Category Archives: Transgender Research

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?

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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.)

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Introducing a New Approach to Transgender Care

Accessing quality care can often present a challenge for members of the transgender community. Although awareness of gender diversity is on the rise in the United States, many healthcare providers remain uninformed about the unique issues faced by transgender individuals, and are unequipped to assist patients who seek treatment for this condition. Furthermore, patients who identify as transgender often face discrimination within the healthcare establishment; the results of a recent survey indicated that 19% of transmen and transwomen had actually been denied care based on their transgender status. And for those patients who do manage to access care, treatment is often disjointed. Patients commonly see one provider for hormone therapy, one provider for surgery, and another for gender therapy. Clearly, a better approach is needed.

The International Center for Transgender Care (ICTC) was created in response to this critical need. Founded by a group of plastic surgeons and a mental health therapist, all experts in their respective fields, ICTC seeks to offer a higher level of care for members of the transgender community. Here, our approach is truly holistic. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of gender transition surgeries, ICTC offers gender therapy, a med spa, and a research division. All of our services are delivered in a welcoming and affirming environment at our state-of-the art surgical center in Dallas, Texas.

At ICTC, we believe that gender therapy is an integral component of the treatment process for transgender patients. Our therapy division is headed by Caroline Gibbs, a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) who is internationally recognized as an expert in transgender mental health issues. Caroline practices holistic therapy, a multi-faceted treatment that aims to consider the patient as a whole person. Therapy at the Trans Center emphasizes empathy, acceptance, and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by transmen and transwomen. Depending upon the unique needs of each patient, specific modalities offered may include individual, group, child, or family therapy, voice coaching, and assistance identifying treatment options and resources.

The surgeons at ICTC are internationally renowned for their work in transgender surgical care. With over twenty years of experience performing transgender procedures, our vision is to become the destination of choice for transmen and transwomen throughout the country. We offer a full range of surgical services, including facial feminization and facial masculinization, breast augmentation and mastectomy, body feminization and body masculinization, and gender confirmation surgery. Our surgeons follow the WPATH guidelines for transgender care and will work with you to design a gender transition treatment plan customized to your unique goals and needs.

The transition process is an important time for transgender patients. Many transmen and transwomen have spent their entire lives unhappy with their physical appearance, and the transition period may be the first time that they feel truly comfortable in their own skin. The Med Spa at the Trans Center offers a range of innovative aesthetic procedures to enhance the results of gender transition surgery. Patients may opt to complement their surgical procedures with cosmetic treatments such as laser hair removal, fat reduction procedures, or Botox. Our experienced med spa staff is committed to assisting each patient in looking and feeling their very best during this important life stage.

In addition to providing world-class transgender treatment and care, the experts at ICTC are dedicated to understanding the biological causes and consequences of gender diversity. ICTC is the first institution of its kind to combine research with clinical care. Through our work in the clinical research division, we hope to gain enhanced insight into the transgender experience and positively impact the lives of our patients. Our goal is to become the de facto source for transgender research and publication through a rigorous, methodologically-sound scientific process. Our research interests include gender dysphoria, the causes and implications of transgenderism, and the effectiveness of various treatments and therapies for this condition.

At the International Center for Transgender Care, our mission is to provide the very best holistic therapy and surgery options for the transgender community. Our experienced and compassionate staff look forward to assisting you throughout your transition surgery—please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss our innovative approach to holistic transgender care.

We look forward to assisting you in achieving the very best possible results for all of your gender transition procedures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (972) 543-2477.