Transgender / Gender Identity


Transgender / Gender Identity

The issue of gender identity is a deeply personal and very painful situation for both the individual struggling, and the people who love them. Many former transgendered people communicate that they experienced feelings of failure in their biological sex. Like same-sex attraction, gender identity disorders stem from a combination of biological, psychological, and sociological factors.

“In 1997… I had irreversible sex reassignment surgery… My outward physical body was supposed to align with my true inner self… The net result of my gender transition was a sad, middle-aged, early retired, lonely, self-loathing person – at times without hope – and contemplating an end to my misery. People are being seriously deceived and being taught – almost word for word – the same deceptions, storylines, and scripts once believed by myself and many others… allowing self-gender proclamation purports to make life easier. However, my personal experience has shown that those struggling with gender identity… rather than having my struggles alleviated they seemed to be enhanced. Gender is more than a psychological construct.”
– Ex-transgender John Wenman

Are there people genuinely confused about whether they are male or female?

Yes, some people are confused about their sexual identity. In its Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association states that people who feel their gender identity conflicts with their birth sex or with the gender role associated with that sex have gender dysphoria, a mental disorder resulting in abnormal depression and discontent about their gender. A psychological condition is considered a mental disorder if it causes distress or disability.

Can a person’s biological sex be totally changed?
Is hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery a successful and safe treatment?
How can parents identify gender identity disorder (GID)?
Are there any ex-transgenders?
What is a trangender person?
What is the difference between sex and gender?
What about the sexual orientation of a transgendered person?
What about Intersex?

1 Paul McHugh, “Surgical Sex,” First Things, 35 (November 2004). Also in: Paul R. McHugh M.D., The Mind Has Mountains: Refl ections on Society and Psychiatry (The John Hopkins University Press, 2005)
2 “Part Three – The Full Text of the Standards of Care: IX. Hormone Therapy for Adults,” The International Journal of Transgenderism, Volume 2, Number 2, April-June 1998,
3 “Q&A with Norman Spack,” The Boston Globe, March 30, 2008
4 Kenneth Zucker Ph.D. and Susan Bradley M.D., Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents (The Guilford Press, 1995)
5 See Former Transgender Tells His Story,
6 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fourth Edition, Text Revision (Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
7 Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity. (Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2006), p. 2.
8 Staver, Mathew. Transsexualism and the Binary Divide: Determining Sex Using Objective Criteria, http://law.bepress. com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=8309&context=expresso (Liberty University School of Law, 2006), p. 40.