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Transgender Identity Development
Transcript of Transgender Identity Development
Transgender Identity Development
Stage Two: Recognition of transgender identity
Stage Three: Social Adjustment
The process of gender identity can be a life long process and there is no right or wrong way to be transgender.
How does transgender identity develop?
There are three general stages of development
This presentation will explain what each one means and what they look like
We will also cover the differences and similarities in gender identity development in FTM (trans men) and MTF (trans women)
During this stage, individuals are starting to feel different from their peers and becoming more aware of their gender differences.
Additionally, individuals may find persons who identify as transgender and finally have words for the feelings they've had for years.
Gender differences are seen as young as 4/5 years old (Morgan 2012)
Affinity for clothing, appearances, and social roles of "another" gender (Pollock 2012)
When transgender women were children, they often thought about being female or having a desire to be female (Morgan 2012)
Puberty was difficult for trans men, as they developed breasts and started menstruating (Pollock 2012)
Many trans women struggled to hide their identity and were punished when they were caught dressing in non-gender "appropriate" clothing ( Morgan 2012)
When individuals were exposed to transgender and gender non-conforming persons, they were able to find the words needed to talk about their feelings and identity (Pollock 2012)
During this stage, individuals are realizing that they are transgender and navigating gender possibilities.
Additionally, this stage includes a "breaking point" when the individual needs to alter different aspects of their life to align with their feelings
There is an "Aha!" Moment which can lead to either shame or identifying as transgender (Pollock 2012)
Of those trans women who experienced shame after realization of a transgender identity, many lead a "normal" life by engaging in heterosexual marriage and becoming hyper masculine (Morgan 2012)
Many people were able to explore their gender possibilities after identifying as transgender (Pollock 2012)
The breaking point
During the recognition phase of transgender identity development, many individuals reached a "breaking point", where continuing as they are was not an option. Suicidality was an issue during this stage. It became a choice between life and death (Morgan 2012)
The importance of living authentically outweighs possible negative outcomes.
During this stage, individuals coming out as transgender and are processing their transition into their role in the world around them
Many individuals have to come to terms with the incongruence with gender identity and sex assigned at birth
Not every individual transitions in a specific way or even transitions. There is no right way to be transgender.
Coming out as gay, lesbian, and bisexual can happen at the convince of the person who desires to come out. However, coming out as transgender is not as easily hidden as sexual orientation (Pollock 2012)
When hormones are taken, there are physical changes that happen in each persons body. This could be feminization of the face and body, or the growth of facial hair and deepening of the voice. All of these make the choice of coming out more difficult. One cannot control when these changes take effect (Pollock 2012)
Each person has barriers in coming to terms with the incongruence with their gender identity and sex assigned at birth
The transgender community is a diverse group and even though there are similarities in the development of a transgender identity, each person is still unique in their experiences and challenges.
-Pollock, L., & Eyre, S. L. (2012). Growth into manhood: identity development among female-to-male transgender youth. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(2), 209-222
-Morgan, S. W., & Stevens, P. E. (2012). Transgender Identity Development as Represented by a Group of Transgendered Adults. Issues In Mental Health Nursing, 33(5), 301-308