What a sense of pride this would instill in the minds of gay and transgendered children everywhere, to know that there are dignified roles for them in the acting profession and in the world."
Susan Stryker, Paisley Currah, and Lisa Jean Moore, “Introduction: Trans-, Trans, or Transgender?,” in “Trans-,” special issue, Women’s Studies Quarterly 36, no. 3/4 (2008): 11–22, 11.
David Cloutier, associate professor, theology, published an essay in Commonweal on transgender identity and the Church.
If you have recently learned that a person in your life is transgender, you might not understand this part of their identity, and you may be concerned that you will say the wrong thing to them. You can start by respecting the person's self-identity and using the same terms and pronouns that they use to describe themselves. Beyond this, treat transgender people with the common courtesy you afford all your acquaintances: respect their privacy, don't ask overly-personal questions, and apologize if you mess up.
Such fractious approaches to questions of social change signal that important things are at stake—and make it all the more important for us to have a careful and civil discussion. To this end I would like to consider two questions. The first is seemingly simple: What does a claim to transgender identity mean? The second is more complex: How does the debate over transgender identity and rights impact the common good? ...
Skyler, along with several dozen other kids, both transgender and not, went through a battery of tests in the first phase of the study to pinpoint how they see themselves. This very quick picture and word association, called IAT, or Implicit Association Test, is intended to take a true measure of the strength of a child’s identity.
At this lab at the University of Washington in Seattle, a unique long-term study is under way of transgender children, children as young as 3 years of age. With the support of their families, they have transitioned from the gender of their birth to what is called their expressed gender.
After working with correctional health care providers in New England, including prescribers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and counselors on both day and night shifts, the providers reported back to researchers that they felt more knowledge about transgender health issues and were more comfortable talking to transgender prisoners in ways that affirm their gender identities.
In the 2010s, many of the issues facing the LGBT community revolved around youth and trans people, with protection from bullying and gender identity becoming major causes.
But passports, including photographs, became required for foreign travel around World War I as a means of identifying citizens and keeping foreign nationals and spies out. Binary sex/gender, then, became a primary category of individual identification and a subject of deliberation among legislators, much as it was in the racialized debates on eugenics, immigration, and naturalization in the decades that followed. In other words, the enforcement of the distinction male/female became part and parcel of a state-based interest in determining the specific, factual, and immutable bodily identities of its citizens in order to separate them from infiltrators, enemies, and undesirables, and to enforce colonial relationships and hierarchies of race, in the early decades of the twentieth century. At the same time, growing scientific interest in the mechanisms of bodily sex promoted increased scrutiny of bodies and practices—what Michel Foucault calls the medicalization of sex and gender in History of Sexuality. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the notion—popularized by Otto Weininger, Havelock Ellis, and Sigmund Freud, among others—that humans held an inherent potential for inversion or bisexuality created a concomitant need for the scientific study, supervision, and policing of sexual identity. Further, in Great Britain gender or sexual deviance, long “linked to espionage and potentially to treason” became tied to fear of German “perversion” during World War I, creating more impetus to police the bodies of those granted passports.
The why of Skyler’s gender identity isn’t fully understood. The long-held and now controversial medical view links being transgender to a mental disorder or emotional distress.
The rights of trans people in Canada continue to be at the forefront of the struggle for equality. Currently, the only provinces that explicitly include gender identity under their human rights codes are Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories, although other provinces have ruled that it is a protected ground under existing legislation. Federally, gender identity is not specifically mentioned in legislation. Bill C-279, which would amend the to include gender expression or identity, is currently undergoing second reading in the Senate.
Discussing gender identity, and transgender topics is a bit of a minefield. There are many conflicting definitions for each term. We will try to use definitions that are in common use by the LGBT community. However, there is no real consensus on definitions. So we are bound to alienate some people.