Trannies in the House!
Just how many of us transsexuals and cross-dressers are there? Does it
even matter? We're here, we're--uh, not exactly queer, get used to it!
Maybe not right. I just found out that there may be 100 times more of
us than I had previously thought. 100 TIMES! That is a lot. It
is enough to change the way I feel about certain things. Let me tell
you about it.
Okay, so how many of us are there? The most commonly accepted figures
are that about 1 out of 30,000 natal males are transsexual, and about 1
out of 100,000 natal females. Millie Brown mentions these numbers in
True Selves, pointing out that it refers to adults who
seek GRS, not all transsexuals. Jennifer Rietz's popular vanity site
with the official sounding name
transexual.org simply states, "The exact
number of transsexuals in any given population will probably never be
accurately known (the best current estimate is one per 30,000)." I
googled up this reference from The
International Journal of Transgenderism: "Considering that the
incidence of transsexualism is 1 in 30,000 females and 1 in 10,000
If these estimates are correct, transsexualism is pretty rare indeed,
it seems to me. Let's see, in the 5th game of the World Series when the
Giants pummelled the Angels 16 to 4, there would have been only 1 or 2
transsexuals in the stands at Pac Bell Park (capacity: 40,800),
I mentioned these figures in something I posted on a discussion board,
and somebody with a brain in her head wrote back this reply:
I have heard those figures too but I think it has to be more common
than that. If this were true, San Francisco would have 23
transsexuals in the city limits. I'm quite sure I know more than that
myself. That would put about 266 transsexuals in New York City, or
about 9,000 in the entire United States.
Of course she's right. I told myself that I simply see trannies
everywhere I look because I am immersed in that culture at this point
in my journey. But even so, I see more of us than those commonly used
Jamie Faye Fenton also noticed my post and sent me a link to this
How frequently does transsexualism occur? written by Lynn Conway,
the renowned computer scientist. Ms. Conway performed her own analysis,
and came up with startlingly higher numbers. Counting the number of GRS
operations performed during the last four decades, "We discover to our
amazement that at least one out of every 2500 persons born male in the
U. S. has ALREADY undergone GRS to become female!" As many transsexuals
have not and may never undergo GRS, she concludes that an accurate
figure for the rate of transsexualism is about 1 in 250. This is 120
TIMES more transsexuals than the commonly accepted figures! Ms. Conway
points out that this is much higher than the rates of occurrence of
muscular dystrophy (1:5000), multiple sclerosis (1:1000), blindness
(1:350), and other "common" conditions.
And what about other transgenderism, not transsexualism? Jamie Faye
guesses that the overall transgendered population may be 10 times that
of transsexuals, or about 1-2% of the population. My therapist told me
that she believes that maybe 50% of all men have some amount of gender
confusion--that they may have tried cross-dressing to some little
extent, or at least been interested in it. You know those Budweiser
commercials where the guys put on dresses to get into the bar on Ladies
Night? That is not just a joke. Budweiser is quite deliberately
targeting a deep set feeling in a wide swath of their target
So transgenderism and transsexualism is much more common than I had
previously thought. At that World Series game in Pac Bell Park, there
were probably 120 transwomen and 40 transmen in the stands--and quite a
few cross-dressers on the field and in the dugouts! This changes my
feelings about some things:
* I guess I'm not as freaky--or as precious--as I thought I was.
* I've been accused of "wanting everybody to transition", and I confess
to some tendency that way. But perhaps that is not as misguided as it
seemed. I may be meeting a significant quantity of true transsexuals
* I find myself inclined to be more accepting of transsexuals and
transgendered folks who aren't trannie the same way I am--now that I
realize how big our tent really is.
* It seems all the more important to educate the public about us. We
really are everywhere, like we've been saying all along! And it is even
more important to demand our human, legal, and political rights, as
well as appropriate medical care.
* I find that I have a lot less sympathy for TS doubters and deniers
(like my parents!) Our condition is not rare enough to justify your
* I'm less worried about understanding my own nature. I think my desire
to figure it all out was driven by my incredulity that something so
rare should happen, and happen to me in particular! But whatever and
however it is, it turns out it's not all that rare after all, so I feel
better about just accepting it.
* I surely am motivated to proceed with all due speed to get my GRS
done. 1 in 2500 have already done it; what's taking me so long?
And so let me conclude by giving a big shout out to all those TG
brothers and sisters I never knew I had. Rock on, trannies! We're in
UPDATE: Here is an April 2011 meta-analysis by Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute,
How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?
In a nutshell, the conclusion is that, for the U.S.A., 3.5% are LGB and 0.3% T (about the same as the 0.4% T of the Conway paper quoted in my post. The Conway
paper is included in Gates' meta-analysis). Biggest surprise for me: Of the 3.5% LGB, it is 1.8% B and 1.7%LG.