Transgender people are people whose biological sex doesn’t match up exactly with what they think or feel as their true gender. This includes people that are born female who identify as a man and people born male who identify as a woman. Transgender people also include people who identify as”gender queer,” gender non-conforming, gender neutral, and/or gender-free – people who may not identify as either male or female, or reject the idea that they should be forced to identify as one or the other.
Transsexual people are those who choose to medically transition to the gender that is right for them.
Cross-dressers are people who like to wear the stereotypical clothes of another gender, but who don’t identify as another gender. No one has to rush to self-label, now or ever, and some people choose different labels that express more clearly how they see themselves.
How Do I Know if I’m Transgender? You may feel that you are more comfortable expressing yourself as a gender that might not be the gender associated with the sex you were born – it might be neither male nor female, but something else entirely! You may feel extremely uncomfortable with the sexual parts of your body. You may feel discomfort when trying to express one gender over another (i.e, some transgender men talk about how horrible it was to wear dresses or being forced to look “pretty”). You may feel more comfortable relating to people who perceive you as the gender you see yourself. You may simply feel you would be more truly yourself in another gender. People who are transgender may feel any or all of these emotions.
Am I Normal? Being transgender is as normal as being alive. You may interact with other transgender people every day and not know it!
What’s It Like to Be Young and Transgender? Some young people who are transgender feel a great relief that they have discovered how they are most comfortable expressing themselves. There are as many ways to be young and transgender as there are ways to be young.
How Do I Learn to Like Myself? If you have just discovered or recognized that you are transgender, remember that you are normal and you are likeable, just as you are. You are one step ahead on the journey of discovering who you truly are, and with that journey, the world becomes full of possibilities as well as challenges. You are getting to know more about yourself, and this is truly a wonderful opportunity!
You can learn more about LGBTQ and Two Spirit health HERE.
Special Thanks: Tommy Chesboro, Tony Aaron Fuller, Hannabah Blue