January 31, 2014

Can You Help In Creating a Science-Based Transgender FAQ?

isolated faq buttonThere are plenty of great “transgender basics” FAQs and pamphlets out there for sharing with friends and family, or to serve as resources for basic Internet searches, but they primarily focus on the social aspects of trans, on questions of identity and pronouns, etc. I’ve got it into my head that some sort of science-based Trans FAQ — something with a 10-cent rundown of basic science facts about being transgender — might be a valuable thing to put out there.

If this is a thing that’s going to work, it will need to actually target some of those questions, as the name implies, that are frequently asked by folks concerning the medical and biological evidence for transgender as a legitimate diagnosis/condition. I’m not talking a diagnostic tool [there’s no point in trying to recreate the DSM] but just a page to link to, or a pamphlet to print off, that could be shared with the casual layperson.

What I need from you folks on the Internet, then, is help deciding where to focus. What are some questions that you think are most commonly asked or discussed or explained when transfolk talk with non-transfolk as it concerns the medical and scientific knowledge about transgender? Should it cover topics of brain differences? Hormonal effects? Psychological measures? Something else?

I don’t have a real timeframe for this project; right now I’m just brainstorming the idea. If you have any suggestions, you can use the Comments form below to offer suggestions. Or, tweet suggestions to me @TransSci, or post them to the TransSci Facebook Page.


  • Something which leans toward “hard” evidence… for a casual layperson’s curiosity. I don’t know if these two go together the way you seem to be speaking of here. One thing I am finding is “Trans 101” is often enough to gauge someone’s reaction and if they are truly interested, then a more detailed discussion can begin, which seems to be more of an ongoing dialogue.

    I’m not sure the average person is going to care about the differences in brain structure, changes in hormones and other chemistry levels, or really much of anything too technical. Such things go right over their heads, like switching from English to Latin in the middle of a sentence. They lack the motivation to go deep into the same issues which hound us day and night.

    If someone is truly interested in learning more, I would think a catalogue of links to the appropriate resources, (websites) would be sufficient. (You can also add a section for books). At the same time it will help Trans people who are looking for reliable information, saving them countless hours pouring through search results.

    Just my two cents worth.


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