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Human sexuality topics

Menu

Transgender persons and transsexuals:
Their beliefs about gender identity.
What is the cause(s) of their belief?
Are they just confused?
News about equality and civil rights.

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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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transgende symbol

One of many transgender symbols.

Note about terminology:

Prior to 2012, the terms "Gender Identity Disorder" and "GID" were
used to describe the internal conflict experienced by transgender
and transsexual persons. This term has since been
regarded as
stigmatizing
because of the presence of the word "Disorder."
The new, generally accepted term is "Gender Dysphoria."
"Dysphoria" is a psychiatric term that means: "a state of unease
or generalized dissatisfaction with life."

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Male to female transgender individual

An unidentified MTF transgender woman

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A brief overview abut what being "transgender" or "transsexual" is all about:

As is usual with matters related to human sexuality, two main, opposing, and incompatible belief systems exist:

  • Belief of most members of the medical community, religious liberals, secularists, and the Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual (LGBT) community:

    A gender identity counselor explained the term "transgender" to Elsa, a 9-year-old from Boulder, CO. Elsa had been assigned a male gender on her birth certificate but started to identify herself as female as soon as she could speak. The counselor said:

    "You are talking about how you feel inside. Others are talking about your body. Those are two different things."

    In essence, being transgender involves a relatively rare conflict between a person's current gender identity -- what they sincerely believe their gender to be -- and their birth identified gender -- the gender placed on their birth certificate shortly after they were born. The conflict has a simple cause:

    • A baby's gender is typically identified by medical personnel by observing the shape of the newborn's genital organs. They usually come in one of two easily identified shapes, female or male. This gender is later recorded on their birth certificate.

    • The gender that the child believes that they are later in life is determined by two structures inside their brain which take on one of two designs: female or male. For about 6 of every 1,000 persons, the design is different from the newborn's gender as it was identified at birth; they are transgender.

    As adults:

    • Many transgender persons explain their situation as being a female trapped in a male's body, or vice-versa.

    • A minority of transgender persons identify themselves as not fitting into either gender.

    • Another minority of transgender persons describe themselves as "gender fluid." They switch identify between male and female from time to time.

    Most liberals, human sexuality researchers, etc. note that the cure rate for transgender persons through counseling, therapy, prayer, etc. has been zero or essentially zero. They refer to a transgender person as a her or him, female or male, according to their current gender identity.

  • Definitions used by many religious conservatives and some others:

    They note that the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament) describe how God created Adam as a male and Eve as a female. Many conservatives feel that God restricted each gender to specific roles in the family, faith group, government, and other areas of life. They may feel threatened by thoughts of a newborn being created by God as being of one gender and then observing that person change their gender identity later in life. Many conservatives refer to transgender persons as being "gender confused." They see a transgender person's as having their actual gender identified at birth and remaining fixed throughout life. In 2016, this belief motivated some Republican legislators in North Carolina to create a "bathroom bill" that restricts everyone to only enter the public washroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate. Similar bills have been introduced in other states.

    Many conservatives believe that transgender persons can resolve what conservatives interpret as internal "confusion" through counseling and therapy. They generally refer to a transgender person as a she or he, her or his, female or male, according to their birth-identified gender.

The vast majority of adults, perhaps 99.4%, have no such conflict; they are referred to as cisgender.

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet

star The root causes and resolutions of three major current religious/secular conflicts: abortion, sexual orientation and gender identity:

bullet Background information: << Please read this material first

bullet A brief overview of transgender persons and transsexuals

bullet star  A more complete introduction

bullet Detailed information about transgender persons, transsexuals, etc.

bullet Understanding the terminology associated with being transgender & transsexual:
bullet 2014-FEB: Facebook changed 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: Part 1  Part 2
 
bullet Bible passages which may impact transgender/transsexual topics
 
bullet

star Estimates of the number of transgender persons in the U.S.
 

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:

  • Part 1: 2011/2012: Overview. Support. Current military policies. Care for veterans.

  • Part 2: 2016: Previous ends to discrimination by the military. Pentagon announces an end to discrimination against transgender members. Negative reactions.

  • Part 3: 2016: More negative reactions to the ending of discrimination. Positive reactions.

bullet

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


bullet

Title IX religious exemptions, religious colleges, and discrimination against the LGBT community


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 Glossary of terms relating to transgender persons:

bullet Words beginning with A to S

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

bullet Web sites.

bullet Reviews of two books selected as recommended books by this web site.

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

bullet Biographies, books on transsexuality, books for therapists, etc.
 
bullet

News & major transgender/transsexual developments:

Note: Movement towards equal rights for transgender persons and transsexuals proceeded slowly until mid 2015. That was when religious, political, and social conservatives lost their fight against gay marriage in the U.S. Conservatives then switched their main focus to fighting against transgender equality.

bullet

2008 to 2014: News and information including events in 2014-FEB, when Facebook gave members 54 more options to describe their gender identity.

bullet

2016-APR: The LGBT community takes new initiatives to overcome discrimination.

bullet

2016-MAY:

bullet

2016-JUL: The World Health Organization may no longer classify being Trans as a mental disorder.

bullet

2016-AUG: Pope Francis condemns telling children that they can "choose their gender."

bullet

2016-SEP: Student Jesse Thompson files human-rights complaint against Ontario branch of Hockey Canada and wins

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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. "My authentic life," Transgender Law Center, 2014-MAY-01, at: https://www.youtube.com/ The first video has been watched by about 120,000 viewers during its first year online at YouTube.
  3. 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/
  4. Jennifer Brown, "Elsa's Story: Family learns to let girl live as 'truegender'," Denver Post, 2015-JUL-17, at: http://extras.denverpost.com/

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Copyright © 2007 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest revision: 2016-SEP-24

Author: B.A. Robinson

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