There are many misconceptions about the transgender community, misunderstandings cause barriers between people and confused approaches to the subject, so here is a clear up of common myths, so you have the facts about what being a transgender person really means.
If someone is transgender this means they feel like the body they have been born into does not relate to their internal gender identity.
MYTH #1: People who are transgender are confused
TRUTH: If someone is transgender they know their own sex and gender. They are confident of their gender to identify and understand their biology does not match.
MYTH #2: If you’re transgender, you’re gay
TRUTH: This is one of the most common misconceptions that trans people face. Gender identity and sexual orientation are two separate characteristics; knowing one gives you no indication of the other.
Some trans people are gay, some are not. Trans people who are attracted to the same sex and the one they identify to would be gay or lesbian, and those who are attracted to individuals who date people opposite to their identified gender are straight.
MYTH #3: Trans people hate their bodies
TRUTH: Some trans people have extreme Gender Dysphoria resulting in them being uncomfortable and wanting to alter their bodies, while others choose to live with their bodies as they are. Each person’s experience is unique.
MYTH #4: It’s easy to tell if someone is transgender
TRUTH: There are no clear-cut physical signs to identify a trans person, the human body is exceptionally diverse.
MYTH #5: Trans people aren’t ‘real’ men or women
TRUTH: To believe that transgender people are somewhat less human because of the gender they identify with are wrong. A transgender woman is a female who was assigned male at birth and forced to live in the wrong body and the same with transgender men.
They are just as ‘real’ as everyone else.
MYTH #6: Transgender people are weird
TRUTH: What people perceive to be ‘weird’ are often things that are non-conforming, and foreign to them, which are built from experiences, environment and culture.
They are just the same as everyone else, no weirder than you or me.
MYTH #7: Being trans is a choice
It is assumed that trans people ‘want’ to be the other gender, when in fact, their mind tells them they are the ‘other’ gender.
They absolutely believe that the body they were born with doesn’t match their actual gender. Their gender identity it isn’t a decision they make, it’s innate.
MYTH #8: Children are too young to know if they are transgender
Children can know from an extremely young age that they are unhappy with their gender assigned to them at birth.
There have been cases where children as young as 1 or 2 years old have shown signs, either physically or verbally, that they are unhappy with their assigned gender. Transgender children respond to psychological gender association tests which evaluate how people view themselves within gender roles, as quickly and as consistently as those who don’t identify as trans.
If the child is entirely non-conforming to their assigned gender in childhood, it is likely that they are going to have a trans identity in adolescence or adulthood.
Caption: Josie Romero at 9 years old on documentary – Living a Transgender Childhood
MYTH #9: Transitioning is as simple as one surgery
TRUTH: The transition period is a long and complicated process which can involve multiple procedures.
Transgender people have to go through social (public and private), legal (changing a name or gender marker) and personal changes – some choose to forgo medical transition.
MYTH #10: All transgender people are mentally ill
TRUTH: Just because you’re a transgender person, does not mean you’re mentally ill.
Some trans people experience Gender Dysphoria – ‘a state of server emotional stress caused by dissatisfaction with the gender designated to them at birth’.
This can lead to depression and anxiety but is treatable. Gender Dysphoria is treated as the person begins to live the life as the person they think they should be; for some people, this is after the surgery or after they ‘come out’ socially.
Image 1: http://fortworth-transgender.org/home/index.php
Image 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPOQ7xFWGdg
Article produced by OnlineHealthAndSafety.com
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