Transgender Part 2:Transgender or Transsexual?

The terms Transgender & Transsexual are relatively new in our awareness & vocabulary and were first coined in 1948 and showed up basically again in the 1960’s.

The 1990’s saw a use of the terms become more widely used, but not fully understood, so “John Q. Public” still struggles with making sense of it all.

Famlies also are struggling with loving their family member, but not completely “getting it” while trying to remain loving & supportive. Communities are reacting with mixed results by enacting laws and regulating common practices and see the need to be involved in the larger conversation, but are slow to start in most cases.
There is a very long road to travel here.

Culture, race, religion, morals and values play a large part in how people perceive the complex issues involved in honoring a person in transition, including how that person might choose to dress, or the pronouns used when speaking to them, to deciding on sexual reassignment surgery making their body match their understanding of the genuine person inside.

This has forced medical professionals to expand their own definitions of sex and gender and to gain new awarenesss and understanding of the unique and complex medical and psychological issues in treating these patients.

Cost for drugs like hormones & treatments, insurance coverage, stigma, and limited doctors willing to see the trans community are still very real barriers to trans patients getting the services they need to become positive, healthy vibrant community members. This must change.

The wiki article,
Transsexual and its relationship to transgender, provides definitions to both the terms-Transgender & Transsexual, and is a great place to start your understanding:

“Distinctions between the terms transgender and transsexual are commonly based on distinctions between gender (psychological, social) and sex (physical).
Hence, transsexuality may be said to deal more with material aspects of one’s sex, while transgender considerations deal more with one’s internal gender disposition or predisposition, as well as the related social expectations that may accompany a given gender role.
Many transgender people prefer the designation transgender and reject transsexual.
For example, Christine Jorgensen publicly rejected transsexual in 1979, and instead identified herself in newsprint as trans-gender, saying, “gender doesn’t have to do with bed partners, it has to do with identity.”
This refers to the concern that transsexual implies something to do with sexuality, when it is actually about gender identity.
Some transsexual people (those who desire or have undergone surgery), however, object to being included in the transgender umbrella.
The definitions of both terms have historically been variable….”

Lily&Q’ssay…This wiki blurb & the rest of the article sure helped me get my head around the terms “transgender” and “transsexual”. Lily&Q’s always strive to be respectful of how our trans friends feel about their gender identification and sexual preferences, so encouraging an on-going conversation, an open mind & heart, and more information will go a long way in honoring, supporting, and better understanding our trans friends!
Remember when HIV/AIDS was the “Big Ugly or Scary”? And how advancements in fast, reliable HIV/STI testing, life-saving drugs, medical education, all played a part in making HIV much easier to live with today?
This can be true someday for the trans community too. We just have to keep “forcing the envelope” by advocating, educating and growing our knowledge, and then use it all for the “GREATER GOOD”!
To the Trans Community: Keep your heads up, stay in a good medical & social support system, and continue to talk about & raise awareness of what your needs are, and how the community can help!

A friend of mine explained herself to me this way:
“Gender is what they assigned me at birth given my genitalia – Boy or Girl, They looked down at me and said BOY, which is seperate from my sexuality. and In my case my birth gender doesn’t match with how I identify myself inside making me transgender.
My sexual orientation however, is who I am attracted to sexually despite my gender assignment at birth. For instance, I could trans with surgery to a man from a woman and still prefer sex only with men.
Or I could transition to a man from a woman and only choose to have sex with women.
I could keep my male genitalia, dress as a women all the time and prefer to have sex with both men and women…”
Everyone has their own definition of who they are inside-gender-wise male/female, who they are sexually attracted to or satisfied by or no sex at all, with everyone making up their own mind on their own! Sometimes adjusting one minute to the next! Wink, Wink!
HIV and STIs don’t know your gender, sexual orientation or preferences, but they do know YOU are human and they WANT YOU! STAY out of that (STI/HIV) WAR and know your status!
Testing is simple, painless, and the Peace-of Mind” is PRICELESS!
Find a testing location to your liking by using our handy service directory. Go to the testing catagory and refine your search through the Advance Search options.
Just DO IT!

Catagories of Trans

Many identities fit in the transgender definition and usually mean a blending or mixing of genders and sexual orientations.

Transsexual is a term used when a person’s assigned gender at birth doesn’t match what they know to be their true gender identity. These people often wish to reconfigure their bodies Through the use of hormomes and surgery to more closely match the gender they feel they should be, and this process is refered to as sex reassignment or gender affirmation.

  • Those who were born and assigned female, but identify and live as male and choose to change their bodies through medical treatments to more closely match their gender identity are known as transsexual men or transmen (also known as female-to-male or FTM).
  • However, for those people who were born and assigned male, but identify and live as female and wish through medical treatments to more closely match their gender identity are known as transsexual women or transwomen (also known as male-to-female or MTF).

Cross-dresser or Transvestite is a person who wears clothing that is usually or stereotypically worn by another gender in that culture. It can vary from person to person how completely they cross-dress, from one article of clothing or just underwear, to fully cross-dressing.

  • Cross dressers are usually comfortable with their gender and sexual assignment, and do not wish to change.
  • Usually cross dressers are straight men.
  • Cross dressing is known as a form of gender expression.
  • The term drag is when a person dresses in the clothes etc. opposite to their gender.

    • Dressing in drag doesn’t mean the person wants to be that gender or change their bodies to match that gender.
    • Drag Queen-generally referring to men who dress as women to entertain others at bars, clubs, or other events.
    • Drag kings are women who dress as men for the purpose of entertaining others at bars, clubs, or other events.

    Genderqueer is a term some people use who identify their gender as falling outside the typical known definition for, or somewhere in between “male” and “female”.

    • They may use male or female to describe themselves or not.
    • They may also request gender neutral pronouns be used whem referring to them that aren’t male or female, like “zie” instead of “he” or “she,” or “hir” instead of “his” or “her.”.
    • Some genderqueer people do not self-identify as transgender.
      • Androgynous or hermaphrodite is the term associated with having the physical characteristics of both sexes.

        • Indeterminate sex at birth
        • Also known as: Multigendered, gender nonconforming, third gender, and two-spirit people

        Q & A for transgender

        We don’t know how or why some people are transgender.
        The variety of ways transgender people individually express themselves and represent their gender makes a case against any simple or all-inclusive explanation. Many experts think that biological factors like genetic influences in the womb and prenatal hormone levels during pregnancy, as well as a person’s early experiences from a child into adulthood could all play some part in transgender.
        experiences later in adolescence or adulthood may all contribute to the development of transgender

        How many people consider themselves transgender?
        Even though it is believed that roughly 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender in some form, there is no way to know how large the transgender community really is, or how many people fit into one of the other catagories like cross dressing, either. Medical professionals are asking more questions of their patients, and health systems are attempting to respond with new catagories on forms to make it easier to identify and respond to emerging health issues to begin to know how to best serve this growing population. Most of us agree that “to each his own” works for the most part, but when there is misunderstanding of people then health care is the first thing to be overlooked. Everyone deserves quality sex and gender appropriate health care.

        What documents or public records can be changed during or after transition?
        Many states won’t allow changing a permanent record of birth for instance without proof of surgery. There are many documents which cost a lot of money to have changed, and this makes it difficult for transgenders to afford to do any of them let alone all of them. Some transgender people don’t need or care about changing all their records, but for many it is a necessary step in completing who they are and how they now wish to live. Without changing records a transgender may be denied work, or services. They may be humiliated or shamed. The stigma may be too much to overcome causing the person to get depressed or suicidal. They may be denied health care or a driver’s licence, or the use of a public bathroom of their choice, or denied a scholarship to school. Only about 21% of trans individuals have been successful at changing all their records to match their trans idenity.

        Here is a list of possible records/documents one might need to change after sex reassignment surgery:

        • Driver’s licence
        • Birth certificate
        • Social Security card
        • Health care records
        • Insurance policies
        • Passport
        • Bank accounts and records
        • Leases
        • School records and transcriptes
        • Safety deposit boxes/li>
        • Loans and credit cards
        • Last Will and Testoment or Living Wills
        • Job related documents including paychecks, insurance, 401K, etc.

        The Future for the Transgender Community
        Even though recent events in the news and around the United States don’t always seem positive for the trans person, attitudes are slowly changing about the trans community for “the good”. There are places that the Transgender person can live where their life is fulfilling, rewarding and they are a positive role-model in their community. There are places that don’t descriminate in the job market, in schools or in the health care arena. We must keep talking about and making a way for those transgender persons so that one day they can work, and live where ever they want, doing any job they are qualified to do, and live with whom and how they want.

        For now though transgender people are more likely to:

        1. Be fired or denied a job
        2. Be denied access to critical medical care
        3. Face harassment and bullying at school
        4. Become homeless or live in extreme poverty
        5. •Face abuse and violence
        6. Be evicted or denied housing or access to a shelter
        7. Be jailed or targeted by law enforcement

        Keeping the Faith
        There is no way to explain or demystify all the unique issues surrounding the trans community, but in the following additions to this series we hope to help your understanding grow so that you can become more educated and a possible advocate for this emerging population.

        If you know someone who is transgender and is in any stage of the transition, look for support, gain the most knowledge you can, and don’t be afraid to ask your friend for information on what they need from you, and how you can be there for them.

        Lily&Q’s say…Wow, if this is only the second part of this series, there is no telling if the whole story can ever be fully told! I do know those I know and love in the trans community do have someone to talk to, and ask questions when something new or tough comes up. Not everyone has a friend or an avocate and so we have to do better in including the trans community into mainstream living.

        Resources for support and counciling are lacking, and an urgent need for more support groups and health services for this community are greatly needed, but for now Hug a Transgender today!-Let them know YOU CARE!