Why talking about transsexuality is important • Ángela Aznárez – Sexology and Psychology

Here is an article I wrote for the blog of Inmertec

As a result of the transphobic campaign of make yourself heard, transsexuality is giving a lot to talk about. In this article we are going to delve into this topic and show you a small glossary of terminology related to it.

The transsexuality is defined as the situation that occurs when there is no concordance between the sex assigned to you at birth, and the sexual identity you feel.

It is important to note that genital surgery is not considered a requirement to recognize a person as transsexual.

To fully understand this definition, it is important to be familiar with the following concepts:

  • biological sex: Corresponds to the physical and biological characteristics that differentiate us at birth. This includes the genitals, hormones, chromosomes, etc. You can be female, male, intersex…
  • Gender identity: It is defined as belonging to one sex or another (man or woman), on certain occasions, neither or both (Gender queer).
  • sexual orientation: It relates to the people we are attracted to. They are sexual orientations: heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, pansexual, asexual…
  • gender expression: It is defined as the way a person has to express their identity, that is, how we dress and behave.
  • gender roles: It is that behavior that we carry out based on our sexual identity, that is, we will act in one way or another depending on the gender with which we identify. It refers to behaviors, norms, attitudes…
  • Transphobia: Discrimination, fear, hatred, rejection and contempt towards transsexual people.
  • Transvestism: Many people confuse this term with transsexuality. Colloquially, it is used to refer to those who dress as people with a different sex than the one assigned at birth, without intending to transform their body. It is also defined as people who obtain erotic stimulation by wearing clothes of the opposite sex, as a fetish.

Until recently, transsexuality has been considered as a psychological and psychiatric disorder, as a pathology. The term was first introduced in DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association) in 1980, and was eliminated in the DSM-V, in 2013.

However, in other manuals such as the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases), it is still considered a disorder, specifically “sexual identity disorder”. For this reason, many transsexuals and activists do not stop moving for it to be removed from this manual.

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What steps does a transsexual person have to take in order to carry out sex reassignment?

Until recently, the reassignment process was long and complex, since it involved: psychological and psychiatric evaluation and treatment, hormonal medical treatment and plastic surgery.

One part of the process is known asThe real life test“. This test consists in the person beginning to act assuming the sex that he feels is his. The duration of the test is extended to two years, and involves dressing as the sex you want to have, changing your name, and behaving and acting in this way in society, following specific and preconceived stereotypes about what is considered masculine or feminine. , and in a non-progressive way. Only if this test is positive, the step of considering a reassignment surgery is taken.


Although it is important to act according to the felt and desired sex, it is not easy to put into practice. This is not only a difficult experience for the person who wants the reassignment, but also for the whole family and close friends.

The majority of the trans community, activists and associations, are in total disagreement with this “test”, as it makes it difficult for the transsexual person to integrate into their environment, and in many cases, especially in adolescents, the parents are the first to not accept this measure, refusing to treat your child according to the identity felt by him/her. For all these reasons, this practice is currently considered obsolete.


In February 2017, a new protocol was published by the Ministry of Health in Andalusia to deal with cases of transsexuality. In this new protocol, a consultation with the primary care physician or pediatrician first takes place, where information about treatment options is offered. Later, he is referred to the endocrinologist who, after a series of tests, diagnoses the hormonal drugs and follows up on the case. This protocol considerably facilitates the steps that a transsexual person has to take to achieve sex reassignment.

Finally, we cannot stop talking about the prevalence of transsexual people in Spain. In the studies, the figures are disparate, but they coincide in the fact that there is one transsexual person for every 1,000 approximately. Providing more specific data, until June 2014 the National Institute of Statistics tells us that in Andalusia, with figures of 1:1,000, there was a total of 858 transsexual children aged between 3 and 12 years and a total of 613 with ages between 13/18.

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Undoubtedly, data like this show us that there are more girls with penises and boys with vulvas than many want to believe.

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this amazing content

Why talking about transsexuality is important • Ángela Aznárez – Sexology and Psychology

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