"I have learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
"Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and be vibrantly alive in repose."
A strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex).
In children, the disturbance is manifested by four (or more) of the following:
Repeatedly stated desire to be, or insistence that he or she is, the other sex.
In boys, preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire; in girls, insistence on wearing only stereotypical masculine clothing.
Strong and persistent preferences for cross-sex roles in make-believe play or persistent fantasies of being the other sex.
Intense desire to participate in the stereotypical games and pastimes of the other sex.
Strong preference for playmates of the other sex.
In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of the other sex.
Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex.
In children, the disturbance is manifested by any of the following: in boys, assertion that his penis or testes are disgusting or will disappear or assertion that it would be better not to have a penis, or aversion toward rough-and-tumble play and rejection of male stereotypical toys, games, and activities; in girls, rejection of urinating in a sitting position, assertion that she has or will grow a penis, or assertion that she does not want to grow breasts or menstruate, or marked aversion toward normative feminine clothing. In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex characteristics (e.g., request for hormones, surgery, or other procedures to physically alter sexual characteristics to simulate the other sex) or belief that he or she was born the wrong sex.
Children with gender identity problems express a desire to become a member of the opposite sex. Boys wish to have a vagina and may play at breast-feeding. Girls wish to have a penis and may simulate a penis with various objects or stand to urinate. Boys cross-dress with dresses, makeup, and jewelry, whereas girls may resist wearing dresses at any cost and wear short hair. Both sexes identify with role models of the opposite sex (e.g., a boy insists that he is Supergirl in a game). Gender identity disorder has also been associated with greater physical attractiveness in boys. In recent findingins, girls with gender identity disorder often were seen as less attractive than those in a control group.
Males with Gender Identity Disorder who are sexually attracted to males tend to present in adolescence or early adulthood with a lifelong history of gender confusion. In contrast, those who are sexually attracted to females, to both males and females, or to neither sex tend to present later and typically have a history of Transvestic Fetishism.
If Gender Identity Disorder is present in adulthood, it tends to have a chronic course, but spontaneous remission has been reported.
Individuals with Gender Identity Disorder have normal genitalia (in contrast to the ambiguous genitalia or hypogonadism found in physical intersex conditions). Adolescent and adult males with Gender Identity Disorder may show breast enlargement resulting from hormone ingestion, hair denuding from temporary or permanent epilation, and other physical changes.
Only a very small number of children with Gender Identity Disorder will continue to have symptoms that meet criteria for Gender Identity Disorder in adolescence or adulthood.
Most children with Gender Identity Disorder display less overt cross-gender behaviors with time, parental intervention, or response from peers. By late adolescence or adulthood, about three-quarters of boys who had a childhood history of Gender Identity Disorder report a homosexual or bisexual orientation, but without concurrent Gender Identity Disorder. The corresponding percentages for sexual orientation in girls are not known. Some adolescents may develop a clearer cross-gender identification and request sex-reassignment surgery or may continue in a chronic course of gender confusion or dysphoria.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.