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Human sexuality topics

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Transgender persons and transsexuals

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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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The term "transgender person" is now preferred vs. the earlier "transgendered person".
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It may well have generated a few errors. We apologize in advance
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Gender identity, transgender persons and transsexuals:

This section discusses gender identity. This is what a person perceives their gender to be.

Gender is a complex topic. It can be defined and determined in three ways:

  • By the sex chromosomes contained in each cell of the person's body. These are determined at the time of the conception of the pre-embryo.

  • By the structure and appearance of the person's sexual organs. These are determined early in pregnancy.

  • By the internal structure and activity in the person's brain -- perhaps in the hypothalamus -- which appears to be established late in pregnancy.

In the vast majority of persons, processes during pregnancy produce an individual in which all three factors are harmonious. The person's gender identity matches the appearance of their sexual organs and their sex chromosomes. They are referred to as cisgendered.

However, because these three factors are determined at different times during pregnancy, it is sometimes possible that a person may be born with a body that appears to be of one gender, but a brain that later develops as the opposite gender. These are transgender persons. Most commonly, they will identify themselves as being of the opposite gender to their birth assigned gender. They might say that they have a female brain in a male body or vice-versa. Some view themselves as being of both genders, or of neither gender, or above any gender classification.

There are two schools of thought about transgender individuals:

  • Essentially everyone from the LGBT community, religious liberals, mental health therapists, human sexuality researchers, secularists, and some others:
    • Refer to transgender persons by the gender with which they currently identify which is typically different from their birth-assigned gender.

    • Believe that a person's gender identity is fixed, The success rate of therapy to change a person's gender identity is zero.

    • Believe that, for those who qualify, hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery (GRS) has an excellent success rate to at least partly harmonize their appearance with their gender identity.

    • Strongly support protections for transgender persons from hate crimes, discrimination in employment, etc.

Transgender and transsexual persons have come to an understanding of their gender identity as a result of their own personal experiences, and perhaps partly from counseling. Mental health therapists, human sexuality researchers, religious liberals, secularists, and some others have come to their understanding via gender identity studies.

  • Many religious and social conservatives:
    • Refer to transgender persons by their birth-assigned gender.

    • Believe that a person's gender identity can be changed through therapy and/or prayer.

    • Regard transgender persons as being "gender confused."

    • Regard GRS as a form of body mutilation that is offensive to God.

    • Strongly oppose legislation protecting transgender persons from hate crimes and from discrimination in employment.

    • Use the terms "religious freedom and liberty," and "conscience clauses," to justify using religious beliefs to discriminate against transgender persons.

Their beliefs are largely derived from their interpretation of the Bible or other Holy Book. They believe that males and females have very rigidly defined and complementary roles in the family, in marriage, at work, in church, etc. that are assigned by God. Many reject the concept of a person identifying their gender as different from their birth-assigned gender.

Although there is no direct connection between sexual orientation and gender identity, the above two groups are engaged in similar efforts to promote or oppose equal rights and equal treatment for gays, lesbians, bisexuals.

Beliefs about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are rapidly changing in North America as many older teens and young adults form the first group to have grown up in North America knowing openly homosexual and bisexual persons as friends and family members. As a group, older teens and young adults are far more accepting of sexual minorities of all types. This is driving marriage equality and LGBT rights generally throughout the U.S. Over time, as lesbians, gays and bisexuals achieve equality with heterosexuals. the animus that they currently experience is expected to be increasingly directed towards transgender persons and transsexuals.

Some folks define themselves largely by whom they hate, and so they need a group to oppress. Racism is almost universally condemned and regarded as bigotry. Homophobia is rapidly being regarded as simply a different form of bigotry. That leaves transsexuals and transgender persons as the last group that can be oppressed with near impunity.

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction:
bullet Introduction to transgender persons, transsexuals, cisgender persons, etc. << This is a major section

bullet Cause(s) of transsexuality according to medical researchers:

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 Beliefs of the Roman Catholic church
 
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 transsexualism 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 permits its members to define their gender identity: 2 options become 50: Part 1  Part 2

References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Barack Obama, "A Proclamation..." White House, 2009-JUN-01, at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
  2. Charlie Butts and Jody Brown, "Obama appoints transgender LGBT activist," OneNewsNow.com. 2010-JAN-07, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  3. Jennifer Reitz, "What transsexuality is," at: http://transsexual.org/

A movie:

bullet 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 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest update and review: 2014-JAN-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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