Every time I hear about Transgenderism on the radio, and it is nearly every morning, I ask myself "what are we talking about here?". How has this become such a prominent issue in the public life of the nation? Let's be clear, I have enormous sympathy for people with genuine gender dysphoria - the outward appearance and physical characteristics different to your gender identity.
And aside: That this condition exists rather gives the lie to those who believe gender is a social construct, and that the only reason women seek different roles is mainly because of social pressure.
So, let's dig out some numbers; a few thousand post-operative transsexuals in the according to the UK ONS in 2009:
The Home Office ’Report of the interdepartmental working group on
transsexual people‘ based on research from the Netherlands and Scotland,
estimates that there are between 1,300 and 2,000 male to female and
between 250 and 400 female to male transsexual people in the UK.
However, Press for Change estimate the figures at around 5,000 post-operative
Further, GIRES (2008) claims there are 6,200 people whoSo, post-operative transexuals are about as twice as frequent in the population as people who've been struck by lightning. But there's more to transgenderism than just those who've had the operation. Under a broader definition to include
have transitioned to a new gender role via medical intervention and
approximately 2,335 full Gender Recognition Certificates have been issued to
- Gender Variance: A person’s feelings about his or her gender identity that do not conform to the stereotypical boy/man or girl/woman category as assigned at birth.
- Transsexualism: This term is used to describe a person who has ’transitioned‘, or is in the process of ‘transitioning‘, or intends to transition from male to female or female to male.
- Transvestite: A transvestite individual feels compelled to wear clothing normally associated with the opposite sex, but does not desire to live permanently as a member of the opposite sex
- Drag: A term applied to individuals who cross dress often for entertainment purposes.
- Androgynous: A person who does not fit clearly into the typical gender roles of their society. Androgynous people may identify as beyond gender, between genders, moving across genders, entirely genderless, or any or all of these. Androgyne identities include pan-gender, bi-gender, ambi-gender, non-gendered, a-gender, gender-fluid or intergender.