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Rupert Raj’s Review of Current Concepts in Transgender Identity (2001)

Rupert Raj’s Review of Current Concepts in Transgender Identity (2001)

©2001, 2013 by Rupert Raj

Source: Raj, Rupert. (2001, 15 May). Integrating perspectives: Consumers & providers. Review of Dallas Denny, Current concepts in transgender identity (New York: Garland, 1998). Amazon review.




I was happy to come across this review by FTM clinician Rupert Raj.


Integrating Perspectives: Consumers & Providers

By Rupert Raj


Dallas Denny should be congratulated for pulling together the threads from both the trans community and the (mental) health community to form rich material for the truthseeker and researcher alike: provocative discussion and dialogue on the intriguing and oft-elusive phenomenon of “transgender identity” over the course of the past half-century.This text weaves a vibrant tapestry of diverse perspectives from many of the key players in the field, tracing the clinical research, assessment and treatment of “gender dysphoria” and “Gender Identity Disorder,” as well as sociological studies and (what is rarely seen in traditional works on this subject) phenomenological accounts of the lived experiences of real-life transsexual and transgendered people.

Of particular interest to me, as a transperson and a professional therapist, is the provision of individualized gender identity presentation paradigms, in addition to specific theoretical models and treatment interventions, including psychotherapy, electrolysis, hormonal and surgical therapies. (I especially appreciated the chapter on supportive counselling for transpeople’s families and would have liked to have seen additional therapeutic strategies for specific subgroups of the TS/TG community (i.e., youth, seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS, sex workers, etc.).

Equally intriguing for me, as a gay transman, is the examination of how gender identity and sexual orientation intersect for transmen and transwomen, respectively.

Is it any surprise then that perhaps it takes a transsexual researcher and clinician, as Denny is, to possess the initiative and creativity needed to facilitate a project such as this? One that can help to bridge these two longstanding adversarial populations (trans- and non-transpeople) and substantively move us forward towards our mutual collaboration?