What does transgender mean?

Do you feel like you are a girl, but you were born as a boy? Or do you feel you are a boy, but you were born as a girl? Then you are a transgender person.

Feeling transgender

You do not choose to be a transgender person.

Transgender people may behave in a way that matches their true gender. However, many do not feel safe to do so. Out of fear of being discriminated against. Or out of shame. The way a transgender person expresses his/her identity does not change their identity on the inside. And it does not make their feelings of identity less valid.

Switching gender

Some transgender people choose to transition. This means they take steps to live in a way that more closely lines up with their identity.

There are a different ways to transition:

  • Changing how you look: This can include changing the kind of clothes you choose to wear or making different decisions about makeup. 
  • Changing your name: Many trans people choose to change the name they are called by people in their life, and/or on their ID and other documents. 
  • Changing the gender on your ID: Your ID number classifies you as either male or female. You can apply to the Department of Home Affairs to have this changed to reflect your gender correctly. 
  • Changing your body: This can include taking sex hormones and/or having surgery. 

Are you transgender? Or is someone you know transgender and do you want to talk about it? The loveLife counsellors are there for you.

loveLife Call Centre: 0800 121 900 (from any Telkom public phone)

loveLife Pls Cal Me Service:
Vodacom: *140*0833231023#
MTN: *121*0833231023#
Cell C: *111*0833231023#
Telkom: *140*0833231023#

If you think you are transgender or you’d like to find out more, check out the Gender Dynamix website.

Want to learn more about what intersex means? Click here

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