Focus on the Family

Who is Included in the ‘Transgender Umbrella?’

The “transgender umbrella” encompasses an ever-growing, ever-changing list of “gender identities” and “gender expressions.” Any “gender identity” may use public accommodations and threaten the safety and privacy of children, women and men.

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Those who agree with the “gender identity” movement will often say things like, “Gender is what’s in your brain; being male or female ― your sex ― is just your body.” They believe that “what’s in your brain” trumps biological reality. Somehow our bodies are split from our mind and we must cater to what’s in the mind.  

This is part of the belief system of the growing “transgender” movement. It’s important to know these beliefs are not scientific, but are theories and ideas. And they are ideas and beliefs that have morphed and shifted over time. There is not even settled opinion about what the terms and language of this movement mean; it is highly unstable and is constantly evolving.

For example, many of us, when we hear the term “transgender,” think about what used to be called “transsexuality” or a “sex change.” These are terms that not long ago referred to men or women who use dress, makeup, hormones and surgery to live as if they were the opposite sex. Now, there are ever-expanding options within “gender identities.”

To summarize, “transgender” doesn’t just refer those who “transition” to live as the opposite sex. It includes to a wide-ranging, ever-growing, ill-defined number of people with any number of “gender identities.”

The Growing List of Gender Identities

Transgender-identified activists and their allies now refer to a “transgender umbrella,” which includes a much wider variety of people who identify or express themselves in a number of ways. Many of these individuals do not use hormones or surgery to change their bodies; but, they simply insist their bodies are what they say they are ― regardless of biological reality. Their gender may be purely an internal state of mind. And, it may change from day-to-day.

In 2014, Facebook® released its mindboggling list of more than 50 custom gender options“Facebook No Longer Limits Your Gender to “Male” or “Female”; in Europe, they added even more “gender” options: “Facebook’s 71 gender options come to UK users”, all of which would be included under the “transgender umbrella.” Here are just a few:

  • Agender (without gender);
  • Androgyne (neither male nor female, but both at the same time);
  • Bigender (those with any two genders ― male, female or other);
  • Cisgender Female (a woman, born female, who has always identified as female);
  • Gender Fluid (someone whose gender shifts and varies over time);
  • Genderqueer (people who express themselves in non-normative ways, who do not conform to either male or female expectations); and,
  • Pangender (those who identify as all genders)

In addition, the “transgender umbrella” includes many groups who aren’t even listed on Facebook. Some of those other people include:

  • Cross dressers (typically heterosexual men or women who wear clothes of the opposite sex);
  • Transvestic fetishist (usually heterosexual men or women who wear clothes of the opposite sex for purposes of an emotional high or sexual arousal);
  • Drag Queens and Kings (those who dress as the opposite sex for performance purposes);
  • Butches (women or men who dress and act in stereotypically hyper-masculine ways ― may also be referred to as “masculine of center”); and, 
  • Femmes (men or women who dress and act in stereotypically hyper-feminine ways ― may also be referred to as “feminine of center”).

The truth is nobody has really created a “third gender” or “gone beyond the gender binary” of male and female. All these are variations of, combinations of, or the negation of male and female.

God’s original design of two sexes still shines through, even amongst those who choose to “transgress” against or rebel against so-called societal norms of male and female.

As transgenderism continues to be pushed by cultural elites in entertainment, education and politics, one of the demands is for access to public accommodations, such as restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms based solely on a person’s internal gender identity.

So, as laws are passed to allow anyone of any gender identity or expression to access any public accommodations, it’s easy to see some of the problems this creates. We’re no longer talking about a man who now looks like a woman using the women’s restroom.

Young girls, at a swim practice at their local college, could see a man who believes he’s a woman, but has a completely male body, using the women’s locker room and sauna.  A mom might encounter a biological male in a woman’s one-piece swimming suit, watching women take showers at the local pool. A woman could be assaulted by a male “transvestic fetishist” who legally accessed a women’s restroom under these laws.

Sadly, these incidents have already happened. That’s why many of us ― from Focus on the Family to concerned moms like former ACLU leader Maya Dillard Smith  ― are questioning and speaking out about laws that give special rights based on “gender identity.” 

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