Transgender NI is a website which is intended to be a support for those seeking information and support around issues of Gender Dysphoria in Northern Ireland. It has been designed and created by the support organisations detailed in this website, including the Gender Identity Clinic for Northern Ireland.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender Dysphoria is when someone feels as though their visible gender does not match how they feel inside to some degree. It can also be called gender variance (from social Norms), or gender variant behaviour. It is not a mental illness but a biological condition influenced by pre-natal development.
A Transsexual is someone with an extreme and long-term case of gender dysphoria.
Transgender is the preferred term amongst Transsexual people as it removes the emphasis away from sexuality and towards gender. However the word Transgender can also be used as an umbrella term to describe the whole range and diversity of gender identity and expression, including transsexual. See our Terminology / definition page for further information
There are important differences between these constituencies and also within them. The trans community is therefore comprised of a range of highly diverse individuals. Trans people may come from different racial, religious, ethnic, political and/or economic backgrounds, and yet share a degree of communal affinity based on their subjective experiences of gender variance.
Treatment for gender dysphoria aims to help people become content with their gender identity. This can mean different things for different people. For example, for some it can mean dressing and living part-time in their preferred gender, for others dressing and living full-time in their preferred gender. For some people, support and advice are all they need to feel comfortable in their gender identity. For others it can mean taking hormones that change their physical appearance. Most transsexuals will seek to have surgery to permanently alter their biological sex.
Is gender dysphoria the same as being gay?
No. Gender Identity is about the gender you identify with and your gender expression, and not about who you are attracted to – which is your sexual orientation. Transgender people can be heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual.
How common is gender dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is rare, however the number of people being diagnosed with it is increasing due to the growing public awareness. In the UK it is estimated by the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) that 1 in 4000 of the population is receiving medical help for gender dysphoria. Some evidence suggests that the condition is now being seen equally in men and women. The accepted ratio is approximately 3 male-to-female (MTF) to 1 female-to-male (FTM). But the gap is narrowing especially in the under 30 age group.