from Gender Identity Disorders
Kim describes Harry (not her real name) who does not identify as either male or female. Harry was once married and cross-dressed with his wife's permission. However, one summer in California, he was shopping in a fetish store and the salesgirl gave him a complete make-over. He walked out of the store as "Sally."
Sally considers himself a gender outlaw, playing outside the traditional definitions of man and woman. Sally runs his business as a man and has not had sex change surgery but considers himself a woman.
Kim quotes Rupert Raj, a counselor at the Toronto-based Sherbourne Health Centre, who was born female but thinks she's a man. According to Raj, "[Transgenders] mean an openness to not being boxed in to either sexual orientation or gender identity. Sometimes they want hormones and no surgery. Sometimes they want surgery and no hormones. Sometimes they don't want either."
Kim claims that "current thinking on gender is coming around to the concept that sex, like sexual preferences, isn't an either/or proposition but rather a continuum. Transgender studies have become a hot new area of scholarship as more transgendered academics come out and publish." She describes York University Professor Michael Gilbert who began cross-dressing in 1996 after he'd received tenure. Gilbert claims there are numbers of people who aren't comfortable with being categorized as either male or female. According to Gilbert, "I think of gender as analogous to eyesight-there are many different prescriptions."
According to Stanford University biologist Joan Roughgarden, a transsexual, half of the animal world and plants the most common body form is both male and female. Roughgarden says that many species have three or more genders. The traditional view that male and female are normal is incorrect. Roughgarden believes that "diversity" is the norm.
The transgender movement has caught the attention of Vancouver Member of Parliament Bill Siksay who sees the need for protection for individuals who believe they are the opposite sex or are gender fluid. The MP introduced a bill in May, 2005 that would amend the Human Rights Act to include legal protections for "gender identity" or "gender expression." According to Gilles Marchildon, executive director of the homosexual group Egale Canada, "Trans people are where the gay and lesbian rights movement was a couple decades ago."