Man I Feel Like a Woman
A Response to the Author
by Laura Amato
Author's Note: This article is a response to the article "Man I Feel Like a Woman" by Dena Leichnitz.
Ms Leichnitz first sentence stated that "she will be as compassionate as she can". Other than mentioning the word she exhibits none of it throughout her article. Instead she seems to feel that Transsexuals lay challenge to her womanhood. She then goes on to call Sex Change an industry instead of recognizing that it is a medical operation done with certain requirements and Standards of Care. A transsexual cannot obtain (GRS) Gender change surgery unless they jump through certain hoops. Those that don't follow the Standards of Care can only blame themselves for the outcome if they don't follow them or attempt to deceive. Josef Kirshner on his own web site admitted that he lied to his therapist. Then he blames the Transgendered Community for his problems. If he had told the truth he would never have been able to obtain SRS. Kirshner has undergone some sex change procedures to reverse his male to female Surgery. Josef now lives as a male and the web site is now defunct.
The Change is Possible website was run by Josef Kirshner. On the site Kirshner had proclaimed he was cured by a right wing Religous Zealot named Richard Cohen an unlicensed, disgraced Psychologist. Mr Cohen has no standing in the Transgendered Community. He used methods similar to Exodus a Training center that claims to convert Homosexuals and Transsexuals. However there seem to be very few graduates that claim their cure is permanent. The clinics tend to lean heavily toward prayer, guilt and salvation. As any Transsexual can tell you many of us have prayed for as many as 70 years without results. Mr. Kirshner promised to produce others on his site that were cured by Cohen. He never did so. Surely he could produce one more besides himself,
Ms. Leichnitz quotes Kirshner extensively. Then she talks about her anger that MTF Transsexuals say that we feel like women. This she claims is an insult to her womanhood because she says we are not women. Wow! Are we that important that we took away her womanhood? I think not.
There is medical evidence that MTF Ts's have a female sized hypothalmus in their brains which governs sexuality and later studies show that FTM's have a male sized one. So it seems that we do think like women after all. We're not just wannabes. How about that. There are newer studies that show that Homosexuality and Transsexuality are not choices but rather are genetic. Ironically Homophobia turns out to be genetic as well. So, Dena it seems you have a good excuse to be both a homophobe as well as a transaphobe.
Transsexuals are governed by the HBIGDA Standards of care. These Standards call for Therapy. Then they must live for up to two years in their chosen gender. They also state that all other psychological disorders must be ruled out. Most continue therapy throughout their transisiton. Two years is plenty of time to decide if this is for you. Then surgery is recommended. If the client lies to a therapist the problem is theirs not Ms. Leichnitz's.
The author claims that we are not women and will not be after surgery either. Apparantly she underestimates the quality of the surgery. I would challange her to pick out the transsexual neo-vagina after a Labiaplasty in a lineup. One might also remind her that a woman who has had a hysterechtomy is still a woman.
Let's go back to her compassion again or lack of it. Most MTF's feel female as their first concious thought at the age of 4 or 5 years of age. They know they don't fit. They spend their lives suffering from gender dysphoria. Their minds and their bodies are not one. How can you dare begrudge them a way to correct this? There are some that suffer their entire lives because of this. Our pre-op suicide rate is between 31% to 50%. Another estimate puts it at 11% above the norm.
On a daily basis Laura's Playground has a thousand vistors a day. Many come into chat to talk or be counseled. We always recommend therapy first. Several times a day we counsel Suicidal Ts's Many of them are teens who have homphobic parents. Our moderators are trained in youth suicide prevention. The story's are right out of a horror movie. Teens are in distress as the wrong parts develop making them prisoners in their own skin. The only people who can help are those of our own kind. Homosexual suicide teen hotlines ring of the hook from suicidal clients. Spend five minutes in our chat room and I challenge Dina to come away without tears. That depends on how much heart she truely has.
A teen we know cannot get the therapy he needs because he is a Mormon. Only Mormon therapists can see him. They tell him that being Transsexual is a product of the devil. On a daily basis he cuts himself from the guilt and threatens suicide. His parents have no idea because after telling them his life became a living hell. Many Transsexuals mutilate themselves all through their lives. Our biggest fears are homophobes like Ms, Leichnitz. Their unkind comments and lack of compassion makes our suicide rates soar and my job as a transgendered support site owner a mountainous challenge. The only good news is that after surgery Transsexual suicide rates drop down to the normal rate.
I have no doubt religous nuts and homophobes feel they are doing the right thing. The problem is their attitude is physically killing people. Where indeed is your compassion. How can a religion of love be so cruel to people who have birth defects through no fault of my own. Personally I believe the devil is in disguse hiding behind religions. Show some compassion for God's sake.