20 Most Frequently asked Questions & Answers on the subject of Transgenderism

SOME BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT TRANSGENDERISM
This paper is only a basic introduction and will only touch on some of the key points and
frequent questions regarding the nature of transgendered persons.
We will use a question and answer format. This is not an unusual or rare behaviour. There are very many people who are transgendered?


1. Are transgendered persons mentally ill because of their transgendered behaviour?


No! Transgendered behaviour is not a mental illness. It is a positive expression of their personality where they have a partial or complete cross-gender identity. It is a very natural trait and there is evidence of transgendered behaviour in about every society since pre-history. For instance, in many Native American societies, transgendered persons were viewed as very special, gifted people.


2. Why are they this way?


There are no positive conclusions. However fairly recent scientific research has advanced the theory, that gender confusion may be caused by a pre-natal lack of sufficient male hormone production in the mother's body. There is still much to be discovered along these lines. One thing that has been discovered is this condition is not curable by psychiatrists or physicians.


3. What is gender role and gender identity?

 

Gender role is an artificial model of behaviour expectations of society based on anatomical sex (stereotypes for male and female behaviour ideals). Gender identity is independent of anatomical sex and is the primary/ predominant gender role adopted by the individual.


4. What kinds of transgendered people are there?


Since society feels the need to place labels on about everything, we'll discuss some of those labels. Cross-dresser or Transvestite: A person who dresses partially or fully in the clothes typically ascribed to the opposite genetic sex. Motivations for cross-dressing vary and usually there is an evolution in motivations from sexual to self- image. A cross-dresser may adopt a dual gender identity of both male and female "personas".
Cross-living or full time Transvestite: A person who has elected to live majority or full-time in the gender role assigned to the opposite genetic sex. This person may alter their body through cosmetic surgery and hormone treatment to appear more like the opposite genetic sex. But not to the extent of undergoing Gender Reassignment Surgery.
Transsexual: A person who disassociates with their assigned gender role and has a gender identity of that of the opposite genetic sex. This individual completely alters their body through hormone treatment and sex reassignment surgery in order to align their appearance with their gender identity. Androgyny: A person who appears neither definitively male nor definitively female, their gender role is ambivalent, typically a combination of both roles.
Drag queen: This is the vernacular for a male homosexual who dresses either in flamboyant styles or allows male characteristics to show while dressed. The individual typically demonstrates a parody of women. Quite often for entertainment purposes.


5. Does dressing in opposite genetic sex clothing mean they are homosexual?


NO! Gender orientation is independent of sexual orientation or preference. In fact, the vast majority of cross-dressers are heterosexual in terms of their anatomical sex.


6. At what age is this usually discovered?


Often this condition manifests itself in early childhood. Sometimes it is "triggered" by an incident in later life. There have been cases reported in people being "triggered" as early as 3 years old and as old as 72.
 
7. Why do they sometimes feel ashamed or guilty about their transgendered behaviour?


This one's easy.. Because our society has determined that transgendered behaviour is inappropriate. You've been brainwashed since early childhood concerning gender roles and behaviours! Consequently many transgendered persons bear the load of guilt and shame; this is what causes the most significant problems with transgendered people. Finding a good support group is most important for them!


8. What do I do if I find my partner is Transgendered?


Because of the very negative social stigma attached to transgenderism, transgendered people usually keep their transgendered nature very private. However, if you do find out that your spouse/partner is transgendered, please remember that they are the same person they always were!
You have only learned about a facet of their character that is probably one of the reasons you married them in the first place. Once you find out, you can do great personal damage to their self-esteem through rejection of them. Like you, their feelings of self- worth can be very fragile. Open and frank communication with your spouse/partner is the most important thing you can do.. An ongoing dialogue is essential.


9. What about the family?


Telling the children and the rest of the family depends on a lot of factors: the level of transgendered behaviour, the ages of the children, your best estimate of how well they can handle it and the like. Preservation of your children's self- esteem (and yours) and their position in their peer group is important. You may wish to consult with an experienced family counsellor or child psychologist on the matter.


10. Does transgendered behaviour change as a person gets older?


Quite frequently, yes. Usually what happens is a reduction of sexual motivation and more interest in the development of a more complete opposite gender "persona". Most often this occurs in the mid-thirties to mid-forties in life. Interaction of the "persona" with other people (often in public) becomes very important to the "reality" of their transgendered personality.


11. What about their sexuality?


Transgendered persons can often have dual gendered sexuality as well. However, their
sexual relations are typically "conventional", with most having a spouse and family. Their dual gender
sexuality typically involves just fantasies, although they are often very strong fantasies.
It is important to understand that they are not sexual deviants, child molesters, exhibitionists, or the like,
because they are transgendered. A transgendered person's sexual activity covers the same spectrum as that in society. Having a loving and understanding spouse or partner is the most important thing for both the sexual satisfaction as well as the general well being of a transgendered person and their family.


12. What about getting professional counselling?


Counselling will only help them cope with the conflicts of their transgendered behaviour and societal expectations (remember there is no "cure" for transgendered behaviour).


13. What about their job?


Since society itself has some problems coping with transgendered behaviour, so too will most employers. Mostly this will not arise, as in the majority of cases; their dressing is confined to periods of time, out side of the working day. However if they're planning on living full-time in the opposite gender role, they will obviously have to inform their employer.
Experience shows that there are very mixed results.


14. Is this behaviour a result of any inadequacy on my part?


NO! Your spouse/partner was this way when you met them; it is their nature. They were born like it. You should not think that you are to blame for their behaviour. If you examine your relationship carefully, you will realize that they love you very much.


15. Why do they use another name for their other "persona"?


It just serves to complete that "persona". For instance, it wouldn't be appropriate to call a person who appears to be a woman, Ralph or Jimmy. You would naturally expect that someone who presents them selves as a woman should naturally be called by a woman's name!


16. Is transgendered behaviour hereditary?


No, not that anyone has been able to prove.


17. What restrooms do they use in public when cross-dressed?


Simple, the one that is most appropriate for their appearance. Their motivation for using the restroom is none other than the same as yours!


18. What is the function of transgender support groups?

 

These groups are made up of transgendered individuals, their spouses and friends. Almost all of them depend on volunteer help to offer assistance and keep the organization running. Virtually every major city in the Great Britain has at least one support group. The groups vary in level of activity depending on their membership and motivations. Many have social functions and other activities.
Most groups publish some sort of newsletter or have a web site for their members to visit and obtain additional information, which is freely available. All the support groups provide a very valuable service in peer group support for transgendered people. We do recommend they find a support group that meets their needs and supports it, so that the group support is there for those that come after. Thus seeing to it, that support is available to all that require it.


19. Where can I find out about support groups?


In today' s society, the Internet is one of the best places to seek a support group, or from the listings in the Transgendered Magazines that are published by the societies such as The Beaumont Society, or Rose's Repartee Magazine. There are many web sites that provide contact and information about local support groups.


20. Is there a support group in Lincolnshire?


Yes! The Boston Belles Transgendered support Group meet once a month in a village Hall just outside of Boston. Membership is open to any member of the Transgendered community (Cross dressers, Transsexuals & Transvestites etc.) who dress fully, as a member of the opposite gender and in a socially acceptable manner. Wives & partners, are also encouraged to come along and join us with their Transgendered partners.
We encourage the social interaction between members of the transgendered community, together, where applicable, with their partners, from the Boston area and it environs, by providing these social meetings in a safe anonymous environment, with suitably safe parking.
We will also provide access, to the representatives of the transgendered community, who sit on the LGBT, Rainbow forums and Boston Area Partnership Diversity & Equality Theme Group, to enable the views of this group to be heard. A"SOULMATE" will be at most meetings, to be available for the needs of wives & partners of members of the group.

 

For further information, help and support e-mail  belinda.wood99@btinternet.com  in confidence.

 



 
 
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