Human sexuality topics
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?
The term "LGBT" is an acronym for "Lesbians,
transgender persons/Transsexuals. Sometimes, additional letters
added, like "Q" for Queer or questioning, "I" for Intersexual.
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The term "transgendered" -- ending in a "d" -- was once in common use, but is obsolete today.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.
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:"
Topics covered in this section:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- 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/
- 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/
Copyright © 2007 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest update and review: 2015-JUN-08
Author: B.A. Robinson