Transgender is a term referring to individuals who associate with a gender that differs from their biological sex. The word transgender combines the Latin stem word trans, which means “across” or “beyond,” and the word gender. Most societies base an individual’s gender on their biological body parts, which may not match how an individual feels that they should be. The person can change the gender that he or she is addressed as, and even change the biological parts of their body that do not match their gender identity. A transgender person can also move back and forth between different genders.
Gender identity disorder (GID) has been a topic of controversy as to how it should be classified as a disorder and how treatment can be accomplished. Most transgender people do not consider GID to be a mental disorder. People with GID usually have had feelings of a gender identity crisis for as long as they can remember. Children with GID often rebel against social gender roles and try to fit more into their gender role of choice. The strongest feeling resulting from GID is a feeling of being born into the wrong body, and a strong desire to have the biological parts of another sex.
It is proper etiquette to refer to a transgender person by the gender pronoun that he or she associates with regardless of their appearance or actual biological sex. It is never appropriate to call a person “it” even if they are currently in a gender transition process. The terms transgender is sometimes confused with transsexual . Transgender is generally broader term for people who identify as a gender different from their sex, whereas the term transsexual refers to the physical parts of an individual. Transsexual concerns those who undergo surgeries or hormone treatments to align their sexual identity with their gender identity. Transsexuals can be transgender, as the group of transgender people encompasses transsexuals, hermaphrodites, and cross dressers.
The following resources are provided for transgender communities, families and friends of transgender individuals, and those wishing to learn more about the transgender community:
A complete introduction to everything about gender identity and how it relates to the transgender community.
A story detailing the differences between the terms transsexual and transgender and what they really mean to individuals.
An article on the GenderTalk website discussing sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual identity, as well as other terms such as, androgyne, that relate to the transgender community.
This article by the University of Maryland’s Medical Center gives an overview of gender identity disorder and the symptoms and potential treatment for GID.
Organizations and Support Groups
The Center for Gender Sanity works with employers and transsexual individuals to help them in different features of the workplace while going through a sexual transition.
The TLPI provides law resources to inform transgender individuals of their rights. The institute also works to create new policies concerning the equality of transgender people.
The Human Rights Campaign provides information and resources concerning transgender individuals and how to work to promote equality for all genders.
The IFGE works to promote equality and acceptance for all gender expressions.
Transgender Zone is a UK website that started in 1998 and provides resources, a virtual support group, a forum, and more to educate people with GID.
This institute based at Indiana University does research in the fields of sex, gender, and reproduction and works to provide this knowledge to the rest of the world.
A listing of US transgender advocacy organizations with websites and descriptions of the individual organizations.
Media and News
A directory listing of bathrooms that are gender neutral and provides maps, address, and cost, if any, of the bathrooms.
Media About Lynn Conway
This website for the documentary movie, “no dumb questions,” provides information about the story as well as how to use the film in school, workplace, or other settings. The movie follows three young girls who are sisters as their uncle undergoes gender transition.
A website for the transgender community that is updated as much as twice daily with news concerning transsexual, transgender, and cross dressing individuals.
A transgender news group with news and commentary relating to the LGBTQ community.
A synopsis and trailer of a documentary concerning the topic of transexuality.
This website contains all types of information on transgender health as well as information on gender transition.
An article that helps guide those who have children with atypical gender behavior to ensure good mental health and support for the children.
Statistics, prevention challenges, and information on what is being done about the large percentage of transgender people with HIV.
The mission of the SRLP is to gain complete rights for all people to be able to identify as any gender they wish.
This center works to ensure that transgender people are treated equally and fairly in all aspects of their lives.
Information on changing legal documents such as driver’s licenses and passports, including other legal issues.
This webpage by the National Center for Lesbian Rights has news, publications, and downloads for those wishing to learn more about law as it relates to the transgender population.
An article featured by the Safe Schools Coalition about a mother’s story of raising a transgender child.
An ABC News article about children who have gender identity disorder and who identity as a different gender than they were given at birth.
Gender Spectrum works to create a gender friendly environment for all children and families.
A guide for parents about children’s different gender behaviors and how to treat these behaviors.
A UK charity that provides help and information for families with a transgender child or children. Also provides assistance for individual children and teenagers.
A site for transgender children and their families that provides information about gender transitions and listings of books, TV shows, and articles on the subject.
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