Human sexuality topics
Transgender persons & transsexuals:
Their beliefs on gender identity.
of their beliefs.
Are they just gender confused?
News about trans equality & civil rights.
The term "LGBT" is an acronym for "Lesbians,
transgender persons/transsexuals. Sometimes, additional letters
added, like "Q" for Queer or Questioning, "I" for Intersexual, etc.
An unidentified MTF transgender woman.
registered as male on her birth
certificate, and now identifies as female.
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.
The main difference between sexual orientation and gender identity:
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
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."
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.
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.
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:
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."
Topics covered in this section:
A comparison of the three major current religious/secular conflicts: gender identity, abortion access, and sexual orientation:
More about transgender/transsexual terms. (It is a bit of a mind-stretching mine field)
Conflicting beliefs about the cause and nature of being transgender or transsexual:
Evangelical Christian anti-LGBT stance:
The Nashville Statement of 2017 about homosexual and transgender persons.
Two related essays on the Nashville Statement by Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys:
|Understanding the terminology associated with being transgender & transsexual:|
|More medical information about the possible cause(s) of being transgender:|
|Causes of, and cures for, transsexual persons according to religious groups:|
Bible passages which may impact transgender/transsexual
Estimates of the number of transgender persons in the U.S.
Transsexuals in history|
Were transgender people mentioned in the Bible?|
Transitioning from female to male or vice
Transitioning success/failure rates|
How a lack of consensus about gender identity harms transgender individuals. Webmaster's rant
Using medication to delay
puberty in transgender pre-teens and teens|
Is being trans linked to homosexuality?|
|Involuntary sexual reassignment of infants: Creating transgender persons via surgery|
|Discrimination against transgender persons & transsexuals:|
|Glossary of terms relating to transgender persons:|
Conflicts over who should use which public washrooms:
|Transgender information sources:|
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.
Joyce Bailey, "Trans 101," undated, at: https://jmcl.wordpress.com/
"Sexual orientation and gender identity definitions," Human Rights Campaign," 2017, at: http://www.hrc.org/
Jennifer Brown, "Elsa's Story: Family learns to let girl live as 'truegender'," Denver Post, 2015-JUL-17, at: http://extras.denverpost.com/
Joseph Woo, "Special FAQ on the gender of the fetus," Obstetric Ultrasound, undated, at: http://www.ob-ultrasound.net/
"MYTH #10: Intersex is extremely rare," Intersex Society of North America, 2008, at: http://www.isna.org/
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/
"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.
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/
"Sex Chromosome Abnormalities," at: http://anthro.palomar.edu/
"I Am Jazz," Discovery Communications, at: https://www.tlc.com/
"Pansexuality," Wikipedia, as on 2018-AUG-11, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
"Transgender Day of Remembrance," Wikipedia, as on 2018-OCT-04, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
Queerstation Podcast: "Transgender Day of Remembrance," 2017. at: https://soundcloud.com/
TransFamily Kingston Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/
"Merriam-Webster adds three new transgender terms to dictionary update," The Blaze, 2019-MAY-01, at: https://www.theblaze.com/
Copyright © 2007 to 2019 by Ontario Consultants on
Original posting: 2007-JUN-08
Latest revision: 2019-MAY-02
Author: B.A. Robinson