There are many resources available for the professional looking for answers on issues of Gender Identity. Some of these are in print form and other available on the internet. With all internet resources, great care should be taken to determine the accuracy and origin of the information.
Internet based resources
These are the books I often use for introducing the concepts. The books are useful for professionals and those they serve. I often provide these texts to families with internet sources.
Hormone information for the professional and the client/patient:
Resources for Legal and Social Concerns
Other useful print media information resources are:
Here are some definitions I have prepared to help you understand the Gender Identity Concerns. I realize language and definitions change over time and understand that as research brings new information there may be new definitions and terms.
Gender Identity (in the psychological use) The sameness, unity, and persistence of one's individuality as male or female (or ambivalent), especially as it is experienced in self-awareness and behavior. Gender identity is the inward and individual experience of maleness or femaleness--or ambivalence--and gender role, or presentation, is the public expression of that gender identity. Non traditional gender identity becomes visible through having identity, expression, or physical characteristics not traditionally associated with one's biological sex or one's sex at birth.
Transsexual People who change their primary social gender roles and their physical bodies. They make use of medication and surgery to bring their bodies into harmony with their inner sense of gender identity. Transsexual individuals often follow a prescribed set of standards in their pursuit of medical assistance.
Transgender The original use of the term "transgender" referred to people who changed their social role to live fully in the gender role opposite of their gender role as assigned at birth, but they do so without changing their bodies through surgery or medication. This was the original meaning of the term.
Currently the term "transgender" is being adopted as a popular umbrella term in an effort to unite many forms of gender identity/gender variant expression, and to build a community. The emerging meaning refers to all individuals who experience internal conflict with their physical sex and thus their gender expression or physical characteristics may differ from their gender as assigned at birth.
If the term "transgendered" is used in ordinances and other protections, limited interpretation of its meaning could exclude some individuals from protection, e.g., those gender non-conforming persons who do not meet the limited reading of the term "transgendered" because although they live fully in a gender role other than their sex at birth they have not chosen to include physical alteration in their transition.
Other individuals who might also be excluded by a limited used of the term transgendered include those who might appear "too feminine" or "too masculine" in their daily presentations, intersexed individuals, androgynous individuals, and persons whose cultural gender roles are different from those of the dominate culture in which they live.
Gender Non-Conforming/ Gender Variant Synonymous terms sometimes used in gender identity literature to refer to persons whose social gender role presentations do not fall into the usually accepted perimeters within a given culture. Examples of gender non-conforming and gender variant persons include individuals who might appear "too feminine" or "too masculine" in their daily presentations, intersexed individuals, androgynous individuals, and persons whose cultural gender roles are different from those of the dominate culture in which they live.
Intersexed This term refers to the biological issues involved when individuals are born with genital structures that are different from the majority. This is not transsexual or transgendered, but a separate set of categories that have their own concerns and treatment issues. Intersex refers to physical conditions that are different from the cultural norm. Consult the Intersex Society of North America web site for more information: www.isna.org
Androgynous Existence of both male and female characteristics in equal amounts in one being. "In 1974, a Stanford University psychologist, Sandra Bem, developed the concept of androgyny. Bem does not view femininity and masculinity at opposite poles of a continuum. In other words, if you are high in masculine traits, you are not automatically low in feminine traits..." (David A. Gershaw, Ph.D.)
Gender Dysphoria This term was coined in the 1960s to provide a clinical title for clients and patients whose primary diagnosis was Transsexualism. The Benjamin Association took the term as part of its name when the organization was founded in the late 1970s. At that time there was very little literature on Gender Identity concerns, and many of the terms used today had not been developed. Today Gender Dysphoria is giving way to Gender Identity as a primary term.
Questioning A term growing in popularity, created to include individuals who are exploring gender and/or sexual identity and expression. Sometimes this exploration is formal, as in the use of psychotherapy and medical services, and sometimes it is a personal process. Unlike transsexual or transgender issues, questioning is the condition of not being committed to a particular expression of identity.