FAQ

Can ____ “turn” me or someone I know transgender?

FAQ

Can ____ “turn” me or someone I know transgender?

There are a lot of theories that certain things can “cause” someone to be or become transgender. But trans people are a diverse group of people that have existed all through history, just like gay people! Most experts don’t support the idea that there is one modern cause for the existence of transgender people today. In fact, the people who do support that idea are often basing it on outdated or prejudiced information.

Still, these ideas can be upsetting. They can create confusion about what it means to be trans. When someone is dealing with this, it can help to understand what some of these theories are and why most reputable sources don’t support them.

I heard that hormones in food or drinks, like soy milk, can make people transgender. Is that true?

No, hormones in food or drink can’t make people trans. Some foods, like soy milk or dairy milk, do contain hormones like estrogen. In recent years, some people online have associated these foods with being queer or trans. But eating those foods is very different from taking medicine that affects your body’s hormone production!

What about chemicals in the water?

No, chemicals in the water can’t make people trans or gay. This idea comes from a study on how a common pesticide might affect the reproductive organs of frogs. The study became a meme after right-wing pundit Alex Jones referenced it in a rant about “chemicals in the water turning the freakin’ frogs gay!”

To this day, nobody has been able to reproduce the study’s results. Most experts don’t consider it reliable. Even if it was, it never claimed that pesticides were “turning frogs gay”. It also never claimed that pesticides might affect frogs and humans in the same ways!

Okay, what about vaccines? 5G? The Illuminati?

There’s no evidence that vaccines of any type cause people to become transgender. There’s also no evidence that modern technology like 5G is causing people to become transgender.

Sometimes, ideas like this come from conspiracy theories. A conspiracy theory is an idea that attempts to explain certain things by claiming that they’re the result of a secret agenda held by powerful elites. People sometimes use conspiracy theories to explain things that they’re skeptical about, don’t understand, or find upsetting. This includes everything from events like school shootings to general patterns of human behavior. Usually they involve scapegoating a particular group, like Jewish people.

The truth is, there’s no powerful secret societies plotting to make more people come out as trans. In fact, many governments, corporations, and other institutions have long histories of making it harder for people to come out as trans! Equality for transgender people has been and continues to be the result of work that activists, community leaders, and private individuals do publicly to make society better — not powerful cabals working in secret.

Can hypnotism turn someone trans?

There’s no evidence that hypnotism can cause someone to become transgender.

Some people have made or found videos online that claim to cause someone to “turn into” another gender by hypnosis. While these videos exist, people usually make and watch them just for fun!

Some people might have a fetish for hypnosis, gender transformation, or both. Others might watch videos like that because they find hypnosis interesting or relaxing. Some trans people might watch videos like that to help ease gender dysphoria, or just for a laugh!

These videos can’t hypnotize or “trick” someone who isn’t transgender into thinking that they are. They’re also not dangerous to watch.

Are kids identifying as trans to be “cool” or because of peer pressure?

There’s no evidence that peer pressure is leading young people who aren’t transgender to identify that way. Peer pressure and bullying can take different forms, and affect anyone. Young people who come out as trans don’t automatically have it easier than young people who don’t. In fact, many transgender youth face a higher risk for bullying when they come out to their peers.

Some people have pointed to an increase trans people coming out when they’re young as evidence that being transgender is a modern trend. But trans people have existed in different places and cultures throughout all of human history. While the ways people talk about gender and sexuality have changd over time, being transgender isn’t new. It’s just more common for people to come out as trans when society is accepting of trans people!

Can someone groom another person into identifying as trans?

“Grooming” usually refers to a process where someone gains another person’s trust through manipulation and emotional abuse. It’s often used in cases where someone younger is abused by someone older. But, any abusive relationship can involve grooming! It’s often considered a type of gaslighting.

Someone who is being groomed might change their behavior, the way they dress, or other things about themselves to please the person grooming them. Because of this, sometimes when people see someone make changes to their appearance after coming out as trans, they might wonder if that person is being groomed. But while grooming is a common issue faced by people in abusive relationships, there’s no evidence that it causes people to become transgender.

Unfortunately, there’s a long history of people assuming that LGBTQ+ people are dangerous for children to be around. This can lead to LGBTQ+ people being discriminated against, falsely accused, and even harassed or assaulted themselves. It’s important to know that this is wrong!

While LGBTQ+ people can be abusive, whether they’re abusive or not has nothing to do with their gender or sexual orientation. It’s not harmful for children to be exposed to trans people, gay people, or any other LGBTQ+ identities!

So what DOES make people transgender?

A trans person is someone whose gender is different from the one they were assigned at birth.

Beyond that, the reality is that every trans person’s experience is unique! One trans person might feel like something in their life led them to realize they were trans when they hadn’t before. But another trans person might feel like they were born that way and knew from a very young age. This is because people think, feel, and experience things differently, especially personal things like gender. And that’s okay!

Because of this, no one single “cause” can explain why trans people exist. And it shouldn’t have to! Nobody, trans or cis, owes anyone an explanation for why they are the gender that they are. Being trans isn’t a bad thing, so it doesn’t need to be explained or “fixed”. It’s just part of some peoples’ experience! Check out the resources below for more on trans realities.

More info

Trans Lifeline

This toll-free phone support line is entirely staffed by people who are trans people, letting people who are trans can be talk to people who understand their…

A Sex & Gender Primer

Discusses the concept of gender, defines some terms for people who do not identify as traditional gender roles, and offers tips for being trans-friendly. –

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