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It all begins with one chromosome. Sometimes, nature plays a cruel joke on people. They may be given sexual organs of one sex and even the general appearance of someone of that sex, but the person knows, as they get older, that something is wrong. A child may tell the parents that they are not a boy, they are a girl, or the other way round. They identify with the other sex, having the same interests or desires, or they may simply hide their feelings and become androgynous in appearance. This is gender dysphoria, commonly known as being "transgender." Other times, even before puberty, individuals know that they are attracted to the same sex. Many of their pals and playmates know this, as do some siblings, before they finally tell their parents that they are gay. It takes courage and many people take years, even to adulthood, before they come out to the world.
The story of gender dysphoria is as old as the story of our species. Once considered a psychiatric disorder, we now understand that gender dysphoria, sometimes called transgender, is a biological condition, related to the development of sexual identity and most likely established before birth. If our biological sex and feelings about our gender identity do not match, gender dysphoria may result.
The case of Bruce Jenner has done much to bring attention to the plight of people who are so seriously unhappy with the gender into which they were born that they contemplate or undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Celebrities, books and films have helped educate and make the general public more aware and more understanding of the deep pain with which those who suffer from this condition, known as gender dysphoria, suffer. Major hospitals and government agencies have also worked quickly to provide resources online to help those who suffer or believe they may suffer from this extreme form of sexual discontent