It's hard to imagine a therapist telling anyone other than a transsexual that they are obligated to live an inauthentic life. It's particularly hard to imagine when the therapist knows that the patient is ready to kill herself to escape that inauthentic life. Like me, J lives in a world in which very few people believe we know who we are. Like me, she is dying for confirmation, affirmation, valuing of what she knows to be her true self. Therapists encourage non-trans clients to be true to themselves, to live as fully and authentically as possible. Too often, transsexuals are told what J was told: you can't be true to yourself because it might harm others.
This is commentary written by Joy Ladin, who GLAAD has worked with over the past year. Joy is a transgender woman who teaches at Yeshiva University in New York City.