Cover image for True selves : understanding transsexualism--for families, friends, coworkers, and helping professionals
True selves : understanding transsexualism--for families, friends, coworkers, and helping professionals
Brown, Mildred L., 1941-
Personal Author:
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Physical Description:
xiv, 264 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Includes updated resources"--Cover.
Introduction: A question of gender -- The transsexual dilemma -- The childhood years -- The teen years -- The adult years -- Therapy -- Beginning the transition -- Transition and the workplace -- Bringing the news home -- Medical and surgical options -- Guidelines for support -- In their own words -- Resource guide.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ77.9 .B76 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HQ77.9 .B76 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Combines authoritative information and humanitarian insight into the transsexual experience

Filled with wisdom and understanding, this groundbreaking book paints a vivid portrait of conflicts transsexuals face on a daily basis--and the courage they must summon as they struggle to reveal their true being to themselves and others. True Selves offers valuable guidance for those who are struggling to understand these people and their situations.

Using real life stories, actual letters, and other compelling examples, the authors give a clear understanding of what it means to be transsexual. They also give other useful advice, including how to deal compassionately with these commonly misunderstood individuals--by keeping an open heart, communicating fears, pain and support, respecting choices.

Author Notes

Mildred L. Brown is a clinical sexologist and therapist in private practice in San Jose, California. She is also professor of clinical sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco
Chloe Ann Rounsley is a writer, journalist, and editorial consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introduction: A Question of Genderp. 1
1. The Transsexual Dilemmap. 5
What Is a Transsexual?
Prevalence of Transsexualism
Ratio of MTFs to FTMs
Gender Dysphoria: The Invisible Handicap
Confusion About Terminology
The Motivation for Cross-Dressing
It's Not About Sexual Orientation
It's Not About Sex
It's About Gender Identity
Theories About Causation
Historical Perspective
Recent Well-Known Transsexuals
The "Grandfather" of Transsexualism
2. The Childhood Yearsp. 30
"Who Am I, and Why Am I Different?"
Games Children Play
Tomboys and Sissies
Taunting, Teasing, and Bullying
Young Actors, Chameleons, and Impostors
3. The Teen Yearsp. 49
Nature's Cruel Trick
"Nobody Understands--I'm All Alone"
Problems with Self-Esteem
Cross-Dressing During Adolescence
Parental Conflict over Cross-Dressing
Longing to Belong
"I Must Be Gay"
"I Must Be Crazy"
Escape Through Alcohol and Drugs
Self-Multilation and Suicide
4. The Adult Yearsp. 78
Functioning in Daily Life
Adult Cross-Dressing
Relating to Others
Dating, Sex, and Intimacy
"But He's (She's) Married with Children"
Gender Dysphoria Takes Its Toll
5. Therapyp. 96
The Turning Point
Finding a Gender Therapist
Types of Patients
Standards of Care
Real-Life Test
Gatekeeper Issues
Determining a Diagnosis
The Therapist's Role
Issues in Therapy
Group Therapy
Coming Out to Self
Preparing to Come Out to Others
Coming Out to Others
6. Beginning the Transitionp. 125
Restructuring Identity
Making Legal Changes
Changing Outer Presentation
Sex and Intimacy
Discrimination and Violence
7. Transition and the Workplacep. 146
Whether to Stay or Leave
Ways of Coming Out at Work
Logistics of Transitioning
Bathroom Issues
The Transsexual's Reactions to Transition
Coworkers' Responses
8. Bringing the News Homep. 167
9. Medical and Surgical Optionsp. 196
A Spectrum of Changes
Surgical Options
Male-to-Female Surgeries
Female-to-Male Surgeries
Cost of Sex Reassignment Surgery
Surgery Is a Personal Choice
Life After Sex Reassignment Surgery
10. Guidelines for Supportp. 212
Common Reactions to the News
Help for Family, Friends, and Coworkers
How You Can Help the Transsexual
11. In Their Own Wordsp. 226
This Moment
Remarkable Journey
Is There a Place for Me?
The Girl Beyond the Glass
Loneliness and Isolation
Hidden Within
A Future Time
Hello Out There
Resource Guidep. 235
Notesp. 245
Selected Bibliographyp. 251
The Authorsp. 253
Indexp. 255