The Gendered Self: Further Commentary on the Transsexual Phenomenon, by Anne M. Vitale. Flyfisher Press, 2010.

by Samantha P.

GenderedBookBack in the days when I was searching for answers I wish this book had been available!
Based on the author’s experience in treating over 500 gender dysphoric individuals over the last 26 years, The Gendered Self is the story of what it’s like to be born into and to live out one’s life as a transsexual in a cissexual world.

Anne Vitale says, “Sex/gender incongruency leads to gender expression deprivation anxiety disorder (GEDAD) and a lifetime of searching for a healthy integrated gendered self.”

Right from the start she explains the problem we all have faced, and continue to face, throughout our lives. “Contrary to popular belief, one’s indelible sense of being male or female or somewhere in between, and one’s chromosomal anatomical sex are two distinct biological elements. Each element develops at different times in different parts of the developing fetus and continues until shortly after birth at which time the window of development closes permanently.”

She follows that with chapters describing the transgender situation, treatments, and interventions both clinical and therapeutic.

Thoroughly researched and with the use of scores of footnotes and references, Anne Vitale lays out, in detail, the transgender life.

On the last page she adds, “No one has the right to determine what gender role anyone else should live their life in.” Amen!

Interestingly enough, until I read Anne’s book I had always thought my boyhood childhood was that of a typical boy. As it turns out, in Chapter 2 she describes my early years to a “T”!

I would classify this book as one of the definitive transgender works of our time.