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Human sexuality topics

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Transgender persons & transsexuals:
Their beliefs on gender identity.
The cause(s) of their beliefs.
Are they just gender confused?
News about trans equality & 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, etc.

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Male to female transgender individual

An unidentified MTF transgender woman.
She was registered as male on her birth
certificate, and now identifies as female.

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News alert:

The TV program "I Am Jazz" which stars Jazz Jennings, has been renewed for a sixth season by TLC which will air during the year 2020. 10

Jazz is a male-to-female transgender (MTF) teen. She was identified as male as a newborn, but identified herself in a consistent, insistent, and persistent manner, as a female as a young child, when she described herself as having:

"... a boy's body and a girl's brain."

She plays herself in the program, along with members of her actual family. She has been an inspiration to countless transgender persons across the world, many of whom feel as she does, but have difficulty accepting or sometimes understanding themselves as transsexual.

Her sexual orientation is pansexual. Wikipedia defines "pansexual" as:

"... the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others." 11

The program has consistently remained in the Top 50 original cable shows.

She confirmed the renewal news via her Twitter account on 2018-AUG-22. The new season will feature the gender confirmation "bottom" surgery that she had during 2018-JUN, her 18th birthday celebration on 2018-OCT-06, and other topics.

Those responsible for program probably made the decision in early 2018 to continue it, because they would have had to decide in advance whether to document her major surgery in June of that year. They might have delayed the announcement in order to gain publicity for the program.

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The main difference between sexual orientation and gender identity:

sex difference

That is:

A person's sexual orientation is defined by the gender of those persons to whom they are sexually attracted:

  • Heterosexuals form about a 90% majority of the adult population and are attracted only to persons of the opposite sex.

  • Homosexuals number about 5% and are attracted only persons of the same sex.

  • Bisexuals also number about 5% and are attracted to both sexes, but not usually to the same degree. They are the only group that may be said to have a "sexual preference."

  • Asexuals are rarer; they do not have strong feelings of sexual attraction towards others.

  • Pansexuals (a.k.a. omnisexuals) are relatively rare and are attracted to persons regardless of their biological sex or gender identity.

Research has shown that a homosexual orientation is determined before birth by epigenetics, and is permanent. It is a layer on top of one's DNA that turns individual genes on and off. However, many religious conservatives believe that a person chooses their orientation as a teen and can be modified by reparative therapy.

A person's biological gender is typically identified in one of three ways:

  1. In newborns by the external appearance of their genitals. To many conservatives, this is the only criterion that matters. This is the birth-identified gender or their "sex" recorded on their birth certificate.

  2. According to the sex chromosomes in the person's DNA. This requires a medical test to determine. Typically:
    • Those with DNA that contains "Y" chromosomes, like XY or rarely XXY, etc. are biological males.

    • Those without a "Y" chromosome, like XX or rarely X0 are biological females.

  3. According to structures in the brain which typically are of either a male or female size and neuron density. These appear to tell the individual what their gender identity is.

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A clarification by Chaz Bono, a transgender activist and entertainer:

"There's a gender in your brain and a gender in your body.
For 99% of people, those things are in alignment.
For transgender people, they're mismatched.
That's all it is. It's not complicated; it's not a neurosis.
It's a mix-up. It's a birth defect, like a cleft palate."

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About transgender persons and transsexuals:

Human beings generally identify themselves as one of two different genders: male or female.

Transgender adults are relatively rare; they constitute about 0.6% of adults. Their current gender identity -- that is, the gender that they currently identify as -- differs from their birth-identified gender. This difference can take many forms:

  • A slight majority were identified as male at birth and now have a consistently female gender identity. That is, they now identify their gender as female.

  • Slightly fewer were identified as female at birth and now have a consistently male gender identity.

  • A few identify as having no gender; the term gender has no real meaning to them.

  • A few identify as having an intermediate gender, with both male and female characteristics.

  • A few alternate between male and female.

"Transgender" is an adjective. The word is properly used is with a noun, like "transgender person" or "transgender individual." Do not refer to a person as "a transgender." To be "transgendered" is now an obsolete expression.

On 2015-JUN-26, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages throughout the United States with the exception of American Samoa. People living there are mostly American residents and not American citizens, and so rulings of the High Court do not necessarily apply there. Much of the focus of the LGBT community in the rest of the United States quickly switched to attaining equality for transgender persons and transsexuals. Much of the focus of conservative religious and other groups quickly switched to prevent such equality.

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Note about terminology:

The term Gender Dysphoria (GD) describes the feelings of distress that many transgender persons experience as a result of the conflict between the sex that they were assigned at birth and their current gender identity. Distress can be very severe; an estimated 41% of transgender persons attempt to commit suicide at least once during their lifetime. Fortunately, most do not suceed. The term "gender identity disorder" (GID) is an earlier term for GD that is rarely used today and is rejected by most transgender persons.

"Trans" is a common abbreviation for "transgender." However, many people are unaware of this usage. Thus, "transgender" is a safer term to use.

The term "transgenderism" was once widely used to refer to transgender persons. It is still often used by religious conservatives and others opposed to persons being transgender. However, among the LGBT community, it has largely been replaced by "being transgender." During 2017-NOV, we tracked down all 104 references to "transgenderism" on this web site and modified them.

The "International Journal of Transgenderism," is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on gender dysphoria, the medical and psychological treatment of transgender individuals, social and legal acceptance of sex reassignment, and professional and public education on transgenderism. They still use the term "transgenderism" in their name.

The adjective "cisgender" refers to a person who is not transgender. However, its meaning is not widely known, so "not transgende" is a often better term to use.

The abbreviation "cishet" refers to the vast majority of people who are cisgender (they identify their gender identity as the same as their birth-identified gender) and heterosexual (they are sexually attracted only to persons of the opposite gender.

Some information sources:

  • The Quora web site had an interesting exchange of comments during 2017-FEB on the topic of: "Is "transgenderism" the correct word to use in regards to trans people?" See: https://www.quora.com/

  • GLAAD has a glossary of transgender terms at: https://www.glaad.org/

More information on definitions.

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2019-APR: Three transgender phrases were added to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Merriam-Webster announced that they had added 640 new words/phrases to their dictionary, Of these, three are transgender phrases:

  • gender nonconforming: exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that do not correspond with the traits typically associated with one's sex.
  • top surgery: a type of gender confirmation surgery in which a person's breasts are removed or augmented to match their gender identity.
  • bottom surgery: a type of gender confirmation surgery in which a person's genitalia are altered to match their gender identity. 15

Reactions are as expected:

  • Ashlee Fowlkes, who writes about "LGBTQ inclusion and equality" in Forbes, said:

    "The impact of these additions cannot be overstated. The actions of the Trump administration have given rise to increased uncertainty in the transgender community. And so, in the midst of what might feel like an all-out attack on transgender-related protections, having your existence acknowledged and affirmed by such a well-established entity is invaluable."

  • Shane Vander Hart, who is a conservative Christian blogger, tweeted:

    "The dumbing down of the English language continues. My gosh, can they at least just use the formal surgical terms rather than the slang coined by the LGBT community? I don't think that is asking much." 15

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Two annual observances:

The transgender community and its supporters observe the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) each year on NOV-20. It was founded during 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, who is herself transgender. By 2010, it was observed in over 185 cities in over 20 countries. 12 Its purpose is to recall the transgender persons who have been killed because of their gender identity, or have committed suicide because of the prejudice of others.

The TransFamily Kingston group in Kingston, ON, Canada -- where this web site's office is located -- describes the TDOR as:

"... a time to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence, TDOR acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community."

In Canada, the Ontario Legislature unanimously voted in favor of passing a Trans Day of Remembrance Act, 2017 on December 12, 2017. It recognizes the TDoR and requires the Legislature to hold a moment of silence yearly on NOV-20. 12

Two trans women who are asylum seekers in Sweden share their experiences, fears and hopes in a Queerstion.org podcast. 13

The transgender community and their supporters also observe the International Transgender Day of Visibility each March 31. It was founded by Rachel Crandall in Michigan, USA. on 2009-MAR-31. She was motivated in part by the TDoR observance because she felt that it did not acknowledge and celebrate surviving member of the Trans community.

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Mayor Naheed Nenshi proclaimed 2013-MAR-31 as the city's first "Trans Day of Visibility in Calgary." Mayor Stephen Mandel of Calgary, Alberta proclaimed MAR-31 to APR-06 as the city's first "Transgender Awareness Week."

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet

star A comparison of the three major current religious/secular conflicts: gender identity, abortion access, and sexual orientation:

bullet

More about transgender/transsexual terms. (It is a bit of a mind-stretching mine field)


bullet

star symbol Conflicting beliefs about the cause and nature of being transgender or transsexual:


bullet

star symbol Evangelical Christian anti-LGBT stance:

bulletBackground information:

bullet

starMore about transgender terms. Photographs, and videos of transgender persons and transsexuals


bullet

star Somre stories of transgender individuals: Kat, a transgender youth. A family with 2 transgender parents. The future of the transgender/transsexual debate. etc.


bullet Additional information about transgender persons, transsexuals, etc.

bullet Womb transplants for MTF transgender persons and infertile cisgender women

bulletUnderstanding 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

bulletMore medical information about the possible cause(s) of being transgender:
bullet star  Beliefs by conservative Christians, medical researchers, etc. about why transgender persons reject their birth-identified gender (2 parts)

bullet Fetal exposure to abnormal androgen levels?

bullet Genetically determined at conception?
 
bulletCauses of, and cures for, transsexual persons according to religious groups:

bullet

Beliefs of conservative Protestant groups: Part 1  Part 2


bulletBeliefs 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.
 

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bullet Transsexuals in history
 
bullet Were transgender people mentioned in the Bible?
 
bullet Transitioning from female to male or vice versa
 
bullet Transitioning success/failure 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 being trans linked to homosexuality?

bulletInvoluntary sexual reassignment of infants: Creating transgender persons via surgery

bulletDiscrimination 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.

  • Part 4: 2016: President Trump's ban on transgender persons in the military

  • Part 6: 2017: Impact of Trump's ban of military transgender members

  • Part 7: 2017-JUL/AUG: More about the Impact of Trump's Ban. Public opinion polls. Court cases. Cost calculations.

  • Part 8: 2017-OCT to 2018-NOV: Two Court injunctions against Pres. Trump's Transgender ban. CNN celebrates Father's Day. Billboard battle in California.

  • Part 9: 2018: Enlistees Apply. Pres. Trump Modifies his Transgender ban. Criticisms. CNN celebrates Father's Day. Billboard battle in California. Anti-Trump Light Show.

  • Part 10: 2018-APR to NOV: Medical groups criticize the ban. CNN celebrates Father's Day. Billboard battle in California.

  • Part 11: 2018-NOV to 2019-MAR: Anti-Trump Light Show. Trump loses at District Court level, asks to bypass Courts of Appeal and go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Courts activate ban. Ban goes into effect on 2019-APR-12.

  • star 2019-MAR: Federal LGBT Equality Act

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 of transgender persons 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
 
bulletGlossary of terms relating to transgender persons:

bullet Words beginning with A to S

bullet Words beginning from T to Z
 
bullet

star Conflicts over who should use which public washrooms:

bulletTransgender 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 being transsexual, books for therapists, etc.
 
bullet

NEWS & major transgender/transsexual developments 2008 until now:

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.

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
  1. Joyce Bailey, "Trans 101," undated, at: https://jmcl.wordpress.com/
  2. "Sexual orientation and gender identity definitions," Human Rights Campaign," 2017, at: http://www.hrc.org/
  3. Jennifer Brown, "Elsa's Story: Family learns to let girl live as 'truegender'," Denver Post, 2015-JUL-17, at: http://extras.denverpost.com/
  4. Joseph Woo, "Special FAQ on the gender of the fetus," Obstetric Ultrasound, undated, at: http://www.ob-ultrasound.net/
  5. "MYTH #10: Intersex is extremely rare," Intersex Society of North America, 2008, at: http://www.isna.org/
  6. 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/
  7. "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 You Tube.
  8. Tom Murray produced and directed a video concerning being trans. It is titled: "Almost Myself: Reflections on mending and transcending gender." See: http://www.almostmyself.com/
  9. "Sex Chromosome Abnormalities," at: http://anthro.palomar.edu/
  10. "I Am Jazz," Discovery Communications, at: https://www.tlc.com/
  11. "Pansexuality," Wikipedia, as on 2018-AUG-11, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  12. "Transgender Day of Remembrance," Wikipedia, as on 2018-OCT-04, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  13. Queerstation Podcast: "Transgender Day of Remembrance," 2017. at: https://soundcloud.com/
  14. TransFamily Kingston Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/
  15. "Merriam-Webster adds three new transgender terms to dictionary update," The Blaze, 2019-MAY-01, at: https://www.theblaze.com/

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Copyright 2007 to 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest revision: 2019-MAY-02

Author: B.A. Robinson

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