Unfortunately, there are many myths and stereotypes floating around about transgender individuals and the transgender community. Transgender Michigan hopes to squash some of these myths with this brochure.
MYTH: All transgender individuals want or have had sex reassignment surgery.
FACT: Actual or desired surgical status is separate from one’s gender identity. Some transgender individuals feel “complete” once they have had surgery, while others opt to not have surgery because of limited funds, medical complications, or because they feel “complete” without surgery.
MYTH: Most transgender individuals spend their lives alone because their partners leave them.
FACT: While it is true that some transpeople experience this, many have partners who are supportive of their identities, or find new partners.
MYTH: Transgender is a lifestyle choice.
FACTS: No one chooses to be transgender. We are born that way. How our parents raise us does not change this. Recent scientific brain studies are beginning to confirm this.
MYTH: Transgender individuals go from either male-to-female or from female-to-male.
FACT: “Transgender” is an umbrella term, which includes all people who do not conform to gender stereotypes, roles, and expectations. In addition to transsexuals this includes transgender individuals who identify as androgynous, gender queer, drag, cross-dresser, butch women, and feminine men.
MYTH: Transgender women are only attracted to men, and transgender men are only attracted to women.
FACT: Gender identity and sexual orientation are separate. Transgender individuals, like non-transgender individuals, display the broad range of human sexuality.
MYTH: Transwomen are "born in the wrong body".
FACTS: Some transpeople and others often use this phase, but it is an oversimplification and inaccurate description . "I am a woman, and my body is mine. So it can only be a woman's body. Women can have all types of bodies."
MYTH: Transgender men only wish to embody male advantage.
FACT: While it’s true that passing transgender men experience some male advantages, it is certainly not their reasoning behind identifying as men. It is also important to note that transmen who do not (or wish to) pass often experience violence, discrimination, harassment, and inequality, which can certainly not translate as an advantage.
MYTH: Being transgender is a birth defect that can be corrected through hormones and surgery.
FACT: While some transgender individuals believe this, some believe that their transgender identity is a gift or a blessing. Many feel like they do not need “correcting.”
MYTH: Transgender women are just men in drag.
FACT: Drag is gender caricature or performance for entertainment purposes. Whereas transgender women identify and live as women. They ARE women.
MYTH: There are only two sexes, XX and XY.
FACTS: Recent genetic studies have shown that there is a range of chromosome complements, hormone balances, and phenotypic variations that determine sex,
MYTH: "The Bathroom myth" Transwomen are really men who dress as women to access girls' restrooms to molest children.
FACTS: There is zero evidence of any transwomen ever assaulting a child (or anyone) in a restroom. In fact, they are much more likely to be victims of assault. Especially if they are forced to use the men's room. Transwomen are NOT men, they are women.
MYTH: Being transgender is just a trend or a phase.
FACT: Why would anyone choose to be transgender and face the oppression, violence, harassment, and inequality faced by transgender individuals simply to be trendy or cool?
MYTH: Transgender people are wrapped up in their transgender identity and do not have any other facets in their lives.
FACT: Transgender people are as varied and multi-dimensional as non-transgender (cisgender) people.