I found the end of this article particularly compelling. Considering that at one point I was told that as a cis gender women I had nothing to offer a transgender person – that I had no knowledge that would be valuable. But you see, I know that’s not true – one of my goals here is to create a bit of a virtual welcoming party for transgender women, kind of like “Hey, welcome to the girl’s club! Here’s your powder puff, fru-fru drinks are in the bar at 6…”.
There’s a tremendous amount of learning we do do from infancy that teaches us how to be a man or a woman, and without that “education” I can’t imagine how difficult it is to let go of the past/old you and embrace the new/real you no matter how much it’s been longed for or wanted the change. Tiny “silly” things can make a big difference in how we’re perceived and how we feel and that moves them into a category of hugely important.
Here’s the end of the article, I suggest reading the whole thing for context.
“A Swedish team from the Karolinska Institute and the University of Gothenberg followed 324 people who underwent sex reassignment surgery and compared them with matched controls in the general population. After an average follow-up of 11.4 years, men and women who had sex reassignments had death rates three times higher from all causes. Suicide rates were especially high, suggesting “the need for continued psychiatric follow-up” among those undergoing sex change, the authors wrote. Cancer deaths were doubled in the surgical group, though the cancers appeared to be unrelated to hormone treatments.
The recent Danish study, by researchers in Copenhagen, investigated postoperative diseases and deaths among 104 men and women representing 98 percent of those who underwent sex reassignment surgery in Denmark from 1978 through 2010. One person in three had developed an ailment, most often cardiovascular disease, and one in 10 had died, with deaths occurring at an average age of 53.5.
The authors suggested that a host of societal factors, including social exclusion, harassment and negative experiences in school and at work, could largely contribute to the patients’ health problems. The findings underscore the importance of better postoperative support and closer attention to injurious lifestyle issues like smoking and alcohol abuse.”