The difference between transgender and transsexual people is a very common confusion among those not familiar with trans terms. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation refers to an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person. Biological factors such as prenatal hormone levels, genetics, and early childhood experiences may all contribute to the development of a transgender identity. Transgender unlike Transsexual is a multifaceted term.
What does Transsexual mean?
Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Through the use of hormones and surgical procedures a person born as a male can become a female and a person born as a female can become a male. Characteristics such as facial hair and breast development can be achieved by changing hormones. Transsexuals are people who transition from one sex to another. They are unable to change their genetics and cannot acquire the reproductive abilities of the sex to which they transitioned to. Sex refers exclusively to the biological features such as chromosomes, the balance of hormones, and internal and external anatomy. With rare exceptions of those born intersex we are all born either male or female. Some characteristics:
– Transsexual is a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex.
– Has a gender identity similar to the assigned gender, which is different from the biological sex.
– A person who has undergone a hormonal change or surgical procedure for the transition from the biological sex.
– More physical alteration of the biological sex.
– A Transsexual woman can give birth to a child.
What does Transgender mean?
Transgender people may be straight, bisexual, lesbian, gay, or asexual. Unlike Transsexuals, Transgender is referred to people whose identity, expression, behavior does not conform to what is usually associated with the sex they were born in. Gender occurs in the mind while sex is a matter of the body. Gender is influenced by culture, race, class. Behavior, activities, and attributes that are seen appropriate by one society or group may be viewed differently in another. For example, a Transgender person might be a man who is attracted to women but also identified as a cross-dresser. She or He may show some of the characteristics described below:
– Transgender is a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
– Has a gender identity different from their biological sex.
– Does not undergo a transition in the biological sex.
– More behavioral transition.
– A Transgender woman cannot give birth to a child.
– Use a name of the other sex
– Use pronouns of the other sex
– Dress according to the other sex
– Engage in cultural activities of the other sex.
The transgender community is symbolized by a pride flag which consists of pink and blue horizontal stripes on both ends, symbolizing transition. Another symbol for transgender people is the butterfly symbolizing metamorphosis. There is, however, no separate symbol for transsexuals.
Transsexual or Transgender
No matter how the Transsexual or Transgender label themselves, many people do not entirely conform to a single gender definition because many people have traits that don’t exactly fit the profile. Some f the traditional gender differences between men a and women may be slight. Less than one percent of all adults identify as Transgender. A significant shift occurred late in 2012, when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders officially changed the term “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria,” to describe the emotional distress that can result from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.” In 1973, homosexuality was similarly declassified as a mental disorder. The current change suggests an evolution of thought on the matter of gender that may influence not only how Transsexual and Transgender people see themselves, but also how are perceived by others.
There are legal aspects involved with transformation and of course there is also a difference Between Transgender and Transsexual people when it comes to these aspects. Depending on the person’s state or country of residence, a legal change of name or gender change may be allowed only if the individual is diagnosed with gender identity disorder (GIS) indicating distress. Prior to making these legal changes, a letter from the physician to confirm the diagnosis may be required. Some jurisdictions require full surgical reassignment before a change of gender is allowed on official documents, while others less restrictive rules. Some do not allow a change in legal documents at any time.
Religious views differ. Different religions have their own views about transgender and transsexual individuals, and not all religions are tolerant toward this community. There is no clear distinction of the two terms in religious texts, and, though many religious institutions have condemned trans behavior, there are cultures and traditions that promote acceptance in some parts of the world, religion notwithstanding.
Ultimately, Gender is a shifting ground on which each of us stand.