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WPATH - Overview

( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )


(The World Professional Association for Transgender Health),

formerly known as HBIGDA
 (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, )


HBIGDA was originally named after Harry Benjamin, MD.


Dr. Benjamin was one of the first physicians to work
with gender dysphoric persons.

Benjamin was born in Berlin, received his doctorate in
medicine in 1912 in Tübingen for a dissertation on tuberculosis.
Sexual medicine interested him, but was not part of
his medical studies.
In 1948, in San Francisco, Benjamin was asked by
Alfred Kinsey, a fellow sexologist, to see a child
who "wanted to become a girl",
despite being born male, and whose mother wished for help
that would assist rather than thwart the child. Kinsey had
encountered the child as a result of his interviews
for Sexual Behavior in the Human Male which was
published that year, and had seen
nothing of the like previously. Neither had Benjamin.


This child rapidly led Benjamin to understand
that there was a different condition to that of transvestism,
under which adults who had such needs
had been classified to that time. Despite psychiatrists whom
Benjamin involved in the case failing to
agree amongst themselves on a path of treatment,
Benjamin eventually decided to treat the child
with estrogen (Premarin, introduced in 1941),
which had a "calming effect", and helped
arrange for the mother and child to go
to Germany where surgery to assist the child
could be performed, but from there they
ceased to maintain contact, to Benjamin's regret.

However, he continued to refine his understanding,
 in 1954 introducing the term "transsexualism",
and going on to treat, with the assistance of
carefully selected colleagues of various disciplines
(such as psychiatrist John Alden and
electrologist Martha Foss in San Francisco and
plastic surgeon Jose Jesus Barbosa in Tijuana),
several hundred patients with similar needs in a similar manner,
often without accepting any payment.
His patients regarded him as a man of immense caring,
respect and kindness,
and many kept in touch with him until his death.






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