Jan 2012

Gender Identity Dysmorphia

Not to be confused with the drag queens and kings that keep us company with our booze cruise Saturday nights, Gender Identity Dysmorphia (GID) is a term used to acknowledge a persons dissatisfaction with their biological gender. More common than you may think it is estimated that there are 20 people per 100,000 living with GID in the UK alone.

Affecting men women and children, GID can present itself in many different ways. Common terms used to define GID can include:

Transvestitism / Cross Dressing

This is when a person finds a sense of comfort or pleasure in wearing clothes of the opposite sex.

Transsexual

Someone who has undergone hormone and surgical treatment to permanently identify as their chosen or destination gender.

Transgender

Individuals feel that they have been born in the wrong body. They may be considering options available to them to help assist them living in their destination gender.

 

Whilst these terms of reference provide us with useful information about the stages and identities of gender transition, it is important to remember that these are not labels and can change over time.

In fact some people completely reject the idea of gender and use alternative frames as reference to acknowledge their physical appearance such as androgyny or gender defiant.

Gender & Sexuality:

More often than not many people can make assumptions about the sexual preferences of people expressing GID. Gender and sexuality exist as two completely different identities and should be confused as being the same thing. A man transitioning into a woman can be straight if attracted to other men or a gay woman if attracted to other women.

Gender & Sexuality:

If sharing sex toys use a new condom or clean the toy thoroughly, with soap and water, in between swapping. Also use a new condom if you’re having both vaginal and anal sex with a sex toy.

Treatment:

There are a range of treatment options available to help support those expressing gender concerns.

Counselling: Talking about your feelings and emotions can seem really daunting, especially if its with members of family, partners or friends. We can help provide support to help empower you in addition to signposting you to qualified counsellors specialising in the field.

Hormones: Available in both oestrogen and testosterone, these can help to

Suppress menstruation, deepen voices and encourage facial hair in females transitioning into male gender (FTM).

Encouraging breast tissue and softer skin, these can be useful for Men transitioning into women (MTF).

Surgery: can be used to remove or increase breast tissue in addition to reconfiguring sex organs. The permanent nature of surgical interventions requires individuals seeking gender reassignment to attend several counselling sessions to support them in their decision making processes

Other interventions such as electrolysis can help to remove unwanted body hair as well as speech therapy to assist with gender transition. Of course, not everybody wants or needs surgery and can live happily without it.

What Next?

Staff at over the Over the Rainbow can provide information, support and advice to those affected by issues around gender identity. Working closely with Echo counselling, referrals can be made for one-to-one and group therapy. We regularly hold events to help assist with some of the practical challenges of living in role so drop us a call today.

For more information contact us: 01202-257478
or email: overtherainbow2@dchft.nhs.uk

Staff are present Tuesday - Friday, 10am to 5pm at Over The Rainbow, Bournemouth and at other venues throughout the county.

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