Intersex and transgender: what’s the difference?
Often, people use the words transgender and intersex interchangeably. But is there a difference between the two terms?
Yes, there is a difference. A huge difference.
Here’s what you need to know:
What does it mean to be transgender?
The word transgender describes people whose gender identity (internal sense of being male, female, or something else) differs from their biological sex.
A transgender person either has male sexual organs but identifies emotionally as a woman (or something other than a man) or has female sexual organs but identifies emotionally as a man (or something other than a woman).
Sometimes people refer to a transgender person as a woman trapped in the body of a man or a man trapped in the body of a woman.
What is important is to remember that transgender people are worthy of love, safety and respect just like everyone else.
What does it mean to be intersex?
‘Intersex’ is a word that describes people born with variations (differences) that don’t fit doctors’ (or societies’) expectations of a male or female body.
There are numerous ways for someone to be intersex. Some intersex people have genitals or internal sex organs that are not classified as male or female, such as a person with both ovarian and testicular tissues.
Some people are born with external genitalia in the typical male / female category, but their internal organs or hormones are not.
If a person’s genitals look different than what falls is automatically categorized as male or female, then someone can be considered intersex from birth.
At other times, some people may not know they are intersex until later in life, such as when they go through puberty. Sometimes a person may never find out that they are intersex in their entire life.
Intersex or transgender people are normal humans, they do not have a medical problem
If you have an intersex or transgender child, support and love them. This is the best thing you can do for them. Also, seek support, and connect with, other parents whose children identify as transgender or intersex. Every step of the way, ensure that your child has the opportunity to connect with other children like them is also a good idea.
Do you have any questions about intersex and transgender persons? Or do you fall in any of these groups and would like to share your experiences? Talk to us in the comments section.