Gender options

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Tue May 7 17:35:21 UTC 2002

--On Tuesday, May 7, 2002 10:20 am -0700 Jewls2u <Jewls2u at WHIDBEY.COM>

> Isn't transgender a sexual identification used for the very small segment
> of the population that is actually born with ambiguous genitalial? Making
> their sex/gender neither male nor instead of being identified
> as 'its', they are transgender.

Another term for such people is 'intersexual', but I'm sure 'transgender'
is used as well.  Transsexuals (pre-op and post-op) now often use
'transgender', and this seems to be how it's used in legal contexts.  But
it's also used by  people who feel that gender in general supercedes
genitalia.  There's a movement of people who would have (a couple of
decades ago) been prime candidates for sex-reassignment surgery, but who
believe that there's another way to be that's neither male nor female.

Here's a discussion from

<begin quote> Transgender is a term whose exact meaning is still in
dispute, and I consider that a very healthy sign. The most widely
accepted definition is that transgender includes everything not covered by
our culture's narrow terms "man" and "woman". A
partial list of persons who might include themselves in such a definition
includes transsexuals (pre, post, and no-op);
transvestites; crossdressers; persons with ambiguous genitalia; persons who
have chosen to perform ambiguous social
genders; and persons who have chosen to perform no gender at all. <end


Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
Acting Director, MA in Applied Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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