Answers to frequently asked questions
How does one become a transsexual?
Nobody “chooses” to become transsexual. One either is or isn’t born a transsexual. In many cases, awareness is sensed already during adolescence of somehow “being different”. This “otherness” is disconcerting and can’t always be articulated correctly in any possible way. It’s also possible that some transsexual people don’t realize their identity disorder until a later time in their lives.
There are many studies and all the more speculations over the origin of transsexuality. Until now, none of these presumptions have been scientifically confirmed as the cause of transsexuality.
Actual scientific research has recently found indications that already in the embryo development, important gender specifications in brain and body develop differently.
Are transvestites transsexuals?
Transvestites feel quite comfortable in their biological sex and neither strive for a medical/surgical procedure to change their physical sex nor legally want to change their gender. “Genuine” transvestites live with the compulsion to dress in clothing of the opposite sex.
Are all the transgendered seductively overdressed in dresses?
No, that is a well-worn stereotype.
On one hand, we have the media to thank for this stereotype, which presents this image on talk shows, movies, fictitious stories, and superficial enquiries. On the other hand, this stereotype is regrettably perpetuated by the transgendered themselves; by again and again acting the stereotype.
What is a sex change or gender reassignment?
The word “sex change” is a misnomer, and is unfortunately still widely circulated in print. The correct terminology is “gender reassignment”. It’s to be understood that this is a process in which the sexual attributes are adjusted accordingly to the sexual identity of the transsexual.
A leading health professional was quoted:
“In a sex reassignment surgery, all parts are simply repositioned in the correct place.”
Generally in Europe, the charges for a sex reassignment surgery are covered by health insurance companies. In Canada, charges are covered by most insurance companies, but policies change frequently.
Why do transsexuals need medical/psychological judgment?
Psychological examinations are mandated to justify the legal actions for people to change their Christian names and civil status (gender). Board certified experts are delegated by the court and establish in their names long-term, thorough evaluations and psychological reports.
Medical and psychological judgments become necessary in order to justify the urgency of medical intervention and to legitimize the expenses incurred for the insurance companies.
Why is (or isn’t) transsexuality an illness?
Transsexuality cannot be considered an illness. Everything considered, it’s internationally, medically acknowledged that Transsexuality has a “pathological caricature”. The psychological pressure burdening a transsexual, which normally increases with age, causes various psychosomatic symptoms. Those affected can only be helped through medical preventative measures.
Further psychological guidance and counsel is recommended in order to facilitate the “person undergoing transition” with stability during his or her adjustment period to real life in the new gender role.
Why don’t transsexuals stay as they are?
The psychological pressure upon transsexual people is inconceivably great. The impacts are often unimaginably heavy burdens, abysmal clinical depression, lethargy, unequivocal neglect of hygiene, irresponsible, unsafe sexual behavior, and sometimes self-inflicted wounds, which may even lead to suicide. More than a few lose their jobs, their friends and their families due to their situation.
Not every transsexual allows a complete follow-through and assimilation of the gender reassignment procedure. The rate of “follow-throughs” of male-to-female transsexuals is about 90 percent; that of female-to-male is far lower.
Why do so many subjects get married and have children?
The long-held, erroneous misconception was that transsexuality and its psychological pressures would merely strain the afflicted person as a short-term phase of life. Also equally false was the opinion that transsexuality was curable with therapy.
Many subjects try to suppress their “strange inclinations, thoughts, and feelings” and be “normal”. They rightfully fear that society is as hard and violent as it is discriminating. They try to live a life in which society accepts them in a conventional role and start families.
But this seldom goes well. At some point in their life the psychological pressure becomes too unbearable and frequently leads to unsuccessful attempts at suicide. Naturally, the families suffer with this as well. It’s questionable, then, if starting a family was the right decision, but from the viewpoint of the subject, a possibility exists to be considered normal.
What sexual orientation do transsexuals have?
Just as others would like, transsexuals also strive to live in a loving relationship. These relationships are characterized either in a heterosexual or in a lesbian or gay way.
How is life for transsexuals in the New Apostolic Church?
There is no general answer to this universal question. At any rate, the integration of transsexual brothers and sisters can succeed in such situations when the prejudiced of all ages, whom, above all, are uncomfortable, are encountered with good, solid information. The congregation should lovingly open their hearts in friendship, and ministers which openly offer pastoral care in the spirit of church doctrine as shepherds and advisors, and mediate safety.
In the period during which the gender change takes place, the integration is a long-term, tedious, perpetually changing process where much compassion is especially necessary.