Transgender Identity, the Transition

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Photo by Carly Tubridy
Dallas Denny spoke to students in Leadership Auditorium Wednesday night.

Dallas Denny spoke to students about transgender identity Wednesday night in the Student Center.

In her presentation called “I’m not screwed up enough managing trans identity: then and now,” Denny spoke to a group of about 20 students about how  transgender identity has changed in her lifetime.

The LGBTQ resource center at Mizzou sponsored the event as a key note speaker for transgender awareness week.

When transexualism was first being explored, mainstream medicine believed people who wanted to change genders were “collusion with delusion;” transsexuals were seen as sick.

Doctors told Dallas she was not ‘screwed up enough’ to be transsexual.

As someone who had two degrees and had been married at one time there was no way she was sick enough to be transgender.

“I was the ultimate authority on who I was,” Dallas said.

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Photo by Carly Tubridy
Dallas Denny hopes to continue to make the transition easier for transgender people.

When reassignment treatments started, gender clinics would only give hormones to people that fit stereotypical gender roles or who they felt would physically harm themselves if they did not receive treatment.

Since the doctors did not feel Dallas fit these roles, she was turned away from the clinic.
Dallas knew she wanted to transition when she was 13. She took the initiative to start taking hormones during the 80s when she felt safe. She eventually had surgery to become a women.

“I’ve always listened to my inner voice” Dallas said.

While she was making her transition, Dallas recalls just three labels people were pressured to choose: cross-dresser, drag queens, and transsexuals.

These labels made it difficult for people who weren’t sure where they fit to find their own identity.

Dallas spoke about the importance of support when coming out or transitioning.

“You can lose friends, you lose family members, you can be kicked out of church groups and its a hard time in your life,” Dallas said.

Dallas didn’t speak with her parents for 13 years after her gender change. Her father passed during that time.

Years after her own journey, Dallas is happy to see the transition period get easier for newer generations of the LGBTQ community.

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