MWMF Anti-TS Awareness: 1992 Gender Survey Results (130 lines)

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Rica Fredrickson

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Apr 30, 1993, 2:32:46 AM4/30/93
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This material is forwarded with permission (see "Background Information"
post).
Please pass it on to women (on or off the net) who may wish to help.

***forwarded material begins
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1993 21:33:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Nancy J Burkholder <hoy...@world.std.com>
Subject: MWMF Anti-TS Awareness: 1992 Gender Survey Results (130 lines)
To: sappho <sap...@mc.lcs.mit.edu>
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Results of 1992 Gender Survey at Michigan Womyn's Music Festival

A total of 633 surveys were collected. There were about 7500 women at
MWMF, so this represents a response rate of approximately 8.4%. The
survey asked, "Do you think male-to-female transsexuals should be
welcome at Michigan?" *Yes* responses to this question numbered 463
(73.1%) and *no* answers totaled 143 (22.6%). Twenty-seven surveys
(4.3%) had indeterminate responses such as "I'm not sure" or did not
answer this question. The margin of error is 3.8%. Given these results,
the chance that the majority of 7500 MWMF participants believe
transsexuals should not be admitted would be less than 1 in 100,000.
This calculation assumes that our sample was randomly selected, which it
certainly was not. However, even if half of the *yes* answers are
attributed to the bias of the sample and eliminated from the
calculation, there is still a better than 999 in 1000 chance that most
Festigoers would welcome transsexuals.

Reasons given for including transsexuals were:
They are women (90)
They identify as women (67)
They have made a commitment to womanhood (38)
They have been through enough (35)
We should not oppress others (32)
They have chosen to be women (26)
We should be inclusive (30)
We should not judge an individual's choice (20)
They can benefit from the women's community (19)
Internally they are women (17)
They are oppressed as women (11)
They are living as women (11)
They share women's goals and perspectives (10)
They are not threatening (10)
We should encourage diversity (8)
We cannot determine who is transsexual (8)
Gender is in the mind (8)
They have given up male privilege (7)
They deserve our support (7)
Their condition is not their fault (7)
We can learn from transsexuals (6)
We have no definition of "woman" (5)
Legally they are women (4)
We should all unite (4)
Their socialization is not so different from ours (3)
They have been no problem in the past (3)
It's behavior that's important (3)

The reasons Festigoers gave for wanting to exclude transsexuals (with
numbers giving these responses) were:
They are not women (23)
They are not women-born women (16)
They make others uncomfortable (15)
They have been socialized as males (12)
They have had male privilege (10)
They think like men (8)
They have male energy (7)
They have penises (6)
They have different life experiences (6)
They are biologically men (5)
People shouldn't change their sex (5)
They have not been girls in the patriarchy (4)
They are oppressors (4)
They behave like men (4)
They have not been oppressed as women (4)
They are too feminine (3)

In both the above lists, multiple responses were recorded when
respondents gave more than one answer. Responses given by only one or
two people were omitted. In answer to the question, "What is the best
way to determine whether an individual is a male-to-female transsexual?"
there was a considerable range of opinion:
Ask them (50)
Trust them to be honest (39)
Don't know (26)
Announce the policy clearly (21)
Check their genitals (18)
There is no accurate way to tell (14)
Driver's license or picture ID (9)
There is no dignified way to tell (9)
Self-identification should be sufficient (9)
We shouldn't try (8)
Surgery should be complete (5)
By their behavior (4)
Genetic testing (3)
Birth certificate (3)
Written exam or questionnaire (3)
Medical certificate (3)

In addition, two each were in favor of interviews, having a friend vouch
for them, and intuition. One each endorsed a doctor's physical exam, a
medical/psychiatric history, testosterone levels, and bone structure.
Overall, the survey results indicate that there is a great deal of
confusion and disagreement about the locus of gender, the relationship
between gender and sex, the definition of woman (or womon), the meaning
of woman-born woman, the nature of transsexualism, who MWMF should be
for, how an anti-transsexual policy should be enforced, and who is the
victim and who the oppressor. The results strongly suggest that the
majority of Festigoers would support a "no penis" policy that would
allow postoperative male-to-female transsexuals; that they want the
policy to be unambiguously stated and well publicized; and that they
oppose invasive verification of sex.

Results of the questions that asked about *female-to-male* transsexuals
have not been tabulated in detail, but 80% of respondents were against
their inclusion.

for more information, email:

Nancy
hoy...@world.std.com

"Good people are always so sure they're right."

--Barbara Graham's last words
Executed June 3, 1955 at San Quentin


***forwarded material ends
forwarded by
Rica Ashby Fredrickson <ri...@cellar.org>

Tim Pierce

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May 1, 1993, 1:41:51 PM5/1/93
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In article <B24s3B...@cellar.org> ri...@cellar.org (Rica Fredrickson) writes:

> The reasons Festigoers gave for wanting to exclude transsexuals (with
> numbers giving these responses) were:

> They are too feminine (3)

You're *not* serious?

--
____ Tim Pierce / ?Usted es la de la tele, eh? !La madre
\ / twpi...@unix.amherst.edu / del asesino! !Ay, que graciosa!
\/ (BITnet: TWPIERCE@AMHERST) / -- Pedro Almodovar

Sim Aberson

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May 1, 1993, 10:06:20 PM5/1/93
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In a previous article, twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) wrote:
>In article <B24s3B...@cellar.org> ri...@cellar.org (Rica Fredrickson) writes:
>
>> The reasons Festigoers gave for wanting to exclude transsexuals (with
>> numbers giving these responses) were:
>> They are too feminine (3)
>
>You're *not* serious?

I remember in the old POV series on PBS one episode following a male to
female transsexual during the year the process was to be completed. The
makers of the documentary interviewed coworkers of the subject, and most
women said that one thing that made them uncomfortable is that she acted
so feminine so as to seem more like a caricature of femininity than what
they considered true femininity, whatever that is. Whether their point
is valid or not, this seems to be a widely held belief.

Sim Aberson Ft. Lauderdale, FL abe...@ocean.dnet.nasa.gov

Melinda Shore

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May 2, 1993, 10:25:17 AM5/2/93
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In article <1MAY93....@enh.nist.gov> abe...@enh.nist.gov (Sim Aberson) writes:
> [ ... ] and most

>women said that one thing that made them uncomfortable is that she acted
>so feminine so as to seem more like a caricature of femininity than what
>they considered true femininity, whatever that is. Whether their point
>is valid or not, this seems to be a widely held belief.

I used to believe this. I was incorrect.
--
Melinda Shore - Cornell Theory Center - sh...@tc.cornell.edu

heather e blair

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May 2, 1993, 5:05:44 PM5/2/93
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I'll agree with Melinda here. Ellen S. and I were at the Michigan
Women's Music Festival and filled out these surveys ourselves.

I guess a lot of my anti-m->f-ts prejudice came from meeting ultra-femme
transgendered people with very male faces. For some reason that made
me very uncomfortable. The net has helped me a lot for overcoming this
prejudice, and I would like to thank all of you.

And I credited the net on my survey.

--

- Heather Blair h4...@midway.uchicago.edu

Greg Parkinson

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May 2, 1993, 6:05:43 PM5/2/93
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In <1s0lkd$1...@fitz.TC.Cornell.EDU> sh...@dinah.tc.cornell.edu (Melinda Shore) writes:

>In article <1MAY93....@enh.nist.gov> abe...@enh.nist.gov (Sim Aberson) writes:
>> [ ... ] and most
>>women said that one thing that made them uncomfortable is that she acted
>>so feminine so as to seem more like a caricature of femininity than what
>>they considered true femininity, whatever that is. Whether their point
>>is valid or not, this seems to be a widely held belief.

>I used to believe this. I was incorrect.

I would love to hear what you believe now.

Greg (who is drooling for a learning experience)>--


> Melinda Shore - Cornell Theory Center - sh...@tc.cornell.edu

--
---------------------------------------------------------
Greg Parkinson New York, New York g...@panix.com
...beauty is convulsive or not at all...

Ellen Keyne Seebacher

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May 2, 1993, 8:47:21 PM5/2/93
to
Heather Blair writes:
>I'll agree with Melinda here. Ellen S. and I were at the Michigan
>Women's Music Festival and filled out these surveys ourselves.

And got some lovely materials, too! The pro-TS folks handed out
buttons and stickers spoofing the Michigan organizers' various
prejudices; I took a bright pink button which reads "Bisexual
Transsexual Meat Eating Lipstick Wearing Leatherdyke From Hell".

(I am some of these things. Which, I leave to the reader to decide.)

>I guess a lot of my anti-m->f-ts prejudice came from meeting ultra-femme
>transgendered people with very male faces. For some reason that made

J>me very uncomfortable.

As I said to Heather at the time, it was the strangest thing about
MWMF: not being surrounded by seven thousand women, which was
incredible in itself, but _knowing_ that one was surrounded by seven
thousand women and then seeing those "very male faces" in the crowd.

But that's my problem, and I was perfectly willing to get over it. I
sure as hell wish the festival organizers were.

>The net has helped me a lot for overcoming this prejudice, and I
>would like to thank all of you.

Ditto. In my decade online, I've managed to face, and attack, my own
prejudices about -- to name a few -- trans{sexual,gendered} people,
heavy people, SM people, and Republicans. (Okay, I'm still working on
the last one.)

Thanks, all.

-- __
Ellen Keyne Seebacher \/ el...@midway.uchicago.edu
"I am many things, and it seems artificial to rank them. At
dinnertime, I'm hungry first." --Rob Bernardo (R.I.P.)

Sim Aberson

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May 3, 1993, 4:30:32 PM5/3/93
to
In a previous article, sh...@dinah.tc.cornell.edu (Melinda Shore) wrote:
>In article <1MAY93....@enh.nist.gov> abe...@enh.nist.gov (Sim Aberson) writes:
>> [ ... ] and most
>>women said that one thing that made them uncomfortable is that she acted
>>so feminine so as to seem more like a caricature of femininity than what
>>they considered true femininity, whatever that is. Whether their point
>>is valid or not, this seems to be a widely held belief.
>
>I used to believe this. I was incorrect.

Which? The belief, or that it is widely held?

Melinda Shore

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May 3, 1993, 11:09:31 AM5/3/93
to
In article <C6F6p...@panix.com> g...@panix.com (Greg Parkinson) writes:
>I would love to hear what you believe now.

None of the M->F transsexuals I've met display any of the
exaggerated femininity that I had come to expect from the
stereotype. Indeed, the woman who was asked to leave the
Michigan Women's Music Festival is just as much of dyke (in
the granola tradition) as any of the rest of us, or so I
gather from the brief conversation I had with her in DC and
her postings from the net. I guess I've come to believe
that being born in a man's body is one kind of female
experience that may not be particularly common but happens
nonetheless.

ryerson.schwark

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May 3, 1993, 11:42:37 AM5/3/93
to
In article <1993May2.2...@midway.uchicago.edu> h4...@midway.uchicago.edu writes:
>
>I'll agree with Melinda here. Ellen S. and I were at the Michigan
>Women's Music Festival and filled out these surveys ourselves.
>
>I guess a lot of my anti-m->f-ts prejudice came from meeting ultra-femme
>transgendered people with very male faces. For some reason that made
>me very uncomfortable. The net has helped me a lot for overcoming this
>prejudice, and I would like to thank all of you.
>
>And I credited the net on my survey.

From what I understand, there was a period when to get "approval" to
have the transgender surgery, you had to pass a group of psychiatrists.
They required that the prospective TS act stereotypically feminine before
they would approve the surgery and gave counseling on how to be a woman.
I sincerely hope this is still not the case. The implications of this
screening and "counseling" should be reasonably obvious.

Ry
r...@usl.com

Mara Chibnik

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May 3, 1993, 5:02:29 PM5/3/93
to
sh...@dinah.tc.cornell.edu (Melinda Shore) writes:

>None of the M->F transsexuals I've met display any of the
>exaggerated femininity that I had come to expect from the
>stereotype.

I didn't have much of an image before I started to
meet people. The M->F transsexuals I know are all fairly
nerdly, though, which might have something to do with it.

>Indeed, the woman who was asked to leave the
>Michigan Women's Music Festival is just as much of dyke (in
>the granola tradition) as any of the rest of us, or so I
>gather from the brief conversation I had with her in DC and
>her postings from the net. I guess I've come to believe
>that being born in a man's body is one kind of female
>experience that may not be particularly common but happens
>nonetheless.

It seems to be a lot less rare than I'd have believed
a few years ago. I think that there's quite a range
of reactions. When I read Conundrum, which is the story
of Jan Morris's transition, I found her sense of what it
meant to be female/feminine rather off-putting.

--

Mara Chibnik
ma...@panix.com Life is too important to be taken seriously.

Mara Chibnik

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May 3, 1993, 5:08:57 PM5/3/93
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r...@cbnewsl.cb.att.com (ryerson.schwark) writes:
>From what I understand, there was a period when to get "approval" to
>have the transgender surgery, you had to pass a group of psychiatrists.
>They required that the prospective TS act stereotypically feminine before
>they would approve the surgery and gave counseling on how to be a woman.
>I sincerely hope this is still not the case. The implications of this
>screening and "counseling" should be reasonably obvious.

Yup. Especially since the psychiatrists were generally male, and
judged whether someone was an appropriate candidate for surgery on
the basis of how they, as men, responded to the candidate's
femininity. There's a book-- In Search of Eve, by Anne Bolin (or
something that sounds like that; I haven't unpacked it yet)-- that
makes a point of this.

This seems to be changing for the better. One of the surgeons, who
used to include questions of sexual orientation in his screening and
who (I was told) would not operate on someone who identified as a
lesbian has changed his screening procedure, according to a friend
of mine who is a satisfied customer.

Michael Siemon

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May 3, 1993, 8:37:31 PM5/3/93
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In <1s3cjb$i...@fitz.TC.Cornell.EDU> sh...@dinah.tc.cornell.edu (Melinda Shore)
writes:

What a sig.quote, this is!!!!

>I guess I've come to believe that being born in a man's body
>is one kind of female experience that may not be particularly
>common but happens nonetheless.
--

Michael L. Siemon I say "You are gods, sons of the
m...@panix.com Most High, all of you; nevertheless
- or - you shall die like men, and fall
m...@ulysses.att..com like any prince." Psalm 82:6-7

Ailsa N.T. Murphy

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May 4, 1993, 1:00:00 AM5/4/93
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In article <1993May3.0...@midway.uchicago.edu>, el...@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Ellen Keyne Seebacher) writes:

> Heather Blair writes:
>
>>I guess a lot of my anti-m->f-ts prejudice came from meeting ultra-femme
>>transgendered people with very male faces. For some reason that made
> J>me very uncomfortable.
>
> As I said to Heather at the time, it was the strangest thing about
> MWMF: not being surrounded by seven thousand women, which was
> incredible in itself, but _knowing_ that one was surrounded by seven
> thousand women and then seeing those "very male faces" in the crowd.
>
but, what is a "very male" face? i've known any number of women with
manly faces who were woman-born. i've known women who coudl pass quie
nicely as men, and not androgynous ones either. a "very male" face is
not necessarily attached to a postop TS. and my exhusband's face is not
male-looking at all, and he hasn;t even finished his electrolysis yet,
let ALONE gotten hormones or syrgery...

-ailsa

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
ai...@wonky.uucp ________
Well, who hasn't got a thing with power, Silence \ /Action
And how it leaves you lost and lonely, = \ / =
Now with freedom on my doorstep, Death \ / Life
I eat my dinner with "if only" \/
I give when the giving's easy,
And crack when the give's too hard.
I adore the distant hazy, but I run when it's in my yard. - Ferron

Ailsa N.T. Murphy

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May 4, 1993, 12:55:55 AM5/4/93
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In article <C6F6p...@panix.com>, g...@panix.com (Greg Parkinson) writes:
> In <1s0lkd$1...@fitz.TC.Cornell.EDU> sh...@dinah.tc.cornell.edu (Melinda Shore) writes:
>
>>In article <1MAY93....@enh.nist.gov> abe...@enh.nist.gov (Sim Aberson) writes:
>>> [ ... ] and most
>>>women said that one thing that made them uncomfortable is that she acted
>>>so feminine so as to seem more like a caricature of femininity than what
>>>they considered true femininity, whatever that is. Whether their point
>>>is valid or not, this seems to be a widely held belief.
>
>>I used to believe this. I was incorrect.
>
> I would love to hear what you believe now.
>
well, my ex-husband was (and still is) a pre-op TS. hir tastesand
gestures, when s/he was first dressing en femme, ran more to the high
camp drag queen that them "feminine". s/he's stopped doing that now,
but only because i pointed out the male-to-bimbo stereotype that i'd
heard about...

of coursem some of that "ultra-feminity" might be due to the TS
establishment, too. some of the counselling communities are STILL quite
conservative...

Ellen Keyne Seebacher

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May 4, 1993, 4:14:11 PM5/4/93
to
I wrote that the "strangest thing about MWMF" was:
>> ..._knowing_ that one was surrounded by seven thousand women and

>> then seeing those "very male faces" in the crowd.

I was discussing M->F transsexuals at the time.

And Ailsa objected:


>but, what is a "very male" face? i've known any number of women with
>manly faces who were woman-born. i've known women who coudl pass quie
>nicely as men, and not androgynous ones either. a "very male" face is
>not necessarily attached to a postop TS.

She's quite right, and in fact I was thinking that as I wrote the
original paragraph -- I just didn't translate the thought from brain
to keyboard. Thanks for pointing it out, Ailsa.

-- __
Ellen Keyne Seebacher \/ el...@midway.uchicago.edu

"Honey, you better drink some alka-seltzer before you mistake heartburn
for thought again." --Joe Francis (j...@spdcc.com)

Rica Fredrickson

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May 5, 1993, 4:59:54 AM5/5/93
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ma...@panix.com (Mara Chibnik) wrote

> r...@cbnewsl.cb.att.com (ryerson.schwark) writes:
> >From what I understand, there was a period when to get "approval" to
> >have the transgender surgery, you had to pass a group of psychiatrists.
> >They required that the prospective TS act stereotypically feminine before
> >they would approve the surgery and gave counseling on how to be a woman.
> >I sincerely hope this is still not the case. The implications of this
> >screening and "counseling" should be reasonably obvious.

Two independent evaluations are required by the standard of care
now in use. One should be from the primary therapist who has been
counseling the client through the transition; if this therapist is
not a psychiatrist, the other evaluation should be made by a
psychiatrist.

> Yup. Especially since the psychiatrists were generally male, and
> judged whether someone was an appropriate candidate for surgery on
> the basis of how they, as men, responded to the candidate's

It's possible to do the whole transition without ever having to be
evaluated or counseled by a straight male, except for (maybe) the
surgeon. I know a lesbian therapist in my area who has worked with
dozens (maybe 100?) pre-operative M->F TS clients, lesbian-identified
and otherwise.

> femininity. There's a book-- In Search of Eve, by Anne Bolin (or
> something that sounds like that; I haven't unpacked it yet)-- that
> makes a point of this.

The therapist I mentioned above has been known to hand this book
to a new client, especially to one with an academic background.
It was originally Bolin's doctoral thesis in anthropology (Colorado
at Boulder, I think).

> This seems to be changing for the better. One of the surgeons, who
> used to include questions of sexual orientation in his screening and
> who (I was told) would not operate on someone who identified as a
> lesbian has changed his screening procedure, according to a friend
> of mine who is a satisfied customer.

Biber, in particular, has accepted openly lesbian-identified patients
for several years now, and apparently no longer asks about sexual
orientation.

> Mara Chibnik
> ma...@panix.com Life is too important to be taken
seriously.

... silence can be an extremely high price to pay for acceptance.
--Sandy Stone

I don't know what they're calling us anymore, but we're Dykes!
--Lynn Thomas

Rica Ashby Fredrickson <ri...@cellar.org> (X)
MDIv1.00 b**te*fb(*)h_o(*)m(!)s_k!l!pc--v(m)!!v(s)**v(a)!v(o)_g*/!! |
NBCS h-f-tw(-)c?s+(+)k+p++g+r- |
... I guess you'd qualify as a "hairless otter". --Father Amelia|

Steve Hutchison

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May 5, 1993, 12:20:12 PM5/5/93
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ai...@wonky.UUCP (Ailsa N.T. Murphy) writes:

+In article <1993May3.0...@midway.uchicago.edu>, el...@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Ellen Keyne Seebacher) writes:
+> Heather Blair writes:
+>
+>>I guess a lot of my anti-m->f-ts prejudice came from meeting ultra-femme
+>>transgendered people with very male faces. For some reason that made
+>>me very uncomfortable.
+>
+> As I said to Heather at the time, it was the strangest thing about
+> MWMF: not being surrounded by seven thousand women, which was
+> incredible in itself, but _knowing_ that one was surrounded by seven
+> thousand women and then seeing those "very male faces" in the crowd.
+>
+but, what is a "very male" face? i've known any number of women with
+manly faces who were woman-born. [exposition deleted]

Easy: k.d.lang's face is a "very male" face. Especially in that video
she made of (darnit, forgetting the name) the woman who turns into a
southren Belle when she sees her sweetie? Anyway, that dress, that
rope swing, that entirely masculine way of holding her body, that very
very not-femme facial structure - she says she's Patsy Cline reincarnated,
maybe so, but into the body of Wayne Newton.

Kate Hepburn had a rather male face too, but it changed when she got older.

Hutch

Amanda Walker

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May 7, 1993, 2:56:39 AM5/7/93
to
r...@cbnewsl.cb.att.com (ryerson.schwark) writes:
> From what I understand, there was a period when to get "approval" to
> have the transgender surgery, you had to pass a group of psychiatrists.

This is still true for every gender dysphoria program that I know about, and
with good reason (though I believe that it can be any licensed
psychotherapist, not just psychiatrists). The major improvement has been in
the understanding of counselors involved.



> The implications of this screening and "counseling" should be reasonably
> obvious.

There is still required counseling and screening, but things have improved
over the past few decades, at least in many areas of the country, as people
gained experience to supplement the theories.


Amanda Walker
--
"She celebrates her lover's touch; it caught her by suprise
Still she mourns for the narrow minds who stare as they pass by."
--Holly Near, "Singer In The Storm"


Amanda Walker

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May 7, 1993, 2:58:47 AM5/7/93
to
ma...@panix.com (Mara Chibnik) writes:
> The M->F transsexuals I know are all fairly
> nerdly, though, which might have something to do with it.

Hmmph. The fact that I am still at work at 2AM does *not* make me a nerd.
I'm just ... dedicated. Yeah, that's it ...


Amanda Walker
--
Salome knew how to get ahead.


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