A person is considered transgender when they don’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. They do not feel comfortable in their own skin, and feel as if they should be the other gender. This has nothing to do with sexual orientation, hormonal makeup, physical anatomy or how one is perceived in their day to day life.
Transgender is an umbrella term for those on the gender spectrum, which includes transgender, transsexual and genderqueer.
Gender identity (ie: being transsexual) cannot be changed, just like how sexual orientation cannot be changed. Treatment with hormone replacement therapy – also called cross-sex hormones
is how many transgender individuals deal with being transgender. However, everyone is different, and many get along without hormones or any type of surgery.
There is no known cause that would “make” someone transgender, but studies of prenatal hormone levels are being conducted. Generally, the feeling of being in the wrong body starts at a young age and can cause disability and distress as the person grows, resulting in gender dysphoria, formerly called “gender identity disorder”. The treatment for this is generally encouraging the person to express their gender the way that they want, and supporting them, hormones to medically transition, if they want, and sometimes, gender reassignment surgery (GRS).