Transsexual is an umbrella term for people whose assigned sex doesn’t match their gender identity. They often seek medical help (including hormone treatment and gender reassignment surgery) to align their bodies with their affirmed sex or gender.
The word transsexual can be a source of anxiety, especially when used by strangers. It can also be misleading and can stigmatize people.
Gender identity is an internal sense of being male, female or a blend of both that differs from the biological sex assigned at birth. This explains why some people who are born male but feel more like a woman might be transgender.
Gender expression is the external attributes, behaviors and clothing that align with one’s gender identity. It includes hair and body characteristics, dressing style, voice and movement.
Transgender and nonbinary people often find affirmation of their identity in a number of ways, including their friends, chosen family members (and less commonly their relatives), therapists or other health care providers, religious communities and LGBTQ+ spaces. Many of these people cite specific moments that may seem small in the grand scheme of things but made them feel accepted and supported. These include going on dates, being referred to as “she” or “they” and receiving affirmation from others in their community. They also found strength in their resistance to discrimination and hateful rhetoric.
Sexuality is a complex aspect of identity, and it can take time to understand. Many people feel attracted to a particular gender, and they may identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Others are attracted to both men and women, or they may not feel any sexual attraction at all. People who don’t fit into the male/female, straight/gay/lesbian binaries are often called pansexual or asexual.
As people go through puberty, they can start to notice new feelings and sexualities. This can be a confusing and frightening time, as their bodies are changing. It’s important to listen to their own body and be open to new experiences.
The term ‘genderfuck’ is used to describe a form of sexual orientation that defies the masculine/feminine, man/woman binary. Other terms that are associated with this concept include down low, gray, and autosexual. Those who are libiosexual experience a sexual attraction to people that they have an emotional bond with. They can satisfy these feelings with masturbation or self-stimulation.
Some transgender people experience a strong disconnect between their gender identity and the physical characteristics assigned to them at birth. This can lead to feelings of distress and discomfort, known as gender dysphoria.
Transgender people can choose from a variety of treatments that vary from minor to extensive. These include hormone therapy, surgery, and social changes. Hormone therapy may be either masculinizing or feminizing, and it can modify secondary sex characteristics. Surgery can involve a wide range of procedures, from chest surgery to facial feminization. It can also include clitoroplasty and the removal of testicles.
Some transgender people use their appearance to send a clear message of the gender they identify with. A female-to-male (FTM) person, for example, might wear skirts and stereotypically feminine blouses, or a male-to-female (M2F) person might wear pressed oxford shirts, dress pants and a tie. This type of presentation is often called “passing.” Other transgender people are less rigid about their gender expression and use more ambiguous language or clothing.
Mental health is an essential aspect of a person’s well-being, and transgender people are at risk for poor mental health. This is because they face a variety of stresses related to their gender identity. For example, they may suffer from depression, anxiety, and other disorders. They also have a higher risk of suicide, according to research.
This can result from the impact of discrimination, and a lack of access to social support. In addition, a study found that TGNC individuals conceal their identities in public for fear of discrimination. Moreover, the lack of access to medical care for TGNC patients can cause distress and anxiety.
The TGNC community requires healthcare services that are culturally competent and aware of the implications of gender non-conforming identity. This can be achieved by educating providers on the issues and introducing TGNC-specific psychometric instruments. A longitudinal study is needed to evaluate the effects of these interventions on the quality of life of TGNC individuals.