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10 things you need to know about transgender people

10 things you need to know about transgender people

10 things you need to know about transgender people

When we think back to our school days, our embarrassed teachers’ embarrassed sex education class and some vague information about transgender and homosexuality come to mind.

What the term transgender means  and especially what it encompasses has not been and still is not treated intensively enough in most schools.

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However, since the so-called  trans identity  is a topic that is (thankfully) becoming more and more present, it is high time for some sex education. We spoke to the head of the  Courage counseling center  in Vienna, the   Mag. Johannes Wahala  , and learned a lot.

10 things everyone should know about transgender people:

trans flag
trans flag

1. According to Wahala, the term transsexuality  , which is still very often used in connection with the transgender issue, is now outdated. As the name suggests, transidentities  are about much more than sexuality – it’s about identity,  about a person’s individual gender perception. The Courage  Counseling Center team has made it their task to recognize this identity and help those affected (among other priorities).


2. Cross-dressing vs transgender:   Cross-dressing refers to wearing the clothing of the opposite sex, which can also be associated with sexual arousal. Transgender is a term that describes departures from social gender roles or social gender characteristics – or alternatively:  a person’s “discomfort due to the psychological gap between birth sex and perceived gender identity. ”  , according to Wahala.


3. Toilet conflict. If you’re talking about transgender people, the topic of the so-called toilet fight usually comes up. For decades, activists have campaigned for additional gender-neutral toilets to be made available in schools, universities, etc., or for trans people to be allowed to use toilets that match their gender identity. For example, toilets for men and women, as well as the possibility of a unisex toilet, would be desirable  , specifies Mr. Wahala. “You can be a bit more creative there  ,” he adds.

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4. Transgender people in Germany and Austria:  “In Austria you will find some of the most liberal treatment guidelines in Europe  ,” says Wahala. And the management of trans identities and acceptance in society is also commendable. “A person who ‘feels transgender’ can, for example, change their marital status and first name relatively easily – like in Germany and Italy  .”

Transgender Flag 90×150

5. At some point, a trans person should have reached their desired gender. We should then no longer speak of transgender, but of man or woman – or, if a person does not want to assign themselves a clear gender, of  gender fluid or multi gender  .


6. To avoid misdiagnosis in children:   Gender non-conforming behavior, i.e. when a small child does not want to assign a sex for a while, is completely normal and changes often even before puberty. Parents should only visit a counseling center if a child insists on being treated as a different sex for a long time and/or communicates serious difficulties with their gender identity. “The youngest child in our counseling center was 6 years old and presented with distinct ‘gender dysphoria’. There was also a risk that he would injure his sex,”  says Wahala.


7. Not all trans people want to have surgery to change their biological sex. ”  For example, I have a trans woman in consultation who wants to keep her penis and says, ‘It’s a woman’s penis  ,'” explains expert Wahala. And many young trans men also feel like men without penises. In many cases, affected individuals befriend their biological sex and continue to say,  “I am female/male”  .

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8. The three criteria that must be met before sex reassignment/organ medicine measures:  1. Self-diagnosis – i.e. whether the person concerned can say with certainty that THIS (the preferred sex mentioned ) is the sex that corresponds to his perception. 2. “  Real Life Experience  ”, meaning at least one outing in front of close friends and/or family. 3. A positive/realistic outlook on life with desired sex.


9. Sex change from male to female:  Testosterone blockers and estrogen are added to the body as part of hormone therapy. Removal of the penis and transformation into a vagina is now a very promising procedure. In many cases, hormones also form a female breast. Hormone therapy and sex change are  covered by health insurance in Austria  , but breast augmentation is cosmetic surgery and therefore not funded.


10. Change of sex from female to male:  In this case, male testosterone is introduced into the body with hormone therapy. The people concerned must  “above all adapt to an enormously increased libido”  . The change of sex from female to male, i.e. modeling  and fixing a functional penis, is of course much more complicated  than otherwise and has not yet been 100% medically perfected .

Here are the 10 things you need to know about transgender people !

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