Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex and Gender Diversity

Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex and Gender Diversity

Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex and Gender Diversity

Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex and Gender Diversity

Synopsis

Finding the Real Me is an extraordinary collection of real-life stories told by a wide-range of sex and gender diverse people. These healing tales of struggle and transformation reveal just how creative, resourceful, and adventurous the individuals in this community can be and also helps to bridge the gap between ignorance and understanding. As each incredible story unfolds we become part of the author's journey to self-acceptance and join the celebration of their new life. Page by page, we laugh, cry, and learn to appreciate these wonderful courageous people and the road they walked to be their true selves. Finding the Real Me is a landmark book that encourages us to embrace diversity, to never fear our differences, and to remain always in awe of our amazing possibilities.

Excerpt

Being a transsexual man (that is, someone born with a female body, but who has undergone a “sex change” and now lives his life as a man) I have been obligated to explore the complex understandings that give me my own knowledge of my gendered self. When I first sought help, there was a plethora of theories contained in the text books and medical papers. But none of them appeared to fit my, not fantastic but also not awful, experience of childhood and life. But I did get to know that in order to be, simply to exist, transsexual and transgender people, like myself, had to “pass” the “examinations” of the psycho-experts. They acted as the gatekeepers to the other medical professionals who would provide the hormones and surgery that I knew were essential to not only enhance my life but to keep me alive.

When faced with trans people, psycho-experts find themselves caught between the devil and deep blue sea. They are faced with individuals who simply are not whom they claim to be. How can a person born with a penis claim to be a woman, when to be a woman requires that you are not born with a penis (or vice versa)? Yet the vast majority of these people are plainly not mad, being able to function extremely well, and when they do have their “sex change” they clearly become the person they say they were all along. Trans people beg the whole question of human understanding as it currently is about gender and sex. Taking that challenge, over the past fifty years, the transsexual/transgender community through writing and theorizing has attempted to offer an “insider's” exploration of the ways in which trans people view gender issues. As this work progresses trans people have been among the first to acknowledge that gender, as we know it, is not a clear-cut issue.

Historically, gender, as a word, used to refer exclusively to an aspect of language (for instance the pronouns “he” and “she”). the change from referring to sex (biology) as gender (social role), to referring to gender as a set of social and cultural constructions came in the 1950s. Originally, the theory came about as part of the medical lexicon surrounding the treatment of intersex people. However it has not remained in the medical . . .

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