Most people feel overwhelmed at some point in their lives, and for many trans people it is unending. Being a trans person in a world that barely understands the difference between sexuality and gender is a challenge by itself. Add in medical and social transition and being trans becomes an enormous burden of making it through the day. Becoming effective in dealing with transition is an important step to minimize the stress of transition. Effective is defined as ‘producing a desired result’, and given the complexities of transition, it is worth considering how to accomplish not just the result, but the desired result.
We begin with a review of how the rest of the world sees and labels the trans experience. We take a quick look at the language in the International Classification of Diseases and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. We balance this with the viewpoint of Julia Serano that Gender Dissonance, the underlying condition is a innate and normal condition that a small percentage of humans experience. This experience of self is inherently ineffable – so we spend some time in a group parallel thinking exercise (Six Hats) to see if we can find some words that call forth a sharing of that experience.
We wrap up with integrating gender wellness into an overall group wellness program.