Challenging the 14 Most Common Myths Surrounding Transgender People

Transgender or gender-diverse individuals identify with a gender different from their biological gender. The United States generally claims to be a gender-inclusive nation. Yet, there are many myths and stereotypes about transgender people. It’s essential to address these misconceptions to foster empathy and respect for trans people.

Let us check out some of the most common lies that people believe about transgender people.

It’s A Mental Illness

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Reality: Being a trans person has nothing to do with mental condition.

As opposed to ancient religious claims, being transgender is not a mental illness. Many trans people indeed experience gender dysphoria at some point. This distressing condition happens due to the confusion between one’s assigned sex at birth and their gender identity. However, that is not common for all trans people.

Being Transgender Is A Flexible Choice

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Reality: Being transgender is a scientific phenomenon.

One of the most inaccurate myths about trans people is that they do not have any fixed identity. Studies have shown that there is a genetic influence on becoming transgender. Prenatal hormones also affect one’s sexual and gender orientations. Being a trans person is not merely a choice; it is an orientation.

Transgender People Are Not “Real” Men or Women

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Reality: Trans people have every right to choose their identity as men and women.

Most people think trans people can swing among multiple gender identities whenever they want. Some even think they are biologically flawed; thus, they are not real men or women. No matter the assigned gender at birth, trans people have the right to decide how they identify.

Trans People Are Confused

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Reality: Being a trans person is surely not a phase.

One of the major myths about trans people is that they will ‘snap out of the phase.’ Some even say that they are pretending. On the contrary, transgender people have a deep understanding of their gender identity. This identity can develop from a young age or through experiences.

Children Can Not Be Transgender

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Reality: People can gain gender consciousness at any age.

Many people trace back their earliest realization of being transgender to their childhood. It is because of the genetic influence behind the realization. Some may need more time to understand they don’t fit into their assigned identity. There is no fixed timeline for this realization.

It’s the Parents’ Fault

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Reality: Parental training has nothing to do with being transgender.

Many parents are oblivious to their trans children. They tend to self-blame for the child’s trans identity. However, gender identity is not something to learn; rather, people realize it on their own. A parent can not control their child not to become a trans person.

Being a Trans Is A Trend

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Reality: Trans identity is not for fashion.

Gender identity is a very personal realization. Being a trans person is not for peer pressure or trend. No one can ‘become a trans person’ simply because they met one. You can not learn gender identity unless you have your realization.

Transgenders and Homosexuals Mean The Same Thing

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Reality: These two are completely different concepts.

Homosexual people are individuals having romantic, emotional, and sexual feelings for people who are also of the same sex. Being transgender is a gender position and not a sexual orientation. A trans man (a female at birth, transitioned into a male) can have feelings for a woman. A trans person can be gay if they have feelings for another man.

It Is Weird To Be in the Same Washroom with Trans People

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Reality: Trans people are more prone to violence in binary spaces

This myth claims that transgender people are always sexually aggressive. They are even considered a danger to others in gender-segregated spaces. In reality, transgender individuals are far more likely to face harassment in public and private spaces. They face unnecessary exclusion and violence than any heteronormative person.

Surgery Is the Only Process of Transitioning

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Reality: There is more to transitioning than medical procedures.

For a trans person, transitioning is a deeply personal process. This may or may not involve medical interventions like hormone therapy or surgery. However, transitioning also includes social, legal, and emotional aspects. Some processes could be changing one’s name, pronouns, and appearance to align with gender identity.

All Trans People Go through Surgery and Hormonal Therapy

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Reality: Not every trans person wishes to go through permanent changes.

A ‘sex-change surgery’ or gender-affirming hormone therapy can be optimum for some trans people. Medical interventions are often very costly. They are mostly not covered by insurance; therefore, many people can not afford such large expenses.

All Transgender People Fit into a Binary gender

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Reality: There is more to being transgender than male/female binaries.

Gender is not strictly binary, as in male or female. Transgender people encompass diverse gender identities beyond just male or female. There are people identifying as non-binary, genderqueer, or genderfluid. Some people cross-dress, while some are multi-gendered.

Transgender People Are Just Seeking Attention

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Reality: Transgender identity is not for publicity stunts

Transitioning can be a challenging process for the majority of the trans population. Undoubtedly, there are lots of taboos regarding this. Most transgender individuals do not seek attention or validation. They rather seek to live authentically and comfortably in their gender identity.

Transgender People Are Predators

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Reality: There is no relation between one’s sexual tendency and trans identity.

Being gender-curious is one of the many aspects of being transgender. That never means trans people are always on the hunt for sexual relationships. There is no evidence that transgender people are more sexually active than binary people. Respecting consent and space goes beyond one’s gender identity.

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