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Gender Identity
What is Gender Identity? Gender and Sex are very different. Whereas you can normally tell the Sex of a child by its genitalia, the Gender is a very different matter. Just imagine if Gender were binary … All men would be Rambos and all women would be Stepford Wives. It just isn’t like that. Gender is a spectrum that ranger from very very male to very very female. While most of us fall within the part of the spectrum that matches our physical sex, some of us don’t. We find ourselves at or over the tipping point, and that is where it gets confusing. Nowadays, the terms Transgender, Transsexual, Gender Dysphoria and Gender Identity Disorder, are in common use but do you really know what they mean? None of these phrases really encompasses the truth of the condition where a persons Gender does not match their Sex. I prefer the term Gender Incongruous. Ah, you might say, ‘so it’s like being gay.’ Um, no. Their is no connection between gender identity and sexuality.
I am a retired clinical psychotherapist, counsellor and hypnotherapist who specialised in support for transgendered people and their families until my retirement in 2007. I was also the spokesperson for Gender Identity Issues for the National Association of Counsellors, Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists (NACHP). I’ve been an advisory member of the committee for the ‘Royal College of Psychiatrists Intercollegiate Working Group on Standards of Care for adult male and female patients with Gender Identity Disorder in the UK’, a past chair of GIRES (The Gender Identity Research and Education Society), ex-regional contact for the Gender Trust and a local activist for Press for Change. I was also a member of the ‘Cambridgeshire Police Independent Advisory Group’ and a founder member of ‘Encompass’. I have carried out research with Professor Simon Barron-Cohen of Cambridge University on the ‘Cambridge Sex and Gender project’. I   founded   ‘Sanctity’,   a   group   who      campaigned   for   the   rights   of   couples,   who   were   married   pre-transition,   to   remain   married. Although   it   took time,   the   campaign   was   a   success   and   most   of   our   aims   have   now   been   achieved.   The   final   inequality   is   the   right   of   opposite-sex   couples   to form a civil partnership. This will, no doubt come in time. I   have   appeared   on   numerous Television   and   Radio   programmes   to   talk   about   transgender   issues   (see   media   pages),   I   have   provided   interviews for   local   and   national   radio   programmes   including   news   broadcasts   and   given   training   and   workshops   for   public   and   private   organisations   and voluntary groups. I am happy to provide talks, training and workshops to interested groups. Please contact me for rates etc. The buttons below link to my ‘Guide to Gender Incongruence’ and to various support, campaigning and research groups.