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University of Ulster at Coleraine, UK

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book Historic Papers


© Copyright

Published by
Symposion Publishing

ISSN 1434-4599

Harry Benjamin, M.D.

Appendix D
Transsexual´ Lives
by R. E. L. Masters

The remainder of this book consists of autobiographical statements by transsexuals, and of brief biographical sketches of transsexuals. I have selected the former and written the latter so that the reader may have an informal and somewhat more intimate look at the personality and day-to-day life of the transsexual individual. All the autobiographies and sketches are intended to supplement and illustrate the data and ideas presented by Benjamin. That is, I have refrained from introducing my own speculations and have merely described some of the overt behavior and a (very) few aspects of the surface psychology.

As a research worker and author in the field of sexology I have had occasion to come to know a great many sex deviates and other persons whose sexual behavior sets them at odds with society. My thoughts concerning this clash between individual desires and the laws and/or customs of the moment have been presented in nine published volumes and many shorter writings. It is from this background that I offer my appraisal of Benjamin's work with transsexuals.

That work, first of all, deserves recognition and applause as exceptionally courageous. Over the years, patients' gratitude excepted, it has been an almost wholly thankless labor and one that at times has met with strong and even fanatical opposition. Moreover, it is work, as I happen to know, that has been carried out at a financial loss while demanding very great expenditures of time, energy, and patience. The predominant motives, I think, have been two: compassion and a true scientific dedication. This is the kind of physician motivation most of us want to believe in but all too rarely are able to find exemplified.

But not even the most admirable motives suffice of themselves to elicit an unstinting praise. The work must be sound, and the best evidence for this will always be the results for the patient. On the basis of my many interviews with these patients, some of whom I can now count as friends, it seems to me beyond dispute that they are helped - often quite literally enabled to survive - and that no other means exist today by which such results could be effected.

Without any further comment I will present the autobiographies, then a few brief biographical sketches.


Transexual Autobiographies

Biographical Profiles

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