Learning from the life experiences of male-to-female transsexuals.
Brown, C.~~Dashjian, L.~~et al.
In this exploratory study, we sought to increase mental health professionalsÕ understanding and awareness of the life and transition experiences of male-to-female transsexuals. A sample of 9 predominately European male-to-female transsexuals, who were mostly middle-aged (M = 33.8, SD = 15.4) and residing in the Midwest region of the United States, were interviewed about their life experiences. Interview data were analyzed using consensual qualitative research (CQR) methods (Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997). The results indicated that on average participants realized at five-and-a-half years old that their biological sex was incongruent with their gender identity; they dated women and pursued marriage in order to comply with prescribed gender roles and battled depression and suicidal ideation. Results also revealed that following their decision to transition, participants reported increased quality of life and overall happiness, and varied changes in relationships with family members. Suggestions to include this group in future practice and research agendas are discussed.