Transgendered people receive little acceptance or legal protection. Matthew Child and Rebecca Dittman meet two trans people
- By: Matthew Child, Rebecca Dittman
Transgendered people are unhappy with their ascribed gender and wish to live all or part of their lives as members of the opposite gender or between genders. Transsexuals are a subset of the transgender community who think themselves to have been born in the wrong sex and often pursue psychological, cosmetic, hormonal, and surgical procedures to alter their behaviour and image, enabling them to live permanently and function as members of their desired sex (box). Some present to healthcare services as teenagers; others start full time transition well past the age of retirement.
Based on numbers who have changed their passport, there are an estimated 5000 full time transsexuals in the United Kingdom (one in 12,000), with about three times as many men as women seeking gender realignment.12 However, this is likely a considerable underestimate, given the broad spectrum of transgender behaviours and the difficulties in identifying members of an