Why would someone just drop everything and change their sex? That is a good question and a big question too. But let’s get a couple of definitions out of the way first:
Transsexual: One who strongly identifies with the opposite sex and may seek to live as a member of this sex by undergoing hormone therapy and eventually surgery.
Gender Identity Disorder (GID): is a conflict between a person’s actual physical gender and the gender that person identifies himself or herself as. For example, a person identified as a boy may actually feel and act like a girl. The person experiences significant discomfort with the biological sex they were born.
So why do people diagnosed with gender identity disorder go through this? Why do they risk losing family, friends and their job? The answer is because they have to. The feeling sometimes gets so strong that they either change or kill themselves. A Canadian study showed that 43% of transsexual people attempt suicide at least once. So, in some cases, this really is a life or death situation.
My case wasn’t so extreme. Although I was born with a female gender identity I soon learned that behaving in a feminine manner was not accepted. I was bullied in school and soon developed a false male persona. By the time I was 20 it was pretty well ingrained and I was content. I suppose that if certain events didn’t take place I could have gone on living the wrong sex for the rest of my life. Once I started the process, though, my feeling rose completely to the surface and there was no turning back. I will admit that I did have desires to commit suicide on a couple of occasions but only when something seemed to stand in the way. A little bit of therapy and understanding that the roadblocks were really only bumps in the road were a great help.
I was far happier living as a woman, happier still with hormones and even happier again after my operation. I had no idea that life could ever be so good.
I didn’t do this to be happy, I did this to be!