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Issues of Trangenderism Dr Robin S Bradbeer Department of Electronic Engineering City University of Hong Kong. What this lecture IS NOT about. Sexual deviance. What this lecture IS about. Dispelling misunderstanding, ignorance and prejudice. Outline.
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Dr Robin S Bradbeer
Department of Electronic Engineering
City University of Hong Kong
What this lecture IS about
Dispelling misunderstanding, ignorance and
PerceptionsDefinitionsSex GenderTransgenderismTransvestitesDrag queens TranssexualsAetiologyTranssexualismDiscriminationReferences
A 'transgendered' person is someone whose gender identity differs from conventional expectations of masculinity or femininity. Their gender identity differs from theirphysical sex as assigned at birth. Transgendered people are born this way and have no choice in who they are.They are generally referred to as ‘gender dysphoric’.
Transgendered persons include:
pre-operative and post-operative transsexuals;
a minority of transvestites;
"mannish" or "passing" women.
Trangendered persons can be female-to-male (transsexual or transgendered men) as well asmale-to-female (transsexual or transgendered women).
Most transgendered persons identify themselves asheterosexual. Their intrinsic difference is their genderidentity, not their sexual orientation: these are twodifferentthings altogether. However, transgenderedpeople are perceived by most people as homosexuals,and thus are discriminated against in similar ways.
The largest subgroup of transgendered persons are
crossdressers who are mainly heterosexualmen,although there are also women who crossdress.
Mostcrossdressers are married and many
have children, so they have much to lose from their
transgendered state being revealed. They also wish
to remain in the sex theywere born, unlike
This has little or no connection at all with
transgenderism --- gay men and lesbians are
generally totally happy with their anatomical sex,
and theirgender identity is in accordance with it.
They are merely attracted to persons of their own
anatomical sex, or to both sexes in the case of
bisexuals. However, some gay men and lesbians
may exhibit gender dysphoria.
Transsexual persons differ from the majority of others who exhibit gender dysphoria in that they come to feel they can no longer continue to live their lives inthe gender associated with the sex theywere assigned at birth.
The overall psychological term is called gender dysphoria, an intense feeling of pain, anguish, and anxiety from the mis-assignment of a transgendered person's sex atbirth. All transgendered people suffer from it, but the feeling becomes more acute for transsexuals, usually in the middle of their lives. Thesefeelings lead many transgendered people into depression, anxiety, chemical dependencies, divorces and other family problems, even
It is now accepted by all reputable
professionals in the field that gender
dysphoria stems from a physiological cause,
and is in no way a mental illness, perversion
or 'lifestyle choice'. Theconsensus of opinion
is thatgender identity is determined before
birth and is unchangeable thereafter.
All human foetuses start off in a female
configuration, and in the absence of
biochemical instructions to the contrary, will
develop into baby girls --- irrespective of their
chromosomal sex . This 'female by default'
development is overridden in normal male
foetuses by a complex sequence of hormonal
Some weeks later, the primitive testes start
working, and secrete a large dose of
testosterone (the principal male hormone),
which causes the foetal brain to differentiate
intothe male pattern.
At this point the brain structure responsible
for gender identity, as well as all the other
well-known (and measurable) brain
differences between men andwomen, is
Gender dysphoria is caused by that second
burst of hormones failing to happen, or only
happening very weakly (many male-to-female
transsexuals do exhibit some masculine mental
tendencies, but retain the feminine gender
identity, suggesting that the masculinisation of
the brain went part of the way and then failed).
A transsexual is someone who experiences a
deep and long-lasting discomfort with their
anatomical (genital) sex, and wishes to change
their physical characteristics,including
genitals, to the opposite of those usually
associated with their anatomical sex, and to
live permanently in the gender role opposite to
that normally associatedwith their anatomical
Transsexualism is a fairly rare condition.
About one person per thousand is gender
dysphoric to some extent, although around one
person per 25,000 (some research indicate 1 in
10,000) is a transsexual.
After genital reassignment surgery (sex-change)
most, but by no means all, transsexuals are
heterosexual, although the usual spectrum of
human sexuality can be found.
In ‘the West’ ratio of FtM:MtF having SRS is 1:10
In Hong Kong it is 60:40
In China it is 10:1
Transgendered peopleface employment and housing discrimination.
They are alsopotential targets for hate crimes: verbal harassment,hatemail, harassing telephone calls and acts of violencecommitted by the same persons who hate homosexuals andbisexuals.
Unlike gay men, lesbians andbisexuals,transgenderedpeople are much more likely to fallvictim todiscrimination and hate crimes, becausemost of thempossess physical or behaviouralcharacteristics that readilyidentify them as transgendered.
Themajority of transgendered persons strongly desire tokeep their transgendered states secret.
Transgenderedpeople are vulnerable to their sexual minoritystatus being revealedagainst their will, i.e., being "outed".
Post-op transsexuals cannot marry ‘opposite sex’, (e.g. domestic violence debate – see SCMP articles, BA complaint etc.)
Passport and HKID can be reissued with new name and sex,
New sex recognised for identity reasons but still ‘legally’ pre-op sex. (TS women could theoretically be put in men’s prisons!)
Birth certificate cannot be changed.
What about Hong Kong?
Sunday Morning Post 30.5.99
South China Morning Post 25.1.03
Letter from Prof Ng, QMH
And others on web site login page