What does it mean to be transgender?
For most people, being female in a female body or male in a male body just comes naturally. In fact we wouldn't even think about it. But for others, gender identity can be a difficult, puzzling thing. Feeling like you're trapped in the wrong body can be distressing, especially as a young adult.
Everyone has a particular gender identity. Gender identity is the inborn sense of being male or female. It is the individual's self-conception of being a female or male, regardless of the sex they were born as. In most cases a person's gender identity matches their body. But there are cases where a person feels different on the inside than what they look like on the outside.
All cultures have different rules and expectations of how men, women, boys and girls should act. These expectations include things such as hairstyles, clothing, jobs and even how people should behave. These rules are not necessarily said out loud, we normally grow up seeing it. We grow up believing that men and women should act a certain way without even thinking about it. However, transgender individuals have a very different sense of themselves. Some transgender individuals may notice that they feel different from early stages of childhood, others start to notice during puberty or even much later on in life. Once a person becomes aware of this mismatch, they go through a very confusing time. Especially when trying to open up to other people and society because it does not correspond to what society has taught us about gender.
Some people decide to transition their bodies to match the gender that they feel on the inside. This can be done through hormones and surgery. In South Africa, and in many other countries, in order to go through a transition one must go through psychotherapy and psychoanalysis for a diagnosis of gender identity disorder to be made before beginning the transition.
This creates a huge stigma towards transgender individuals because being transgender is not a disorder. Being transgender does not mean you are disordered because it isn’t something that disturbs your daily functioning or mental capability; it is simply a state of being. Perhaps this is why transgender people are so misunderstood.
Chomas, imagine being trapped in a body that doesn’t feel like it is yours? It can be an overwhelming and distressing feeling and no one should go through something like this alone.
What’s your opinion? Let me know in the comment section.
Did you find this article helpful? Yes No