Male-to-female transsexualism manifests itself in the form of a discrepancy between the male sex assigned at birth and the subjective experience of belonging to the female gender, which in many cases also involves a somatic transition by cross-sex hormone treatment and genital surgery. Until now, no studies related to MtF transsexualism have been carried out within the framework of a phenomenological/existential approach. This paradigm would make it possible to better articulate the transsexual experience beyond the simplistic diagnostic criteria by which it is currently defined. In this study, I will reread MtF transsexualism in the light of Ludwig Binswanger’s theories on Mannerism and Jean Paul Sartre’s remarks on the self and the body. I will do this largely by focusing on first-hand accounts of the MtF transsexual’s experience, in other words from a first-person viewpoint. Finally, I will present some considerations on the meaning of psychological intervention in this field.
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As Peter D. Ashworth (2010) pointed out some years ago here Sartre “was arguably following a line of thought due to Husserl” (p. 27) and in particular some considerations that Husserl (1913) made in his first book of his Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and a phenomenological philosophy.
In Dan Zahavi’s theorization (2005) this could mean that we are referring here to the ‘person’ and not to the ‘Self’.