Transgender vs Transsexual
A child’s sex is decided the moment he or she is born. Thus, we have a boy, a girl or, rarely, an eunuch. Though the physical sex of a person is known at the time of birth, it is not clear to which gender does the child belong to. This may be confusing to some, but if you have come across people who do not behave in a way that is the norm of the society for that sex, you know what I mean. Linguists have come up with lots of words to describe such people but the words that confuse most people are transgender and transsexual. This article attempts to clarify the subtle difference between transgender and transsexual so that people who read this article do not make the mistake of using the words interchangeably.
When a person is in a state of conflict with his physical sex and his gender as he or she perceives, the person is said to be transsexual. The phenomenon is referred to as gender dysphoria, and the person is in a state of perennial misery as he is viewed as belonging to a particular sex while his mind thinks of himself as belonging to the other sex. Scientists are of the view that the parts of the brain of a transsexual person that define his gender are totally opposite to the sex organs of the person. If this is not clear to you, you can think of a person who has physical organs of a man, but his mind says that he is a woman inside. If you see a man who believes he is a woman, and vice versa, you have met transsexuals. Such persons feel that the cruelty of god has left them trapped inside the body of the opposite sex.
Transgendered is a person who is not satisfied with the 2 gender rule of the society and perceives himself as belonging to a different gender from his or her sex as seen by the world. Transgendered is a broad, generic word that includes the transsexuals, transvestites, intersexed, cross dressers etc. These are gender variants that are not so easy to describe in a line or two. You know the sex of a person by penis or vagina, but you do not get a sense of gender of the person. Most people have the same perception of their gender, as is their sex. However, there are some who feel that they are not what their sex suggests.
What is the difference between Transgender and Transsexual?
• Transgender and transsexual persons belong on the same continuum with transsexuals going to the extreme of having operated upon, to get their sex changed. On the other hand, transgender are people who behave and often dress like the opposite sex but never go to the extreme of having their sex changed.
• Transsexuals have a great emotional disconnect with their physical sex, which is why such men go for breast implants and sex surgery.
• Born with a sex but presenting themselves as belonging to the other gender is called transgender.