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2014

Transgenderism

2014 Transgenderism Name: Marisha Satnarine Supervisor: Mme. Perreault School: Lcchs Length: 2,874

Name: Marisha Satnarine Supervisor: Mme. Perreault School: Lcchs Length: 2,874

Table of content

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………Page 1 Goal …………………………………………………………………………………….Page 1

Selection of Sources…………………………………………………………………

Page

3

Application of Information ……………………………………………

Page

4

Achieving the Goal …………………………………………………………………….Page 5

Reflect on Learning ……………………………………………………………………Page 6 Bibliography …………………………………………………………………………….Page 9

Introduction

From a young age we‟re taught that you‟re either a boy or girl. Society teaches

us that there are gender roles that accompany your gender. If for some reason you

aren‟t a stereotypical female or male then people will quickly form assumptions. Once a person falls out of society‟s definition of „normal‟ and starts breaking these gender roles suddenly there‟s something wrong with them. This is far from the truth. That‟s why I

chose to do a project on transgender individuals. My goal was to create a video about transgender people. The area of interaction

  • I chose was health and social education because it fit perfectly with my project. The way

  • I intended on achieving my goal was by researching information about transgender

people via the internet, books, documentaries, etc. I created a plan of my video, took some videos of people who are transgender, add music , and put it all together. My final product was a video that I separated into two parts. The first part talks about male-to- female transgender individuals. My main focus was the social aspect and how they knew that they were transgender. The second part was of female-to-male transgender people. My intention was to focus this part more on health rather than social.

The Goal

My main goal was to become aware of what it means to be transgender. A few years ago I had a friend who told me he was transgender. I had no knowledge as to

what this meant. Because of him, I became fascinated and started researching about it.

  • I learned so much and he had taught me a lot of things too. I had a profuse amount of

prior knowledge before doing my personal project. Health and social education seemed to fit this topic perfectly. When some transgender people go on specific hormones it alters their natural hormones drastically. There are many other health changes that occur which is why it fits perfectly with the health aspect. The way it relates to social is because you‟ll be able to see how society

treats transgender people and the support they receive. Both health and social education go hand in hand with my project.

Other areas of interactions that can connect are community and service and environment. My project can be linked to community and services since there are parts

of the video that show the services that are provided to transgender people. There‟s a

part in the video that talks about what the community can do to make the transitioning of transgender people a little more bearable. For example, they can refer to the transgender person by their preferred pronouns and showing them respect. There are parts in the video that addresses different social environments such as school and at home.

I had many inquiry questions but the one I felt that best fit this project was: “how does being transgender affect a person‟s social life and health?” Most people have no

idea how people who are transgender feel or the things they go through on a day-to-day basis. I wanted to enlighten people on obstacles that they‟re faced with every day. This is why I decided to make a video depicting their challenges.

My outcome was longer than anticipated. It was support to be a short documentary but it turned out to be nearly an hour long. My outcome was comprised of different videos and documentaries which I then edited and took the scenes I thought were important for my video. I added definitions in order for the viewers to have a better understanding. I had quite a few specifications. One was being able to illustrate what being transgender is via definitions, explanations, pictures, etc. I want to distinctively show the difference between gender and sex, show how different hormones will affect one's body, and most importantly, show the psychological affect it has on a transgender person.

My main goal vacillated throughout the course of doing this project. At first I wanted to write a research paper, but that seemed boring. I decided to make a video instead. My main challenge was choosing whether I wanted to create awareness on the topic, or whether I wanted to learn more about the topic without showing the video to anyone. I didn‟t know whether it was appropriate to present the video since it does take

a certain level of maturity to learn about a topic like this which is why I chose not to present it. After running low on time, my video seemed unachievable, but I managed to complete it on time.

Selection of sources

In order to get the highest mark on the criteria for sources we needed to acquire six different sources. I was successful at obtaining all six sources. I was able to get books, documentaries, fictional movies and books, a specialist, articles, and I used

various websites. Overall I was able to get 30 sources.

  • I used one book called I am J. This book was a fiction book and it was basically

telling the story of a girl who realized she was transgender and she bought a binder,

started going by J, and she was passing as a biological guy. The whole story is about

her “finding herself”. There were lots of documentaries that I watched online about transgender people. Some documentaries I saw were on 20/20. Other documentaries were of people documenting their transition on YouTube. They talked and listed the changes that were occurring while they were on certain hormones. I saw an interview of Lucas, a FTM talking about his experience of being transgender in the music industry. Boys Don’t Cry was a fictional movie; however it was based on a true story. The

movie was about a girl who passed really well as a guy and went by Brandon. Everyone thought he was a guy, even his girlfriend. At the end they ended up finding out he was

biologically a girl and his girlfriend‟s brother killed him.

  • I talked to the school psychologist to see if she knew anything about transgender

people. She told me that she worked with a few transgender students before. Some things she made very clear was that they feel alone since no one understands what

they‟re going through, and it‟s also hard for them to come out because they‟re scared of

not being accepted. That‟s something I really wanted to depict in my video.

  • I found some articles online. There were articles that spoke about the high suicide rate among the trans community; science articles on the differences between

the brains; the way some families had to move to protect their children; and simply

about children wanting to “become the opposite sex”.

The last source I used were websites. There were numerous websites online that talked about transgender people. Some ranged from medical websites all the way to

blogs of trans people talking about their struggles. Coming across unreliable sources are inevitable since on the internet people can

write whatever they want to. Therefore there were a few sites that I found there weren‟t reliable and they were also bias. I didn‟t choose to use those sources. I scanned

through them, but I made sure to check through different websites and sources for better, more reliable information.

Application of information:

As I was doing my research, I found out that there were so many things that I could talk about. I had way too much information, so I struggled with what information to use and which to take out. When I first started my project I was doing all my research first. I didn‟t know what I was looking for in particular, I was just researching. As time went by I tried to have a main focus and made my research revolve around that. My main focus ended up being FTMs and MTFs. Not all the information I wanted ended up being in my video due to the length of the video itself.

I made a plan of everything I wanted to achieve and when I wanted to achieve it. Shortly after making this plan, everything started going wrong. My computer broke therefore I didn‟t start the video when I wanted to start it, nor did I finish it when it should‟ve been done. I always had to find other ways of making the video, like using my laptop or using the school computers. It was only last minute was I able to put something together by using various editing software and different techniques.

Throughout the process of editing the video, there were a few techniques I needed to use. The first one was being organized. There were loads of videos I downloaded to use in my video. All those videos that I had downloaded I needed to save them in a folder and keep it organized by categorizing them by topics such as

MTFs and FTMs. When I decided to use music I had to put that in a separate folder too. While editing, I had to make sure I didn‟t cut a video off in during an awkward moment like in midsentence when it would be extremely noticeable. Unfortunately this was inevitable during some parts, but I tried not to do it too often. I used titles to make things easier for the audience to follow and simply for it to appear a little more organized. I underestimated the amount of time this would take. Editing takes time. Things can go wrong. When I thought I was finally done, I realized I still needed to export my video. Since my video was so long, it took hours to export. Sometimes things go wrong while a video is being exported and it causes everything to crash. In that case, I had to keep my composure and stay motivated to fix whatever it was that I needed to fix.

Every time that I would do something eventful I would document it in my journal. Whenever I read or watched something that involved my topic I would document it. When I saw my supervisor I would put it in my journal. I was consistently writing in my journal on weebly. Weebly helped me stay organized since I didn‟t have to worry about losing papers, and I would copy and paste websites on there that I could refer to later on.

One thing I should‟ve done more effectively was going to see my mentor more

often. At the beginning I saw her regularly, but as it came closer to the deadline I started

doing things on my own and forgetting about the meetings we set up. I should‟ve used my supervisor more because I know she would‟ve helped me when I needed help with

my project.

Achieving Goal

Creating a video seemed simple enough, until everything started going wrong. My computer with all the editing software broke. That delayed everything because I was waiting on it to be fixed thinking that it would be ready by Christmas break. That didn‟t happen. I started working on my laptop which wasn‟t ideal since it‟s extremely slow and didn‟t have any editing software on it besides movie maker. I was reluctant to use movie

maker because it‟s basic and doesn‟t always function properly. I managed to find another editor. I finished the video after a week and a half only for my computer to overheat and crash. Since I was using a free trial video editor the majority of my work was gone. Shockingly the first half of my video was exported perfectly. The only thing I

needed to redo was the other half with the FTMs. Although this doesn‟t seem like a lot,

this was the half I worked the hardest on, so redoing it took so much time. I ended up

modifying how long the video was going to be since I had a limited amount of time left. I took out the misconceptions, showing the difference in binary and non-binary, and I left out famous transgender people. I figured if I made the video simple and mainly focus on female-to-males and male-to-females, there would be a better flow to the video. I thought it would be more achievable to have one main focus rather than try to cover everything within the transgender umbrella. My specifications were to clearly depict transgenderism, show the difference between gender and sex, include different stories of transgender people, show the psychological effect of transgender people, and show what happens when transgender people go on hormones. Most of my specifications were met except for one. I wanted to show what happens when MTFs go on estrogen. As I looked through different videos I

didn‟t find any that I felt were appropriate, so I listed some changes that would happen

instead of showing them.

My outcome wasn‟t as exceptional was I was hoping it would‟ve been. I got my

main points and ideas down but the editing itself wasn‟t exceptional. I met all my specifications except for one. The one I didn‟t meet was showing what happens to

MTFs as they were put on hormones. Instead of showing what happened, I listed the things that would happen.

Reflect On Learning/Conclusion

My project made me acknowledge numerous things. This project made me come to the realization that gender is not simply male or female. A person‟s gender isn‟t assigned by what‟s between someone‟s legs. It‟s something that is psychological. Gender is a spectrum. There are people who identify with their sex (cis-gender people),

there are those who identify with a gender different from their body (transgender people), there are those who don‟t identify with either (non-binary people), and there are even some who identify as both (bigender, genderqueer, two-spirited, etc). All of these are just identities and labels. By doing this project I have gotten a better insight on how people who fall under the transgender umbrella might feel. This project made me more

aware of how gender isn‟t as simple as people make it seem. Some people know their

gender from little kids, others start finding it out later on as they get older. I learned a lot about the health aspect of health and social education. Some

people have to alter their body to be slightly content with the way they feel mentally. The means for this could be having to undergo special treatments such as hormone therapy, different types of surgery such as vaginoplasty, mastectomy, hysterectomy and many others. I learned in depth about the different ways the body will change after taking hormones. Male-to-females tend to develop softer skin, breast tissue, body fat will be redistributed to more feminine areas, hair starts to thicken on the scalp and their emotions are all over the place. One thing I found interesting was that male-to-female voices won‟t change unless they do vocal trainings. Estrogen doesn‟t cause the voice to change. Female-to-males, their bodies change a little differently. They start growing body

hair everywhere. The vocal chords thicken which makes their voice deeper, there‟s an increase in muscle mass, growth „down there‟, and there‟s an increase in appetite. I didn‟t realize that FTMs who go on testosterone might gain a lot of weight in their abdominal area if they don‟t work out. Something I learned was that female-to-males sometimes become irritated and angry. This makes sense since their hormones are all over the place.

My overall project didn‟t turn out as great as I wanted it to turn out. However, my

main goal was to gain a better understanding of the transgender community from the perspective of transgender people. This goal was definitely met. I learned so many things I didn‟t know before, and even with my prior knowledge there were things that needed to be clarified. Because of this I would say I successfully achieved my main goal. Time management was a huge struggle for me and something I need to improve

on. I should have tried to get my video done earlier and I should‟ve taken into consideration that there could be unforeseeable circumstances. I didn‟t take any of that

into consideration. I thought that if I sat down I could do it all within a few weeks, but this

was proven to be wrong. If I didn‟t use my journal effectively I would‟ve forgotten about

the whole process and the steps I took to finally finishing my personal project. My journals were detailed with everything I accomplished. On my endeavor to creating a video on transgender people and gaining a better understanding I would say this project was a success.

If I were to extend this project I would make sure to have a quality editing software and a better computer to work with. I would either focus my research to a specific age group or have a wide variety of ages. There would be different people

within the transgender umbrella that I would‟ve spoke about like drag queens,

transvestites, intersex, and non-binary individuals because there seems to be a lot of

confusion about these people that I could‟ve cleared up. The last thing I would‟ve done

was interview someone who has completely transitioned here in Quebec because I hardly looked into how transitioning (change of name and sex on birth certificate, age

that you‟re allowed to start transitioning, etc.) works in our province.

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