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From Dallas’ Desk (1990)

From Dallas’ Desk (1990)

©1990, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (1990, Fall). From the Desk of Dallas. Insight (The publication of the Montgomery Medical & Psychological Institute), 6(1), p. 2.






Insight Pages (PDF)

From Dallas’ Desk


On the weekend of 11 August,representatives from the Montgomery Institute met with rep­resentatives of IFGE and of gender groups throughout the Southeast at the Holiday Inn on Monroe Drive in Atlanta. The purpose of the meeting was to come together, and that is indeed what happened. In their column, Lynn and Jerry discuss the importance and outcome of the meeting.

The theme of this issue of Insight is Transi­tion. We have tried to point out the physical and behavioral obstacles transsexual persons must overcome; to make the reader aware of the generally accepted standards and procedures which have been formulated to ease transition (safeguarding both consumer and providers of services); and to high­light problems transsexual persons may face, with a special eye toward problems caused by ignoring or disregarding those standards and procedures.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having support and objective feedback dur­ing the transition process. Friends, family, and lovers are not enough: the input of thera­pists, physicians, and support groups is para­mount in keeping transsexual persons on a productive track. Of course, the knowledge and opinions of others are without value to someone who will not hear.

If I have learned anything in in my year as direc­tor, it is that transsexual persons should be good consumers— but often are not. Trans­sexual people tend to face the reality of their inner selves through a haze of doubt, guilt, insecurity, and ignorance; this is compounded by the apathy, distrust, prejudice, and igno­rance of the general public— and, unfortunately, sometimes of service providers. Often, transsexual persons stew in their own juices until they can stand it no longer, and then act in a desperate frenzy. To say this is self-destructive would be an understatement. Transsexual people should plan for transition just as for any other major life change— edu­cation, career, or marriage. They should not closet themselves for years and then expect to blossom overnight. Nor should they stop in mid-transition, accepting deviant lifestyles because they have found some acceptance as she-males, drag queens, or street hustlers. Unfortunately, the haphazard and slipshod manners and lifestyles of many transsexual persons lead them into continual difficulty throughout the transition process, and even­tually land them in the gender twilight zone.

Successful feminization or masculinization is possible, and with planning, and perhaps some luck, can be accomplished with minimal dis­ruption and anguish. There are, unfortunately, myriad ways to foul up— and the conse­quences are maladjustment, unhappiness, disfigurement, disability, and even death.

The mistakes made by some transsexual people are legion. I worry about those who have sent large amounts of money through the mails to receive illegal hormones; who have prematurely dismantled their lives— before then was any reasonable chance of passing in the gender of choice— leaving them with inadequate support systems; who have tried to transition or even have surgery before beginning electrolysis; who needlessly reveal their transsexual status at an early stage; who have transitioned before hormones and electrolysis have made them passable; who have had trouble giving up their transsexual status for that of a “real” man or woman, ending up in gender limbo; who have expected hormones (or surgery) to turn them into men or women overnight; who have been “pumped” with illegal silicone until they look like caricature of women; who have taken inappropriate dosages of hormones or who have take hormones in inappropriate ways; who have denied they needed therapy (yet who obviously did); who have come on great guns, and then disappeared into the closet. Others have calmly and methodically gone about the business of turning themselves into men and women. I have no doubt that the latter individuals will make it. I worry about the others.