chapter  22
18 Pages

THE FEMALE EXPERIENCE OF THE FEMME: A TRANSGENDER CHALLENGE

As recently as five years ago, the word "transgendcr" began to emerge as an accepted term to describe the wide variety of individuals with gender-identity and cross-dressing concerns and the community they created. A new category was created ro describe those whose identities lay Ksomewhere inbetween" the already-defined categories of cross-dresser and transsexual. In this newly designated category, many individua ls identify themselves as " rransgenderists" -that is, bigendered, androgynous, or two-spirited. Some transgenderists live equal!y comfortably as female or male, some live androgynous]y, some cross-live full-time, some have feminizing or masculinizing procedures for personal enrichment, and many cake hormones. None have genital surgery. The literature has only iust begun to address this expanded definition of gender identity. What has been written has been primari ly in the community's own newsletters and other publications.