How does it feel, being stuck in the wrong body? Or having a different mind frame when you seem like a completely different person when you look in the mirror? Movies might project the idea in a comical garb to churn out a few laughs at its expense, but the reality is an emotional disaster for whoever goes through it.
Gender reassignment or sex reassignment, also commonly known ‘sex change’, is a term usually used in the medical concepts in which one’s physical resemblance and sexual attributes are converted to that of the other sex through surgery. The reasons for someone opting for such a medical treatment can be varied and complex, including gender identity disorders or intersex disorders, which might force them to go through treatments of such kind.
Discussions and debates on gender identities and their consequences have been held through ages. Details of a sex change surgery have been discovered as early on as in the 18th century and the pursuing of the case directs at maybe one of the earliest instances of a sex reassignment procedure of an early kind. A pamphlet dating back to 1787 published in the University of Kansas’ rare books library recorded a case brought to Surgeon Thomas Brand about a boy around seven year old, mistaken for a girl. According to Brand, the case was “cured favourably” although no proper details of the case as a gender conversion surgery was provided, neither from the doctor or the patient’s guardians (Davies, 2013). Contemporary society has been in enough muddle with the ones favouring a pro choice approach as opposed to the others who believe the naturally imbibed biological attributes need to be respected.
Gender identity struggles usually start happening during the childhood with one’s incapability to transit properly in accordance with one’s biological factors. Gender and its attributes can be complex, so much so that some people might identify themselves in between spectrums of gender, not properly fitting into either of the two defined genders.
The acceptance of the third gender has been a slow process, even almost tough. In progressive countries, who are still evolving in terms of accepting everything biological, natural or otherwise the struggle for such people is a bit more. A nation as progressive as the United States of America did not actively and legally start gender reassignment surgery as late as 1966.
Life for people with gender identity issues is a string of struggles. Acceptance is the key in any case, be it for the people who bear the brunt of a “biological injustice” as well as for the people around them who need to realise that these are facilities available for someone who wishes to lead life as they want.
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