Understanding Transgender people: Everything you Need to Know
What do you know about the transgender identity?
Are you a transgender person, or have you come across one?
Transgender identity is among the most dominant groups under the LGBTQ+ banner and is important in advocating for queer rights.
Unfortunately, trans people face a lot of criticism, phobia, scorn, stigma, and hate crimes because of their non-traditional gender identity.
From experiencing invasive questions, misgendering, and deadnaming to people making negative assumptions about them, trans go through dozens of challenges even in the most liberal societies.
This article will explore everything transgender, giving insight into the transgender identity.
Who is a transgender person?
A transgender person is an individual whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth. Being male or female is more than the sex organs or gender roles a person assumes as they age.
Gender identity is a complex issue because it depends on a person’s sense of belonging, meaning it’s unique for every person.
So, how do you know you are a transgender person, and are there different ways to be trans?
A transgender person, also trans, is an umbrella term for people on the trans spectrum.
Contrary to popular belief, being transgender doesn’t mean you want to chop off your bits and assume the opposite gender.
Don’t get me wrong, some people explore permanent solutions, including surgery, to attain physical characteristics that match their inner selves.
What is the difference between gender expression and gender identity?
Is there a difference between gender expression and gender identity?
While often used interchangeably, there is a significant difference between your gender identity and expression.
Gender expression is how you present yourself to the world.
How you talk, dress, walk, or associate with others is a form of gender expression.
Gender expression is crucial for identities outside the traditional gender norms because it helps them feel comfortable in their skin.
Gender expression is a social construct that changes over time and from one culture to another.
Some of the factors that can influence gender expression include family, personal preferences, religion, and culture.
Gender identity is an individual’s inner sense of self.
Gender identity describes a person’s feelings rather than the physical characteristics or sex assigned at birth.
Gender identity is a sense of being male, female, or on a gender spectrum.
The ABCs of Transitioning
Transitioning is the process of aligning your gender identity with your gender expression.
Transition is an umbrella term that describes various strategies a person can use to attain gender expression that matches their gender identity.
If you are transgender and curious about transitioning, here are different options to explore:
Social transitioning involves changing the way an individual presents themselves to society.
Social transitioning can involve changing gender identifiers that you use socially, including pronouns, clothes, voice, and name.
For instance, if you are transitioning from female to male, you can cut your hair to create a masculine presentation that society associates with the male gender.
A legal transition involves changing your documents to align with your gender identity.
Legal transition can involve changing your identity in government-handed documents, including national identity cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and education certificates.
A medical transition is a process that involves altering your body’s physiological or physical state to achieve the desired gender identity.
A medical transition can involve hormone therapy or surgery to achieve physical characteristics that match a person’s gender identity.
Challenges Faced by Transgender People
Transgender people face lots of challenges while pursuing their preferred identity.
Because of myths and misconceptions about trans identity, a significant part of society is naïve or ignorant about transgender people.
Some of the biggest challenges the transgender community faces include the following:
If you are a transgender person, you have encountered a heightened level of harassment compared to other people.
Whether at a social gathering, walking down the street, or having dinner at a restaurant, people can harass you because of your transgender identity.
While the trans identity is not new, a huge part of society is ignorant about the topic, making it easy for haters to spread misinformation.
In addition to going through the mental gymnastics of discovering their inner self, trans people face constant verbal harassment, assault, and discrimination.
Trans people are more likely to be broke, homeless, and unemployed.
Across the globe, economies are run by cisgender people, who may not be comfortable allowing trans people in corporate spaces.
Because of their mannerisms, dress, or speech patterns, trans people are likely to be discriminated against in employment.
Where there are weak or no laws protecting vulnerable groups and minorities against discrimination, trans people have a higher risk of unemployment than other vulnerable groups.
A significant number of trans people experience homelessness because of their gender identity.
For a trans person, it can be a bit more challenging to procure housing, making it easy to become homeless even when you have the financial capacity to pay for housing.
The inability to access quality housing may lead to unemployment, making it more likely for trans people to become poor.
Mental Health Challenges
Trans people experience constant harassment from various hateful groups, including religious fanatics and ignorant people.
The constant harassment can cause mental health challenges that may affect their quality of life.
Are There Notable Transgender Figures?
Do you know any notable transgender figures?
If you don’t know any impressive transgender figures, you must dig into the transgender culture.
The trans community has some of our time’s most talented, passionate, and iconic figures.
Some of the most notable transgender figures include the following:
Laverne Cox needs no introduction, especially if you follow entertainment news and have a weakness for multi-talented actresses.
Laverne Cox is a producer, director, actor, and a prominent transgender rights activist. Ms. Cox starred in notable motion pictures, including Musical Chairs, Orange Is the New Black, and Promising Young Woman.
In addition to being a popular actress, Laverne Cox is among the most visible transgender rights activists of our generation.
Chella Man is a popular actor and transgender activist who speaks passionately about trans rights.
Man is involved in various causes that fight against discrimination and harassment against trans people.
Jazz Jennings is a reality TV star who speaks against discrimination against the trans community.
Jennings uses their platform to advocate for transgender people’s rights.
How to Become an Ally to Transgender Individuals
If you are looking for ways to become a better ally to trans people, consider using the following strategies:
Educate people about trans issues
Help the trans community break the myths and misconceptions about the trans community by educating people about trans issues.
You can use informational resources from organizations like GLAAD to create awareness about trans issues.
Support transgender business
You can help trans people overcome economic challenges by shopping in trans businesses and hiring trans people.
Money flowing into the trans community can help to advance trans rights.
What Does “Transgender” Mean?
Transgender is an umbrella term describing people experiencing gender dysphoria, meaning their inner sense of self doesn’t match the sex assigned at birth.
A transgender person is someone whose gender identity falls outside the traditional gender norms.
How Can I Support a Transgender Friend or Family Member?
You can use dozens of strategies to support transgender friends or family members.
For instance, you can educate your community about common myths and misconceptions that propagate harmful stereotypes about the trans community.
Another way to support the trans community is through advocacy.
You can dedicate your resources, including time and money, to facilitating laws promoting trans rights.
You can also help by providing a safe and non-judgmental space to express themselves.
What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Transgender People?
One of the biggest misconceptions about transgender people is their mental illness.
The misconception that trans people are mentally ill is harmful and hateful because being trans is normal.
Another misconception about transgender people is that they want to become the opposite gender.
Transphobes claim that trans people are child predators and shouldn’t be around minors, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can become a great parent regardless of your sexual or gender identity.
Another common misconception about transgender people is they want a sex change.
Not every trans person wants to transition to the opposite gender medically.
There are different ways to transition, including legal, social, medical, or whatever method brings you close to your true self.
Is Gender Dysphoria the Same as Being Transgender?
While there is a close connection between gender dysphoria and being transgender, there is a minor difference between the two concepts.
Gender dysphoria is a broad term for negative emotions, including depression, self-loathing, anxiety, panic attacks, and low self-esteem a person experiences when they don’t have a connection to the gender assigned at birth.
Being transgender is a broad term for individuals outside the traditional gender identity, including gender fluid, and non-binary.
What Legal Protections Exist for Transgender Individuals?
While there are legal protections to protect trans people’s rights, more must be done.
Trans people still experience constant harassment in private and public spaces.
Are There Any Famous Transgender Celebrities?
Yes. Famous transgender celebrities include Jazz Jennings and Chella Man.
How Can I Get Involved in Transgender Advocacy?
Find a trans community in your area and support them with your resources.
You can volunteer at a transgender center or donate money to help solve trans issues.
Whether you are straight, trans, or gay, it’s important to understand the transgender community and the issues that affect them.
Understanding transgender concepts, including transition, challenges, and gender expression, can help you become a better ally to the trans community.