AllAfrica.com – Audrey Mbugua
Outlining the essential differences between sex and gender, Audrey Mbugua discusses the damaging general incomprehension of transsexualism within Kenyan society. Drawing upon personal experience of prejudice in the field of work and life at large, Mbugua states that transsexual people deserve the same respect and treatment as any other member of society, and urges those uneducated about transsexuals to think before opening their mouths.
A transsexual person is someone who experiences deep and long-lasting discomfort with his or her anatomical (genital) sex and wishes to change their physical characteristics, including genitals (through hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery), to the opposite of those usually associated with their anatomical sex in order to live in the gender role opposite to that normally associated with their anatomical sex. It is not a form of sexual orientation but a clinical condition whose basis is the existence of sex and gender conflicts. It is best managed by a psychiatrist, a urologist and a gynaecologist. Contrary to public misconception, sex and gender are two entirely different entities. Sex refers to the type of genitals one has. Gender refers to one’s internal perception as male, female or something else (like androgynous).