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  1. #1
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Default How do you tell if you're transgendered?

    Exactly what it says on the thread title. How do you know?
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    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    Interesting. I have a Transgendered friend IRL and there are plenty online... From what I've gathered from them they've had a nagging thought or feeling that their body wasn't theirs, or at least isn't supposed to be the way it is gender wise. To that I usually ask how they know that, did you stand up to pee one day only to ruin your carpet? This is usually where I hit the brick wall.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    To clarify up front, "transgender" is a blanket term that includes transsexuals, crossdressers, drag queens, gender queers, gender f*cks, andro's, and anyone else who deviates from the binary gendered system in terms of self identity or presentation.

    So for many of those groups, you know you're transgendered if you do "transgendered stuff."

    In the more specific subgroup of transsexuals, the criteria is a bit different / more complicated.

    Usually there's a lot of distress in childhood at some point, where you realize you don't fit with who people said you were or that you identify with the "other" gender (as opposed to your biological gender).

    Some transpeople will say they "knew" when they were three years old, but I can't tell if that's true or if they are just reading back into their childhood with more coherent adult thoughts... since many human beings don't even retain memories of that time. Anyway, if you talk to any transpeople long enough, you'll see there can be a variety of experiences in when the idea became conscious for them as a possibility.

    Usually there is then a period of time where the self tries on different identities, until finally they end up with "trans." (For example, for F2M transmen, they often move from girl -> tomboy -> lesbian / butch lesbian -> transman. It's like trying on clothes, and you continually find something that feels better and better on you... and then finally you find an identity that "clicks.")

    If you want to examine behavioral elements, you can check the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV.
    One page is here: http://www.mhsanctuary.com/gender/dsm.htm
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    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    There are a few people who actually have both female and male body organs. Your doctor can check you for those, if you like. You can also have your genes analyzed to see if you have XX (female) or XY (male) genes, or you may also have some variations with extra X's or Ys, which usually result in an obvious genetic disorder, but is occasionally not obvious.

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    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Also, I should mention that just because you have masculine or feminie traits, it doesn't mean that you are transgendered. You can be completely female, yet exhibit many masculine characteristics (think ISTJ). You can also be completely male and exhibit many feminine traits (think ESFJ).

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    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    As Lily said there are some cases of genetics being different. The X female and XYY and XXY male do occur, although I think in humans the fetus would die before birth. Hormone balances can change physical characteristics creating XY males with female anatomy or XX females with male anatomy so it comes to reason such effects could be lessened and create a sense of gender different from what chromosomes alone would indicate.
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  7. #7
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueGray View Post
    As Lily said there are some cases of genetics being different. The X female and XYY and XXY male do occur, although I think in humans the fetus would die before birth. Hormone balances can change physical characteristics creating XY males with female anatomy or XX females with male anatomy so it comes to reason such effects could be lessened and create a sense of gender different from what chromosomes alone would indicate.
    You're mostly right, but humans are actually viable (though usually infertile but maybe some exceptions) with these genetics:

    XXY (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klinefelter%27s_syndrome)
    XXX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_X_syndrome)
    XYY (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XYY_syndrome)
    X female (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_syndrome)

    And probably others. The X and Y chromosomes are actually remarkable in the relatively small effects you see losing/gaining them (compared to other chromosomes)

    (ps - not a good idea to google "xxx female". I wasn't thinking at all )

    edit: to the best of my knowledge this isn't related to transgender..ness? at all. As I recall even cases like the XY females are typically female-identified, although I'm sure some exceptions might exist that I don't know about. This sorta makes sense because all the male-female differences that we know about are caused directly by the Y chromosome, so if it's not activating (I would suspect the mechanism for most XY females), you wouldn't see any of the "male" features, including brain differences. Of course, science doesn't really understand transgender issues at all yet, so who knows really.
    -end of thread-

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    Interesting. With how severe chromosome problems are on other chromosomes I wasn't expecting that it would be so common. It isn't surprising to see that XYY is the most normal of the abnormalities, though.

    I would imagine that an XY male that had problems in the Y activating but not complete dysfunction like the XY female might have a feeling of being female but neither the chromosomes nor the phenotype of a female. Having the dysfunction occur later in life would also create hormonal differences to create a feeling of being female when the hormones have already created the male phenotype.
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  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    A lot of the conversation in this thread is actually discussing what is known as the intersexed condition/community rather than transgender per se, although there has been a lot of conversation within the last decade about whether transgender and transsexuality is simply a lesser form of the intersexed condition, where the body is actually viable (reproductively) with the apparent gender while brain structure has not differentiated to match. Experiments with rats and other animals has shown the impact of changing hormonal makeup in utero at specific windows of time upon sexual behavior in the adult animal. However, we can only really witness sexual behavior in animals, since the animal itself doesn't seem to be in a position to describe its "gender identity" to us.

    Chromosomes are important only because a Y chromosome knocks the developing fetus into a masculine track (consider the Y chromosome to be a "blueprint" so to speak)... but there are many ways that the fetus can be knocked back off track, just as when the contractor goes to build the house, he can choose to deviate from the blueprints in question or might substitute other building materials or change the layout of the planned building based on immediate events.

    The majority of transpeople, if tested, do not seem to have any issues with their chromosones. Only a very small percentage actually have Klinefelter's or other sex-related genetic conditions. So whatever is causing the transgender identity issues comes from something else besides just the issue of whether one has XX or XY (or some variation of)chromosomes.

    Note the hormonal shifts typically have to occur during particular windows of development to result in identity issues. Once identity is established, feminizing males and masculinizing females seems to create transgender people rather than fixing them. (Note the case studies on normal XY males who have been surgically altered and raised as female, for example. A percentage seem to adjust to some degree, but a strong percentage don't adjust at all and still identify as male.) It's not a lot different than giving testosterone to gay males; instead of making them straight, it typically just increases sex drive (for males). Giving testosterone to those who identify as pre-op M2F just seems to increase the dysphoria, not fix it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    Interesting. I have a Transgendered friend IRL and there are plenty online... From what I've gathered from them they've had a nagging thought or feeling that their body wasn't theirs, or at least isn't supposed to be the way it is gender wise. To that I usually ask how they know that, did you stand up to pee one day only to ruin your carpet? This is usually where I hit the brick wall.
    It's probably better to hit the brick wall than your carpet.

    About the only way to get it across would be one day for you to wake up in a female body or even ANY other sort of body (dog, cat, whatever)... while remembering who you were... and have the rest of the world treat you according to your new form.

    Aside from practical issues, gender also is directly relevant in social mores about dating and relationships and love... thus impacting who we are allowed to date and not date and build "true love" with in our culture. So you've not only got the body issue and feeling like you are not yourself, you've also got the whole LGB experience where society still tends to ostracize/regulate minority sexual preferences. Double whammy.

    Also, I should mention that just because you have masculine or feminie traits, it doesn't mean that you are transgendered. You can be completely female, yet exhibit many masculine characteristics (think ISTJ). You can also be completely male and exhibit many feminine traits (think ESFJ).
    Which is an important point.

    T women and F guys still typically have the appropriate gender identity, regardless of how their traits pan out on the social scale. They just might have issues and wonder about themselves from time to time just due to the social challenges they have to process, but typically they still have a traditionally-gendered sense of self.
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  10. #10
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    This is a very interesting and educational discussion - especially Jennifer's posts.

    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    (ps - not a good idea to google "xxx female". I wasn't thinking at all )
    cracked me up though-- hahhah!!
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