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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 669
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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My question is one related with gender identity issues. I'm

Customer Question

My question is one related with gender identity issues. I'm a 22 y.o male and have had thoughts of wanting to be the other gender since I was a little kid. I also dislike my masculine features and I try to erase them somewhat. However, I also experience autogynephilia which makes me think this whole thing is just a fetish. Does the sexual fetish invalidate my feelings of possibly being transgender or would it be more of a coping mechanism? I'm aware this is a very limited amount of information, but as far as I know what separate crossdressers from transgenders is that CD do it for the sexual excitation while for transgenders it's more of an identity issue. What is good advice to help me sort things out?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Linda D. replied 11 months ago.

Welcome to JA. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in NYS. I am preparing my reply and will post in one moment.

Expert:  Linda D. replied 11 months ago.

Hello Albert, thank you for waiting, I seem to be having some problems with my laptop but I did want to get right back to you with my response. i have many thoughts about what you are sharing here;

1). Autogynephilia is not a valid mental health syndrome nor coping mechanism and I would like you to set that aside for a moment.

2). I work with several individuals that are cross dressers and at least with the men that I work with dressing is about expressing their true identity and feminine aspects much more than deriving erotic pleasure or excitement. It is very personal and usually the individual like you, knows this is an aspect of their personality at a young age.

3). I do not believe from my professional experience that children and/or young adults identify with being the opposite gender for any pathological reasons or sexual deviance. I believe each persons identity; sexual, intellectual, moral, creatively, etc. is both hard wired into us and learned and byt he age of 22 you can trust that what you have felt most of your life may in fact be who you are. Our shaming culture has made gender issues toxic and complex, but again, in my professional experience individuals know in their heart who they are.

It may be very helpful to you to see a therapist who specializes in gender issues to sort out some of your feelings, doubts and questions. I hope this has been helpful to you Albert in this limited format. Please take a moment to rate my service to you tonight, I would truly appreciate it and please let me know if you have any other questions or want to discuss this further. sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC