Transgender is the term used to describe people who identify with a gender that is not traditionally male or female. It includes both those who want to undergo hormone therapy and surgery, as well as those who are not interested in transition-related medical interventions.
Regardless of how they choose to express their gender, transgender individuals are at risk for discrimination and violence. They are also at higher risk for psychiatric disorders such as depression and suicidal thoughts.
Gender identity is the way you feel about your own gender on a deep, personal level. It can be the same or different from your assigned sex at birth.
This can be a challenge for some transgender people, as they might have been assigned male or female at birth but now feel more like a girl or a boy. If you identify as transgender, it can be important to find people who understand what it means for you and support you through this process.
You might also have additional identifiers, such as race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. These can affect your experience of discrimination and how you feel about yourself. It’s important to talk to a doctor or other mental health professional as you make sense of your gender identity and develop your treatment plan.
Gender expression is how a person presents their gender on the outside, through their clothing, hairstyle and makeup. This could also be how a person chooses to use their name or pronouns.
Many people change their appearance to express their gender identity if their biological sex does not match their gender identity. This is called transition.
Some transgender people are more comfortable with their identity than others. For example, a trans woman may be more comfortable wearing dresses or choosing a feminine hairstyle.
A trans man, on the other hand, may be more comfortable wearing a suit or wearing nail polish and heels. Both gender expressions are important to understand for people who want to learn more about their identity.
Gender expression is a very small part of a person’s gender identity, but it can make a big difference in how they are treated. For example, a trans person who prefers gender-neutral pronouns such as xie/xir, zie/zir and sie/hir may be referred to differently than a person who only uses she/her or he/him.
Gender dysphoria is a mental health condition that affects people who are transgender. It is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).
A person with gender dysphoria may have a strong desire to change their physical appearance to match their preferred gender identity. This can involve hormones, surgery or other treatments that change the body.
Psychotherapy can help people with gender dysphoria feel more comfortable in their identity and reduce feelings of distress. It also can teach family members and others who support a loved one with gender dysphoria about what their loved one is going through.
Children, adolescents and adults with gender dysphoria are at high risk for depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. They often experience social stigma, harassment and bullying. This can lead to problems with school, work and family life. They may have panic attacks or even suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Gender transition is the process of changing gender expression and sex characteristics to reflect your true, authentic gender identity. It’s a journey that varies from person to person and takes time.
Transgender people who are undergoing gender transition often experience anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Behavioral therapy may help with these conditions.
Medically transitioning is also an option for some people, but it’s not available for everyone. Surgery, hormone therapy and other procedures are not covered by insurance unless they have been recommended by a licensed mental health professional.
Caroline’s clinic focuses on helping transgender patients achieve the best outcomes possible. This includes ensuring their bodies and minds are whole at the end of the medical process, so they can blend in.
Despite their efforts, some transgender people experience gender dysphoria, which is a psychological state that causes intense dissatisfaction with the sex they were assigned at birth and the physical characteristics associated with this sex. This can lead to social isolation and poor mental health.