The identity that an individual holds has many layers, one very important layer is gender. One can define their own gender identity in a way that is cohesive with the sex that they were assigned at birth or they can be Transgender (Trans*). A person who is Trans* identifies as a gender that does not correspond to what they were assigned at birth.
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What does this mean? It means that humans can identify with a gender that matches the sex that they are, but they can also identify as the opposite sex, as both, or as neither. Gender can be considered fluid in the sense that it can take the form of whatever the person identifies. Trans* individuals usually, but not always, undergo a process of transitioning from one gender to the other either naturally or medically. A medical transition requires psychiatric evaluations, hormone therapy, and surgeries to change the person’s outside appearance to match their inner identity.
One can chose to complete all of the steps, some of the steps, or none of them. If a Trans* person decides that they do not want to medically transition, they typically go through a natural transition. This would mean for a female-to-male Trans* person, they would allow their body hair to grow and they might cut their hair. For a male-to-female Trans* person, they might grow their hair out and remove all of their body hair. The purpose of a natural transition is to take on as many physical characteristics of the identified gender as possible, without the help of hormones or surgery. What should matter most to Trans* people is their own happiness with themselves, but what the society and culture in which they live is highly significant as well. It is the culture and society that creates the rules, norms, and regulations that control how Trans* people are seen, treated, what rights they have, what rights are protected, and so much more (Tishelman, 2015). From America, to India, Australia, and Nepal, this essay will dive into these different cultures, examining how Trans* people live and are treated all over the world.
In the United States, there has been an increase in the amount of people who openly identify as Transgender. With the help of various media outlets, including social media sites, Trans* people can and have become more visible to the U.S. society as a whole. Thanks to social media, these people have also been given a safe place to connect to other Trans* people and create a supportive social foundation. The growth in awareness of these individuals has also brought with it support from educators, mental health professionals, and more. The increase in support has also encouraged more people to come out as Trans*, adding to more awareness, creating an upward spiral.
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