosterone, the boy was effectively taking a performance-enhancing banned substance.

When those assigned male at birth take additional testosterone, the resulting increase in muscular development also comes with significantly dangerous side effects, including liver, kidney and heart damage, impotence and suffering from “‘roid rages.” This is why taking testosterone to raise T levels above the normal range for cisgender boys and men is banned, both legally and in sporting contexts. It should be noted that cis men who have been diagnosed with low T are also prescribed the same testosterone injections as trans men. By taking just enough of the hormone to move his levels into the normal boy range, Beggs is not seeking a performance enhancer; he’s just trying to live a normal life as the boy he really is. So why would Texas go to the lengths that they do just to ensure that Beggs plays in his birth-assigned gender category? The true answer lies on the other side of the gender spectrum.

There’s a common societal perception that trans women and girls are really men, and with athletes, this perception translates into an assumption that trans girls and women have a permanent advantage from birth. That’s wrong. When trans girls medically transition, they need two separate hormone treatments, one to block testosterone production, and then an estrogen regimen, which brings their levels in line with those assigned female at birth. Because trans girls hormonally become indistinguishable from any other female athletes, requiring them to compete in the boys’ division would be unfair. Opponents of trans girls’ participation in female athletics often point to other advantageous physical traits such as height as reason enough for a wholesale ban. But that ignores the natural variance that cis women have in height and dismisses the fact that height is not an advantage in sports such as gymnastics.

The larger debate surrounding trans rights makes clear what’s really going on in the disputes over school sports. If those who seek to keep trans women out of women’s rooms are forced to admit that trans women are hormonally woman enough to compete in women’s athletics, then their scaremongering tactics around the bathroom and public accommodations debate begin to crumble. It’s a harder argument to force some female athletes to use a locker room that’s separate from the teammates who they already play with.

By overzealously and erroneously attempting to ban so-called “boys” (trans girls) from taking over girls’ sports, Texas officials have managed to create a situation where an actual boy (Beggs) has taken over a girls’ sport. If it really wants to be fair, Texas should look to other states, the NCAA, the International Olympic Committee and the many other sport governing bodies that make accommodations for trans teens going through medical transitions to bring its policy into alignment with science.

Source: Washington Post

Caitlyn Jenner Opens Up To Diane Sawyer About Her Life 2 Years After Coming Out

The wide-ranging interview hit on everything from Donald Trump to her Vanity Fair cover.

There is “peace” in Caitlyn Jenner’s soul.

That’s the message she had for Diane Sawyer ? and the millions of people who tuned in for her second in-depth interview on ABC’s “20/20” to celebrate the anniversary of coming out as transgender in April 2015.

Continue reading Caitlyn Jenner Opens Up To Diane Sawyer About Her Life 2 Years After Coming Out