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TRANSGENDERS IN SOCIETY In todays society the issue of transgender ism is probably one of the most controversial. This term generally stands for the definition of people, who, despite the gender assigned to them at birth, do not identify or present themselves with it. Transsexualism is described as a syndrome with three essential characteristics: a conviction of belonging to the opposite sex, disgust at the signs of one's anatomic sex, and the desire for a change in sex. The gender identity disorder is an issue of a heated debate, though the transgender-related topics are certainly not new. Moreover, different old non-western cultures had two-spirit of third gender concepts Hijra, Fahaleiti, Wine, Xanith etc. , - that were commonly accepted and even held in high respect. For example, a wine (two-souls-person an old Lakota word) was considered to have outstanding spiritual and other talents that fulfill some needs of the community that other people could not fill, the same stands for hijra, who were believed to have mystical powers.
Therefore, taking into consideration the age of the transgender concept itself, we cannot see it only as the outcome of the evolution of sexual liberation. This issue is much more complicated than just a result of the media society and culture change. Nonetheless, I would rather not diminish the role of the media on the development of the transgender trends. It is not easy to define whether the influence is positive or negative, because it is actually both. I mean transgenders are people, who were or are facing the gender identity disorder, which is in fact a psychological problem, interconnected with gender identity.
The cultural changes often help them to realize that their discomfort and inner dissonance are surmountable. The most evident and significant impact on the topic made the cultural change that was initiated in 1960 by Virginia Prince, who later devoted her life to the aim of taking transgenders out of the dark. As a result, numerous transgender clubs and groups emerged in the last third of the XX century in America and around the world. To some extent, when people become aware of the transgender issues, some of them become more loyal and understanding. But there are others who dont. The transgenders (a general term for transsexuals, intersexual's, drag kings / queens , transvestite fetishists, cross-dressers, etc. ) are facing numerous discriminations in housing, employment and even private life.
What is worse, a lot of them become victims of hatred and harassment outbursts. Some transgender people even are killed, as the result of cruel attitude of people. They are generally considered to be prostitutes, though it is barely true in most cases. Scientific research testifies that sex, in the usual sense of the term, does not play a prominent part in transsexualism. Another thing discovered is that transgender ism is more common than it is generally assumed. To some extent, the modern media is guilty of this indecent image of transgender ism.
Todays media produces mostly striking and obscene evidence of life of these people. Most people are unaware that there are a lot of outstanding transgenders, who fulfilled their talents and abilities only after having realized their real nature. Among them Georgina Beyer, the world's first transsexual Member of Parliament, currently (2004) MP in New Zealand; Wendy Carlos, American transsexual composer and electronic musician; Lynn Conway, transsexual computer scientist, electrical engineer and transgender advocate and many others. The problem is that, despite the general recognition of the fact of transgender ism existence, this topic is still obscure and, for the most part, unexplored.
The lack of understanding stimulates fear, anger, distrust and hate. Most transgender people have to face this kind of attitude every single day in almost all spheres of life. They are in most cases as able, talented and intelligent as other people but, unfortunately, are still deprived of many rights and liberties that others enjoy. Transgenderism is not a kind of sexual perversion, and it cannot to be cured or eliminated upon compulsion.
It is a side of human essence, a form of existence that has psychological and social roots. These people exist, and they want to live and enjoy their lives just like anybody else. They want understanding, equality and security, which are general human values. They want people to live and let live. REFERENCES: Winter, Jan. Transsexualism: A Study of Forty-Three Cases (originally published by Akademiforlaget-Gumperts, Goteborg, 1967).
Symposion publishing Dusseldorf, IJT Electronic Books, 1997. 25 Oct. 2004. < web > The List of transgendered people, Gender-related topics. The Free Dictionary. Farlex, 2004. 25 Oct. 2004. < web >
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Research essay sample on Gender Identity Identity Disorder