For most, identifying who you are, the population you belong to you, and the group you identify with is an incredibly simple task. Anything outside the standard gender parameters would often ostracize you from your family, friends, and community; however, an increasingly larger group of individuals do not follow these constructed parameters. About five in every 100,000 individuals do not fall into the sex and gender roles they are born into. These individuals face a lifetime of psychological abuse, physical abuse, depression, and in some cases suicide. The transgender community faces a plethora of problems that limit their acceptance into society. Transitioning can be the single most important step toward a healthier, happy life. …show more content…
The term “self-made man” as introduced by Henry Rubin, a sociologist, suggests the importance of conforming your outer shell to your inner “true self.” This is an incredibly important concept when it comes to transitioning adolescence. The absolute free feeling they receive from finally being able to externally express who they are is “priceless,” as told by Liam Kai, a transgender young adult. Modern day medicine provides youth the ability to become their true selves without having to endure the pain of growing up in the body they do not identify with. Puberty blockers have been around for over a decade, allowing youth to slow the progression of puberty to a near standstill in order to give them more time to fully grasp their gender identity. They are then given the opportunity to start taking hormone therapy in order to fully transition. Joel Baum, an educator on the transgender movement, says “when we ask our children who they are, and they tell us, it is our responsibility to listen.” Society is ever evolving, yesterday’s taboos are today’s norms. As technology grows, so does our awareness of things around us. The transgender movement owes much of its strength and approval due to this. Unlike past generations, today we are connected with the whole world, and as such, we begin to realize that individuals all over the world face similar daunting problems. The social construction of gender is being questioned now more than ever. The
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There has been an increasing number of cases in the United States involving transgender children going through gender social transition. Transgender people are individuals who have a gender identity that does not correspond with their sex at birth (Olson, Durwood, DeMeules, & McLaughlin, 2016), and these individuals may undergo several forms of transition. Gender social transition can be defined as the situation in which individuals make changes in their social life by expressing themselves and live according to the gender that they identify with, instead of their sex at birth. These life changes may include using a different name, using different pronouns, changing physical appearances on the surface level (e.g., clothing, hairstyle), and even using a bathroom that aligns with the person’s identity. However, these changes do not include any medical or hormonal intervention. Thus, making it purely social intervention. This phenomenon also appears amongst children, which raised debates among the people, including the scientific community. Existing psychological literature have studied children who experience gender dysphoria (GD), defined as a sense of discomfort that resulted from from incongruence between gender identity and assigned sex (Steensma, 2013). The term was historically known as gender identity disorder (GID). The psychology community have explored the topic on whether or not parents should allow their children to go through gender social transition, and the
Grossman, Arnold H. Anthony R. D’Augelli. “Transgender Youth: Invisible and Vulnerable.” Journal of Homosexuality. Vol. 51, No. 1 (2006): pages 111-128. Web. 25 June 2015. Arnold H. Grossman, a professor of Applied Psychology at New York University, and Anthony R. D’Augelli, professor of Human Development at Pennsylvania State University, did a study of Transgender youth from ages 15 to 21. The study was designed to determine the factors that affect the youth, who either identify as transgender or their gender does not fit the normal gender descriptions. Focus groups were used as nonthreatening environment to examine the youths’ social and emotional experiences. The study not only provided insight on their emotional and social experiences but
A cultural population that is possibly the most marginalized and misrepresented in health care, is the transgender and gender-nonconforming community (TGNC). Sex and gender are two different concepts. A person’s sex refers to their biological status as either male or female, or the assigned sex at birth (Bradford, 2016). Gender describes the characteristics that a society or culture claims as masculine/male or feminine/woman (Nobelius, 2004). Gender identity is the feeling a person has of being male or female or a combination of both. It is how the person see’s themself. TGNC people connect with a different gender than their birth gender (Dickey, Budge, Katz-Wise & Garza, 2016), in other words, their gender identities do not match with the sex or the gender role expected by society.
In society, social categories are based on “real or assumed physical, biological, or genetic differences” (Kirk & Okazawa-Rey, 2013, p. 12) to create privilege, a desired cultural currency, for particular groups (Taylor, 2013). Hence, gender and sexual orientation are two of these social categories (Kirk & Okazawa-Rey, 2013), and transgender people, “whose gender expression, gender identity, and/or sex identity does not match the expectations of the dominant norm of society” (Catalano, McCarthy, & Shlasko, 2007, p. 219), are placed in the subordinate groups of these social categories (Kirk & Okazawa-Rey, 2013). Hence, the subordination of transgender people is based on the misguided premise of the sex/gender binary, which states there are only
Some believe it’s best to support children in transitioning from one sex to another, typically citing the common trend of poor mental health in trans kids unable to transition as a crucial factor in the debate. Others, however, are more hesitant to allow children to make this decision as they think children are too young to know their gender identity without any doubt. As children as young as five are asking to transition, fearing that they don’t fully understand their gender identity does makes sense. Should children that young be allowed to make serious life decisions such as transitioning? Without an easy answer, the high suicide rate of trans kids whose identities aren’t accepted, combined with the high number of trans people who are murdered in the US (Human Rights Campaign) show the how deeply uncomfortable the country is towards gender non-conforming people. Because much of the fear surrounding gender transitioning stems from a long history of ingrained gender roles, society needs to reconsider why gender is treated as such a strict binary and why anyone who crosses those lines makes them so nervous. By better understanding the science and history behind gender identity, people can begin to break the long tradition of gender socialization that creates such a hostile environment for trans kids to grow up
In America today, change is occurring all the time. It seems so simple just to make a change in the world or within ourselves, but in reality, the people of our society are terrified of the idea of change. Change can come in many ways, such as in technology, education, the workforce, etc., but a big change that seems to be an issue in the world today is the idea of change in gender, also known as transgender. Transgender can be defined as, “denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex” (Merriam-Webster). People struggle to wrap their head around those who are transgender because it is not what they were taught growing up. Even though being transgender is becoming more and more familiar today, the concept of changing gender is difficult for people to obtain and is negatively impacting society and the workforce today.
Disclosure of transgender identity is one of the most challenging yet personally liberating pronouncements that an individual can share with others. Verbalizing their self-identity can be a struggle for transgender individuals due to fears of social disapproval, rejection, loss of loved ones, discrimination, ostracism, verbal harassment, and violence (Shira Maguen, 2007).
Who hasn't been told to "just be yourself and people will like you?" It seems like such a simple notion. But what if being yourself could lead to harassment, rejection, isolation, unemployment, homelessness, physical violence, or even death? Not so simple anymore, is it? Sadly, this situation is one that confronts transgendered people worldwide on a daily basis.
This is the first time that a president has said the word “transgender” in the State of the Union address. These words were not said by any accident and should not be taken lightly. All the cases he named are actually some of the most widely discriminated groups of people in the country, as well as the world. The group i’d like to analyse is that of the transgender community. I myself as well as people who are dear to me do not identify with the socially “correct” understanding of gender or sexuality. August 14th of this year marks the 15th murder of a trans individual, an all time high. (Time) Subsequently, I’ve witnessed hate, and I now hope to have a clearer understanding through a sociological analysis. Using the theories and tools of thought I will explore discriminatory actions taken against them, how these actions affect their standards of living and even their personal health. Understanding this, then I’d like to speak on what we as a first world are repairing these issue in comparison to other nations.
The typical narrative of gender non-conforming individuals I have been exposed to is that of a “man born in a woman’s body”, so while I found myself at a disconnect from my assigned label as a girl, my limited understanding of gender left me confused when I found I was no more personally connected to a male label. Recently however, I have learned that it is possible for someone to fall past the traditional narrative of transgender America; identifying as neither man nor woman, both man and woman, or somewhere between the two. Gaining this knowledge allowed me to realize with the discomfort I find in being called “ma’am”, unease in being referred to as a “daughter” or “sister”, and disassociation with conventionally female pronouns she/her, that I could identify my gender as agender or more broadly,
Unfortunately, regardless of how many transgender role models have emerged over the years, learning to come out publicly or accept oneself, can still be a lonely process for many. Deciphering how or who to discuss their gender identity with can be very conflicting and confusing for a teenager. Without the support of others, this process can be very difficult (Goldblum, Testa, Pflum, Bradford, Hendricks, and Bongar, 2012). If the reactions from loved ones is not supportive and accepting, this can add to the stress, self-destructive behaviors, and low self-esteem seen in many transgender adolescents. Social relationships are extremely important and help minimize feelings of loneliness and depression; two of the leading symptoms of suicide ideation or behavior (Lasgaard, Goossens, and Elklit,
Throughout my childhood, I believed I was some sort of “freak show”—that it wasn’t “okay” to feel different from what I was assigned at birth. I felt abnormal and subhuman. I did not know that being transgender was real. Going into my adolescence, I began to deny myself in invalidating ways. I tried to dress in a more feminine manner; wearing high heels and skirts and wearing low-cut tank tops and whatnot. No matter how hard I tried to force myself into the gender I was assigned at birth, it never worked. I ended up feeling more depressed and less like myself. Eventually, I settled down and embraced it—I bought myself more masculine clothing, began wearing compression shirts, cut my hair short, and advocated for my preferred gender pronouns at school and at home. Even though it has been a tough battle, I am slowly becoming more and more comfortable with my transition with the help of supportive people.
Trans or transgender is an umbrella term used to describe those who move away from and do not identify with the gender that they were born. It encompasses all people who do not fit into a binary conception of gender identity or expression. It is a group with diverse identities and expressions, and that differ from stereotypical gender norms. Some transgender choose to modify their bodies to varying degrees, whether through surgeries, or hormone therapies, while others choose to live without surgical intervention, and change their body and behavior in other ways, and live as their chosen gender (Houghtaling, Melissa 2015). The most important thing to note is that transgender is not a reference to one’s sexual identity, or preference, but it is more about ones gender expression, which refers to a presentation of a person’s behaviors, interests, and/or affinities that are considered feminine, masculine, or some combination thereof (Serano, Julia. 2007). The umbrella term of trans or transgender includes, but is not limited to, people who identify as transgender, trans woman, trans man, transsexual, cross-dressers, or gender non-conforming, gender variant or gender queer.
American governmental laws which imply gender are written on the principle that there are two sexes, male or female. However, with nearly 700,000 transgender people living in our country today, these laws overlook a large portion of society(Gates, 20011). Men and women making a change from one sex to another sometimes struggle to fit in our society.Transgenders must overcome some obstacles and laws that can affect their passport, break laws of discrimination, determine what sports they may participate in, and laws that even limit their health insurance plan.
Have you ever gone somewhere and felt completely out of place, like you didn’t belong there? Maybe you have felt that way at a party, at the beach, at school, or maybe even just being on your own sports team? Transgenders have that feeling everyday, they often feel completely out of place in everything they do. They feel as if they’re in the wrong body, and that they are not who they are supposed to be. Being transgender is about the gender someone identifies with, such as being born a boy but feeling like they should be a girl and actually identifying themselves as a girl or vise versa. Identity and expression are two of the most important factors in the way people see themselves and take part in their surroundings. When someone feels they are in the wrong body or not the person they feel they should be, their entire world feels upside down. When someone When someone decides to identify as a different gender than they were born with, a transgender, every aspect of their entire life can and does change. After changing genders their sports team can change, they have to deal with constantly being judged by their peers, switching their name, and even thinking about which bathroom they should use at school or in a public place. For example, last track season at Bay High, we were at a track meet against Niceville and the 4x400 relay was about to start, and a transgender boy, he was born as a girl but now identifies as a boy, had to run in the girls relay, the officials and