transcentral

Regarding why trans people say they have always felt like x or y, what they are trying to express in colloquial and layman’s terms is the concept of gender identity, now more commonly referred to as either social sex identity and physical sex identity, which it two concepts, each distinct.

Roughly translated, the whole thing means that a Trans person is aware that they are a woman, man, both, or neither, at the same core level as they are aware of themselves as a person, distinct from other people.

Some people would prefer to argue that what this is suggesting is that there is a “brain sex” — and yet, that’s not what this is describing. It is describing a sense of self-awareness — which, while decidedly part of the brain’s physiology, is really part of the existential notion that one exists, and therefore is not part of that argument, nor even related directly to biological systems (though many studies indicate such, I’m not going to reference such as biological essentialism of that sort is somewhat contrary to existential systems such as Transcentrism).

What that means, as well, is that this description has nothing whatsoever to do with biology, and, therefore arguments about biology aren’t valid when contradicting it. It would be akin to saying that the United States army shouldn’t exist because of broccoli.

This all comes together in the core aspect here: like sexual orientation, this is part of what creates the sense of self in people, and it therefore is part of how they know that they exist as an individual human being, and is a part of that.

So the same question of how you know can be answered in as many different ways as there are people, and it is the still same way that those asking the question know what their social sex identity is.

This effectively makes it the trans version of the question “how do you know you are gay?”, with the same accurate answer “I just do, because I know I exist.”

The answer may not satisfy those seeking some sort of concrete answer, but it is inevitable that they themselves, will discount any answer because for them the same question remains unanswered in a way they would accept from a trans person, usually due to cis privilege.

— 

AED, Liberating Transness

For those who keep asking how a trans woman knows she is a woman.

The answer is always “the same way I know I am a distinct human being, separate from others.”

It is not only true, but allows those asking to demonstrate their transphobia pretty much right off the bat.

CISCENTRIC: the concept was established only in relation to the cis world. Something can be Ciscentric without being transphobic.

CISSEXIST: the concept is sexist in regards to trans people in relation to Cis people. Something can be transphobic and cissexist, or just cissexist.

CISNORMATIVE: a norm which applies only to the cis population, but is often pushed at trans people. Most cisnormative concepts are applied in a transphobic way, but are not transphobic themselves, merely Ciscentric.

TRANSCENTRIC: a concept which centers trans lives as normative.

TRANSPHOBIC: a concept which involves aversion, anxiety, and/or animus, singly or in any combination, to teams people or Transness.

—  AED

Regarding why trans people say they have always felt like x or y, what they are trying to express in colloquial and layman’s terms is the concept of gender identity, now more commonly referred to as either social sex identity and physical sex identity, which it two concepts, each distinct.

Roughly translated, the whole thing means that a Trans person is aware that they are a woman, man, both, or neither, at the same core level as they are aware of themselves as a person, distinct from other people.

Some people would prefer to argue that what this is suggesting is that there is a “brain sex” — and yet, that’s not what this is describing. It is describing a sense of self-awareness — which, while decidedly part of the brain’s physiology, is really part of the existential notion that one exists, and therefore is not part of that argument, nor even related directly to biological systems (though many studies indicate such, I’m not going to reference such as biological essentialism of that sort is somewhat contrary to existential systems such as Transcentrism).

What that means, as well, is that this description has nothing whatsoever to do with biology, and, therefore arguments about biology aren’t valid when contradicting it. It would be akin to saying that the United States army shouldn’t exist because of broccoli.

This all comes together in the core aspect here: like sexual orientation, this is part of what creates the sense of self in people, and it therefore is part of how they know that they exist as an individual human being, and is a part of that.

So the same question of how you know can be answered in as many different ways as there are people, and it is the still same way that those asking the question know what their social sex identity is.

This effectively makes it the trans version of the question “how do you know you are gay?”, with the same accurate answer “I just do, because I know I exist.”

The answer may not satisfy those seeking some sort of concrete answer, but it is inevitable that they themselves, will discount any answer because for them the same question remains unanswered in a way they would accept from a trans person, usually due to cis privilege.

—  AED
Violence Against Trans People

Trans people are constantly subjected to acts of violence on a daily basis. Some folks, of late, have asked what violence is done against trans women, and to trans people in general, and hey frame it in such a way as to describe what they do as not being an act of violence.

Violence, however, is more than merely brutality.

When most people think of violence, they think of things like beatings, the act of striking someone, they think of visible bruises, of broken bones, of swollen puffy faces and the sight of blood.

Those things do happen to Trans people.  In particular, trans people of color in the United States, but just in general, on a worldwide basis, trans people are murdered at an alarming rate that we can only estimate because of the lack of data from many nations, especially those where simply being trans makes it seem permissible to engage in acts of brutality against them.

This isn’t about brutality, however.  This is about violence on a different scale.  This is about violence that people shy away from, that they avoid looking at, that they do what they can to not have to see.

In 2002, the World Health Organization complied a landmark study of worldwide violence.  This was the The World report on violence and health. Representing a consensus of experts and scientists, peer reviewed multiple times over, and acting as the new foundation of broader support and understanding of the forces involved in tracking harmful, violent behavior, the report made it clear that there is a far more universal form of violence which is just as deadly as the aforementioned brutality.

Two kinds of violence in particular are discussed at length, especially as they affect the lives of people in minority populations.  These are psychological anddeprivation/neglect.

These are further divided into Interpersonal and Community forms of violence.

They developed, out of that, a definition of violence that is as follows:

the intentional use of physical force or powerthreatened or actual, againstoneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

The Bolded portions are what I’m going to focus on here.

One of the more pervasive forms of this harm is exclusion — more formally described as Ostracism.  Kipling D. Williams is one of the foremost researchers in this area of study, which has been ongoing for many years.  Using thoroughly vetted methods, he has noted some startling factors that arise directly out of ostracism itself — with or without verbal derogation or physical assault (that means insults and related microaggressions).

Physically, the body receives such stimuli in the same way it receives a physical blow.  That is, in controlled or uncontrolled situations, the act of ostracism, but itself, is felt by the body int he same way that a physical attack is felt.

The body reacts to them the same, with the physical blow simply involving more effort on the part of the body to heal, while with the nonphysical attack, the healing takes much, much longer.

“Being excluded is painful because it threatens fundamental human needs, such as belonging and self-esteem,” Williams said. “Again and again research has found that strong, harmful reactions are possible even when ostracized by a stranger or for a short amount of time.”

In his work, he has identified three stages of dealing with ostracism. The first stage is simply being ostracised. For trans people, the signals of ostracism come in many forms.  Most of them have to do with aversion or anxiety about trans people or transness in general — that is to say, transphobia.  Others have to do with aspects of social permissiveness — the things that one is allowed to do as a member of a particular class of persons and the things that others are not allowed to do as a result of not being in that class of persons.

This permissiveness is readily tracked in three ways, each of which applies as part of a whole:

  • Innocence: I am not looked to as the cause of problems in a social group.
  • Worthiness: I am presumed worthy of a social group’s trust and wealth.
  • Competence: I am expected to be skillful, successful, and autonomous.

This particular aspect of permissiveness is often referred to as Dominant Class Privilege.

In the case of Trans people, the Dominant Class is persons who are not intersex and who are not Trans — that is, persons who are otherwise typical and common, the majority or persons in the world.

These persons may find themselves dealing situationally with perceived membership in the class of trans and/or intersex persons, but they are not actually within those categories. This is called an intersectional loss of privilege.

The members of this dominant class are called Cis people.  An example of situational membership might be a Butch lesbian who is socially harmed on the basis of her expression or role in society and how it deviates from those roles and expressions which are culturally permissive to members of her gender.  It doesn’t change her Cisness, but it does mean that she is dealing with an intersection.

As a result, she can, through an intersectional experience based on  externally perceived situational membership, experience ostracism (and the attendant harm) in the same way a trans person does for violating those same normative patterns in terms of expression and role.

The second stage of dealing with ostracism is Coping.

Coping usually means the person being ostracized tries harder be included. The way they do that may vary. For example, some of those who are ostracized may be more likely to engage in behaviors that increase their future inclusion by mimicking, complying, obeying orders, cooperating or expressing attraction. Others may seek to connect with persons who are similarly ostracized, creating an Affinity Group (or in-group), and possibly even advocate for changes to the social norms. In yet other cases — and in particular if there is something that gives them a sense that they are being ostracized by a larger group, or they gain the sense that it isn’t possible to gain inclusion, or they come to feel or be told that they have little control over their lives (such as by being told that their knowledge of themselves is invalid or untrue, as frequently happens with Trans people when they are told they are not women), they may turn to provocative behavior and even aggression, such as when this happens between two groups that are oppressed under two different axes of oppression — especially when there are aspects of situational membership shared.

“They will go to great lengths to enhance their sense of belonging and self-esteem,” is how Williams describes it. However, ”At some point, they stop worrying about being liked, and they just want to be noticed.”

This can lead — especially among competing out-groups — to internal warfare an the creation of ideologies and statements of outright hostility.

The example most readily found of this is the way that TERF’s engage with Trans people.  At this point, after 40 years of open hostility between the two out-groups, they are constantly engaged in a series of escalating aggression and provocative behavior.  This is most notable in the way that Terfs call trans women men and then say Kill all men, and the way that trans women say die cis scum.

All of which comes to a head in the incredibly hostile statement “kill yourself” which is a direct act of violence with an often deadly outcome.

When ostracization continues for a long time — decades, in this case — the third stage, called Resignation, is reached. At this point, many simply give up.

“This is when people who have been ostracized are less helpful and more aggressive to others in general,” says KD WIlliams. “It also increases anger and sadness, and long-term ostracism can result in alienation, depression, helplessness and feelings of unworthiness.”

Trans people, as a general rule, are in the third stage for the most part.  This is particularly true for those who transition as adults, but still applies in many situations to those who transition as children.  The long term effects of ostracism are incredibly damaging to people, as a whole, and all major pediatric organizations look at it as a form of child abuse and neglect — for good reason.

The issues that face the adult survivors of child abuse and neglect are massive and potent ongoing social issues that are merely exacerbated by the constant interpersonal and community attacks that trans people experience from TERFs.

As I’ve noted previously in discussing how to identify transphobia and the argument of ostracism that is the male socialization argument, these attacks are harsh, critical, dehumanizing, overt acts of violence that are based in the presence within a Dominant Class and are founded on the principles of Ciscentrism, which is opposed by Transcentrism.  I discuss some of the specifics about how this oppression is engaged in various posts such as herehere, and here.

Williams says “Endure ostracism too long and they’re depleted. You don’t have it in you to cope, so you give up. You become depressed, helpless, and despairing.” Even memories of long-ago rejection can bring up those feelings.

His work, widely cited and broadly available, lays out the foundation for the manner in which trans people are actively and intentionally harmed through acts of violence that include microaggressions, psychologically damaging verbal attacks, and active efforts at exclusion and using existing stigma and shame against trans people in both externalized and internalized varieties, preying on low self esteem and insecurities of trans people (in particular, those going through the crisis point of transition, which is an incredibly fragile time and is, itself, an act of overt and fundamental hostility to another person during a time of incredibly personal and psychological vulnerability), and acting as if in concert with larger forces (such as those on the religious right and those within patriarchy) to create a powerful and potent mix of violence that has the appearance of being socially sanctioned in an environment where such behavior is not only tolerated, but often encouraged (social media).

This is the violence against trans people that is often talked about — it need not be a clue by four to the skull to have the same effect, and indeed, when combined with the life history of such experiences, it makes it an outright act of cruelty, inhumane in its force, and absolutely an act of violence.

—  AED

Given that she just came to my blog to whine about people calling her out by posting the truth, here is two more posts you can go and find. This time, copy and paste the following:

Regarding why trans people say they have always felt like x or y, what they are trying to express in colloquial and layman’s terms is the concept of gender identity, now more commonly referred to as either social sex identity and physical sex identity, which it two concepts, each distinct.

Roughly translated, the whole thing means that a Trans person is aware that they are a woman, man, both, or neither, at the same core level as they are aware of themselves as a person, distinct from other people.

Some people would prefer to argue that what this is suggesting is that there is a “brain sex” — and yet, that’s not what this is describing. It is describing a sense of self-awareness — which, while decidedly part of the brain’s physiology, is really part of the existential notion that one exists, and therefore is not part of that argument, nor even related directly to biological systems (though many studies indicate such, I’m not going to reference such as biological essentialism of that sort is somewhat contrary to existential systems such as Transcentrism).

What that means, as well, is that this description has nothing whatsoever to do with biology, and, therefore arguments about biology aren’t valid when contradicting it. It would be akin to saying that the United States army shouldn’t exist because of broccoli.

This all comes together in the core aspect here: like sexual orientation, this is part of what creates the sense of self in people, and it therefore is part of how they know that they exist as an individual human being, and is a part of that.

So the same question of how you know can be answered in as many different ways as there are people, and it is the still same way that those asking the question know what their social sex identity is.

This effectively makes it the trans version of the question “how do you know you are gay?”, with the same accurate answer “I just do, because I know I exist.”

The answer may not satisfy those seeking some sort of concrete answer, but it is inevitable that they themselves, will discount any answer because for them the same question remains unanswered in a way they would accept from a trans person, usually due to cis privilege.

Gender is Social Sex

Social Sex is the more accurate term for the concept that most people just call Gender. So what, according to science, is it?

There is a reason to use it beyond accuracy, however: people readily and easily conflate sex and gender, and this is especially true when dealing with people who are ciscentric and hostile towards transcentric thought and ideas. By using the term social sex (which takes a few more letters and a space bar hit), it is possible to push the discourse into the proper view, and it also highlights the nature of the division between gender and sex in a way that laymen can grasp, as well as reducing the ambiguity of terminology that using the term gender brings.

Social Sex is not a singular thing. It is a mélange of elements and pieces and parts and it is deeply embedded into the culture it is part of. Social Sex varies from culture to culture, and there are no universal aspects of Social Sex.

Social Sex is tied not merely to language, but also to deep aspects that govern the way relationships are allowed to form in a culture — stuff from friendships to marriage, Social Sex affects it all. A phrase often used by many is that Family is the building block of society. It’s true, too. The building block of Family is kinship — marriage and the ties that create family; relationships developed between people and governed by social rules of interaction.

The building blocks of the rules that govern those relationships are grounded in a culture’s Social Sex. It lies at a part so deep in a culture that a change to it truly does change the culture itself in a markedly dramatic way.

That depth is why sexism is so hard to root out and so pervasive on our thoughts, and why language is tied into the concept, and it even affects the very *idea* of sexual orientation at a level that no one really saw when Kinsey was doing his report.

Most people experience Social Sex as a singularity because it can be difficult to see it otherwise unless you are, in some way, different in your way of dealing with Social Sex than is readily apparent in your culture.

Social Sex is always social. It is always a matter of how other people see you. This is because Social Sex is what you have when you do not see the flesh – sex is two naked bodies on a table, Social Sex is everything else. Social Sex is not about male or female, it is about man or woman, boy or girl.

These three factors all work together, depending on each other and enforcing each other, and its a very strong, very basic level of understanding. Our Social Sex Identity informs our ability to see the difference between what clothing is ours and which clothing goes to the opposite sex. Our Social Sex Expression informs which clothing we choose and how we show the world we are fertile or a good potential partner. Our Social Sex Role is reliant on the other two for our choices in cultural occupation and involvement according to the rules of our particular society.

Those rules can vary. What is masculine in one culture can be feminine in another. Those rules are often unspoken, but we learn them from the time we are born and begin to understand the world around us until we die — as just as a culture evolves and changes, so do the roles and the manners of expression.

Hence the idea that Social Sex is “not real” — it is an intangible thing that cannot be touched, cannot be seen. It’s like emotions — they are there, and now that we know the words for them, we can label them and identify them and describe them to others, but there’s nothing there — they are aether. Yet it is very real, and very much a presence in one’s every day life. You are using Social Sex every single time you talk about being a man or a woman or male or female or boy or girl— you cannot avoid using Social Sex when saying that, and each time you do so, you support and further the cultural process. It is, then, a recursive power structure.

Judith Butler called it performative, using a particular word that strikes people often as strange, but it has nothing to do with performing — there is no putting on a act, and that is not what the word meant when she used it. As anyone with a decent grounding in the social sciences will tell you, the terminology we use has to be specific, and it has to have a very specific meaning. Butler approached things from a basis of speech acts. What she means when she says performative is not an act of performance, like a person on a stage. She is referring to a Performative utterance (or performative) which are defined in the speech acts theory (part of the philosophy of language) as sentences which are not only passively describing a given reality, but they are changing the social reality they are describing. Now, if that’s a little hard for you to wrap your head around, that’s ok – just be aware and note that it has nothing to do with performing in the sense of an act of performance like a person on a stage, it has more to do with how what we say shapes the way it is perceived. One rather simple and weak example of this is the difference between “like a woman” and “am a woman”. They have two very different meanings, but people often colloquially interpret them the same without realizing the differences because of the metacontext that surrounds them (or people “get what you mean”).

All of these concepts are well known, thoroughly understood, and tested both in real world formats and in logical exercises. They are as much a theory as gravity or light are such. Each of them is a distinct part, and when speaking of Social Sex, it is important to remember that you cannot confuse or conflate them or you will inevitably reify Social Sex as a system within a culture.

One of the things people often do not realize is that Social Sex is not limited to a pair, to a binary. Nor is sex. In both cases, cultures have had many different Social Sexes — and many today can have as many as 9 different Social Sexes and 6 different sexes. In order to avoid racism and/or ethnocentrism, it is important to recognize that when one states a particular number of Social Sexes and/or sexes, you have to be clear about the cultural basis in which you are making that assertion. Otherwise, you may be presuming that western ideals of what are men and women are more valid or more real than other ideals — usually without any evidence and despite western science pointing out that there are more sexes and Social Sexes than just two consistently for well over 15 years now — in no small part because of greater understanding within these areas of things like ethnocentrism and the testing that has revealed such flaws.

Social Sex is based on assumptions and presumptions made about a person’s physical sex, and governs the ways in which a person’s socially determined physical sex is dealt with in society at large.

Social Sex Awareness

Then we have Social Sex Awareness, which is about how we inherently expect others to see us in relation to the roles and expression we have. It is more accurately referred to as your social sex self-awareness, and is a part of the idea that tells you that you exist — the ability you have to recognize that you exist as a physical being, to recognize yourself in a mirror, and so forth. It is different from Sex Identity in that it deals mostly in how we see ourselves as being seen by others, and this is why many people often think of trans people as being all about Social Sex roles (they aren’t, but when you try to explain a part of your self-awareness to others, it often tends to rely on such things). While there are studies that have to do with where this is located in the brain, the simple fact of the matter is that it is a function of mind, and it is inherent in all people. It can be tested, revealed, and those tests and revelations can be reliably duplicated and have been for well over 50 years. We also know that it is not a function of how one is raised or acculturated, again through decades of testing within the scientific method, including controls (some of them horrific).

Social Sex Roles

Social Sex Roles are what we call Femininity and Masculinity. They deal in how we expect persons of a particular sex to behave or act within our culture. The three billion ways to be a man, and the three billion ways to be a woman, and all the stuff related to sexism lies here. Social sex roles are a set of social and behavioral norms that are structurally designated as appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship based on their social sex.

Social Sex Expressions

Social Sex Expression is how people present themselves to the wider world, not always in line with their Social Sex role. It has to do with primarily “superficial” stuff — dress and body decoration — that affect things like attraction and courtship. Expressions are the tools by which we convey to others, who cannot see our physical anatomy, that we fit into this particular box for a given physical sex.

Social Sex Behaviors

Social Sex Behaviors are all the little things that social sex influences that are outside the realm of the usual and the commonplace – the indirect effects, so to speak. Inheritance is part of this, kinship is part of this, lineage is part of this, even names are part of this. These behaviors are basic elements, often focused around interpersonal relationships and the interplay between Social Sex Roles and Social Sex Expressions. Male privilege is an excellent example of a Social Sex Behavior.

Internal Sex Awareness

This is the simple concept of knowing that you are male or female or both or none or some combination or variant therein. It is part of you knowing that you exist. This is what most people mean when they talk about “gender identity” – I am a woman or I am a man kind of stuff. It is your self-knowledge of yourself. It differs from social sex awareness by being how you think about you, as opposed to how other people are meant to think about you. It is how we see ourselves in terms of male or female. It is our personal understanding of that concept, void of any external influence. It is not something taught to us — people have had accidents that strip their bodies of any way to sex them, and they still know, even if that stripping happened at a point too soon for them have a knowledge of it. It is not founded in the flesh we can see, it is part of the sense of ourselves that we know.

For many trans people – in particular, the binary sorts – their internal sex awareness and social sex awareness are matched – that is, they are in sync with each other. For many others, however, these are are not in sync.

—  AED

Transphobia is aversion, anxiety, or animus, singly or in any combination, regarding trans people, transness, or trans related issues.

  • Aversion is things like being disgusted, in opposition to, identifying something as repugnant, and exhibiting strong feelings about this. Aversion is the desire to avoid, the act of arguing to avoid or reduce encounters. It includes being unwilling to listen or accept factual,statements made by trans people. It also includes not wanting trans people in the restroom. It also includes saying things like you need dysphoria to be trans.
  • Anxiety is distress, worry, concern, and overt anxiousness about something or someone that is strongly expressed in physical, literal, or metaphorical terms. Anxiety is worry, concern, or anticipatory ideation relating to trans people or Transness. It includes prejudice against trans people, such as worrying about what they do in the restroom. It also includes things like saying that transness is a medical condition.
  • Animus is a strong and intense dislike. It involves devaluing the lives of people, erasing their dignity, opposing their civil and human rights, denying them the ability to mark themselves,and outright harm to them. Animus is intense dislike, easily distinguished by overly concerned and reactionary language and violence, in any form. It includes agitating in the interest of preventing trans people from being In the restroom by law or policy.It also includes things like telling other trans people they aren’t trans enough.

So any of those thing, either individually or in combination, is what makes up transphobia.

Examples of Transphobic Statements

  • People who mutilate themselves like transgendered (Animus)
  • Transness is a mental illness. (Animus)
  • Transness is a medical condition (Anxiety)
  • I do not feel safe having male socialized trans women in my space. (Aversion, Anxiety)
  • Cis assigns a gender to someone. (Anxiety)
  • Trans women are biologically male. (Animus)
  • Trans women are men (Animus)
  • Trans men are traitors (Animus)
  • Dysphoria is needed to be trans (Aversion)
  • trans politics enforces gender and gender roles by reducing womanhood to a stereotype made up by males. (Animus, Anxiety)
  • If we include gender identity protections in this bill, it will be harder to pass (Aversion, Anxiety)
  • The second you become pregnant you are a woman.(Animus, Aversion)

There are many other examples, readily found in pretty much any attack on trans people and their lives or in any post that deals in trans issues coming from someone who proclaims themselves “truscum”. 

Some Concepts regarding Trans people and transness:

CISCENTRIC: the concept was established only in relation to the cis world. Something can be Ciscentric without being transphobic.

CISSEXIST: the concept is sexist in regards to trans people in relation to Cis people. Something can be transphobic and cissexist, or just cissexist.

CISNORMATIVE: a norm which applies only to the cis population, but is often pushed at trans people. Most cisnormative concepts are applied in a transphobic way, but are not transphobic themselves, merely Ciscentric.

TRANSCENTRIC: a concept which centers trans lives as normative.

TRANSPHOBIC: a concept which involves aversion, anxiety, and/or animus, singly or in any combination, to teams people or Transness. 

CISNESS (Cis): Cisness is the state of awareness or condition in society of someone who does conform in a majority of aspects to the way their society or culture sees them as behaving and living in relation to their culture’s social construction of physiological sex, usually due to an absence of variance between their physical sex and one or both of their social sex identity and/or internal sex identity. It exists at the same level as awareness of self, and it is, itself, an awareness, but because it is not at variance, is often unnoticed and unremarked.

TRANSNESS (Trans): Transness is the state of awareness or condition in society of someone who does not conform in a majority of aspects to the way their society or culture sees them as behaving and living in relation to their culture’s social construction of physiological sex, usually due to a variance between their physical sex and one or both of their social sex identity and/or internal sex identity. It exists at the same level as awareness of self, and it is, itself, an awareness.

WPATH: The World Professional Association for Transgender Health. The WPATH is an international, multidisciplinary, professional association whose mission is to promote evidence-based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy, and respect for transgender health. The vision of WPATH is to bring together diverse professionals dedicated to developing best practices and supportive policies worldwide that promote health, research, education, respect, dignity, and equality for transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming people in all cultural settings.

The Standards of Care (SoC): The international Standards of treatment for Trans people. The minimums level of treatment considered ethical, moral, and standard.

Gender Dysphoria:  refers to discomfort or distress (disgust at their own genitalia, social isolation from their peers, anxiety, loneliness, and depression) that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth (and the associated gender role and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics).

 

Selections from the WPATH Standards of Care:

On Surgery & Hormones being required to be trans

Indeed, hormone therapy and surgery have been found to be medically necessary to alleviate gender dysphoria in many people (American Medical Association, 2008; Anton, 2009; The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, 2008).

While many individuals need both hormone therapy and surgery to alleviate their gender dysphoria, others need only one of these treatment options and some need neither (Bockting and Goldberg, 2006; Bockting, 2008; Lev, 2004).

Often with the help of psychotherapy, some individuals integrate their trans- or cross-gender feelings into the gender role they were assigned at birth and do not feel the need to feminize or masculinize their body. For others, changes in gender role and expression are sufficient to alleviate gender dysphoria. Some patients may need hormones, a possible change in gender role, but not surgery; others may need a change in gender role along with surgery, but not hormones.

On nonbinary individuals

Some individuals describe themselves not as gender nonconforming but as unambiguously cross-sexed (i.e., as a member of the other sex; Bockting, 2008).

Other individuals affirm their unique gender identity and no longer consider themselves either male or female (Bornstein, 1994; Kimberly, 1997; Stone, 1991; Warren, 1993). Instead, they may describe their gender identity in specific terms such as transgender, bigender, or genderqueer, affirming their unique experience that may transcend a male/female binary understanding of gender (Bockting, 2008; Ekins and King, 2006; Nestle, Wilchins, and Howell, 2002).

They may not experience their process of identity affirmation as a “transition,” because they never fully embraced the gender role they were assigned at birth or because they actualize their gender identity, role, and expression in a way that does not involve a change from one gender role to another.

For example, some youth identifying as genderqueer have always experienced their gender identity and role as such (genderqueer). 

On Dysphoria being required to be Trans (in addition to the above)

Only some gender nonconforming people experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives.

What helps one person alleviate gender dysphoria might be very different from what helps another person. This process may or may not involve a change in gender expression or body modifications.

Gender identities and expressions are diverse, and hormones and surgery are just two of many options available to assist people with achieving comfort with self and identity.

On Regrets after surgery

Although Harry Benjamin already acknowledged a spectrum of gender nonconformity (Benjamin, 1966), the initial clinical approach largely focused on identifying who was an appropriate candidate for sex reassignment to facilitate a physical change from male to female or female to male as completely as possible (e.g., Green & Fleming, 1990; Hastings,1974).

This approach was extensively evaluated and proved to be highly effective.

Satisfaction rates across studies ranged from 87% of MtF patients to 97% of FtM patients (Green and Fleming, 1990), and regrets were extremely rare (1-1.5% of MtF patients and less than 1% of FtM patients; Pfafflin,1993).

On Transgender Children

When it comes to the persistence of cross gender behaviors from childhood, newer studies, also including girls, showed a 12 - 27% persistence rate of gender dysphoria into adulthood (Drummond, Bradley, Peterson-Badali, & Zucker, 2008; Wallien & Cohen-Kettenis, 2008).

In contrast, the persistence of gender dysphoria into adulthood appears to be much higher for adolescents. In a follow-up study of 70 adolescents who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and given puberty suppressing hormones, all continued with the actual sex reassignment, beginning with feminizing/masculinizing hormone therapy (deVries, Steensma, Doreleijers, & Cohen-Kettenis, 2010).

Another difference between gender dysphoric children and adolescents is in the sex ratios for each age group. In clinically referred, gender dysphoric children under age 12, the male/female ratio ranges from 6:1 to 3:1 (Zucker, 2004). In clinically referred, gender dysphoric adolescents older than age 12, the male/female ratio is close to 1:1 (Cohen-Kettenis & Pfäfflin, 2003).

Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly,1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.

Public Policies of the WPATH

On Identity Documents and Surgery Requirements

No person should have to undergo surgery or accept sterilization as a condition of identity recognition. If a sex marker is required on an identity document, that marker could recognize the person’s lived gender, regardless of reproductive capacity. The WPATH Board of Directors urges governments and other authoritative bodies to move to eliminate requirements for identity recognition that require surgical procedures.

On being trans being a Medical Condition (Mental Illness, Etc.)

The expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative. The psychopathologlisation of gender characteristics and identities reinforces or can prompt stigma, making prejudice and discrimination more likely, rendering transgender and transsexual people more vulnerable to social and legal marginalisation and exclusion, and increasing risks to mental and physical well-being. WPATH urges governmental and medical professional organizations to review their policies and practices to eliminate stigma toward gender-variant people

Pathological

  • involving, caused by, or of the nature of a physical or mental disease.
  • caused by or involving disease; morbid.
  • caused by or evidencing a mentally disturbed condition
  • dealing with diseases

1680s, “pertaining to disease,” formed in English from pathology. 

Synonyms: morbid, diseased, sick, ill, unhealthy, aberrant, medical, medical condition


The very document that lays out the treatment for Trans people, and the very organization that is responsible for setting the standards and operating on the research and scientific evidence, state, in very clear terms, that being Trans is not a medical condition, and in addition to that, they state that calling it a medical condition has been proven to be harmful to the health and well being of Trans people.

This is why professionals involved in the care and well being of Trans people who are culturally competent and knowledgeable, do not engage with it on those terms.

Dysphoria does not make someone a trans person. Being a trans person is what makes someone have dysphoria. 

Not because they are trans. But because the world they live in is not designed for, considerate of, or permissible for, trans people.

—  AED