11 Myths about Transgender People

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By German Lopez
February 4, 2015

The national outcry over the suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, along with the rise of hit TV shows Orange is the New Black and Transparent, has brought more awareness to the unique challenges facing transgender Americans — a segment of the population that’s widely marginalized and misunderstood.

The recent speculation by media outlets about whether Bruce Jenner, the patriarch of the Kardashian family and former Olympian, is transitioning has only inflamed misconceptions about gender identity.

People who identify as transgender — or trans, for short — relate to a gender different than the one assigned to them at birth. In 2011, nearly 700,000 people in the US identified as transgender, according to a study from the Williams Institute at UCLA.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken with dozens of transgender individuals, their friends and family, and LGBT advocates about issues facing trans communities, including widespread ignorance about their lives. Here are 11 common myths they cited as most pervasive.

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