Community Conversation > Transgender talk

What is Transgender

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Susan:
There is scientific consensus that biological sex is determined by numerous elements, which can include chromosomal composition, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, hormone prevalence, and brain structure. Sex determinations made at birth are most often based on the observation of external genitalia alone.

Gender identity, also known as core gender, is the intrinsic sense of being male, female, or an alternative gender. Transgender is an adjective used to designate a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender. Put another way, transgender is an adjective used to describe a person who has a gender identity that differs, in varying degrees, from the sex observed and assigned at birth.

Transgender individuals often suffer emotional distress in the process of recognizing and responding to the complex social and personal scenarios that result because their gender identity does not align with birth-assigned sex. A clinical medical condition, known as gender dysphoria, can result from such distress. Symptoms include anxiety and depression, suicidality, and other serious mental health issues.

Transgender individuals, especially those suffering from gender dysphoria, often proceed through a process known as transition, defined as follows:

"Transition is a period of time when individuals change from the gender role associated with their sex assigned at birth to a different gender role. For many people, this involves learning how to live socially in another gender role; for others this means finding a gender role and expression that is most comfortable for them. Transition may or may not include feminization or masculinization of the body through hormones or other medical procedures. The nature and duration of transition is variable and individualized. "

In other words, transition is the process where a person works to bring their lived experience and outer appearance into alignment with their gender identity. Transition can include medical treatments, such as hormone therapy and surgery, but is often limited to social transition. Not all transgender people choose to undergo surgery as a part of the transition process. This is due to numerous potential factors, including whether surgery is medically necessary, and personal and financial factors such as lack of insurance coverage.

Social transition includes changes in clothing, name, pronouns, hairstyle, and identity documents to reflect one's gender identity. Id. "A complete transition is one in which a person attains a sense of lasting personal comfort with their gendered self, thus maximizing overall health, well-being, and personal safety."

Discrimination

Mismatches between identification documents and outward gender presentation can create risks to the health and safety of transgender people. Transgender people who present mismatched identification are verbally harassed, physically assaulted, denied service or benefits, or asked to leave the premises. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 2015 Hate Crime Statistics, 1.7 percent of all hate crimes reported by law enforcement agencies in the United States in 2015 were motivated by gender-identity bias.

Statistics regarding the ongoing discrimination transgender individuals face highlight why involuntary disclosure of transgender status creates these risks. For instance, nearly twenty-five percent of surveyed college students, when perceived as a transgender person, were verbally, physically, or sexually assaulted in 2015. This figure tracks the percentage of workers reporting mistreatment in the workplace due to gender identity. More than seventy-five percent of transgender workers take steps to avoid such mistreatment at work by hiding or delaying their gender transition, or by quitting their job.

Across all environments, almost fifty percent of transgender people surveyed for the 2015 report responded that they had been verbally harassed due to their gender identity. Nearly one in ten reported being physically assaulted because of their gender identity. Id. Notably, the reported lifetime suicide attempt rate for transgender people is nearly nine times the rate of the United States population on average.

From the Federal Court ruling that states transgender people have a right to an accurate birth certificate reflecting their gender identity. Nice to see they get it...

Devlyn:
That is good, clean writing. It's a pleasure to read something like that.

It's also a definition of transgender that makes me feel included, and seems to cover everyone. As you said, Susan, nice to see they get it. Thanks for posting this.  :)

Hugs, Devlyn

Jessica:
Thank you Susan for this.  It verifies my feelings on how I felt what transgender means to me.
Living in the SF Bay Area I am still naive to discrimination and have been met with implied acceptance from the general public.  At least that’s what appears outwardly.  Doing a road trip through the states would take a different mindset, having to be more careful of your surroundings. The more exposure we allow ourselves gives more bearing in the thoughts of the public to being legitimate.  One certain member here at Susan’s Place has done an ambassador job that has given us all a feeling of being connected by visiting face to face.  Showing us that we are here, we are real, and able to be part of society.  She is now up to 18 personal visits, maybe 19 by now.

Smiles, Jessica

steph2.0:
Is this a new ruling? Is there a reference we could use to send to our Congresscritters to help get our state’s laws changed? Having been born in Michigan, I’m not allowed to change the gender marker on my BC until after GCS. It’s the last government document that I need to change to finish it all up (other than the passport. Don’t ask).


 - Stephanie

itsApril:

--- Quote from: Steph2.0 on March 07, 2018, 02:04:41 pm ---Is this a new ruling? Is there a reference we could use to send to our Congresscritters to help get our state’s laws changed?
 - Stephanie

--- End quote ---

Ask and you shall receive, Stephanie!  Here ya go:

https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/fv_id_20180305_decision

Case is F.V. v. Barron (formerly F.V. v. Armstrong)
U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho
Monday, March 5, 2018

The opinion is 26 pages long.  But here's the business end of it from the Judge:

ORDER
NOW THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

1) The Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiff’s Motion for
Summary Judgment. (Dkt. 28.)

2) The Court PERMANENTLY ENJOINS the IDHW Defendants and their
officers, employees, and agents from practicing or enforcing the policy of
automatically rejecting applications from transgender people to change the
sex listed on their birth certificates.

3) IDHW Defendants and their officers, employees, and agents must begin
accepting applications made by transgender people to change the sex listed
on their birth certificates on or before April 6, 2018; such applications
must be reviewed and considered through a constitutionally-sound approval
process; upon approval, any reissued birth certificate must not include
record of amendment to the listed sex; and where a concurrent application
for a name change is submitted by a transgender individual, any reissued
birth certificate must not include record of the name change.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

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