Title: The Doctor

Artist: Luke Fides


Helping Support Health & Wellness for Young People especially those that are women of color who are transitioning and developing into womanhood. It is important to me because back in my teenage years when I first moved to Philadelphia, PA and began my journey of life and path to womanhood, there were very few if any community organizations or resources for individuals that expressed  the characteristics of transsexuality which is a term used to refer to a person who according to The HBIGDA 6th Standards of Care contained this explanation in 2001



“During the 1960s and 1970s, clinicians used the term true transsexual. The true transsexual was thought to be a person with a characteristic path of atypical gender identity development that predicted an improved life from a treatment sequence that culminated in genital surgery. True transsexuals were thought to have:

(1) cross-gender identifications that were consistently expressed behaviorally in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood;
(2) minimal or no sexual arousal to cross-dressing; and
(3) no heterosexual interest, relative to their anatomic sex.”

I used this term and identify with this terminology because it is the language that was first introduced to me as an adolescent when my path to womanhood began.

Today the language has progressed and has been modernized to be more inclusive of a wider range of other expressions of gender.

“The International Journal of Transgenderism (IJT) put out a first issue in 1997. Its introductory statement contained the following explanation.
We chose the term Transgenderism as an umbrella term for various aspects and expressions of gender identity. Older terms like transsexualism, gender dysphoria, transvestism, and cross dressing have been found to be limiting in their understanding of gender expressions and identity. Also, many of these terms have assumed a pathological nature of these phenomena. Transgender is a new term which transcends the restricting and extant categories of gender identity, is more neutral regarding etiology, and encompasses the vast complexity of gender manifestations and identities. [N7]”




     So many people like myself  at a young age found ourselves in the City of Philadelphia and often turned to alternative methods of the development of our womanhood with the help of doctors who, for some had a genuine concern for helping us with producing the most effective results with a medicated feminization regiment, I now know is hormonal replacement therapy. I was nineteen at the time. The doctors that treated individuals with transsexuality in Philadelphia in the nineties, from my experiences were in fact professional physicians, however they were treating a demographic of people (many young people of color expressing characteristic of transsexuality) outside of the limits of the mainstream medical profession. Some doctors solely did it for the money that could be made off of the medications and reconstructive procedures that helped assist in treating individuals with transsexualism further resulting in a feminized appearance to be utilized  for integrating one’s person into the social world and society. This alignment of an individual with transsexualism is to  help them become a functioning person and accepted member of  society.

This is my perspective based on my personal experiences.

Reference Material:
Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) is a medical condition: the misalignment between an individual’s innate  brain sex and physical anatomy.
HBS develops before birth and, for example, results in a person who is neurobiologically female, but exhibits male sexual anatomy. The same is true for neurobiological males with female externals.
HBS is a prior condition for those who have successfully corrected their physical anatomy and brought it into alignment with their brain sex. Following transition, such individuals are no longer HBS.
The designation HBS progressively supersedes the traditional and less precise terminology (e.g., transsexual ortranssexuality).

Misalignment At Birth

refers to the birth condition that misaligns innate neurobiological makeup and external genitalia. In short, transsexuality.

A emerging trend in recent years is for cross-dressing males to avoid the perceived onus of being regarded as transvestites and lay claim to the termtranssexual.

The term transsexual has even been appropriated by males and loosely applied to include just about anyone who presents with limited  hormone usage and/or alternative social presentation.

In an attempt to deploy a new vocabulary that clarifies the difference, some patients and commentators resort to using use terms like Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) and classic (or “true”) transsexual, viewing them as more precise than the corrupted use of transsexual.

Source : articles may use the traditional terminology. If so, we annotate the context and usage as warranted to resolve any ambiguities that could affect interpretation.

— LJT & 

Today, Philadelphia has many community organizations that have programs and resources for individuals who  self- identify as transgender or trans such as The Mazzoni Heath & Wellness Center and their Trans-Care Services and the Trans-Health Conference, TIP -The Transgender Information Project and Galaei Philly, The William Way Community Center’s TransWay, The Attic Youth Center and their Trans Support Group, and Hearts on a Wire.

      So it is greatly pleasing to see that the younger generations have some community support and resources that might help to guide them on their journey. Investing in the advancement and well being of our youth is investing in the well being of our future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *