When our parents found out if we were boys or girls, they began to develop a set of expectations. Probably from here, they decided our name, they bought us our first sets of clothes and even our first toys. Our biology determines our sex, but from the minute we set foot in the world, we find gender: a social construction that carries a set of roles.
Roles are a set of behaviors and attitudes that define men and women. Most people tend to identify with their given gender, yet there are some people whose innate knowledge of who they are is different from what was initially expected when they were born. In this buzzbongo article, we will explain what a transgender person is.
What it means to be a transgender person
A transgender person is a person whose gender identity is different from the gender believed at birth. That is, sex does not match how the person feels. The opposite case, that is, when the person identifies with the gender that coincides with their reproductive organs, is called cisgender.
Today, a transgender woman lives as a woman, but at birth she was, lived to be a man, because of her reproductive organs (penis or vagina) and what society expected of her. The same goes for a transgender man living as a man today, but she was thought to be female when he was born.
It should be noted that some transgender people identify as neither male nor female, or identify as a combination of both. We also find transgender people who do not fully identify as either male or female, who identify as non-binary or genderqueer.
Everyone, transgender or not, has a gender identity. Most people at birth never think about their gender identity because it coincides with the given sex. In the following article, we explain, more about what gender identity is and how it is constructed.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that gender identity and sexual orientation are different concepts. Each person, regardless of gender, can be attracted to a specific gender, several or none.
Why a person is transgender: scientific explanation
Currently, it is not known why a person does not feel identified with the sex they were born with. Different factors that could intervene in this non-concordance between sex and gender have been investigated. Some of these factors would be hormones, culture and environment, and genes.
Men and women present small differences in some brain structures, on various occasions due to the different hormones that we secrete. Some time ago, to study sexual dimorphism, a study was carried out with male and female rodents where it was observed that a brain nucleus (bed nucleus of the terminal stria) was larger or smaller depending on testosterone levels. That means the core in men will be larger than in women. From here it was extracted that people who present gender dysphoria have that nucleus more similar to the opposite sex.
This hypothesis highlights that in transgender people there could be a function in terms of hormone secretion more similar to the opposite sex. It should be noted that it is only a hypothesis, and that o date there is no known exact cause of what can cause the non-concordance.
Characteristics of a transgender person
The main characteristic of transgender people is that they will adopt behaviors of the gender with which they identify.
In the case of a transgender woman, we will observe that she dresses in women’s clothing and puts on makeup, and even if she wants, she can start hormone replacement therapy to reduce the secondary characteristics of the given sex.
You are born as a woman but you do not commune with the feminine, therefore, you dress in more masculine clothes and adopt roles that are more typical of the opposite gender. In turn, you can also start hormonal treatment.
Can a transgender person have children?
When no intervention is performed on the reproductive organs, she can have children. We must take into account that then it will be the transgender man who will have the child, as long as the person is satisfied with it, since probably during the period of wanting to get pregnant they will have to stop taking hormonal treatment, in the case be submitting to this.
Difference Between Transgender and Transsexual
The transsexual person will seek sex reassignment (surgical intervention) where they will eliminate the primary and secondary characteristics of their sex and obtain those of the other. On the other hand, the transgender person will live with the identity that is identified but, in general, they will not undergo surgical intervention, although they can undergo hormonal treatments to eliminate secondary characteristics of their sex (excess hair on the body, voice acute, etc.).
How to help a transgender person
Living in a world where most people feel comfortable with their gender but you do not, should not be easy at all, so here I leave behaviors that we can adopt to make the transgender community more included in our society.
Respect is the basis of coexistence. Although some people may never have heard of transgender people or may not fully understand what it means to be trans, there is one thing that is intrinsic to all of this: even if you do not fully understand their identities, all people deserve to be respected.
2. Avoid stigmas
On many occasions, transgender people face ridicule from a society that does not understand them. The stigma they suffer is generated in various contexts. This fact encourages more rejection behaviors towards tratowardr identities. Avoiding the stigmas associated with trans identities creates a more inclusive society where all people can respect each other.
3. Use the same language
We need to understand that no two transgender people are the same, so two trans people may use different language to describe themselves. It is important, as we mentioned in the previous point, not to fall into stigmas or stereotypes and adapt to the language that a person uses to refer to himself.
4. Avoid awkward questions
It may be that certain people are curious to learn more about the transgender community, even so, it is important to assess what questions we can ask a trans person and which ones may be uncomfortable for them. To do this, we must take into account how the person experiences the story of her process and avoid questions such as: “Do you have a penis or a vagina?” since they can generate discomfort and discomfort in the person.
5. Report discrimination
In the even discrimination based on gender identities, we must report the case. Injustices can also be reported through our social networks so that it has repercussions at a social level and in our direct environment.
This article is merely informative, in buzzbongo we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
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- The Human Rights Campaign. (2020). All Rights Reserved. Retrieved from: https://www.hrc.org/resources/understanding-a-la-communidad-transgenero?fbclid=IwAR3O-iAj8-qSBGudOOp346Q9MuVE2PNypRZlmWSZAEKNDFJtBq1fb1qzCmo