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Harry Benjamin said in 1966: ..seems evident that the question "Is the transsexual homosexual?" must be answered "yes" and " no." "Yes," if his anatomy is considered; "no" if his psyche is given preference. "No" if reason and common sense are applied and if the respective patient is treated as an individual and not as a rubber stamp.The word transsexual is most often used as an adjective rather than a noun – a "transsexual person" rather than simply "a transsexual".Like other trans people, transsexual people prefer to be referred to by the gender pronouns and terms associated with their gender identity.Male-to-female transsexualism has sometimes been called "Harry Benjamin's syndrome" after the endocrinologist who pioneered the study of dysphoria.The use of homosexual transsexual and related terms have been applied to transgender people since the middle of the 20th century, though concerns about the terms have been voiced since then.
In 1923, Hirschfeld introduced the (German) term "Transsexualismus", Benjamin went on to popularize the term in his 1966 book, The Transsexual Phenomenon, in which he described transsexual people on a scale (later called the "Benjamin scale") of three levels of intensity: "Transsexual (nonsurgical)", "Transsexual (moderate intensity)", and "Transsexual (high intensity)".One perspective offered by transsexual people who reject a transgender label for that of transsexed is that, for people who have gone through sexual reassignment surgery, their anatomical sex has been altered, whilst their gender remains constant.Historically, one reason some people preferred transsexual to transgender is that the medical community in the 1950s through the 1980s encouraged a distinction between the terms that would only allow the former access to medical treatment.Transsexuality was included for the first time in the DSM-III in 1980 and again in the DSM-III-R in 1987, where it was located under Disorders Usually First Evident in Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence.Beyond Benjamin's work, which focused on male-to-female transsexual people, there are cases of the female to male transsexual, for whom genital surgery may not be practical.
What would be the situation after corrective surgery has been performed and the sex anatomy now resembles that of a woman? Many sources, including some supporters of the typology, criticize this choice of wording as confusing and degrading.