Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson was a known as being fine drag queen, and street queen, Johnson
was known to the be the first to fight among the police in the Stonewall Riots. In the
early 1970s Johnson and a friend Sylvia cofounded the Street Transvestite Act
Revolutionaries (STAR), together they were a visible presence at gay liberation marches
and other radical political action rallies. In the 1980s Marsha continued with her street
activism as a respected marshal and organizer of ACT UP. With Riveria, Marsha was the
“mother” of STAR House, getting food and clothing to support the young drag queens,
transgender women, and other street kids living on the Christopher Street Docks or in
the lower East Side New York. His death was a sad one. They found his body floating in
the Hudson River off the west village piers after the pride parade in 1992. Police ruled
it as a homicide but the family and friends of his knew he wasn’t and they closed the
case but after much pressure from the public to reopen it they did and in 2012 it was
opened again as a possible homicide.
What is the difference between being a
transsexual and transgender
Transgender is when you identify as a person of the opposite sex, it is where
people don’t conform to one gender for example a man may like women but will
only identify as a cross dresser.
Transsexual is a person who goes through with the complete treatment to become
the opposite sex for instance male to female will take hormones, and have
surgeries done to make them feel and look like what they want to be
What are the consequences of not getting
You are more likely to have mental disorders such as
Other tragic things can happen such as
• A transgender committing suicide
• Getting killed for being different (this is the most frequent thing that happens sadly)
What are the treatments for gender dysphoria
Mental health support
Ways to dress in your preferred gender
Ways to act in your preferred gender
Language and speech therapy
Hair removal treatments
Peer support groups to meet other people with gender dysphoria
Relatives’ support groups for your family
Cross sex hormone therapy
Sexual reassignment surgery
Is gender dysphoria “just a phase?”
A mother, concerned for some time about her young son's preference for female friendships, lack
of male playmates, identification with the feminine such as an interest in Barbie dolls, finally
decides to ask the pediatrician if these are signs of a potential problem. The pediatrician is
reassuring and states: "This is just a phase. It's nothing to worry about. He will grow out of it."
Unfortunately, the pediatrician is probably wrong. Gender confusion problems, including, cross-
dressing, exclusive cross-gender play, awkwardness with peers or siblings of the same sex or lack
of same-sex friends should be treated as a sign that something may be wrong. What's usually
wrong with such a child is that due to a number of specific stressful factors the boy or girl has
psychological conflicts that interfere with embracing the goodness of his masculinity or her
Science has proved that gender dysphoria is not just a phase
It has been shown some kids come out of the phase by the time they are 16 and some don’t for
some its permanent and they go on to get sexual reassignment surgery
Fears of when transitioning
Fears about finding a partner
Impact on family relationships with parents, children, partners and other relatives
Feelings about having to experience surgeries, hormones, (and for MTF
transsexuals) facial hair removal and voice changes.
Frustration of having to change or explain legal documents (drivers license,
passport, titles to property, diplomas, etc)
Impact of relationships at work and with friends.
Treatment for kids and teenagers for gender
a mental health professional, who is trained in dealing with gender dysphoria in
children and teenagers
a paediatric endocrinologist, a specialist in hormone conditions in children
Cross sex hormones
Diagnosis if Gender Dysphoria in children
They will insist that they want to be in the opposite sex’s body and act like the opposite
Will dislike clothes worn by their own sex and want to wear the clothes of the opposite
sex, and show unhappiness about having the wrong genitalia and want the opposite sex
Have not reached puberty
Must have acted this way for about 6 months
Diagnosis of gender dysphoria in teenagers
feel persistently and strongly that they are the wrong sex and feel a strong
identification with the opposite sex
feel discomfort in their sex and its gender role and strongly dislike and wish to be
rid of the physical characteristics of their sex, such as breasts, facial and body hair
experience long-term anxiety, distress and impairment in social and occupational
areas of life due to their condition
not have a condition that causes them to display physical attributes of the
opposite sex (although this is being increasingly questioned)
Side effects of the treatment on gender
Abnormal liver function
• Abnormal liver function
• Gynaecological malignancy
Where does the idea of gender dysphoria come
The idea goes back to the ancient Greeks who had a myth from the book
Metamorphoses Greek myth includes a story about a woman raised as a male
falling in love with another woman, and being transformed into a man prior to a
wedding ceremony and staying with her. It is therefore considered that people
who desire to live as though they have the opposite gender have existed since
Causes of gender dysphoria
A good example, anatomical sex the boy is a male by the growth of the penis, but the gender
identity that comes from the brain can be female.
The reasoning why behind that happens is this may result from the excess female hormones from the
mother’s system or by the fetus's insensitivity to the hormones.
Causes of Gender Dysphoria
• Exposure to estrogen drugs
• CAH is a rare condition that can lead to gender dysphoria
• In CAH a female has adrenal glands that produce high amounts of male hormones and
this causes an enlargement on the female genitals and the baby may be confused with
a male body at birth.
• Other causes
There may be chromosomal abnormalities that may lead to gender dysphoria.
Sometimes defects in normal human bonding and child rearing may be contributing factor
to gender identity disorders.
What are the symptoms of gender dysphoria?
repeated stated desire to be of the opposite sex
in boys a preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire
and, in girls, wearing stereotypical masculine clothing with a
rejection of feminine clothing such as skirts
strong and persistent preferences for cross-sex role in play
strong preference for playmates of the opposite sex
intense desire to participate in games and pastimes of the opposite
Gender dysphoria before and during the 1950s
Not much happened before the 1960s in the history of Gender Identity Disorder and sexual reassignment surgeries, but “the formal
identification and classification of what was considered gender nonconformity … began during the late 1920s” (Reicherzer 2008,
p.330). Two males identifying as female in London, England underwent the first documented genital reassignment surgeries. This was a
new surgery, performed with risk and judgment. The doctor who operated decided to do so based on his concern that the patients
would self-mutilate their genitals in a misguided attempt at creating their own vaginas (Reicherzer 2008, p. 330).
Other experiments occurred in the 1920s and 30s, most of which occurred at Magnus Hirshfield’s Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin,
Germany. Hirshfield's work was halted in 1933 when the Nazis took over (Reicherzer 2008, p. 330-331). During the Second World War
(1939-1945), Nazis murdered and sterilized known transgender people. Several physicians and researchers who contributed to
transgender medicine attempted to flee Germany; those who couldn’t chose to commit suicide during the war (Transgender History,
By 1947, “people seeking ‘sexual transmutation’ were receiving increased medical attention” (Reicherzer 2008, p.331). Harry Benjamin
began to provide hormone treatments to transsexuals in 1949 (Transgender History, 1949).
“Prior to the 1950s, transsexualism was an experience discussed almost exclusively in the medical literature of Western Europe”
(Reicherzer 2008, pg. 332). Most other cultures did not acknowledge the existence of transsexuals, and transsexuals did not receive
widespread attention until an American GI named George Jorgensen became Christine Jorgensen in 1952 (Reicherzer 2008, p.332),
when other transsexuals began seeking information.
Why do they not get help?
• Fear of rejection from family
• The fear of not being able to fit in because you are so different in how you act
and feel towards boy things and girl things
• Having no father figure is another reason why
• Your mom frowning but still doesn’t ignore you
• The dad totally ignores you
Gender Dysphoria in the 1960s
In the early 1960s, Dr. Robert Stoller founded the Gender Identity Research Clinic. This was the first gender clinic in the USA. It focused
on the research and treatment facility of gender identity in children, and its primary goal was to “change the behaviors of ‘sissy boys’
and ‘tomboy’ girls” (Reicherzer 2008, p. 332). This clinic did not provide any form of gender reassignment surgery; instead, it focused
on reinforcing gender conformity.
In 1966, Harry Benjamin, who had been providing hormone treatments to transsexuals since 1949, published The Transsexual
Phenomenon, which attempted to delineate differences between homosexuality, transsexuality, and transvestism (Reicherzer 2008,
p.333). Also in 1966, John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, began providing surgical treatments for transsexuals (Reicherzer
2008, p. 333).
The International Olympic Committee tested competing athletes and removed any transsexuals who wanted to compete in 1968
(Transgender History, 1968).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-II, published in 1968, “include[d] the diagnosis ‘sexual orientation
disturbance [homosexuality]’” (Reicherzer 2008, p.237), which was removed in 1972 in response to gay rights activism. It suffered
through many incorrect definitions, and was officially removed as a medical disorder in 1987. Both homosexuality and transvestitism
were still classified as mental disorders (Reicherzer, p. 335).
In 1969, “transgender and gender-nonconforming people [were] among those who resisted arrest in a routine bar raid on the
Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.” The Stonewall Riots are known to have ignited the LGBT rights movement, still happening today.
Gender Dysphoria in the 1970s and 1980s “The 1970s and 1980s saw a large increase in the number of private doctors who performed sexual reassignment” (Reicherzer 2008, p. 337). However, in early
1970 Justice Ormrod annulled a transsexual marriage and declared April Corbett to be “legally still a man despite sex reassignment”(Transgender History, 1970).
Sex therapy as a psychiatric specialty evolves from the work of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, who revised Freud’s work on theories of orgasm
(Transgender History,1970). The 1970s also ‘saw a rise in criticism from within the profession by other medical and mental health professionals who decried the
lack of follow- up for transsexual clients who utilized university-based gender identity clinics. This led to the closing of the GIC at Johns Hopkins in 1979 and to
the eventual demise of many university-based gender clinics. Privatized service became the more accessible sexual reassignment surgery route” (Reicherzer 2008,
In 1974, Jan Morris, a British Journalist, published Conundrum, a personal account of her transition. A famous transsexual tennis player, Renee Richards, was outed
in 1976 and barred from the sport. “Her subsequent legal battle establishe[d] that transsexuals are legally accepted in their new identity after reassignment in the
US.” [Transgender History, 1976)
In 1979, Harry Benjamin established a team of surgeons, psychiatrists, and psychologists known today as the World Professional Association of Transgender
Health (Reicherzer 2008, p. 334). A television series aired on the BBC in 1979 called “A Change of Sex,” which illuminated the transition process and highlighted
the ignorance of psychologists on the subject (Transgender History, 1979).
In the early 1980s, the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was published. The DSM-III separated “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood”
and “Atypical Gender Identity Disorder” (Reicherzer 2008, p 335-336). Harry Benjamin held the MIND Conference to promote care standards in the treatment of
transsexuals (Transgender History, 1980).
At this time, the ratio of MTFs to FTMs was estimated to be between 8:1 and 2:1 (Reicherzer 2008, 336).
Harry Benjamin, founder of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, passed away in 1987 (Transgender History, 1987), followed two years later
by Christine Jorgensen, the American GI who transitioned in the 1950s. Also in 1989, a famous jazz musician by the name of Billy Tipton died, and it was revealed
that he was a woman. He had lived for fifty-six years as a man (Transgender History, 1989).
The DSM-III-R was published in 1987 reclassified Gender Identity Disorders in “four subtypes: ‘Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood,’ ‘Transsexualism,’ ‘Gender
Identity Disorder of Adolescence or Adulthood,’ and ‘Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified’.” (Reicherzer, p. 337) This was only one of several re-
defining moments in the ever-changing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Gender dysphoria in 1990 to 2000
It was in the early 1990s that many rights activist groups were formed for transgender peoples. In 1991, Gender Trust was founded, a charity that provides support
and information on the subject. In the same year, FTM International was founded by Jamison Green; “it is the world’s largest information and networking group for
female-to-male transgender people” (Transgender History, 1991).
Press For Change, an activist group dedicated to getting rights for LGBT groups, was founded in February of 1992 (Transgender History, 1992). The Intersex Society
of North America formed in 1993 (Transgender History, 1993).
Following a hate crime on a transsexual youth, widespread attention fell on transgender discrimination and violence. The award-winning film Boys Don’t Cry was
released in 1993 (Transgender History, 1993). In 1998, the first transgender character appeared on television, when “Julie Hesmondhalgh join[ed] the [cast of]
Coronation Street as … Hayley Patterson” (Transgender History, 1998).
In 1999, “brain material provided demonstrate[d] transsexualism is a medical condition and not a ‘state-of-mind’” (Transgender History, 1999).
In the early 2000s, the Gender Recognition Act became UK law after a case of outing became an invasion of privacy in the courts. (Transgender History, 2002-2004)
Gwen Amber Rose was beaten and strangled in October 2002, which sparked worldwide outrage and ended in the sentencing of two guilty defendants to fifteen
years to life in prison for second degree murder (Transgender 2006). Also in 2006, star Felicity Huffman received an Oscar nomination for her acting in the film
Jacqueline Dufresnoy, who underwent surgery in 1958 and is hailed as the first trans woman to undergo reassignment, died at age 75 in 2006 (Transgender 2006).
In 2007, “The Pregnant Man” became famous for becoming pregnant while living as a man (Transgender History, 2008).
In 2011, “with the help of the community” Trans Media Watch persuaded Channel 4 in the United Kingdom to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, an
agreement to fairly represent trans people in the media (Transgender History, 2011).
“Currently, the diagnosis for gender identity disorder includes ‘a strong and persistent cross gender identification’ and ‘persistent discomfort about one’s assigned
sex or a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex’” (Reicherzer 2008, p.341). In addition, “an individual who identifies a transgender experience and
recognizes a personal need for sexual reassignment surgery must seek two professionals to diagnose the ‘disorder’ and provide written recommendations for
sexual reassignment surgery as an appropriate treatment protocol” (Reicherzer, p.341).