Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
4 - Why Do People Seek a New Identity?

4 - Why Do People Seek a New Identity?


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Quick Notes:

Why do people seek to ​change genders​? What drives a person to ​curate​ a brand new identity? In this episode, Sasha and Stella look beyond a literal understanding of​​ transitioning and explore the​ psychological power and vulnerability of attempting transformation​​.


Hacsi Horvath on Erin Brewer

Queer in the Crib

Gender Dysphoria is not One Thing

Extended Notes:

  • Why do people want to transition?

  • Let’s clear up some misconceptions today about trans people.

  • Why do little children between the ages of three and five have gender dysphoria?

  • Which comes first? Gender nonconformity, then sexuality, or is it the other way around?

  • People can just tell when a child is developing gender-nonconforming traits.

  • What makes a child become gender-nonconforming in the first place? Stella offers some of her insights.

  • There is an instinctive grab for attention when siblings come along and this might create thoughts/feelings of, “If I were the other gender I’d get more attention like the way my brothers (or sisters) are getting.”

  • It’s very hard to parent a strong-willed child, but they tend to do great things if you can handle the storm.

  • It can be hard as a parent. The desire to save face when your child is rebelling can be very difficult to manage.

  • Why would a child in their teenage years be looking to transition?

  • Perhaps the desire to be a different gender, someone other than you, helps teens feel more in control of their developing bodies.

  • Teens constantly being asked “What are you?” by adults adds an extra layer of pressure to their identity.

  • How can a more sensitive and non-aggressive boy get the attention of the girls?

  • When a guy reveals he’s trans or transitioning, all of sudden he’s getting more attention from the girls than ever before.

  • Why don’t you hear more about transvestism anymore?

  • Do children just need to “suck it up”?

  • Adults really underestimate the mental toll puberty can have on children.

  • Some children don’t even explore the option of transitioning into another gender because they didn’t even realize that they could.

  • We tell children they can be anything they wish! Well, how stressful is that for a child who doesn’t even know who they are?

  • What do you do when a young child is influenced by social media?

  • There are so many options to pick an identity or gender pronoun. It’s stressful for a child to pick “who” they are.

  • The more accepted transgender identities become, the more people will be asking masculine women when they plan to transition. That’s exhausting and insulting.

  • What does it really mean to be a “woman” or to be a “man”?

  • We want excitement. For some people, it’s exciting to call yourself a different pronoun. It’s new, it’s different, it makes you stand out.

  • Even if you change your gender, you still wake up the same person on the inside.

  • Sasha believes there should be a mandate for psychological exploration before taking a big decision like a gender change.

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:

Learn more about our show:

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.