Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2017 Contents physical effects of puberty in the unwanted
• Early adulthood. With emotional
and financial independence, some people
feel free to begin to address transgender is-
sues at this age and look into transitioning.
However, some are not as free to do so, due
to family and other obligations, or due to
lack of information and access to services.
(Sources: Wikipedia and Transgender Mental Health
A24 body & soul
guardian.co.tt Monday, July 31, 2017
What does Transgender mean?
Transgender, or Trans, means someone whose
gender differs from the one they were given when
they were born. Transgender people may identify
as male or female, or they may feel that neither
label fits them.
In order to express their chosen gender, transgender
people may transition, or change, from the gender they
were given at birth. They may change their names,
pronouns or style of dress. Some transgender peo-
ple also choose a medical transition, with the help
of medical specialists, who will prescribe hormones
and/or surgery. The term "trans man" refers to a man
who has transitioned from female to male, and "trans
woman" refers to a woman who has transitioned from
male to female.
Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to
including people whose gender identity is the opposite
of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women),
it may include people who are not exclusively mas-
culine or feminine. Other definitions of transgender
also include people who belong to a third gender, or
conceptualise transgender people as a third gender.
Being transgender is independent of sexual orienta-
tion: transgender people may identify as heterosexual,
homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc, or may consider
conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or
inapplicable. The term transgender can also be distin-
guished from intersex, a term that describes people
born with physical sex characteristics "that do not
fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies"
The degree to which individuals feel genuine, au-
thentic, and comfortable within their external appear-
ance and accept their genuine identity has been called
transgender congruence. Many transgender people
experience gender dysphoria, and some seek medical
treatments such as hormone replacement therapy,
sex reassignment surgery, or psychotherapy. Not all
transgender people desire these treatments, and some
cannot undergo them for financial or medical reasons.
Most transgender people face discrimination at
and in accessing work, public accommodations,
and healthcare. They are not legally protected from
discrimination in many places.
Gender dysphoria is a fundamental unease and dis-
satisfaction with the biological sex one is born with
which results in anxiety, depression, restlessness,
and other symptoms. The dysphoria often acts as a
catalyst to change one's body and gender expression
(how one presents to the world) to be more in keep-
ing with what is felt to be one's gender identity (the
gender that one feels oneself to be).
The main problem of growing up with gender dys-
phoria, aside from the body dysphoria itself, is the
social predicament. Essentially, everyone expects the
individual to be and act like a boy/girl, when they feel
inside to be a girl/boy.
Transgender people can experience common issues
throughout their lives.
• Early Childhood. Children get cues early on from
parents about appropriate behaviour, and internalise
them. For example MTF (male to female) transsexuals
have reported getting the message from parents that it
wasn't OK for them to play dolls with their sisters or
neighbours, and that they were expected to do "boy"
things---like rough and tumble play. Kids of this age
start to get the idea that there is a part of themselves
that must remain hidden.
• Puberty. This is a particularly hard age, since
the body begins to change and adapt gender spe-
cific features (breasts, changes in genitals, menses,
etc). Transgender individuals have reported: "I was
disgusted by (hair, breasts...etc)"
. Many transgender
individuals are aware of their issue by this age, but
lack the means and agency to effect any change.
In some cases medication is available to "delay"
puberty until the individual is old enough to decide
whether or not to transition. This has the benefit of
essentially avoiding the trauma of experiencing the
Transgender health issues
Actor Laverne Cox made history, becoming
the first openly transgender performer to earn
an acting Emmy nomination for her breakout
role on Netflix's Orange Is The New Black. Cox
was born in Mobile, Alabama, and was raised
by a single mother and grandmother within
the AME Zion church. She attempted suicide
at the age of 11, when she noticed that she
had developed feelings about her male class-
mates and had been bullied for several years
for not acting "the way someone assigned
male at birth was supposed to act". She is a
graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts
in Birmingham, Alabama, where she studied
creative writing before switching to dance.
She then studied for two years at Indiana
University Bloomington before transferring
to Marymount Manhattan College in New
York City, where she switched from dancing
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