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Transcript of Trans 101
An introduction and overview of
the Transgender identity
M T F T M
How to be a Trans Ally
Sex is a social construct based on biological differences,
which attempts to divide people into two categories:
Males and Females
This is based on a number of biological factors such as genitals,
chromosomes, secondary sexual characteristics, etc.
Intersex is any of a number of physical presentations
of an individual's sex that do not cleanly fit into our
designated categories of males and females.
Sexual Orientation is a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions (or lack thereof), exhibited by an individual.
The Sex Binary is the concept that there are two and only two sexes, and that everybody innately falls into one of these two categories.
"Corrective" genital surgery is a medical practice in which infants are operated on with the intention of making their genitals appear more "normal" and to reduce the likelihood of "future problems".
Gender is an internal identity related to, but not the same as sex. Gender is often determined by the combination of several related traits, which are primarily socially constructed. These traits include gender expression, gender roles or scripts, and gender identity.
Gender expression is a combination of the gendered clothing, accessories, hair, make-up, scents, and/or vocal pitch and tone that a person exhibits or lacks. These categories are the cues that we use to quickly determine what gender we believe somebody to be immediately upon encountering them. Gender expression sometimes does not match our expectations about how a person "should" appear or sound based on their assigned gender.
Gender roles and scripts are the sets of behaviors that we expect people to follow based on their gender. These include what sort of work and play they engage in, what vocabulary they use, as well as how they move, stand, and approach situations.
Gender identity is an individual's internal sense of which gender they are. This can correspond or conflict with the sex and subsequent gender that they are assigned at birth as well as the gender roles and scripts they are comfortable with, and the gender expression that they choose to display.
Asexuality and demisexuality are identities along the spectrum of whether or not an individual feels sexual attraction to others, as well as how often and how intensely they may feel sexual attraction. Asexuality and demisexuality are valid identities that should not be viewed as less real or acceptable than other sexual identities.
Homosexuality and heterosexuality are sexual identities in which the individual is attracted solely to males or females, of the same or different sex respectively. These labels fail to take into account more than a binary of sexes and the lines become blurry where individuals outside of that binary or the gender binary are concerned.
Bisexuality, pansexuality, and sexual fluidity are all sexual identities in which the individual is attracted to more than one sex. This can manifest in many forms, either with just masculine and feminine identities, with an emphasis toward one side or the other, or with level of attraction to a given sex changing over time. Individuals with these identities are not more or less likely to have different standards of attraction from individuals that identify as heterosexual or homosexual, they are simply willing to apply these standards of attraction to more than one sex.
Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of identities and ways in which individuals intentionally transgress the gender assigned to them through using different gender scripts, roles, and presentations. Due to the broad nature of this term, it may describe individuals that do not identify as transgender themselves.
Transsexual is one of the identities most closely associated with the term transgender. A person who is transsexual has a gender identity differing from the one they are expected to have based on their assigned sex. Transsexual individuals often desire to live and be socially accepted as a gender other than the one they were assigned.
Genderqueer individuals are people who have a gender identity outside of the gender binary, whether it is a combination of masculine and feminine, or differs from both. Genderqueer individuals often prefer pronouns other than "he" or "she", as those do not often represent their gender identity. These pronouns can be newer words (ze, hir), more vague (they, them), or might even simply be replacing occurances of pronouns with their name.
Cross dressers and transvestites are individuals who generally feel no conflict between their gender identity and assigned gender, but rather express occasionally or frequently a gender expression other than that which we expect. The motivations for this can be many and varied.
Drag kings and drag queens are individuals that utilize gender expression that we typically associate with a gender other than the one they are assigned in order to entertain others through performance. This often consists of non-heterosexual men presenting as women, and non-heterosexual women presenting as men, but can include other configurations such as transsexual women presenting as women or men, or heterosexual cisgender women presenting as men presenting as women for example.
Cisgender or cissexual refers to an individual that does not feel a conflict between their gender identity and the gender they were assigned at birth. This term refers to the majority of people, and is useful for providing a level field of discussion between transgender individuals and cisgender individuals, since words like "biological", "real", and "natural" all imply a falseness in the identity of transgender individuals, considering them to be automatically "less than"cisgender individuals.
Third gender is a concept that generalizes all genders that are outside of our accepted gender binary. Different gender concepts other than masculine and feminine exist in many cultures, including Thailand, The Philippines, many United States native cultures and Pakistan. Third gender is a misnomer since these different genders all differ from each other as well.
The process during which an individual transitions into the gender they most closely identifies with. This can consist of any number of steps, including:
Sexual Reassignment Surgery and / or other Surgical Procedures
MTF Hormone Therapy primarily consists of an estrogen and an anti androgen (testosterone suppressant).
Breast development (full development takes several years)
Redistribution of body fat into a more feminine pattern
Loss of ejaculation and loss of erection
Shrinkage of testicles
Methods of administration include injections, creams, gels, and pills.
Bilateral Orchiectomy: the removal of both testicles
Vaginoplasty: the surgical construction of a vagina through skin inversion, involves removing the organs and erectile tissue of the penis. The skin and tissue is used to create a vaginal opening, clitoris, clitoral hood, and labia
Other "feminizing" surgeries
SRS cost: ~$15,000 - ~$25,000
FTM Hormone Therapy consists of an androgen
Redistribution of body fat to a more masculine pattern
Hair loss or baldness depending on genetics
Facial and body hair growth
Deepening of the voice
Atrophy of the uterus and ovaries, resulting in lack of menstruation
Enlargement of the clitoris
Testosterone can be administered through injections, patches, creams and gels, or pellets.
Bilateral Mastectomy (Top Surgery)
Metoidioplasty: the creation of a penis by extending the clitoris that has been significantly enlarged by testosterone hormone use
Phalloplasty: involves constructing a penis from the inner forearm skin and vaginal tissue and attaching it to the vaginal area.
SRS Cost: ~$20,000 - ~$150,000
Prevalence of Trans people
Jones & Hill 2002 believes 50,000 in the USA
This data is based on individuals who have sought medical assistance for transitioning
Discrimination, Bullying, and Abuse
14% Unemployment vs 7% national
41% attempted suicide vs 1.6% national
And this may not be the worst of it
Questions, Tips, & Discussion