What Does It Mean To Be Transgender?

Transgender people come from every region of the United States and worldwide; they are your neighbors, friends, coworkers, classmates, and even family. With about 1.4 million transgender people in the United States and millions more worldwide, you have probably met a transgender person, with or without knowing. It is important to understand that being transgender is not an illness, but because of widespread discrimination and stigma, many transgender people battle physical and mental health problems. Fortunately, New York transgender medicine is there to help you address any physical, emotional, mental, or hormonal challenges that you may have.

What is transgender?

Many believe that everyone can be classified as only one of two genders – male or female. (non-binary). However, some people’s gender identity differs from the gender they were thought to be at birth. 

Transgender is a general term describing people whose internal sense of being male, female, or something else does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a transgender woman has the gender identity of a female despite being labeled male at birth. On the other hand, a transgender man identifies as male but was assigned female sex as birth. Transgender people may identify as a combination of both male and female or as neither.

How do people know they are transgender?

People can realize the difference between their gender identity and the gender they were assigned at birth at any age. Some people can trace their awareness back to their earlier memories, while others may need more time to realize the same. For instance, some people spend years feeling like they don’t fit in without a clear understanding. Others may try to avoid discussing their gender out of confusion, shame, or fear. Repressing or changing your gender identity does not work; instead, it damages your emotional and mental health.

Gender dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is a form of psychological distress that some transgender people experience due to the mismatch between their gender identity and the sex they were assigned at birth. However, not every transgender person experiences this feeling of discomfort or distress. One may experience gender dysphoria during adolescence, but sometimes this condition does not arise until adulthood. Gender dysphoria is characterized by stress or anxiety associated with the difference in gender identity and gender of birth.

The best treatment for gender dysphoria is living according to your gender identity. For example, you can dress and groom in a way that reflects who you know you are. Some people use different names and pronouns, and others take medical steps to change their appearance.

Are there medical treatments for transgender people seeking to transition?

As mentioned above, the best treatment for gender dysphoria is living according to the gender you identify with. As such, some transgender people undergo medical treatments to make their bodies more congruent with their gender identity. Transition-related care can be life-saving for many transgender people, but some leave a fulfilling life without transitioning. There are several transition-related cares, and usually, people make decisions about their care based on their individual needs. Available treatments include hormone therapy, hair growth or removal, and surgeries to align one’s anatomy with gender identity.

If you are transgender, book an appointment with your doctor at Matt Pabis, MD, to know how you can benefit from transgender medicine. 

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