A 20 year-old who underwent male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery in Thailand reportedly visited a psychiatric hospital in Kaohsiung after returning to Taiwan, saying that she regretted her decision to have the surgery, as she still thought of herself as male.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily on Friday quoted Kaohsiung Kai Syuan Psychiatric Hospital doctor Chou Chih-chiang (周植強) as saying that the patient was fond of cross-dressing and thought that he would be happier if he underwent sexual reassignment surgery.
Chou was quoted as saying that the patient went to Thailand for the surgery after failing to qualify in a clinical assessment for eligibility for gender reassignment surgery in Taiwan.
Cross-dressing is when someone enjoys wearing clothes typical of the opposite sex, whereas primary transsexuals want — both physically and psychologically — to change their physical sex, Chou told the Apple Daily, adding that the two phenomena are not related.
Chou said the difficulty the patient encountered in passing the psychiatric evaluation for gender reassignment in Taiwan is a safeguard mechanism designed to prevent regret.
Taiwanese regulations state that people who want to reassign their gender must obtain statements from two psychiatrists confirming them to be primary transsexuals, must spend one year identifying as the opposite gender in everyday life, and be of legal age.
The Apple Daily report quoted Chou as saying that a decade ago psychiatrists diagnosed nine in 10 patients who expressed concerns over gender identity as primary transgender.
However, in recent years, only three or four in 10 patients are diagnosed as primary transgender, Chou said.
Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital psychiatrist Lin Yi-hsuan (林奕萱) said people wanting to change their gender do not necessarily have to undergo surgery to feel comfortable with themselves.
The report quoted Lin as saying that she had a physically female patient who identifies as male, adding that while the patient said he would eventually undergo gender reassignment surgery, at this time it is enough that his friends see him as male.
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