Talk:Gender transition

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This Gender related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Ah, managed to find the page. So, where do we start? Dr. Benjamin? Christine Jorgensen? Dr. Steinach? Maybe stuff from the ICD-10 or the DSM-IV-R or rumours of the contents of the DSM-V? Maybe refuting RobS' insistence that Gender Identity Disorder is the new "homosexual" diagnosis now that it's not considered a mental disorder any more? The abuses of the Clark Institute, and it's disciples like the reviled Michael Bailey (and his enabler, Ann Lawrence)? Then there's always the social sides, like the high murder and assault rate, the fact that the Stonewall riots started with a couple of drag performers and how gender variant individuals were the police's first targets in the days that followed. The fact that it's one of the few major surgeries not covered by Canada's otherwise universal healthcare system, or the fact that it's actually considered a valid disorder in Iran, despite homosexuality being condemned (the mullahs believe them to be different things). And then there are basics like the difference between sex, gender, gender presentation and so forth.

It's a lot to wade through, any preliminary thoughts? --Kels 16:02, 4 July 2007 (CDT)

Ooh, Christine Jorgensen, I'd forgotten about her! Glen or Glenda can fit into this article, too, even though it's really not about transsexuals -- it was released once as The Christine Jorgensen Story. --jtltalk 18:24, 4 July 2007 (CDT)
Seriously? I didn't know that one. But are you certain those were the same film? The book I've got as reference (How Sex Changed, by Joanne Meyerowitz) has a poster for it and says Jorgensen was involved as a consultant. Oh, and how about Lili Elbe? --Kels 18:30, 4 July 2007 (CDT)
I may be wrong. IMDB doesn't list that as an AKA, and has a completely different movie listed as The Christine Jorgensen Story. I have a very clear memory of seeing a photograph of a poster showing Ed Wood in his sweater, with the title TCJS, captioned as being from a Tulsa Oklahoma showing. I can't remember where I saw it, though, and memory of course is fallible. Maybe I'm crossing it with the somewhat fictionalized version in Ed Wood. --jtltalk 18:39, 4 July 2007 (CDT)

Er...occasional role-playing? I think that's in the wrong article, since it doesn't fit the clinical definition of transsexuality, nor does it fit the common usage very well either. I think it would fit in a transgender article, though. --Kels 14:10, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

I know it's a bit of an exagerration, but this is all a "spectrum", right? Perhaps a link on that phrase to transgender or crossdressing would be good. or saying that "occasional role-playing" is just not enough for TS's, linking the phrase? humanbe in 14:37, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, from what I know of it, "occasional role-playing" is often a social cop-out in the case of transsexuals who are trying to adhere to pressure not to transition. I've known several who went though decades, let alone years, of forcing themselves into role-playing and crossdressing situations, in an attempt to give themselves a non-transition outlet. Didn't work of course, and most of those later regret the lost time. And of course there's the old joke, "What's the difference between a drag queen and a transsexual? Five years and $12,000" --Kels 14:57, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Cool - can we figure out a way to add that to misconceptions somehow, or to simply say most of what you just said to point out that ORP is simply not enough? humanbe in 15:03, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Hmm...good question. On the one side, you've got the fact that crossdressing and transitioning address totally different needs (surface vs. depth, you might say). On the other, a lot use it as their first, halting steps on a long and scary journey, or try to repress themselves to the point where, like ex-gays, they can claim they're "okay". I'd say maybe putting it kinda like I just did, it's a bit more concise than my initial wording. Lemme see if I can shoehorn it somewhere, and it can get prettied up later. --Kels 15:24, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Okay, I played around with it a bit. Needs a lot of tidying up, but how's that look for the basic idea? --Kels 15:39, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Actually it looks pretty good. I'll try to read it through again later, though, to make sure flows well and builds up its ideas clearly. I axed the unused heading, by the way. The article looks too good to also look so "unfinished". Nice work, team! humanbe in 15:45, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Another one here. "The surgery itself, which unfortunately cannot build fully-functioning (for pleasure or reproduction) sexual organs"?? That's not true at all. Most post-op transsexual women are orgasmic, and many surgeons boast a 95% or better success rate in that regard. As to Female-to-Male surgeries (there are several), it varies depending on procedure. Metaioplasty (sp?), which is the removal of the clitoral hood and removing the "anchors" holding the clitoris in place, in addition to growth brought on by testosterone therapy and a surgical redirection of the urethra, can produce a fully-functional and orgasmic (if not semen-producing) penis. It is right that reproduction is out. In fact, hormone therapy generally makes MtF's sterile pretty quickly, and often impotent some time after. But since most transsexuals have an aversion to their "original equipment", that's not such a big deal. --Kels 14:28, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Glad you fixed it, I was a bit iffy when I wrote it, knowing that careful surgery can "save" the sensitive nerve endings, etc. But I was just trying to jump start the article a bit. humanbe in 14:37, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
It's not without disadvantages, of course. On the "feeling" side, males only have about half the nerves in the head of the penis that females have in the clitoris, although you can't really miss what wasn't there in the first place. Also, there can be issues of depth (depending on how much "donor material" is present in the first place) and the need to dilate on a regular basis indefinitely, which is a bit of an inconvenience. --Kels 14:57, 11 July 2007 (CDT)


Sorry, but the line about murder and suicide seems ambiguous. Do they commit the most murders? Or are they murdered the most? I'm assuming the latter, but the statement is ambiguous. Thunderkatz 17:25, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Sorry about that, I wrote it kinda fast. The rate of being murder victims is generally said to be the highest per capita of the various communities, and the suicide rate has been put at very high levels. However, I'm not sure what statistics either is based on. Intuitively it makes sense since non-passing, or passing but "discovered" transsexuals are often in danger of being beaten or killed, and the whole experience is awfully difficult even without enormous social stigmas. But I'm not sure how to go about supporting it. Even worse, the stats for suicide rates can be very misleading, given that if someone kills themselves who never came out to others, then it wouldn't be listed as trans-related anywhere. Same for those whose families hush it up. --Kels 17:44, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
That's a much longer response than I expected. But good luck finding supporting stats. Thunderkatz 17:47, 11 July 2007 (CDT)
Supporting statistics don't exist, because the FBI can't collect the data. There are a lot of statistics that cannot be shown to support various numbers surrounding transsexuals. The population is so low to begin with, as the condition is very rare, that collecting any stats or anything is extremely difficult. However, considering that we can presume that transgendered and trassexual people are an extremely small minority of the US, and that a notable number of murders and violence are carried out against them... well, that says a lot right there. Common divided by rare = high ratio of incidence. --Eira 22:37, 10 December 2007 (EST)
I figured as much. I've been hearing stuff like the "50% death rate" for years, but nobody ever seems to have anything concrete to base it on. In large part I expect it comes out of just what you did, use a common sense benchmark and make a best guess. --Kels 22:49, 10 December 2007 (EST)
Yep, it's pretty much difficult to find solid numbers from solid studies when you're not allowed to, or the population is extremely small. Either alone is bad enough, but transsexualism has both. :( --Eira 14:35, 11 December 2007 (EST)

potential good source[edit]

I remember a while back I read an article about the various issues surrounding a number of transsexuals who were attending a women's (?) college in MA. It was surely in the Boston Globe. IIRC, it was a very good article, and a challenging issue at the social level, too. (The TS's were F to M, changes occurring while they were enrolled at the school.) Anyone want to tackle digging it up? the web site would be humanbe in 20:41, 11 July 2007 (CDT)

Possible Angle[edit]

Since this isn't an encyclopedia article, but a RWiki article, we should really be looking at the refutation angle. My best suggestion at this point is the Blanchard/Bailey/Lawrence bullshit theory of Autogynephelia. The basic idea is that transsexuals are men who are so enamoured with the concept of women that they go further and further towards trying to emulate women, eventually trying to become women.

The idea mainly comes from Ray Blanchard at the infamous Clark Institute (now CAMH) in Toronto, but was rather famously promoted by Michael Bailey in his book The Man Who Would Be Queen, where he suggested that all transsexuals were either AGP or closeted homosexuals who didn't want to face the stigma of being gay, and that anyone who claimed not to share those experiences were either deluded or lying. It's ridiculous stuff, and has been torn apart by others before, both on the basic ideas and the research methods, but I wonder if it's worth our own special treatment?

I can dig up some links to get people up to speed, if you like. --Kels 16:06, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

Am I understanding correctly that there are people (educated people no less) who believe that some people, in order to escape the social stigma of being seen as gay, instead choose to embrace the wide social acceptance of being transsexual instead? --jtltalk 19:44, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
The wide social stigma, lack of legal protection, severe health risks, risk of losing job, accommodation, marriage, family, etc., great expense, risk of impotence, painful surgery recovery periods and ongoing emotional rollercoasters, yes. That's pretty much the concept. --Kels 19:50, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
Oh, and in this model, FtM's don't exist. --Kels 19:51, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

We could possibly refute autogynephillia by examining the various chemical and biological aspects of the brain as it relates to members of the same and opposite sex in transsexuals. I may have some papers on it laying around somewhere, if not we can always search for papers on it, which I'd prefer not to do. But if it works it works. the_anti-drug(elk murder) 20:10, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

There are two really significant brain studies that I know of, both centred around the hippocampus. As I recall, there's an area that's a different size in males and females, which corresponds properly in transsexuals (in both directions) both pre- and post-hormone use. However, as I recall the problem lies in sample size at this point. There's probably more research around than that, though. --Kels 05:40, 14 July 2007 (CDT)
People are still trying to find a scientific basis for a difference between the X/Y sexes? Sheesh... humanbe in 16:21, 14 July 2007 (CDT)
To be fair, I think this research was more trying to find out what differences there were aside from xx/xy karotype, since most transsexuals have types that match their physical sex. This research suggests there may be more to it than that (as does some other stuff I've heard about). I believe it's one reason for the change rumoured to be going into the DSM-V, where Gender Identity Disorder is taken out of the Sexual Disorder section and placed in the Medical Disorder (but still requiring a psych to do the diagnosis) section instead. --Kels 16:26, 14 July 2007 (CDT)


Bill Clinton with Transgender public school librarian, Debra Davis

It is a common propaganda tactic to avoid establishing the truth of something by instead debunking strawman misconceptions or myths, often just be asserting that something is a misconception without actually demonstrating it or citing references. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 21:08, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

Also, this is one of the reasons why I refuse to send my young children to public schools. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 21:10, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Is there a purpose to putting blatant bigotry on this page? --Kels 21:17, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
I'm a little does having a TG librarian harm your children. Please...we really hate hate around here. I'm sure Andy would be happy to host that opinion.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 21:53, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
(edit conflict--response to kels)Well, yes. Can I ask you why you seem bothered by my so called bigotry? Am I not entitled to have an opinion? Anyway, I did have a point to this section, and it was the misconception tactic. Also, my bigotry aside, if you follow the links I used to illustrate my "bigotry", you might be able to source some of this article (that currently reads like an essay). HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 21:55, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Response to PalMD: Yes, it harms my children, and introduces them to topics they are not yet mature enough to understand. Also, I was booted from CP. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 21:55, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Bullshit. It's bigotry, plain and simple. Yes you are entitled to an opinion. For instance, you could opine that exposing your children to different races raises too many difficult questions, therefore you're keeping them away from blacks, whites, jews, asians, whatever, but speaking personally, that kind of opinion isn't welcome here. Period. --PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:05, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
I wanted to add, before this last outburst, that I do not *hate*. Now, to address the bigotry. Isn't it ironic that you are so intolerant of people who wish to remain isolated in one form or other? I am a racist, not the point of your example, but I am a racist. I suppose you are too (or did you marry gentile?) What is wrong with that? I still judge individuals as individuals, but when it comes time to make a quick decision when walking down the street at night, I'll let my prejudice guide me, thank you very much. If the LDS or the Amish or the Christian Identity folks don't want to mingle with African Americans or Asian americans, what business is it of mine to get in their face about it? Likewise, there is a time and a place for everything, and my children are far too young to have to deal with a lot of things, and among them is trandgender/transsexual/cross-dressers/homosexuals, as well as other topics not related to sexuality. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 22:14, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Also, I do want to add that my racism and prejudice is merely an honest assessment--I have a very diverse nuclear and extended family, as well as diverse set of friends (including my best man who was a racist mexican and a good friend who is a racist "black panther" type muslim.) The world is far more complex than rose colored glasses make it seem. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 22:27, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Funny... I know quite a few transsexuals, just as often as not, they have families, and children, who they see often... of any age. When a transsexual comes out in your family, you can try to just hide that away from your children, but many people won't lie to your children just to keep them in the dark. If you child is able to grasp the difference between boys and girls, then you already have a way to explain transsexualism to them without having to mention anything sexually related. "It's a girl, who became a boy, because it upset him too much to be a girl." If your child would have problems getting this without graphic details, then your kid is in an unfortunate world of ignorance. You'd be surprised how many people, who would otherwise state that they wouldn't like a transsexual, say, using the same restroom as them, but then point a transsexual directly to the same restroom that they use. --Eira 22:27, 10 December 2007 (EST)
I dont give a shit if "some of your best friends" are. It is my business if others perpetuate not that much of a libertarian, and this site is not an outlet for hate. Try to curb it.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:30, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Again, I do not hate. And not some of my best friends, but my best man, and a good friend. Most of my friends are white. Doesn't matter. Why do you equate prejudice and/or bigotry with hate? Clearly, there is huge bigotry against Christianity on this site, so I don't buy the "not an outlet for hate" line. It is an outlet for hate of God, the Bible, Christians, fundementalists, those who do not worship reason (cult of reason), etc. Most Rationalwikipedians hate. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 22:33, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
IM just sayin', im not holding out the welcome mat for someone who is clearly prejudiced, whether or not you call it hate. Being skeptical of religion is not the same.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 22:35, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, it is a pet peeve of mine—the shouting down and labeling of views. It is actually counter productive in some or many cases. Creates pent up steam which can become explosive.
Besides, I like my racist friends who happen to be minority. They are honest, and I understand the world better after considering the basis for their "racist" ideas. And, besides, it's kind of funny. But if you want to suppress the way some people *really* think, go ahead. As I have mentioned in the past, I also had a superstitious professor. It is quaint. Worth talking about in the open. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 22:42, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Bigotry is not necessarily hate, but fear. Fear can turn into hatred (and violence) quite easily but it does not mean that it is hate. Education is the way to combat fear (I guess that's why we are here). Heart says his kids are too young to deal with things but it seems like Heart himself has avoided dealing with the issues. I'm not implying that Heart is gay (or transgender, etc) but there seems to be an underlying fear that is unaddressed. ollïegrïnd 08:28, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
Funny how every racist starts off with "my best friend is black (or whatever)". like that makes it ok. Jrssr5 10:01, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
Olliegrind, funny sidestep. Do you think first graders should have to deal with the librarian David now in the process of becoming Debra? I know you'd be concerned about a Christian fundementalist librarian, and the possibility that a CF would be pushing an agenda as his/her role as librarian (e.g., by displaying certain types of books at the check out counter). Why no such concern about a TS? HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 12:49, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
Jrssr5, funny how closed minded you are. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 12:49, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
And do you really think that Debra will feature children's books about transsexuals at the checkout counter? Do any even exist? About a fundamentalist, I would have no problem if they had no history of agressively pushing an agenda. I would have a problem with someone like William Dembski as a children's librarian. Does Debra have any history of agressively pushing a point of view? ThunderkatzHo! 12:55, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
I wonder what William Dembski looks like in a frock.CЯacke® 13:08, 31 July 2007 (CDT)

Reminder (first point utterly ignored so far)[edit]

It is a common propaganda tactic to avoid establishing the truth of something by instead debunking strawman misconceptions or myths, often just be asserting that something is a misconception without actually demonstrating it or citing references. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 21:08, 30 July 2007 (CDT)

I'm going to have to agree with Heart on this point...the ==Misconceptions== doesn't include any cites for the section. Asserting them as misconceptions should oughta be backed up with cites. CЯacke® 22:48, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
Maybe the heading or wording should be changed - but what that section is for is to clarify what TG is. Ironically, one of the misconceptions listed was one I made in an early draft of the article. humanbe in 23:19, 30 July 2007 (CDT)
It should also be noted that just because the rest of us don't rush to change the article the moment Heart says something, doesn't suggest conspiracy, or that it's not going to be changed when someone gets to it. I already had ideas for what to do with it, but I have no intention of being pushed. --Kels 06:46, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
Ah, kels can push, but doesn't tolerate being pushed. Anyway, you could always move this into the essay space, or your user space. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 12:50, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
Heart, you have already shown your true colours. You have nothing to say at this point that has any credibility with me. --Kels 13:16, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
You should move this to the essay space, your user space, or rework this opinion piece. HeartGoldIllustrate effects of HRT overdose 13:19, 31 July 2007 (CDT)

Book for sourcing[edit]

If anyone wants a good reference book on the non-rational statements made regarding trans matters, and rational responses to these, take a look at "Whipping girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity" by Julia Serano. There's a lot of twaddle spouted by feminists and religious people alike, so there is cause for a rational look at the subject. 15:57, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Thanks for the tip! I hope one of us can get our hands on a copy. And, ugh, you made me read HoG's comments above again... humanUser talk:Human 16:45, 26 January 2008 (EST)


If "Transsexual and transgender are interchangeable terms" is a misconception, it's one being perpetrated by RW, as Transgender just redirects to Transsexual. Perhaps a separate article is needed. 03:04, 6 July 2008 (EDT)

Holy crap, that is ironic. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 03:07, 6 July 2008 (EDT)
Please to fix, anyone who knows what they are talking about? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:11, 6 July 2008 (EDT)


This article needs a skeptical look and some items questioning the fundamental assumptions that go unchallenged. It is well-keeping in RW's purview to assess whether or not there is a clear basis for gender dysphoria and to examine the culture that has grown up around it. Just putting this out there to see if there are any opinions on how to go about this or any other strong beliefs on the matter, before I go to work.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 08:25, 4 February 2009 (EST)

WP has a vauge "controversy" section under GID that I've gone through. It seems that the biggest hang up is that people don't want to be labelled as having a "disorder" even though, technically, it is just as much as anything on the autism scale for instance. If you're pondering whether it's even real (for a certain value of real), I probably can't say much on that. It's worth thinking about further if the article wants to expand. ArmondikoVpathetic 10:31, 4 February 2009 (EST)
I can see what TomMoore is getting at, & I have some skepticism of the idea that a person can literally be "born the wrong sex" (what would that even mean?), but as the article is written, it all makes sense, since we're defining gender as social/cultural/psychological constructs which don't necessarily have to correspond to physical sex. The only bit of this article I have a few doubts about is the idea that a person attracted to the same sex isn't gay if they identify as a different gender. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:21, 4 February 2009 (EST)
One thing I have always found interesting is that people react to their feeling/instincts regarding the social constructs by "picking" one of the gender IDs on offer. I always thought that if I wanted to play with dolls, that didn't make me a girl so much as it expanded the definition - the construct - of "boy". But what do I know... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:09, 4 February 2009 (EST)

The AMA recognizes Gender Identity Disorder, and more specifically transgender issues. All medical officials that are credible in terms of RationalWiki agree that transsexualism and transgenderism are real, and are honest medical issues. As for being "born in the wrong body", there are significant numbers of articles in scientific literature that show that lower-order animals exposed to some teratogens during natal development produce animals that exhibit sexual behaviors that contradict their sexual anatomy. Fraternal twin cows born female and male share hormones levels, and as a result, the female ends up virilized such that she will attempt to mount other female cows. Rats exposed to antiandrogens at a critical period will produce only rats that only respond in a female sexual role, such as lordosis. As well, the distinctions found between rat brains of the species have been shown to be extant in humans. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 23:17, 4 February 2009 (EST)

The position is that we should understand immediately, that biology fucks up. I think this is a pretty simple statement to make, we see it all the time in birth defects. Now, the assumption that one person cannot be born "in the wrong body" presumes that biology cannot fuck up. The body develops in various stages, and we understand by teratogenic studies that there are critical periods for hearing, sight, development of the legs, arms, etc. It turns out that the gonads develop during a different stage from the brain, this should be neither surprising nor unexpected. Remove testosterone at the right time, or add it at the right time, and you will alter the development of the body. Interesting as well, is that the development of the gonads is a result of the SRY gene, if it is there (on the Y chromosome or not) then the gonadal stripe will develop into testes, and if it is not there (or mutated to be inactive) then the gonadal stripe will develop into ovaries. Beyond that, everything about sexual development is driven by hormones. If the body doesn't respond to testosterone, or it is simply inactive, then a number of sexually dimorphic traits, including in the brain, develop towards female. If testosterone is there, produced by the testes or not (for example, the adrenal glands make it as well, or it can be introduced externally) then the sexually dimorphic traits will develop towards male. This refers the the development of the penis, labias, and lower-vagina. (The internal female structures develop unless there is the presence of Anti-müllerian hormones or AMH.) --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 23:17, 4 February 2009 (EST)

So, if you WANT we could add a "biological explanation for the reasonable presumption of the existence of transsexuality as a biological fact" then, yeah, we could do that. --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 23:17, 4 February 2009 (EST)

Wow... I think perhaps you would be better suited to contribute more here, Eira. I'm going to leave well enough alone.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 02:33, 12 February 2009 (EST)

I did write the article for Conservapedia about Gender Identity Disorder that is actually accurate, and has stuck around largely unedited. It's actually pretty easy when the medical consensus is so entirely slanted in one direction that it's an actual disorder that is best treated with surgery. Actually, there's evidence that people suffering from GID actually have the HIGHEST suicide rates prior to surgical intervention. Naturally, the US is the only country that is still backward in any meaningful way about transsexualism. It turns out that even Iran pays for surgical intervention once it becomes medically necessary.
As for contributing, I'm kind of better at editing and correcting than creating anew. *shrug* --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 20:02, 12 February 2009 (EST)
Interesting stuff. You should definitely add it into the article. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:07, 12 February 2009 (EST)

Title out of sync with most of our scheme[edit]

On most topics where there is a group and individuals in it, we usually title articles after the group - ie, "transexuality". And that's what most of this article is about anyway, isn't it? Should we move it? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:51, 12 February 2009 (EST)

I agree. Transsexualism is the correct term. Transsexualism is not a form of sexuality, but a more physical phenomenon. (talk) 19:18, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

The FBI[edit]

The article say that "the FBI is not allowed by law" to collect data on crimes against transsexuals.

There's two ways to interpret that:

  1. The FBI has no legal authority to collect the data
  2. It is actually against the law for the FBI to collect the data

Which is it?

MDB (talk) 11:48, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

The FBI is legally required to collect data on hate crimes against various minorities based on race and sexual orientation, etc., but until 2010 did not collect data on hate crimes against transgender people. After the passage of the Shepard-Byrd Act, they are now legally required to include actual or perceived gender or gender identity in their hate crimes statistics. Blue Talk 19:24, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Biological / Neurological phenomenon[edit]

In the opening line we identify this as a biological and neurological phenomenon, but there is nothing cited to back this up. Is there really enough evidence on this issue for us to assert this so confidently? If so, please add some relevant citations. It does seem to contradict other articles we have on e.g. transgender & gender dysphoria, plus other parts of this article, which suggest that gender is more of a cultural & psychological construct than a neurologically observable one. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:07, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think it's been particularly well studied, but hormone therapy definitely has psychological effects. In other words, something is definitely happening; we haven't really looked into the details. EVDebs (talk) 09:00, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Yep. A number of studies have shown neurological differences in terms of the relative size of various parts of the brain and whatnot between trans people and the peers of the sex they were assigned at birth. Various studies talk about different parts and go from showing a definite difference between, say, women assigned female at birth and trans men, all the way to showing definite similarities between for instance women assigned male at birth and women assigned female at birth. Wikipedia deals with this extensively. I suppose we could copy their citations over here, though I didn't think it absolutely necessary.
These studies aren't saying that gender itself is neurologically observable (if you're talking about the social/psychological definition of gender, that is), but rather the brains of transsexual people are quite literally, observably different from the "norm," and in some cases look much more like their quote-unquote "chosen" sex than their birth sex. Blue Talk 09:12, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
My main problem with this angle, as a transwoman myself, is the slippery slope of reductionism. Namely that it would give conservatively minded doctors, who try to fit a broad and complex phenomenon into a straightjacket, yet another means to deny treatment. "We've scanned your brain and found out it's Not Trans Enough, so go away." - LucidFox (talk) 09:47, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I hear you. Scares the shit out of me. Wehpudicabok (talk) 10:58, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
This research & the possible conclusions & issues with it should be covered in the article. At present the opening lines talk about the biological aspect as if it's something proven & backed by a scientific consensus. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:38, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Well it seems the only change we'd need to make it to swap "likely", which has implications for scientific consensus, for "probably" or "possibly." I mean, the fact that this is a biological phenomenon is a straightforward definitional point that contrasts it with "transgender." Blue Talk 18:51, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
But the article doesn't seem to mention this research at all. We can't assume the reader knows this stuff already. I think it would be on-mission to point out the studies done in this area, & a lot more use to the reader than swapping around various synonyms of "probably". WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:38, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I've now added citations to a couple of studies which were already mentioned in the gender dysphoria article. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:24, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
i think we need to severely revisit this issue. see Delusions of GenderWikipedia. I have attempted to make the edit after ecoing the concerns of a fellow trans woman in a later thread on this talk page, but i am raising my issue here again because the edit was repealed autie girl (talk) 04:58, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
We adopt a scientific point of view here, and that statement reflects current scientific majority opinion. You might have any number of personal, anecdotal or political reasons to disagree but unless you have high quality journal articles you'll be shoveling shit uphill. Perhaps clearly laying out your position might help? Do you really think there is no concrete evidence that men's and women's brains are different? Tielec01 (talk) 05:20, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
thanks for your response. i have layed out my objections on Forum:Transgender neuroscience bunk removal, as this is not restricted to just this page. i would appreciate if you had any feedback for me there, or perhaps know of a better way to raise the discussion. my position is not that there is evidence women and men's brains are the same, but that there is no evidence they are different autie girl (talk) 07:14, 16 July 2015 (UTC)


Wiktionary lists six definitions for the -ism suffix:

  1. forming nouns on action or process or result based on the accompanying verb in -ize
  2. forming the name of a system, school of thought or theory based on the name of its subject or object or alternatively on the name of its founder ((when de-capitalized, these overlap with the generic "doctrines" sense below, e.g. Liberalism vs. liberalism):).
  3. a tendency of behaviour, action or opinion belonging to a class or group of persons; the result of a doctrine, ideology or principle.
  4. a peculiarity or characteristic of language
  5. an ideology expressing belief in the superiority of a certain class within the concept expressed by the root word, or a pattern of behavior or a social norm that benefits members of the group indicated by the root word ((based on a late 20th-century narrowing of the "terms for a doctrine" sense):)
  6. (medicine) A condition or syndrome caused by or associated with a specific type of organism

So which definition fits the word "transsexualism"?

Yes, I know that it's the way it's worded in the DSM and ICD, but that makes it look like a disorder. Many transsexuals, myself included, disagree that their state is somehow a disorder just because it's "nor normal", and there is a campaign for the depathologization of transsexuality (which should be mentioned in the article, really). It's no more an "ism" than left-handedness is "left-handism".

(On a related note, homosexuality was named "homosexualism" in at least Russia and Germany before its depathologization.) - LucidFox (talk) 04:45, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

To speak in defense of the current situation, the reason Trans*, homosexuality, bisexuality, and fetishes are listed in the DSM is because the DSM is meant as a general overview of neurological conditions that a therapist may deal with. I'm pretty sure it also talks about foot fetishism (for instance) and even exceptionally IQ (actually, that may be the ICD, not the DSM). Being Trans* can inhibit social functioning, and so can having an exceptionally high IQ or a foot fetish. That does not mean that listing them in the DSM/ICD they become an illness, simply that they are unique and/or common enough to warrant special mention. The overwhelming majority of psychologists and psychiatrists are fervently against "reparation therapy", and they often lead the charge with LGBT rights activists to make the practice illegal.
I, and probably most members of the mental health community, would agree that there is a problem with terminology and how we generally understand what the DSM does and is for.--Token Conservative (talk) 05:08, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Wait, homosexuality is listed in the DSM?! - LucidFox (talk) 08:49, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about it. From the way Hamilton describes it, it sounds like it's only there so that therapists have something to point to in the treatment of anxiety regarding one's orientation. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 09:33, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure there is a section on sexuality in general, which includes homosexuality and fetishes. As Wehpudicabok said, it's meant for helping people who are having anxiety over their sexuality or are not sure about their sexuality. Trans* is also listed because (iirc) in the US you need to talk to a licensed therapist for a year to be allowed to have a gender reassignment surgery.--Token Conservative (talk) 14:44, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

The pagemove was unexplained & doesn't seem justified. Transsexualism is the more common term than transsexuality. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:55, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

LF is right though, -ity is a probably a more correct term than -ism. I'm going to ask r/SRSTransSupport what they think.--Token Conservative (talk) 23:42, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I support the move: it's a characteristic, not a philosophy. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 23:58, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't care about the move one way or another, but transsexual"ism" is no more a philosophy than autism, albinism, hyperthyroidism, gigantism, dwarfism, bruxism, hypogonadism, etc., etc. It's pretty bush league to pick out one Wiktionary entry like that. Why not go with "used as a productive suffix in the formation of nouns denoting action or practice, state or condition, principles, doctrines, a usage or characteristic, devotion or adherence, etc."? I'm wholly on board with destigmatizing trans* but this is a sloppy argument. -ism is the Greek, -ity is the Latin. --Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 00:43, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... good point. I still think "-ity" sounds better (for etymological consistency if nothing else) but you're right about "-ism" not necessarily denoting a philosophy. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:24, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Creating an "etymological consistency" when one is uncalled for is silly. It was classified as an "ism" to be distinct from homosexuality and other sexualities, because it is not a sexuality. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Moving this page back. Blue Talk 20:35, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

In no particular order:[edit]

There are many elements that might be worth including; items such as analyses of transphobia or its effects in the media (such as those reported by Trans Media Watch in the UK), statistics about transition (for example, a misconception missing from your list but of as much prominence as the TERF belief is that there is a high likelihood of a trans woman regretting her surgery) or details of organisations such as Michfest where trans status is a problem may well be appropriate, as may be codes of personal conduct around trans people - for example, a discussion of pronoun use and the requirement to ask (since some trans people prefer gender neutral pronouns when transitioning) or a description of how dysphoria and social experience can make certain questions uncomfortable.

Then find a trans activist and ask them to review it once it's written, because there are some issues with your current page:

Number of trans people in the US population:

"transgender" is the preferred term among many young transgender men and women and many find the term "transsexual" offensive due to its history. I can't source this overall but google will give many examples of binary-gendered individuals with transgender as their preferred self-identification. "trans people" is therefore better than "transsexual people". I can provide evidence of a trans activist using them interchangeably:

The second paragraph of the article draws a spurious conclusion; studies show a small sample of MtF individuals have certain brain regions that resemble those in a "female brain", not that the condition as a whole is biological (because neuroplasticity is a thing) or that the brains of all trans people will resemble those of their identified gender.

The statement that trans people come in many flavours presents two categories that are not at either end of an intuitive scale, and thus leaves it very unclear what the middle ground would be; it also suggests that these are real categories rather than a reductive analysis of a single condition with a very differing presentation from individual to individual. Would suggest rewording so as not to refer to trans people as belonging to "flavours" at all.

"The level of dysphoria experienced is also dependent on the degree of mismatch between the gender of their brain and genitalia sex" is uncited and is an absurd claim - "the gender of their brain" is not even a medical consensus, there is no way that the precise correlation between "degree of mismatch" and dysphoria is even remotely supportable. "genitalia sex" is not a thing ("sex assigned at birth" is a suitable term).

Note that "Transsexual is preferably used as an adjective rather than as a noun" is a strange claim - it's accurate, but really needs more explaining or perhaps a link to an article on person-first language.

The article uses emotional language throughout - "feel that transsexuals are the male 5th column coming in to literally rape the last sacrament of femininity, their very bodies" does not serve anybody well as a communication of TERF ideas and uses a casually offensive phrasing.

"people believing this misconception have difficulty distinguishing the two subjects of transsexuality and homosexuality" is an unsupportable claim. It also contradicts the writings of trans activists and a large body of feminist scholarship that believes that rather, both forms of discrimination arise from the same source, and therefore are instantiated in similar ways.

"Transsexual people undergo procedures to alter their sexual characteristics to bring them in line with their gender identity" is just false; or

"Transsexual and transgender are interchangeable terms...." see above, eg Janet Mock; also people who identify as "queer" rather than a specific label such as trans. This paragraph is not accurate.

"behaviors of their internal neurological sex" see above.

"currently such standards are relaxed so that transsexual people do not have to adopt an exaggerated presentation" This isn't even true everywhere in the US, let alone everywhere.

"Transsexuality is related to mangina men (WARNING: NSFW!). No, a mangina man is a gay man who gets sex reassignment surgery while living as a man, while a transsexual woman gets surgery to minimize her differences from other women. The one who coined the term was a self-stigmatized gay man who thought sex-reassignment would cure him. However, he reclaimed his gay male identity and now refers to his neo-vagina as a "second anus." While a medical condition, transsexuality has nothing to do with Doctor Tran. No, really." - questioning the value of including either of these points at all.

"Due to oppression, violence, lack of legal protections and misunderstanding, most people in these rarer sexual sub-categories tend to try to work together for legal rights and social acceptance, hence the LGBT (etc.) umbrella "label"" Transphobia and homophobia share common roots and presentations; making a blanket statement about the reasons they are grouped together is not supportable. "rarer sexual sub-categories" is not really good language, especially given that "sexual" here is being used to refer to homosexuality and being trans, implying that sexual orientation and gender identity are related.

"In some instances the therapy is designed in a way almost like reparative therapy" in some instances is unverifiable and possibly entirely trivial. The following list of people who transition is not appropriate for is an unusual choice and probably shouldn't be included without consultation with a medical expert; since it is uncited, I assume such consultation has not occurred. This whole section on the mechanisms of therapy preceding transition needs either some serious citation or complete erasure, because it is not representative of the possibilities for this therapy and may therefore be misleading.

" It didn't help that, in her case, the surgery ended up making her incapable of achieving orgasm, as can happen when the surgeon isn't extremely careful about preserving the nerves intact" upwards of 80% of trans people are capable of achieving satisfactory sexual function, including orgasm, with a further 10 percent or so satisfied despite difficulty orgasming. This is not consistent with a claim that "extreme care" is necessary.

"unacceptable levels of bimbosity" is a phrase that is a bad idea for reasons I really shouldn't have to explain (hint: value judgement about traditional femininity is not a useful point).

"The common value given by trans advocates is that a transsexual has a 50% chance to have a successful transition, and the rest primarily die, commit suicide, or are killed before they have the chance to transition completely. Go team, eh?[citation needed]" Informal, nonsensical (how is "die" an alternative to committing suicide or being killed?), potentially harmful (trans people are seriously affected by fear and often tend to be socially isolated, so this claim should not appear without citation and potentially should not appear in such blunt terms at all). Same goes for the instances of transgender violence; these do not add anything to the article that could not be covered with a general statement, or statistics (potentially including a link to the list of trans people killed each year generated for Transgender Day of Rememberance).

Lists of trans people are generally considered inadvisable; it is unknown how any given individual may respond to inclusion on that list, particularly when they are not in the public eye or clearly willing to discuss the issue, as with Thomas Beatie.

Signed a transgender woman (talk) 02:21, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

I have integrated some of your points into the article. Some points I'm not sure about, but you're welcome to add them yourself and we can see how it looks in the article proper. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 08:45, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
i am a trans woman, and would like to echo the points made above. particularly i am bothered by the claim that trans people have the brains of the gender they are. this is gender essentialist garbage, and considering that there is no hard evidence that cis men and women even have different brains, i don't see how you could make the claim (see Delusions of Gender, or watch this) autie girl (talk) 04:57, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Danielle Bunten[edit]

Is she a good example of people who shouldn't have transitionned? If yes, it needs to be explained better. You cite as a reason a botched surgery, which I don't see as a good reason, just a reason for MTF trans to be careful before jumping that last step. The wikipedia article on her quotes her saying she would have been fine as a "woman with a penis", which is already some transition as she'd already refer to herself as a woman despite the staying penis. Unless there's more somewhere (that should be explicited here so that it's understandable by the casual reader like me), what it exemplifies to me is the danger of the step 3 (surgery), not a failure of step 1 (psychiatric therapy to confirm gender disphoria).--dx (talk) 10:17, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Which bathroom must Caitlyn Jenner use?[edit]

Given that there is only a men's and a women's room, which one must Caitlyn use? What about in North Carolina, or any other state with the 'bathroom bills'? IViking (talk) 00:25, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Some credit is due[edit]

Added some stuff debunking the detransition - and I would like to give credit to this reddit comment for collecting the sources I used. ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ talk 09:36, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

I will never stop hating...[edit]

How dehumanising, outdated, and binary-oriented the language used to refer to trans people in studies is. It is quite upsetting to read :( ⏣sapient_cogbag⏣ talk 21:49, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

A simple singular "they" would help tremendously. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:54, 12 March 2020 (UTC)