Psychological Effects of Transgender Males Versus Gay Men


General overview

The identity, discrimination, rights and psychological effects of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people (LGBT) have raised several debates in the society today. This minority groups were initially not recognized or was ignored but today there is campaign of recognition and understanding of this groups. There is a lot of stereotype that are associated with this group. Some of the stereotypes try to moralizer the sexual tendency of this groups and this has led to discrimination and stigmatization of the groups. The conflict in these groups is usually associated with how other people see and expect from the group and how individual person identify himself or herself and the internal sexual desires of the individual.

The majority of people in our society are heterosexual. Being the majority this group of the society expects every other person in the society to behave and act as they do. The social activities, occupations and social institutions are set with accordance with the majority (Paul, 2002). This being the case, these social creations are set according to the majority heterosexuals. An institution such as marriage is set according to the heterosexual. Thus the Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender are forced to fit in these social structures even though they are physically, sexually or psychologically different (Susan, Whittle, 2006).

Sexual and gender prejudices dominate many of institution in our society. The straight majority may not understand the LGBT and thus they discriminate and prejudice them. For example a study made in some US college showed that many of LGBT in US colleges fear for their safety due to the sexual orientation or gender identity (Susan, Whittle, 2006).

Psychological Effects of Transgender Males Versus Gay Men

The psychological weight laid under the LGBT group is usually heavy. Living in a world that is dominated by the majority Heterosexual, LGBT find it challenging to fit in. They remain in misidentification, stigmatization and excessive self consciousness. It has been observed that there is high number of members of this group suffering from cases of psychological problem such as depression, and suicide. At the same time there are high cases of abuse of drugs from members from this group. These effects observed from the members of LGBT calls for more understanding of the group. Each of the members of the group is actually different and thus each group should be studied and understood individually (Harcourt, 2006). The Lesbians and Gay are homosexual in that they are sexually attracted to other persons of the same sex. In general transgender are those individuals who tend to diverge from their gender roles.

Transgender is concerned with the gender. A transgender is a person whose self gender identity differs from the gender identity assigned by the others. A person is assigned a gender after birth based on the genetic sex. On the other 0side other people would assign a gender depending on the physical appearance. Thus a transgender does not conform with the usually definition of a male of a female. Transgender however does not imply any sexual tendencies; it is purely concerned with the gender identity of an individual (Susan, Whittle, 2006). Thus a transgender may be heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual. Their sexual orientation thus differs from their gender identity. The conflict of the sexual tendency and gender identity of the transgender is usually conflicting. Being a transgender may put a person into a dilemma. The sexual orientation of the individual may be completely different to the gender identity where by the person may be attracted to individual with the same conventional gender identity.

Statement of the problem

Transgender persons may be attracted to other individuals of the same sex. A transgender may a different gender identity from that that assigned at birth. This gender identity may conform to the gender identity assigned at birth or it may not (Susan, Whittle, 2006). The sexual orientation of the transgender would at the same time conform to the gender identity or not. Thus the sexual orientation of the transgender may make him or her to be considered as homosexual by others. For example a transgender man may be sexually attracted to another man. In this case the transgender may be considered by other as a gay. But since the self gender identity of the transgender may be different from the gender identity assigned to him at birth, will this person consider himself as gay? The study aims at understanding the psychological effects of such a

Psychological Effects of Transgender Males Versus Gay Men

dilemma. The statement of hypothesis is: To study the psychological effects of transgender males versus gay men.

Need for the study

The LGBT are reported to be prejudiced by other people due to their not conforming the social structures and social expectation. This group has also been reported to suffer from psychological problem due to their conflicting identity (Paul, 2002). The sexual orientation has been associated with the psychological and not the physiological part of individuals. For transgender man who is attracted to another man, the internal identity of the transgender may be highly involved in the sexual orientation.

There are other issues of identity that affect the transgender. Such issues are desire for surgical correction, orientation to clothing, and child birth. The female desires of the transgender men drive them to act or involve in controversial issues. For example, a there are transgender men who go to the extent that they seek surgical solution so that they can bear children (Harcourt, 2006).

Gays are homosexuals in that they are men who feel more comfortable and content in a sexual relation with another man. Many of the transgender men are sexually attracted to females but there are a few who are attracted to other men (Paul, 2002). As a transgender man the person has always tried to express his female mature. The internal identity to the person is that of a female and the person is internally attracted to female traits. I f such a transgender is sexually attracted to another man, and then the reason for the attraction is different to that of a gay man. The sexual attraction may be as a result of the transgender man’s desire for being a fully a female. Despite this orientation, how this transgender man identifies himself is of importance.

Definition of terms

Psychological Effects of Transgender Males Versus Gay Men

Transgender: A person whose internal gender identity differ from the physical.

Transsexual: This is a person who wants to change his or her gender identity so that he or she can live in permanently in the new gender identity.

Gender dysphoria: It is a medical term for gender dilemma.

Gender community: A term that refer to all the people who are transgender.

Cross-dressing: Is a person who has a gender identity with one sex and assigned the same at birth but who wears cloths of the opposite sex (Paul, 2002).

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is giving a clear psychological insight of the identity of transgender men. The study is to explore how the transgender men who are attracted to other men consider themselves and how this psychological effect affects their relationship. Secondary data analysis will be used in the study.


Harcourt (2006) Current issues in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Volume 51:-Routledge;

Paul (2002) Taking sides, Taking sides: Clashing Views On Controversial Issues in Sex and

Gender:- McGraw-Hill

Psychological Effects of Transgender Males Versus Gay Men (2001) Retrieved from

on 8th October 2009:-

Susan, Whittle (2006):- The transgender studies reader:-CRC Press