Transgender Made Simple

When Boo first told us she was transgender, I thought I knew what that meant.  I have since discovered that the term “transgender” encompasses the entire group of people who consider themselves to be gender variant, in whatever form that may take.

Merriam-Webster defines transgender as:

of, relating to, or being a person (as a transsexual or transvestite) who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.

 

transgender symbol

By User:ParaDox – en:User:ParaDox – de:Benutzer:ParaDox (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror and not seeing the face or body you expect to see.  You know in your head that you are a woman, but your face and body are that of a man.  How would you feel?  What would you do?  This is a simplified look at what transgender people go through.  It is called gender dysphoria.  This term includes not only people like Boo who were born one gender and think of themselves as another, but also people who are bigender (consider themselves both male and female), genderless (don’t identify with either male or female) or gender fluid (male sometimes and female sometimes).  Are you confused yet?

If you have a friend or loved one who is transgender or just want to learn more about what it means to be transgender, I highly recommend the book, Trans Forming Families, by Mary Boenke.  This book is a compilation of true stories, told by transgender people and their families.  The insights in this book helped to make the first year of Boo’s transition easier for us, her family.

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  1. This is such a great article!

    My uncle is very misunderstood in my family. He is a middle aged gay man that preforms as a lady called Jazz… I think he is the bravest person in the world to say this is who I am! Love it or Leave it! But not everyone feels the same.

    I am going to refer a few relatives to check out your blog, you could really help them get past their own insecurities and appreciate that everyone is different and that is not a bad thing!
    Sara recently posted..Your Better LifeMy Profile

  2. Sweetheart,
    The goal of parents around the world is for their children to live with happiness and peace.Boo has adjusted so well, and your support and love have been so important to her.
    There is still a huge need for literature that helps families through this process……..hum.might you and Boo co-author? I feel such a book would be amazing!
    much love,
    Mom

  3. First off, thank you for the post about trans people. It’s always nice to see a supportive parent. Trans people have enough to deal with outside of the fear of rejection from their family. It shows truly unconditional love on your part, and it makes you a great person.

    The pronouns you use are confusing considering the about line you have. It says “Teressa Morris is a part-time bookkeeper, part-time blogger and full-time wife and mom of two teenage boys and two furbabies.” However, you wrote in the blog post “When Boo first told us she was transgender, I thought I knew what that meant.”

    I’m not saying that to be mean, but rather I am saying it because I know how much it hurts to be misgendered repeatedly.

    There is another thing I thought I would point out for anyone that would stop reading your blog over this posting. Transsexuality is considered a “congenital neurological intersex condition.” While trans people are often discriminated against, it seems that most people don’t grasp that it’s not simply a psychological issue, even though it has psychological symptoms. It is a physical/neurological condition which is treated by doctors.

    That doesn’t seem to stop people from discriminating however. Could you imagine people discriminating against others over something like cancer? That would be terrible. It’s no different for trans people however.

  4. Nice introduction Teressa. There is no organization that gives awards to all of the great moms who deserve one, but I am sure life will reward you greatly for it. Seeing the happiness of your children as they grow fully into their best selves. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks Teressa, Now I will order the book and begin the journey of learning and understanding about Transgender as it happens to real people.I love learning new things and its a double bonus when the lesson allows me a better understanding of someone in my family. I hope things are going smoother for all of you and that there are many more peaceful moments in each day. Love ya’ all
    Auntie D