Some people feel uncomfortable in their bodies because their outward appearance does not match how they feel inside. This conflict can cause problems as people struggle with their physical appearance and the way they feel. One solution to the issue is gender reassignment surgery, which involves surgeons changing a patient’s sex. Other people opt for less complicated solutions such as taking medication or dressing as the opposite gender.
Sex Reassignment Surgery
Sex reassignment surgery is an operation that involves surgeons physically reconstructing a patient’s body to change it from one sex to the other. Before someone can undergo the actual surgical procedure, the patient needs to go through a long process of psychotherapy to make sure the person is ready for this change and to help prepare for it. Patients also need to take hormone medication to prepare the body for the change. Before the surgery, doctors also require a patient to live as the opposite gender for a specific period of time. This ensures that the patient is ready to make the change. The actual surgery is complicated and very expensive. Some insurance companies are beginning to cover some costs involved with sex reassignment surgery.
- Glossary of Terms
- The Development of Modern Sex Reassignment Surgery
- Sex Reassignment Surgery
- Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) Checklist for Students (PDF)
- What It’s Like to Choose Transgender Sex Reassignment Surgery
- Let the Child Decide: Surgical Intervention After Parental Consent Should No Longer Be Considered the Best Option for Children With Intersex Conditions
- Transgender Terminology (PDF)
- Transitioning Guidelines
- Sex Reassignment Surgery in the Female-to-Male Transsexual
Gender Identity Disorder
Some people have a conflict between the gender they identify with and their actual sex. For example, a boy may act and feel more like a girl, or a girl might cut her hair short and act more like a boy. When this struggle occurs, a person may have a gender identity disorder. Children and adults can have these feelings. People experiencing gender identity disorder, also called gender dysphoria, may feel exceedingly unhappy with their gender, and dressing in the opposite gender’s clothing is common. Feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety are also typical for people with gender identity disorder.
- Q&A: Therapists on Gender Identity Issues in Kids
- When You Don’t Feel at Home With Your Gender
- Gender Identity Development in Children
- Gender Dysphoria Symptoms
- “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Gender Dysphoria in Children (PDF)
- A Boy’s Life
- Gender Dysphoria
- Ask the Experts
- Why Gender Dysphoria Should No Longer Be Considered a Medical Disorder
- How to Find a Support Group
- The Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders
Typically, your gender is the one you identify with and feel comfortable as in your daily activities. Usually, your inner gender matches your outer gender. When someone is transgender, they usually feel like they have the wrong body, like they should have been born as the opposite sex. Some transgender people decide to take the step of having sex reassignment surgery. Others follow less complicated routes to feel more comfortable. This can involve dressing in the opposite gender’s clothing or taking hormone medications. A transgender person may change their name to assume a different identity.
- Transgender People
- Think Your Child Might Be Transgender?
- Transgender Counseling: Beyond Afterthoughts and Into the Margins
- Answers to Your Questions About Gender Orientation, Transgender, Transsexuality, and Intersexuality (PDF)
- Glossary of Terms Relating to Sexuality and Gender (PDF)
- Gender Identity 101: A Transgender Primer (PDF)
- Guide to Name and Gender Marker Changes (PDF)
- What’s the Difference Between Being Transgender or Transsexual and Having an Intersex Condition?
- What Does “Transgender” Mean?
- When Transgender Kids Transition, Medical Risks are Both Known and Unknown
- Support and Resources for People Who Are Transgender or Gender Expansive and Their Loved Ones
- U.S. Department of Education Extends Protections to Trans Students
- Transgender 101: Identity, Inclusion, and Resources
The words “transgender” and “transexual” can be interchanged, or they may have different meanings, depending on the situation. The term “transexual” is actually older. “Transgender” serves as an all-purpose term that includes people who have identities that differ from their anatomical sex. Transexual people may be actively seeking to change their bodies by taking medication or with surgery. To be respectful, always ask someone about their preferred terminology.
- What Is the Difference Between Transgender and Transsexual?
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide: Transgender Issues
- What Is Transgender, Transsexual, or Intersex? (PDF)
- Understanding Children’s Gender
- The Gender Spectrum
- Transgender Children and Youth: Understanding the Basics
- Understanding Transgender People FAQ
- The Transsexual Person in Your Life
- What it Means to Be a Transsexual