Transgender?

Drifter

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In a recent thread (which was locked for bad behavior, so be careful) there seemed to be some disagreement and confusion over how "transgender" is actually defined. I don't really understand this; it seems pretty straight forward. Here are the first 5 definitions that appeared in a Google search today:
  • denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
  • Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex.
  • Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.
  • Some people feel that the sex they were assigned at birth doesn’t match their gender identity, or the gender that they feel they are inside. These people are often called transgender.
  • Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth

They appear to be saying the same thing. If we wanted to rationally discuss transgender rights and/or discrimination we would first need to agree on a definition of transgender. Would there be anything wrong with using any of the above definitions?
 

Sapphyre

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I noticed confusion over related terms that I think also need to be clarified in conjunction, particularly "gender", and the fact the even biologically speaking, sex is not altogether binary.

Among the definitions cited above, I think the first is clearest because it expressly refers to a correspondence between sex and gender, which is probably the most accurate way to put it. Most of the time, a chromosomally male body will develop an anatomically male brain (and likewise for female bodies and brains), just like most of the time those chromosomes will be unambiguously XX or XY. But not always.

Since measuring the anatomical structure of a (living) brain is rather impractical, the third or fourth definitions cited above might be most useful for social purposes.

I may offer more thoughts after having more caffeine… ^^;
 

Calico

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  • Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

  • Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex.

Oh jeez, no wonder people are confused. So they think if they are a tomboy or tom girl, they must be trans. Then they question other transgendered people. There is still misinformation out there about transgender. Tumblr is a bad place to get information about it. Teens are more vulnerable to misinformation because they are trying to find themselves and figure out who they are so if they come across this, it's no wonder there is transtrender and ROGD. Reading youtube comments, I have seen people saying how they thought they were trans and then they grew out of it. They said they were a transtrender. They realized they were not trans so they went back to their pronouns they were born with. I think they got older so they had a better understanding about transgender.

I get it, transgender is a complicated issue for lot of people to understand so it takes time for a cisgender person to understand if they are interested enough in reading about it and listening to transgender people. I think lot of transphobic comments come from ignorance than out of hate. I also think calling people transphobic isn't going to get them anywhere because people stop listening when they are insulted. Call someone a racist, they won't listen to you. Instead educate them and leave out the name calling and keep the discussion calm. No one is going to listen if there is tension in it and conflict. This was how I came around because I wasn't called a bigot or a transphobe and instead it was explained to me that trans is a medical condition, identifying as another gender and another age are not the same thing, and I was told politely to read about it and do some research on it. And I think people really are confused just like how a child gets confused about complicated things.

And I can't imagine what it must be like to live in a world where many people don't understand you and they are like "Well if you want to live as another gender, more power to you, you ain't hurting anyone" still isn't enough because they still don't understand it and the meaning of being trans. I've faced similar things in life and it doesn't really bother me. But I can understand how offensive it would be to tell a trans person they should get therapy for their gender issues to figure out why they are another gender and to fix the underlining issue of it because I have gotten the same for my diapers even though they are not the same thing. But for me it is not important for people to understand it but more like just as long as they accept it and just leave me be and not harass me about it and strip away my human rights, that is all it matters. But for a trans person, this isn't enough and they want more and I admit I will never understand it probably.

To make it simpler to understand, transgender is where someone has a male or female brain but have the opposite body. There are literally male and female brains and somehow they were given a different sex. It's a birth defect. See how easy it is to understand? I tell this to a child and they get it. This was how I explained it to my son when he asked me what transgender is. Forget the other definitions, it's too damn confusing. Just ignore it. If it's hard for a cis gender person to understand, imagine how much more confusing it would be for a child to tell them the other definitions?
 

ZenOfBourbon

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They appear to be saying the same thing.
Sort of...but not really. The third definition, for example would include anyone who doesn't adhere to societal gender norms. I am a straight male who wears nail polish and would fit under that definition since nail polish is mostly worn by women in my country. Whether I qualify as transgender depends on who you ask. People who identify with that fourth definition, for example, might not call me transgender.

...If we wanted to rationally discuss transgender rights and/or discrimination we would first need to agree on a definition of transgender.
Not really. We rationally discuss things all the time without an explicitly agreed upon definition. For example, the words bravery, piety, justice, liberty, and probability have all been the subject of intense philosophical discussion with no agreed upon definition. So, why do we need to agree on a definition in this case (I haven't logged in for a while, so I don't know what the other thread was about)? What would having an agreed upon definition buy us in the conversation of human rights that we don't have already?
 
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lilshelly

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I still argue that there needs to be a different term that is more specific to trans people who live life everyday as opposite of what they were born. There are to many things attached to the term transgender
 

Drifter

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transgender is where someone has a male or female brain but have the opposite body. There are literally male and female brains and somehow they were given a different sex. It's a birth defect.
I understand physical differences between male and female brains do exist, and that some transgenders' brains do show some characteristics of the opposite sex, but I believe it would be counterproductive to use brain anatomy as the sole defining factor because I'm not convinced everyone claiming to be transgender has these characteristics. Wouldn't it be possible for someone to have a brain and body with no discernible gender difference and still be convinced their gender identity does not match their physical sex? Do we really want a scientific test to sort out 'real' transgenders from those who only 'believe' they are transgender?

Don't get me wrong. I, too, believe the science behind transgenderism is important in that it shows we can't simply dismiss it as a psychological defect (and please don't call it a birth defect). Psychological defects call for psychological treatment. The science isn't definitive in all cases, but it does show that this goes much deeper than our conventional thinking about psychology. I believe this is important if transgenders want society to accept them for who they are, rather than society seeing them as having some kind of a mental illness or birth defect.
 

Drifter

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The third definition, for example would include anyone who doesn't adhere to societal gender norms. I am a straight male who wears nail polish and would fit under that definition since nail polish is mostly worn by women in my country.
...
We rationally discuss things all the time without an explicitly agreed upon definition.
I have to question how 'rational' our discussions could be if we don't even agree on what the subject is we are talking about. :)

You're right, that 3rd definition is overly broad. It was included because it was one of the first 5 definitions I found and I didn't want to cherry pick just the definitions I liked. This would not be the definition I would want to go with.

What would having an agreed upon definition buy us in the conversation of human rights that we don't have already?
Let's talk about legal rights, which we get to define, rather than human rights, which is philosophical fluff.

Society is being asked to make controversial changes in long accepted policies governing the use of restrooms and locker rooms in order to accommodate transgenders. If transgenders can be identified simply by whether or not they use nail polish, the conversation will be over before it even starts, and everyone will just have to stick to the established conventions. A lot of people might like that, but if we want an honest conversation about transgender issues, we need to agree on the definition.
 

Drifter

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I still argue that there needs to be a different term that is more specific to trans people who live life everyday as opposite of what they were born. There are to many things attached to the term transgender
I think coming up with another term now would just add to the confusion. Let's agree on a definition.
 

SpAzpieSweeTot

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Maybe I can help here? The, "transgender as an umbrella term," definition makes sense, to anyone who diagnoses it for a living, simply because it is so broad. Etymologically, it also makes perfect sense to me.

In school, they're taught, "Be a lumper, not a splitter."

Let's take another diagnosis.

Are you really going to diagnose blue sclera, brittle bones, short height, teeth issues, breathing problems, and hearing loss, as separate things, or, are you going to look at everything together and say, "Aha! Osteogenesis Imperfecta!"

Right.

Transgender covers kids, in, or before, the puberty blocker phase, before their brains have grown enough to be post-hormones and or surgery, even if a particular kid will eventually be transsexual. It covers people who are unable to pay for some of the treatments. It covers non-binary people, and even people for whom the hormones in their brains being correct for them, acted like mental cortisone cream, (stopped the brain itch) so they didn't need certain surgeries. It helps me to think of transgender as the type, and everything else (non-binary, gender fluid, etc.) as each individual's subtype.

I'm not even sure the simple matter of nail polish, could be considered a gender norm, anymore.
 
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ZenOfBourbon

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Society is being asked to make controversial changes in long accepted policies governing the use of restrooms and locker rooms in order to accommodate transgenders.
How many years have humans been using separate bathrooms and locker rooms?

I have to question how 'rational' our discussions could be if we don't even agree on what the subject is we are talking about. :)
And yet we are, having a discussion without agreeing on terms. Magic! Seriously though, my point is that asking after a definition is historically a dead-end (and irrelevant in any case, because words work just fine without them). In this case, we can talk rationally about gendered bathrooms, gender vs sex, etc without needing to define, in strict terms what transgender means.

Let's talk about legal rights, which we get to define, rather than human rights, which is philosophical fluff.
And I will continue to say human rights because transgendered folks are human.

If transgenders can be identified simply by whether or not they use nail polish, the conversation will be over before it even starts, and everyone will just have to stick to the established conventions. A lot of people might like that, but if we want an honest conversation about transgender issues, we need to agree on the definition
And why do I need a way to identify whether someone is transgender?
 

lilshelly

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I guess I will just use the term transexual because in my case it fits me better than transgender. End of my case
 

AddyShadows

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Transgender is hard to explain, especially to someone who is not. (And that's not throwing flak at people who aren't transgender) People who aren't transgender, to someone who is transgender, are just as confusing to us as we are to them. If that makes sense.

A lot of transgender people don't understand why they feel the way they do or why they feel different, they want to feel normal, and in their minds the only way to do that is to identify somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum. There is no right or wrong way to be transgender.

Though let me clarify this right now: Having a fetish that's similar to what you think transgender is, doesn't make you transgender, if your interest is solely in the bedroom or sexual play, then you're most likely not transgender. People saying "Im a sissy so I understand transgender" is the farthest thing from the truth. But I digress.

I know that as a transgender person I don't want to be judged because I want to be a girl, because I want to act like and look like a girl, dress like one and enjoy more girly things. In my mind I AM a girl, my body may disagree but I know my truth. And I'm probably speaking for most trans people when I say "We don't want other people to know we're trans" I sure as hell don't want to announce to the world that I'm trans, I don't want to be obvious, the point of transgender is to pass as the opposite gender (Or however you identify) Going and telling everyone you're not that defeats the purpose. Trans people and bathrooms for example isn't because of some weird fetish, its to feel normal, it's to not let other people know we're not that actual gender when we feel we are.

To accept transgender is to realize that we're not supposed to know publicly and outwardly who is transgender, it's not your business unless you're intimate/personal with that person and they share it with you. The only way the world can move on with anything LGBTQ is by realizing that we don't have to be in everyone else's business. What you do in your house I might not do in my house, so what I do in my house is my business not yours. The way I dress you might not dress, so the way I dress is my business not yours. The bathroom you use, may not be the bathroom I use, so whatever bathroom you use, is your business not mine.

Frankly, the world needs to realize that it's not your damned business if someone is trans or not. If someone is gay, bi, lesbian, queer, trans, so on and so forth. It's not your gods damned business. Let people be and you won't have as many problems in the world. Most people who stir shit up about the LGBTQ community are either people with big voices in the community itself who we kinda wish would be quiet, or, people who take issue with it that are equivelant to anti-vaxxers. go back to the PTA Karen, the LGBTQ community doesn't need your opinion on why we're 'Poisining todays youth'
 

Drifter

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How many years have humans been using separate bathrooms and locker rooms?
Who knows? But I don't see what point you are trying to make.
And yet we are, having a discussion without agreeing on terms. Magic! Seriously though, my point is that asking after a definition is historically a dead-end (and irrelevant in any case, because words work just fine without them). In this case, we can talk rationally about gendered bathrooms, gender vs sex, etc without needing to define, in strict terms what transgender means.
Really? Specifically, what is a "gendered" bathroom?
And I will continue to say human rights because transgendered folks are human.
If we all have the same rights by virtue of being human then why is there disagreement?
And why do I need a way to identify whether someone is transgender?
For the most part, you don't need to know. But some transgenders, and their supporters, are asking us, as a society, to allow them to engage in behavior that is presently unacceptable to a large segment of our society. I'm not making a judgement here; merely stating a fact.
 

Drifter

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Transgender is hard to explain, especially to someone who is not.

A lot of transgender people don't understand why they feel the way they do or why they feel different...
I see it this way, too. It's not just so called 'cis gendered people' who don't understand. It's nearly everybody, including many transgenders themselves.
In my mind I AM a girl, my body may disagree but I know my truth.
My understanding of gender identity allows me to accept that without reservation.
To accept transgender is to realize that we're not supposed to know publicly and outwardly who is transgender, it's not your business unless you're intimate/personal with that person and they share it with you. The only way the world can move on with anything LGBTQ is by realizing that we don't have to be in everyone else's business. What you do in your house I might not do in my house, so what I do in my house is my business not yours. The way I dress you might not dress, so the way I dress is my business not yours. The bathroom you use, may not be the bathroom I use, so whatever bathroom you use, is your business not mine.
I agree with this, but there is a problem with it in that it only addresses one issue and ignores another, important, issue. It addresses the problem of people believing the mere fact of being transgender is wrong or unacceptable in some way. Some people will always feel this way, but I believe most can be persuaded by education and rational discussion to become more accepting of transgenderism in general. America seems to be moving in that direction, and in my opinion that's a good thing.

But it ignores the problems caused by trying to change public policies that the majority of the people accept and support. Who a person showers with in the privacy of their own homes is their business. But in public places, especially in schools, who is allowed to shower together is a matter of public concern. I'm not making any kind of judgement here. I'm merely pointing out that you can't dismiss the rights of so many people to have a say in public policy matters that concern them. You have every right to try to get them to change their minds; but you have no right to ignore them, or worse yet demonize them, simply because you disagree with them. (Not saying that you personally demonize anyone, just that some people do.)
 

BabyTyrant

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I would simply describe transgender as being born into one Gender and identifying as the opposite Gender

Other similar terms I would say aren't necessarily Transgender, but fall somewhere under LGBTQ; even if not designated with it's own Letter in the name

As far as the whole Locker and Bathroom debate goes, just put Gender Neutral bathrooms (and locker rooms) everywhere, like how there are "Family" restrooms, but with a different sign that says "Gender Neutral"

Also has anybody ever noticed that opponents of Transgender People being able to use the bathroom they are comfortable with like to suggest that allowing that is going to Ensure that someone sneaks into the Opposite Gender Bathroom and then Rapes somebody?

Imagination much?

Sure it could happen, but I don't think it's very likely
 
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Drifter

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As far as the whole Locker and Bathroom debate goes, just put Gender Neutral bathrooms (and locker rooms) everywhere, like how there are "Family" restrooms, but with a different sign that says "Gender Neutral"
The problem is justifying the cost of doing this, which would no doubt be in the billions. Who would be forced to pay for this?

It would be much more cost effective to simply remove gender designations on all facilities.
 

SpAzpieSweeTot

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Directly from Merriam Webster

Gender Noun

Definition 2

a: SEX sense 1a the feminine gender
b: the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex
c: GENDER IDENTITY
Those seeking state driver's licenses in Massachusetts are closer to being able to designate their gender as "X" instead of "male" or "female." The state Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow for the nonbinary designation on licenses.— Steve LeBlanc

No wonder your understanding of gender identity lets you get that without question. One is, as one identifies.

Here's the thing. It's a bathroom, and if you have to go, you have to go. I don't think it's illegal to use the opposite bathroom, uncouth, maybe, not illegal.

If someone is using a urinal, the parts necessary, are most likely present, and people can visually confirm. I'm glad I'm a girl, because I don't get how exposing genitalia to strangers isn't disconcerting, no matter the person. A trans woman probably wouldn't use a urinal. She'd most likely go in a stall, drop undies, and pee, just like me. A trans man, even without surgery, will probably go into a stall, where it can safely be assumed, that even if someone hears peeing, he's sitting because he was previously dropping a deuce. The problem is?

Everyone seems to bring this up, so. . .

Sex crimes committed in bathrooms, are just that. What the hell does gender or sex have to do with anything?
 
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BabyTyrant

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The problem is justifying the cost of doing this, which would no doubt be in the billions. Who would be forced to pay for this?

It would be much more cost effective to simply remove gender designations on all facilities.
Yeah of course the latter would be much more cost effective

And maybe they can make it to where it would only be necessary for big public businesses?

Like huge chain Grocery Stores and Restaurantsas for how the public would receive the idea of just taking away the gender designations; I dont think it would be universally well recieved

I think many would have some theoretical reason for why it SHOULDNT happen, because that is just what some people do
 

SpAzpieSweeTot

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Please don't call it a birth defect? Why not? Based on the trans people who have left their bodies to science, MtF brains were structurally more female, and FtM brains were structurally more male, and I only say more, because natal sex did have some effect, but not nearly as much as the gender of the owner of each brain. Psychological defects call for psychological treatment? Except people have been harmed by years of useless therapy. People have died because it wasn't helping. Years of trying to make the brain fit the body didn't help. It made things worse. SRS helps, and for a lot of people, is the only thing that does help. Now, as far as getting it recognized as a thing, one does need to see a therapist, and as far as being given the time to make the right decision, that's why the puberty blockers.

There have been people who thought they were trans, but didn't make a decision for hormones or surgery, so could switch back easily.

Some people have switched back after surgery, and felt all angry and lied to, but it's a very rare thing to have happen.

Transvestitism is a fetish. Being transgendered, or, after hormones and/or surgery, transsexual, isn't, so it isn't an ism. As far as the simpler, smaller things, like nail polish, why matters.

Maybe a father has a daughter, and the daughter has no sisters, and she likes painting daddy's nails.

If someone says, "I play music, and blue and sparkly eye goop, and nail polish, catch the light, and people pay attention to my straight, male self," that obviously isn't trans, but, if a natal male says, "because I'm a girl," she's obviously trans.

I could see why some people like transgendered better than transsexual. Maybe because it has, "sexual," in it, unacquainted people jump to sexual fetish? Shelly, if transsexual fits you best, good. Just be sure to carry the definition of transsexual and transvestitism in your pocket, to show people. Not really. Just joking. I could see people being really silly about it.
 
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Calico

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To call it a birth defect helps kids and grown ups understand it better. Down's syndrome is a birth defect, cleft lip is a birth defect, half a brain is a birth defect, missing one toe or finger is a birth defect and if you were born with some missing bones in your ear so it caused you to be partially deaf, that is a birth defect so why can't having a different brain and opposite body be one?

It's like how people argue about autism and ADHD being disorders and disabilities. Transgender people argue about GID not being a medical issue but the thing is if it weren't a medical issue, then there would be no hormones for it and sex reassignment surgery. It's not a psychological nor a mental issue. I would call it a physical issue. They literally have a male or female brain but a opposite sex body. You can't change the gender so the only treatment for it is hormones and sex reassignment surgery and allowing them to live the gender they are and have them be a protected class. I wouldn't call it a disability.
 
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