Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 10:01:59 -0800 (PST)
From: (Charles Balis, M.D.)
Subject: Re: Howdy Stranger!


I was very happy to hear from you again. It seems you have made a great many decisions during your vacation.

As for your question about getting a sex change operation, I'll give you a straight-forward answer. In the early seventies, the Benjamin Standards of Care were adopted for patients seeking "gender related intervention." I'll give you the main conditions that need to be met.

1. Six months of therapy and the signatures of two behavioral therapists, one of whom must be a Ph.D. or an M.D.

2. After the six months of therapy, successful cross living over a one year period, this means you would appear to be a female in all aspects of your life. Sex hormones would be taken as well.

3. Legal, psychological, and endocrine success during this one year period.

Even if all of these conditions are met, there is no guarantee of the surgery being approved. Gender reassignment is a very serious step and the medical community needs to make sure that anyone going through with the surgery is fully prepared for the dramatic change of life it entails.

While I am an M.D., the communications we've been having over the last year cannot count as therapy. You would have to come into the office like a regular patient.

I hope this answers your question. Now, if I may ask one of my own, why do you think you want to become a woman?

Charles Balis, M.D.

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