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Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles 814

An anonymous reader writes "Most of us hear the equivalent of 'let me bring up your record' several times a week or month when dealing with businesses and government agencies; sometimes there's a problem, but clerks are accustomed to dealing with changes in street address, phone numbers, company affiliation, and even personal names (after marriage). But what about gender? Transgendered folks are encountering embarrassing moments when they have to explain that their gender has changed from 'M' to 'F' or vice versa. While there are many issues involved in discrimination against transgendered individuals, I have to confess that the first thing that came to my mind was the impact on database design and maintenance."
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Transgendered Folks Encountering Document/Database ID Hassles

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  • Gov. Work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fekmist ( 2857907 ) on Saturday June 15, 2013 @07:27PM (#44017945)
    I used to work for the government of Canada at an agency which I cannot name. I ran into an awkward situation when I was speaking with a woman who had recently gotten married to another woman and as I was putting the info in, the software I was using told me there was an error that needed to be corrected before proceeding. I was both embarrassed and furious. I could not believe our software was not written with same sex couples in mind and I apologized to her and kept on going with the rest of call. I doubt this issue has been fixed yet, this happened about a year ago.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 15, 2013 @07:36PM (#44018009)

    Do you have testicles?
    Have you ever had testicles?

    Please check M if either of these questions are Yes

  • Re::3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KGIII ( 973947 ) <> on Saturday June 15, 2013 @08:10PM (#44018263) Journal

    It may be unique but it is becoming more common. For better, or worse, we will need to figure something out at some point.

    I have some ethical questions about "fixing" what is a mental health issue with something so drastic as surgery but I'm fortunate to not be in that position so I'm not sure my ethics matter.

    So yeah it is interesting. There's a site that I frequent which has an amazingly high percentage of transgendered people on it. (It is Fark actually.) They have, for whatever reason, managed to attract a lot of them. I've made it a point to be open minded and to listen to them (I don't much care as it doesn't apply to me but I am a curious person) and I'm not sure that I agree that modifying the body to fix a mental illness is a good solution.

    Either way, there's going to be conflicts in databases. There are going to be issues and bathrooms and additional healthcare are a couple of places where this is going to come into play as it becomes more popular. There are plenty of bigger problems with society though so this isn't all that important. If you dye your hair then you put your real hair color on the form at the DMV. If you wear contacts to the appointment at the DMV you still tell them that you need corrective lenses to drive even though they can't see them. But, well, none of those changes are permanent. Then again, sex changes may not be considered permanent either. So, it's a quandary and we're going to have to face it eventually. We can't stuff it into the closet and hope it resolves itself.

    Now, HOW we resolve this will be a measure of our growth as a society. That, though, is a topic for another day.

  • by venicebeach ( 702856 ) on Saturday June 15, 2013 @08:19PM (#44018315) Homepage Journal

    Transgender people are born transgender. [] But what would I know, I'm only trans myself. Go and cisplain somewhere else you vile ignorant prick.

    No offense, but being transgendered does not automatically make you an authority on the origins of transexualism ( just as being human does not in itself make one an expert on the origins of humanity. )

    The degree to which transgender people are born transgender is quite an open question, and there is currently not a whole lot of strong evidence to support that claim (as reflected in the wikipedia article you linked to -- evidence of genetic contributions is scant, and differences in brain structure cannot indicate innateness). Most likely transgenderism involves a complex interaction of genetic, epigenetic, hormonal, developmental, psychological and social factors.

    In some sense I understand why transexual people and gay people (the majority of whom in my experience seem to be committed to the idea that sexual orientation is innate) want this to be the case -- we have good societal analogies for a class of people who are innately different gaining equal status. But in the long run the case for equal rights and humane treatment should probably separate itself from this question, which is purely scientific and far from settled. If the case for equal rights is built upon such an assumption, it may fall like a house of cards as science progresses, and the fact is that we should treat people humanely regardless of the origins of their condition.

  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Saturday June 15, 2013 @09:32PM (#44018777) Homepage

    There are various diseases, dysmorphia, accidents and disorders that affect how one perceives one's gender and which affect how other's perceive one's gender.

    If we want an accurate Object definition for Class>>Gender it has to be implemented to have a pair of small integers as attributes and presented/interacted with as a pair of Sliders.

  • Re:Make it optional (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 15, 2013 @10:57PM (#44019225)

    "Indeterminate" and "Declined to Respond" are both required to be supported in any EHR software in order to meet "Meaningful Use" requirements

    Maybe for medical records, but those of us working on the billing side can tell you that you had better send "Male" or "Female" on the claim (and it has to match what they told the insurance company). At least if you want to get paid.

  • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:01AM (#44020087) Homepage

    Glad you think the world revolves around your surgical options.
    If you want to believe, that's fine, but don't get mad because other people don't feel the same way.

    I fully believe that in general, regardless of any choices that do not harm or even affect others, people should be treated with a reasonable
    amount of respect. Most importantly, if you don't like their choices, it's okay not to like people, their way of doing things, that's actually OKAY.
    You're totally not allowed to like something.

    What's not okay is treating them poorly because of it, insulting them, discriminating against them in life matters. I'm so tired of discrimination being
    yelled at every little thing when someone simply 'doesn't like it' in a conversation or discussion.

    If you choose not to hire someone because they're transgender, even though they would be excellent at the job, that discrimination and wrong.
    But we haven't reached the day and age where you're not allowed to pick your friends. If you don't like it, leave them alone.

    Should the government be required to collect your beliefs, that you're a women or man now, based on your surgery? Honestly, way above my pay grade.
    For me personally, a persons genetic gender and characteristics from birth are what *I* choose to use to define what gender they are to me, and how I will interact with them.

    It doesn't mean that I will hate them or couldn't be friends with them, but for me personally I wouldn't be interested in being sexually involved with them.
    I don't like that there are some transgender people who feel I shouldn't know, and just base it on what I "think" they are , or what they believe they are.

    To go to the extreme, if I surgically alter myself to make me look like your lover, should you just accept that I am, or should you know that I'm not really?
    Can I argue that I believe I am and you should accept it?

    If you look at it strictly from a logical point of view, both are surgeries that alter physical characteristics to another to provoke the same response one with those characteristics would receive. So?

    P.S, if you're a lesbian, and I transgender to a female, (Yes I'm a guy, go ahead with it's a guy go figure his comments bashing, because we've never been stereotyped or dismissed based on gender) would you be interested?

  • Re:WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Elledan ( 582730 ) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:33AM (#44020199) Homepage
    Actually there are far more intersex people than transgender. And many transgender people are in fact intersex people who suffered forced sex assignment surgery as an infant. We are talking about up to 1:150 people here, if not more. From XXY, to AIS to full-blown hermaphroditism. Intersex conditions are everywhere and often lead to the gender hell described.

    I'm a hermaphrodite myself. I was marked as being male at birth because my female genitals weren't visible. During puberty my body however turned fully female (breasts, hips, etc.). Yet my ID card still said that I was male. This was really fun because everyone recognized me as being female (looks, voice), but my official gender said something else. So many embarrassing and awkward situations.

    It's taken me over eight years now to get my condition acknowledged and my first name as well as my official gender changed, the latter being the first time ever for an intersex person here in the Netherlands. I'm also suing the largest gender team in the Netherlands (VUmc, Amsterdam) for dismissing me as possibly intersex, instead trying to fool me into thinking I had to be transgender.
  • by goruka ( 1721094 ) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @02:42AM (#44020271)
    Most transgendered people are similar to the most extreme religious fanatics. They have a belief that they were born in the wrong body, just like christian people believes in Jesus.
    However, they are convinced that everyone else should believe the same thing as they do and get really angry when someone doesn't

    Well, tough luck, I respect them the same way as I respect all religions, but I am too in my right to not believe that. I just can't understand how someone can believe they were born the opposite sex, when they have no way to know what being the opposite sex is like, and as much can imagine it, just as I can imagine myself being rich or being a ninja.
    They try to become accepted by society using the analogy of gay people or black people being accepted too, but your skin color or sexual preference is a fact, not a belief. It's not the same!

    So, yeah, I'm all for them doing whatever they want, believing what they want, doing surgery, be called as female, not be made fun of, etc, but I'm against them pretending me to accept their belief.
  • Re::3 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 16, 2013 @04:51AM (#44020623)

    Hi, I wanted to throw my 2 cents in, and this seemed like the best post to respond too. (Although the original poster has almost certainly run into this same type of response before.) I wanted to start by saying that this is my first post, ever, as an AC. I have never been afraid to state unpopular opinions or connect anything that I've said here with my real life. But this topic changes that. Not because I have an unpopular opinion, (I think, at least) but because I am transsexual. Now, the real horny issues here arise not only because I'm transsexual (TS), but because I'm not publicly out yet. Only a few friends, my therapist, and my endocrinologist have any idea that I'm not a normal twenty-something male. Not even my whole family, including my parents, have any idea. I have been on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for about 11 months now. Because of living and social circumstances, I have not been able to transition socially yet, and probably will not complete a social transition for quite some time yet. Anyways, I just wanted to outline the reason that I am posting AC, aside from the general fears of physical violence, discrimination, and unemployment that transgendered (TG) people face anyways.

    Now, before I really get to the meat of the post, I suppose a little background is in order. I am 27, was assigned male at birth, and have a shiny, almost new, only slightly scuffed BS in mathematics with a minor in computer science that I earned last year. I recently failed out of grad school, for reasons I will discuss shortly, and have relocated to a new city and state. (And if anyone has a job for a poor freak looking for work, let me know! I'm a good problem solver! Very outside the box, you know!) I came upon the discovery of my transsexualism later than I would have liked, as I only started to even suspect that I might be TG when I was in my early twenties. This story is, of course, completely anecdotal. However, it is a story that I've heard, first hand, many times before, and the conclusions that I will be drawing from it have been backed by research, or are standard views among those medical professionals that wish to treat TG persons in the most effective way possible.

    I guess, to make my story as clear as possible, I should probably be a little overly verbose and in-depth. When I was very young, I broke gender norms, but I didn't shatter them. My favorite color was hot pink, but I love digging holes on the playground and playing with my Tonka trucks. The toy kitchen and stove we had were my favorite play-set, but I abhorred dolls. I loved to play at war and shoot fake guns at things, but I also loved to draw... and I almost never drew scenes of violence that are so stereotypically male. I don't think, at the time, that anyone would have thought I was anything other than a normal, well adjusted little boy. Looking back, I felt very comfortable with myself, and I liked myself as a person. I was popular, personable, and exceptionally extroverted. Sadly, my 3rd grade year, that all changed. I was 8 or so, (perhaps 9, I've never had a firm grasp of my early age in my memories) and over the course of that year, I began to discover that something was wrong with me. Playing with the other boys was... not enjoyable, and I felt left out and isolated. I felt much more comfortable with the girls, but I knew I didn't fit in with them, either. I became very introverted, and retained only a few friends, even though I was in a class with the same 25 or so children through all of elementary school. This change, in and of itself, was probably not a terrible one. However, this year is the first year I remember being truly depressed. I had always been a serious underachiever, but now I started to tell myself every night that I was a failure, that no one liked me, and that the world would be a better place without my presence sullying it. I became suicidal, and often thought about ways in which I could kill myself. No one was ever allowed to know about these feelings of despair, and o

  • Re:WTF (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Sunday June 16, 2013 @01:38PM (#44022593) Homepage Journal

    Yes, that's a great argument. Magical thinking people held them in special regard. Ancient people did a lot of stupid shit.
    Native American Culture is dead. has been dead for 60 years. This trying to hang onto what are ancestors did while using rifles, driving cars, and running casinos is a laughable abuse of ones own culture. All cultures die eventually, the question is do you want you kids and their kids to continue to live in squalor, or move on?
    Frankly, a lot of people I talk to seem more interested n their option of culture surviving then their own children's welfare.

I've got a bad feeling about this.