Author Topic: So what IS transgender, anyway?  (Read 10500 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Captain Jack Harkness

  • Petter, Brony, and All-Around Cartoon Addict
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
  • Gender: Male
  • Or as a friend calls him, Captain Jack Hotness!
So what IS transgender, anyway?
« on: October 30, 2012, 02:35:59 am »
Okay, forgive my ignorance, but I would like someone to explain what it means to be a transgender.  I mean, I suppose it has something to do with associating with the gender you weren't born as, but what does that mean practically?  I'm not sure I get it.

Does it mean that you were interested in things marketed/intended "exclusively" for the opposite sex growing up?  Seriously, I'd love to be enlightened on what makes a transgendered person different than a cis person.

Note:  The thread is in Religion & Philosophy because I'm not really sure where else to stick it.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 02:38:50 am by B-Man »
My friend's blog.  Check it out!

I blame/credit The Doctor with inspiring my name change.

Offline unknown

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1031
  • Gender: Female
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 02:50:34 am »
Wow, I came across this thread right after I closed a tumblr tag search of "transtrender".  That's weird.  Anyway, I'm afraid I can't answer your question, but I will advise you not to try to find the answer on tumblr.  They can't seem to figure out what makes a true transgender.  They won't even agree on whether your first paragraph is correct.  Some say you have to experience dysphoria with your body, some say you can love your body and still be trans, some say you don't have to experience physical dysphoria but can experience social dysphoria and that'll mean you're trans, some say that they're trans even though they never had the feeling of being born in the wrong body . . . . Honestly, it's one giant shitstorm.

Now I want to know what it means to be transgender.

Offline Smurfette Principle

  • Will Blind You With Library Science!
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1639
  • Gender: Female
  • Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 03:22:15 am »
Going to let lovelies like Eric take this one, but quick note:

*a trans person is a trans person, not "a transgender." A trans woman is a woman, a trans man is a man. A trans woman may have a penis but she is still a woman.
*a trans person may act stereotypically like their gender (super macho or super femme), or they might not. You can have tomboy trans women and feminine trans men. This does not invalidate their gender identity anymore than being a cis tomboy makes you a man.
*being trans is separate from orientation. There are gay or straight or bi or pan or whatever trans people.
*sometimes people are not strictly one binary gender or the other. There are genderfluid/genderqueer people, agender people, or third-gender people.
* bisexual people are not inherently transphobic and anyone who says that is an asshole.

Offline Captain Jack Harkness

  • Petter, Brony, and All-Around Cartoon Addict
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
  • Gender: Male
  • Or as a friend calls him, Captain Jack Hotness!
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 03:29:07 am »
Going to let lovelies like Eric take this one, but quick note:

*a trans person is a trans person, not "a transgender." A trans woman is a woman, a trans man is a man. A trans woman may have a penis but she is still a woman.
*a trans person may act stereotypically like their gender (super macho or super femme), or they might not. You can have tomboy trans women and feminine trans men. This does not invalidate their gender identity anymore than being a cis tomboy makes you a man.
*being trans is separate from orientation. There are gay or straight or bi or pan or whatever trans people.
*sometimes people are not strictly one binary gender or the other. There are genderfluid/genderqueer people, agender people, or third-gender people.
* bisexual people are not inherently transphobic and anyone who says that is an asshole.

Okay then.  I appreciate the effort, but I'm not sure that makes things much clearer.  I mean, if that's the definition of what a trans person is, then...how the hell are they different than someone who's cis?

So yeah.  I'm still confused.
My friend's blog.  Check it out!

I blame/credit The Doctor with inspiring my name change.

Offline Witchyjoshy

  • SHITLORD THUNDERBASTARD!!
  • Kakarot
  • ******
  • Posts: 9044
  • Gender: Male
  • Thinks he's a bard
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 03:39:05 am »
The way I understand it is...

Cisgendered is when one's mental gender matches one's physical sex.

Transgendered is when one's mental gender does not match one's physical sex.

(Saying "a woman trapped in a man's body" or vice versa would be pretty accurate, as far as I know)
Mockery of ideas you don't comprehend or understand is the surest mark of unintelligence.

Even the worst union is better than the best Walmart.

Caladur's Active Character Sheet

Offline Her3tiK

  • Suffers in Sanity
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1940
  • Gender: Male
  • Learn to Swim
    • HeretiK Productions
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 03:57:38 am »
Going to let lovelies like Eric take this one, but quick note:

*a trans person is a trans person, not "a transgender." A trans woman is a woman, a trans man is a man. A trans woman may have a penis but she is still a woman.
*a trans person may act stereotypically like their gender (super macho or super femme), or they might not. You can have tomboy trans women and feminine trans men. This does not invalidate their gender identity anymore than being a cis tomboy makes you a man.
*being trans is separate from orientation. There are gay or straight or bi or pan or whatever trans people.
*sometimes people are not strictly one binary gender or the other. There are genderfluid/genderqueer people, agender people, or third-gender people.
* bisexual people are not inherently transphobic and anyone who says that is an asshole.

Okay then.  I appreciate the effort, but I'm not sure that makes things much clearer.  I mean, if that's the definition of what a trans person is, then...how the hell are they different than someone who's cis?

So yeah.  I'm still confused.
I seriously have a hard time coming to any conclusion other than these terms are being made up on a whim.

Particle physics makes more sense sometimes.
Her3tik, you have groupies.
Ego: +5

There are a number of ways, though my favourite is simply to take them by surprise. They're just walking down the street, minding their own business when suddenly, WHACK! Penis to the face.

Offline Art Vandelay

  • Greatest Person to Ever Grace this Shitty Forum
  • Kakarot
  • ******
  • Posts: 9206
  • Gender: Male
  • Check Your Privilege
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 04:14:17 am »
The wiki article on transgenderism gives you the medical side of things, if that's what you're after. It's probably the most advisable course of action, seeing as it's an extremely emotional issue for a lot of people, and as such asking the internet will likely give you a bullshit answer.

Offline Sylvana

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 1016
  • Gender: Female
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 04:56:54 am »
Going to let lovelies like Eric take this one, but quick note:

*a trans person is a trans person, not "a transgender." A trans woman is a woman, a trans man is a man. A trans woman may have a penis but she is still a woman.

A little more extrapolation here. A transgender person, is someone who identifies as a gender that is not the same as their physical sex. Hence why a trans woman is a woman because despite being transgender in a medial sense, the identity is that of a woman. This has absolutely no regards for physical sex.

A cisgender person is someone whose gender identity matches their sex at birth. The primary notion of cis and trans is the alignment or incongruity of ones gender identity to ones sex at birth. Hence a post operative transsexual who is legally considered to be their preferred sex and gender, is still considered to be trans and not cis, because their gender identity is still different from their sex at birth regardless of their current sex.

I hope this helps clarify thing a little.

Of course you can always throw a spanner in the works by trying to figure out the distinction between transgender and transsexual. I will be honest that I have not been able to truly figure out the distinction here. For me I have categorized it as a transgender person is someone who identifies at the gender opposite to their birth sex. A transsexual is someone in the process or who has completed physically transitioning from their birth sex to their identified sex and gender. In a way, for me, all transsexuals are transgender, but not all transgender people are transsexuals. I know this is not the correct or strict definition of the two terms. I was unable to figure that out correctly, so this is the best my mind could come up with.

Offline Søren

  • Russian Lush
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2486
  • Ни шагу назад
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 05:05:05 am »
The way I understand it is...

Cisgendered is when one's mental gender matches one's physical sex.

Transgendered is when one's mental gender does not match one's physical sex.

(Saying "a woman trapped in a man's body" or vice versa would be pretty accurate, as far as I know)

I would just leave it at this definition. It's good enough. Throwing more into it turns into "hng....my brain"
Faisons lever l'étoile du mérite passé.  Le monde a besoin de lumière,  Le monde a besoin de la France,  La France a besoin de tous les Français.

QueenofHearts

  • Guest
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 05:30:33 am »
Trans & Cis are just two different things. For example, I was born male, but now live as female. I would like to believe if you saw me in public, you wouldn't think anything of me and just assume I was naturally female. Anyways, since I was born male and live as female, I'm trans. Likewise, if one is born female but desires to live as, or does live as, male, they too are trans. The prefix in these instances is "trans-" and the suffix is the gender we desire to live as. Thus, I'm "transfemale" or a "transwoman." Conversely, for most people, nature gets the whole gender thing right and they are fully satisfied living as the gender nature gave them. These people are cis. So, therefore, if you're (general you, but mostly directed at B-Man for asking the question) satisfied being male and don't desire to live as or be female, you are a cis-man.

The whole trans/cis thing can be difficult to understand if you're cis. For the most part, you only have yourself as a point of reference so it can be difficult to understand how one can not identify as the gender nature ascribed them. It also doesn't help that most people could go their whole lives and not meet (or not know they've met) a transperson. The thing to remember is that just because someone is born with male parts doesn't mean they identify as male. Gender is in the brain and not in the pants.

Does it mean that you were interested in things marketed/intended "exclusively" for the opposite sex growing up?  Seriously, I'd love to be enlightened on what makes a transgendered person different than a cis person.

As per this, it can differ from some trans-people to other. It's kind of a nature v. nurture thing and I've heard example of both. I know that for me I definitely gravitated towards girl things; toys, shoes, clothes, activities, etc all while my parents tried to push male toys & things unto me. Using transwomen here for simplicity, some of us at a young age may be successfully socialized to like boy toys, clothes, activities, but sadly it just means the gender issue will pop up later in life. Likewise, to build off of Smurfy's 2nd point, socialization can play a role in this too. I know I can be super femmie or rather masculine acting for a female. On the one hand, I do enjoy doing feminine things, listening to girlie pop music (love Lady Gaga), or I guess acting more stereotypically female. On the other hand, I still play pokemon, love metal music as well, and keep my nails short because I can't give up guitar (all things I kind of picked up from trying to be male). While I don't think I'd play guitar if I was born female, I do enjoy it now and can't imagine giving it up (as I'm sure is the same with other stereotypically "male" things).

For all practical terms, it meant that I was born with male parts, everyone assumed I was a guy, and I eventually came out and decided to live as female though various medicines & therapies, and maybe eventually surgeries as well. It means when you see me, hopefully, you assume I was born female in spite of the fact I wasn't.

Also, as Iosa said, tumblr is the last place you should look for an answer as many people try to shoe horn the "trans" label unto themselves. Smurfy gave a good explanation and if you have further questions, I would suggest you think more about what you're trying to ask. Not that you're being offensive, but you're being very vague and its hard to explain what being transgendered is anymore than the answers you've been given (born in the wrong body, seeking to live as the "other" sex). Anyways, if you have questions, I wouldn't mind answering them, and I'm sure other posters wouldn't mind as well (though don't hold me to this since I don't wish to speak for others)

Offline Captain Jack Harkness

  • Petter, Brony, and All-Around Cartoon Addict
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
  • Gender: Male
  • Or as a friend calls him, Captain Jack Hotness!
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 05:53:13 am »
Thanks, Queen of Hearts.  I think that helps a little.

I just suppose my major beef with the idea of transgender is that I find some, but not all, gender expectations to be a bit arbitrary and abstract to begin with.  Hell, they fucking make razors different colors to appeal to different the different genders, even though as far as I can tell there's not much of a difference in performance.  You know, it's all of that (IMO) stupid psychological marketing appeal bullshit that companies do.
My friend's blog.  Check it out!

I blame/credit The Doctor with inspiring my name change.

Offline erictheblue

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 676
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 07:24:02 am »
I just suppose my major beef with the idea of transgender is that I find some, but not all, gender expectations to be a bit arbitrary and abstract to begin with.  Hell, they fucking make razors different colors to appeal to different the different genders, even though as far as I can tell there's not much of a difference in performance.

There is a difference in razors marketed to men and women. Women's razors are (mostly) intended to shave the legs, whereas men's razors are intended for the face. So the heads of a man's razor tends to move more since it has to reach the weird places and angles on a face. My fiancee (who has an endocrine disorder that causes her to grow some facial hair even though she is XX-female) used to shave her face with a woman's razor and kept cutting her face because the razor was not designed to do that. After I encouraged her to switch to a man's razor, she stopped nicking her jawline.

I do have a problem with gender-specific marketing to kids. We watch a lot of Cartoon Network, and there are very few toy commercials that show boys and girls playing with the same toy. (Play-Doh is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.) Same with baby clothes. When I've gone shopping with my mother-in-law for clothes for my (4-month old) niece, I've strongly encouraged her to buy clothes that are not pink, but yellow, blue, tan, etc. I foresee me buying gender-neutral stuff for the kid as she grows up, and encouraging her to play in the mud.  ;D

OK, back to the topic at hand.  Sylvana and Queenofhearts pretty much covered what I was going to say. I know there is supposed to be a difference between "transsexual" and "transgender," but I've never figured out what it is.
[Anonymous is] like... an internet Cthulu... you don't want to rouse them, but at the same time... woah think of the beautiful chaos! - SpaceProg

QueenofHearts

  • Guest
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 07:30:15 am »
Thanks, Queen of Hearts.  I think that helps a little.

I just suppose my major beef with the idea of transgender

Please, don't say your "major beef" nor refer it as "the idea of transgender." Those choice of words come off as hostile and I was initially tempted to just cease responding in this thread.

is that I find some, but not all, gender expectations to be a bit arbitrary and abstract to begin with.  Hell, they fucking make razors different colors to appeal to different the different genders, even though as far as I can tell there's not much of a difference in performance.  You know, it's all of that (IMO) stupid psychological marketing appeal bullshit that companies do.

The flaw with this train of thought is that it assumes that just because gender expectations are arbitrary, then gender identity (identifying as male/female making one cis/trans) is likewise arbitrary. The key difference is that gender expectations are entirely social while gender identity is internal. While boys liking cars, girls liking pink, or women being differential are all arbitrary social norms, gender identity is certainly not.

And as far as I know a transsexual is a person who appears to be gender "A" although they have gender "B" parts. Therefore, until bottom surgery, transgender people are both transgendered and transsexual. Although a transgendered person is always transgendered. Not sure if I have the understanding right, but eh.

Offline Sleepy

  • Fuck Yes Sunshine In a Bag
  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 4591
  • Gender: Female
  • Danger zone
    • Toki Matters
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 11:02:18 am »
Everyone else has pretty thoroughly explained the topic, but I also want to add that there have been studies using MRIs to look at the brains of transmen and transwomen to see any differences from cis-men and cis-women. And there were differences -- male-to-female transsexuals had patterns resembling those of a standard female, and female-to-male transsexuals had patterns resembling those of a standard male. There are differences in male and female brains, after all, and this article gives an example of how brain structure correlates with gender, not necessarily biological sex.
Guys, this is getting creepy. Can we talk about cannibalism instead?

If a clown eats salmon on Tuesday, how much does a triangle weigh on Jupiter? Ask Mr. Wiggins for 10% off of your next dry cleaning bill. -Hades

Offline Cataclysm

  • The Beast
  • *****
  • Posts: 2458
Re: So what IS transgender, anyway?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 11:20:53 am »

* bisexual people are not inherently transphobic and anyone who says that is an asshole.


...

Who the hell says this?
I'd be more sympathetic if people here didn't act like they knew what they were saying when they were saying something very much wrong.

Quote
Commenter Brendan Rizzo is an American (still living there) who really, really hates America. He used to make posts defending his country from anti-American attacks but got fed up with it all.