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HealthInfo Canterbury

Gender dysphoria

transgenderWhen someone feels their gender identity doesn't match the sex they were born with, we call this gender dysphoria.

It can also be called:

The sex someone was born is called their biological sex. It depends on whether they have the body of a boy or a girl. Gender identity is the gender that a person feels they are.

For example, someone may have the body of a man (with a penis and testicles), but feel they are a woman.

A transsexual is someone who has a strong feeling of gender dysphoria that doesn't go away. Many transsexuals want to change their bodies to match their gender identity.

Some transsexual people feel they are neither male nor female, but both, or somewhere in between.

"Trans" is often used as a general term. People might prefer other words, including:

Some just prefer male or female.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

For queer and trans youth

Written by the Department of Endocrinology, Christchurch Hospital. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2016.

See also:

Reading in Mind book scheme

Sexual orientation & gender identity

Page reference: 72466

Review key: HIGDY-72466