Lesson 401 – Transgender Introduction

Introduction

Dr. Colt Keo-Meier speaks about what it means to be transgender, how to talk about being transgender and how to be an ally.

All people deserve to be treated with dignity, kindness and respect. Most people learn about their gender when they are told by others what they can or cannot do, what is acceptable for them.  We are told, what we can play with, what we can wear, how we should move…

Biological Sex: What Is It?
Biological, physical and anatomical sex are all the same thing.  We are each assigned a physical sex at birth based on our genitals.

In reality there are four parts to physical sex: external genitalia, internal genitalia, hormones after puberty and chromosomes. Unfortunately,  physical sex  has been boiled down to the external genitalia even though it is much more than that.

An intersex person has variations of reproductive organs that make it difficult to assign a sex according to the usual binary of male or female.  One in every 2,000 people is born with variations of internal and/or external sex anatomy resulting in bodies that can’t be classified as the typical male or female. Some variations will not show up until later in life. Intersex people are not rare, they are just invisible.

Sexual Orientation
Sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are all different characteristics of a person.

Sexual Orientation is a term used to refer to an individual’s emotional and/or sexual attraction to those of the same and/or another gender. A transgender person has a sexual orientation just like everyone else.

Gender Expression
Gender expression refers to how you express yourself externally to show how you feel internally.

Many people confuse gender expression with sexuality.  They may assume that your gender expression defines who you are attracted to.  Expression and sexuality are two separate characteristics of a person.  Some examples are:

  1. A heterosexual man can be effeminate.
  2. A heterosexual woman can be butch.
  3. A gay man can be very masculine.

Biological Basis for Transgenderism
There is now definite biological evidence supporting why transgender people identify as they do before hormone therapy.

There is new biological evidence of  differences in the brain structure of a transgender person (prior to hormone treatment) as compared to a cisgender person’s brain.

NEXT LESSON