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Human sexuality topics

Menu

Transgender persons and transsexuals:
What do they believe about gender?
What is the cause(s) of their belief?
Are they just confused?
What can a parent do to help?

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The term "LGBT" is an acronym for "Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals,
transgender persons/Transsexuals. Sometimes, additional letters
are added, like "Q" for Queer or questioning, "I" for Intersexual.

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What is being "transgender" or "transsexual" all about?

The vast majority of adults -- in excess of 99.5% -- were identified as being either a girl or boy at birth, and identify themselves as being of the same gender today. They are referred to as "cisgender" persons.

That leaves a small minority of youths and young adults who identify themselves as having a gender identity that is different from their birth-identified gender in some way:

They are referred to as transgender persons or transsexuals.

  • Most transgender persons describe themselves as having a female brain trapped in a male body. That is, they identify themselves as female but were born with male external sexual organs. As newborns, they were registered as male on their birth certificate.

  • A smaller percentage describe themselves as having a male brain trapped in a female body. They were registered as female.

  • Some feel that they do not fit into this binary -- female/male -- gender identification system at all. That is, they do not identify themselves as either female or male.

  • Some switch between female and male at times during their lifetime.

The term "transgendered" -- ending in a "d" -- was once in common use, but is obsolete today.

In the past, transgeder persons had a horrendously high suicide rate. Some suggested that half of all transgender persons committed suicide by the age of 30 because of the intense internal conflics that they felt. The cure rate in adulthood through therapy and/or prayer has been at or near zero. Since they are unable to change their gender identity, many who identify their gender as opposite of their birth-identified gender are now engaging in gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and hormone treatments. This changes their bodily appearance to more closely resemble the gender with which they identify. Their suicide rate in adulthood is still much higher than average, but not nearly as high as in the past when GRS was not generally available.

Many conflicts continue:

  • Religious and social conservatives often consider transgender persons to be gender confused. They generally refer to transgender individuals by their birth-identified gender. If identified at birth as a girl, they are viewed as always being female. Many people, including transgender individuals, consider that offensive.

  • Transgender individuals. transsexuals, religious and social liberals, secularists, the vast majority of therapists, etc. generally refer to them by their current gender identity. So a newborn identified as a girl who goes through a female-to-male transition (FTM) is considered a male and referred to as a "he."

  • GRS is best done before puberty causes irreversable changes to the person's body. However, prepubertal children lack the maturity to make such a life-changing decision. Some medical professionals are now recommending that puberty blocking medication be used to delay puberty until the individual is sufficiently mature to decid whether to go through GRS.

Sponsored link.

A remarkable video by RetroReport at the New York Times:

It is titled: "Transforming History: Transgender issues today are rooted in a decades-long struggle for inclusion:"

 1

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Background information: << Please read this material first

bullet star  A brief introduction to transgender persons and transsexuals

bullet More detailed information about transgender persons, transsexuals, etc.

 
bullet Understanding the terms transgender & transsexual:
bullet 2014-FEB: Facebook changes how members define their gender identity. Contrasting views of gender identity. How there can be dozens of gender identities based on only two genders

bullet Possible cause(s) of transsexuality:

bullet star  Beliefs by conservative Christians, medical researchers, etc. about why transsexuals reject their birth-identified gender (2 parts)

bullet Fetal exposure to abnormal androgen levels?

bullet Genetically determined at conception?
 
bullet Causes of, and cures for, transsexuality according to religious groups:

bullet

Beliefs of conservative Protestant groups: Part 1  Part 2


bullet Beliefs of individual Christians

bullet Terms and concepts used by evangelicals

bullet Teachings of the Roman Catholic church
 
bullet star  How should a parent react to a child who identifies as being transgender? [being written]
 
bullet Bible passages which may impact transgender/transsexual topics
 
bullet Prevalence of transsexuality
 
bullet Transsexuals in history
 
bullet Transitioning from female to male or vice versa
 
bullet Transitioning success rates
 
bullet

How a lack of consensus about gender identity harms transgender individuals. Webmaster's rant 
 

bullet Using medication to delay puberty in transgender pre-teens and teens
 
bullet Is transsexuality linked to homosexuality?

bullet Involuntary sexual reassignment of infants: Creating transgender persons via surgery

bullet Discrimination against transgender persons & transsexuals:

bullet Resolutions by the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association

bullet Homelessness

bullet Personal stories of success and difficulties transitioning

bullet Discrimination against transgender persons and transsexuals in the military

bullet

Ending employment discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity (The ENDA bill)


bullet

Studies and polls about transgender persons:

bullet Discrimination and lack of protection by US state governments

bullet

Acceptance and rejection within religious denominations:

bullet Political and religious conflicts over sexual orientation & gender identity. Are they resolvable?

bullet Anti-discrimination laws across the U.S.

bullet Laws in other countries that oppress or protect LGBT persons

bullet International declarations on the rights of LGBT persons
 
bullet Conflicts over the use of washrooms and dressing rooms in stores.
 
bullet Glossary of terms relating to transgender persons:

bullet Words beginning with A to S

bullet Words beginning from T to Z
 
bullet Transsexual information sources:

bullet Web sites

bullet Books for transsexuals, their families, and co-workers

bullet Biographies, books on transsexuality, books for therapists, etc.
 
bullet News & major developments:

bullet 2008 to now: News and information from the media concerning the transgender/transsexual community

bullet

2014-FEB: Facebook gives members 54 more options for gender identity: Part 1  Part 2

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Sponsored link:

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Zachary Green, "Transforming History: Transgender issues today are rooted in a decades-long struggle for inclusion," RetroReport/New York Times, 2015-JUN-15, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
  2. Tom Murray produced and directed a video concerning transsexuality. It is titled: "Almost Myself: Reflections on mending and transcending gender." See: http://www.almostmyself.com/

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Copyright © 2007 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest update and review: 2015-JUN-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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