Homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorders are not the same

Dear Editor,
I refer to Abu Bakr’s letter in SN, dated April 7, captioned ‘The term “intersex” has replaced the old hermaphroditism.’ The letter shows a complete lack of knowledge of gender variance. While intersexuality physically presents itself there are other medical diagnoses that are not mentioned in the letter. To keep it short and to the point I will mention two of them listed in the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)).

There is Gender Identity Disorder (GID)/transsexual and Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (GIDNOS)/informally transgender, with sub-classifications for children and adults. What is also not mentioned is the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association’s Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders (Sixth Version. http://wpath.org/ which are the standards of care used throughout most of the world. Also the findings of the ‘Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus’ reported by the Graduate School of Neurosciences Amsterdam, Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, The Netherlands; Depart-ment of Endocrinology, Free University Hospital, The Netherlands; and Anhui Geriatric Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China.

Those who identify as cross-dressers fall under GIDNOS, and the majority of them are heterosexual males.
Instead of searching Wikipedia Mr Bakr should search real medical sites. But if that’s too full of medical terminology, then there is ‘The Gender Puzzle,’ that can be seen in 4 parts on youtube.com or ‘Testosterone Factor’ in National Geographic, also on youtube.com
The question that was not asked is how does one know one is male, female or androgyne? How does an intersexed (hermaphrodite) person have a sense of self as male, female or androgyne? Hormones or the lack thereof can affect the brain and create a gender identity that is different from one’s anatomical sex.  One’s gender identity has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

There are many that are struggling with GID/GIDNOS who simply do not understand what is going on with them, and they may seem to be homosexual. Careful evaluation with a gender identity specialist and education have helped folks who have GID/GIDNOS. The proper medical care according to the standards of care mentioned above, can help them transition and live a productive life.

There is mention of the ‘hijra.’ I have my doubts that Mr Bakr has any understanding of the ‘Third Sex’ or ‘Two Spirit’ people from around the world.

The writer shows his/her true lack of knowledge when mentioning marriage and the use of unwanted sex organs. Most of the sex organs are used in the sex-change process, thus they are not unutilized.

To help readers understand, I am a post-op male to female transsexual woman. I am married to a woman; May 7 will make 23 years. We married before my diagnosis and transition and we have been joined at the heart since. I have no interest in men whatsoever. My wife (is not lesbian) was at my side the day I was diagnosed with GID 302.85; we have kids (prior to surgery), a grandchild and one on the way. Thus my very existence throws the stereotypical link of homosexuality to GID (transsexual) GIDNOS (transgender) out the window. While we trans folks have very much the same struggle as our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, we are in fact very different. 

I have yet to meet a homosexual who claimed to be changed that was not in fact struggling. People who have the same sex attraction or gender identity issues do not seek to live in a closet. It is stigmatization and discrimination that makes them seek shelter in the closet. 
Yours faithfully,
Vicky Sawyer

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