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Transsexualism & gender dysphoria - in gay surrey


The Rubicon Society


Many of you will have heard about or read in the press, stories to do with the condition known as Transsexualism. Unfortunately, many of these stories do little to inform the readers of what is actually involved in such cases. They tend to dwell on the aspects that will sell newspapers. This is not surprising, as that is the journalist's job.

Rachel Hopkins has written a pamphlet (extracts below) in the hope that we can all redress the balance. Firstly, lets aim to explain the whole subject which falls under the umbrella title of GENDER DYSPHORIA.

It should be understood that not all Gender Dysphoric persons will go on to complete reassignment surgery.

There follows a list of terms and definitions most commonly used.
GENDER. This is to do mainly with the culture in which we live. It is how we perceive others and ourselves. It can be expressed as femininity or masculinity. It differs greatly depending on where you are in the world. It has little to do with Physical Sex.
GENDER IDENTITY. This is the Gender to which we identify or feel that we belong, ie; Feminine or Masculine.
PHYSICAL SEX. This is simply the sex to which body organs match, ie; Female or Male. There is a rare condition where the sex of a person is ambiguous, this is known as Hermaphrodite or Intersex. Most intersex people are not Gender Dysphoric.
GENDER ROLE. This is to do with how we behave in society. Whether or not we follow accepted behaviour patterns for 'women' or 'men'. Society at large determines what is acceptable, from manner of dress, (society has a strict stereotypical attitude to dress code) to relationships. These are variable according to location, historical time, occasion, culture etc.
ATTRIBUTED GENDER. This is how we are perceived by others at any given time, an unconscious action determining a person as being either female or male. This happens regardless of mode of dress and is dependent on how we express our Gender.
GENDER DYSPHORIA. This occurs when a person's physical sex does not match their gender as perceived by themselves. It should be noted that this refers to all cases whether or not surgery is actively sought.
TRANSVESTITE. This is the medical term for someone who dresses in the clothing of the opposite sex. Most transvestites are not transsexual, they do not wish to change their sexual characteristics. These are also known as cross dressers. They are mostly happy to change back and forth, from one role to another.
TRANSSEXUAL. These are people who feel beyond doubt that they need to change their sexual characteristics. They actively seek Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS). They are not at all comfortable with their assigned role. Most complete all the requirements to qualify for surgery, although not all transsexuals are suitable candidates. Sometimes medical reasons or fear of surgery prevent reassignment taking place (See below). It must be stressed that many people having undergone this process will no longer identify as Transsexual and with the introduction of the gender recognition act, have birth certificates, (see the section on gender recognition act), and are living ordinary lives and wish to leave the past behind.
TRANSITION. This is a term used to describe the sequence of events leading up to the change from the gender assigned at birth to that of the opposite gender. At this time the person may identify as transgender.
TRANSGENDERIST. This is a term used to describe a person who chooses to live in the role of the opposite gender, without the aid of surgery. A transgenderist does not normally intend to undergo major surgery. This can be for many reasons. They do not however, wish to change back again, once in the chosen role, they live permanently in that role. Gender recognition certificates can be obtained regardless of surgical intervention. (See the section on the gender recognition act)
The above are the ten most easily understood definitions you will encounter as you read through this guide. They are by no means a complete catalogue of terms and definitions.
The quick guide to

Contact us

Rubicon Society
Transsexual Support Group
P.O. Box 637
RM10 7GG.

Tel : 020 8252 2623

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