This page contains information about support groups and resources for transgender/cross-dressers, their spouses and families.
The 2000 Census
How Many Identify as Transgender in the U.S.?
|U.S. Population in 2000||276,059,000|
|US Male Population||134,979,000|
|US Female Population||141,080,000|
|TOTAL Estimated Number of Transgender Persons in US||13,687,818*|
The 2000 Census Breakdown:
Female to Male: (Genetic females cross dressing as males)
|Part Time Cross Dressing||1,414,251|
|Full Time Cross Dressing (living full-time, without SRS)||71,473|
|Post Operative (sexual reassignment surgery completed)||36,497|
|TOTAL Estimated Transgender Female to Male||4,563,620*|
Male to Female: (Genetic males cross dressing as females)
|Part Time Cross Dressing (wearing only certain female items)||3,041,399|
|Part Time Cross Dressing (full feminine expression)||1,216,560|
|Full Time Cross Dressing (living full-time, without SRS)||243,312|
|Post Operative (sexual reassignment surgery completed)||60,828|
|TOTAL Estimated Transgender Male to Female||9,124,198*|
The survey from 2000 shows us that over 13.1 million (categories 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7) out of the 13.68 million* transgender are not pursuing a full-time expression of their gender-divergence. A full 8.7 million of these are men, and 4.4 million are women. The numbers could have been even higher since many individuals still remained unidentified or closeted. I still refer to the 2000 census since it offers an exhaustive, easy to understand look at the percentages across a number of categories. The US Population was up over 320 million in 2020. Which would increase the figure of 13.68 million (categories 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7) well above 17 million in 2020.
According to the most recent surveys in 2020, the number of adults in the United States who identify specifically as transgender or non-binary was about .6% of the population (over 1.35 million). This category was reported as 412,110 in 2000 (categories 3, 4, 8 and 9). The amount of those who identify as transgender or non-binary today has soared three-fold — an increase of 900,000 in the last 20 years. In 2022, there are between 2 and 10 million adult male cross-dressers in the United States. This figure varies depending on your resource and how “cross-dresser” is defined. Data for this group is difficult to obtain.
*The figure of 13.68 million was produced by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and confirmed by various groups including the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2000. This figure attempts to include all individuals falling under the general category of transgender. 70% of these are male to female cross-dressers. Due to the social, religious and even, at times, medical ignorance concerning gender identity, these estimates are difficult to verify even in 2022. However, even the most conservative accounting would show gender identity is a concern to a large amount of people in the US. There is a concerted effort being made by various groups to include questions about gender identity in future census polls.
Resources and Websites*
With more information being made available about gender identity issues and cross-dressing, there are finally some support systems being formed for families, especially for those who are out of their closets. However, it is still difficult to find good solid support systems for the spouses of those who are still closeted. Tri-Ess remains one of the best support systems for spouses.
Transgender and Cross-Dresser Spousal Support
Support Group for Heterosexual Cross-dressers and Their Partners
The main support group in the United States for heterosexual cross-dressers, their partners, the spouses of married cross-dressers and their families is Tri Ess. There are many
The main support group in the US for heterosexual cross-dressers, their partners is Tri-Ess. There are many chapters nationwide that offer educational and social support. Tri-Ess believes that through acceptance and exploration cross-dressers can broaden their entire personality, which can be very fulfilling. They dress in emulation, rather than in mockery, of femininity. The Tri-Ess philosophy is expressed in the acronym FIBER:
F – Full personality expression in both its masculine and its feminine aspects. We do not wish to destroy our masculinity, but to soften its harsher aspects, and be all we can be.
I – Integration of masculinity and femininity to create a happier whole person.
B – Balance between masculinity and femininity.
E – Education of cross-dressers and their families toward self-acceptance; education of society toward accepting cross-dressing people.
R – Relationship-building in the context of cross-dressing.
To find out more, contact: http://www.tri-ess.org/whatis.html
Transsexual Spousal Support*
The ministry Light in the Closet is focused mainly on those who are non-op transgender (those who are not pursuing sexual reassignment SRS). The “non-op” group of transgender is by far the largest and the needs of their family members are distinctly different from those who are pursuing SRS and/or a lifestyle that fully reflects the “other” The ministry Light in the Closet and this publication is focused mainly on those who are non-op transgender (those who are not pursuing sexual reassignment SRS). The “non-op” group of transgender is by far the largest and the needs of their family members are distinctly different from those who are pursuing SRS and/or a lifestyle that fully reflects the “other” gender. For those who are dealing with this radical life change may we suggest contacting the following group. This group is not distinctly Christian, but the resources appear to be sound.
For information about transsexual people and family issues, contact
Resources for Transgender Education and Rights:
National Center for Transgender Equality*
Advancing equality through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.
NCTE was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who saw the urgent need for a consistent voice in Washington DC for transgender people. NCTE provides this presence by monitoring federal activity and communicating this activity to our members around the country, providing congressional education, and establishing a center of expertise on transgender issues. They are a good resource for information and association.
Visit their website at: www.transequality.org
Sharing Ways to Welcome in Faith
Learning offers us new opportunities to express the truth of God’s love. We’ve all absorbed a huge amount of misinformation about sexuality and gender—misunderstandings that hurt, that mask the truth, that keep us bound and separate us from each other. By educating ourselves, we break free and begin to see ourselves and one another for who we really are, to connect more deeply with each other, to tap into each one’s uniqueness and gifts. That is the real beauty of God’s creation – that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made! This websites offers information, connections and valuable resources for individuals and faith communities.
Visit their website at: www.manyvoices.org
GLAAD Religion and Values Program*
Changing hearts and minds
As more and more faith traditions take steps to embrace and support LGBT people, GLAAD is working to ensure that mainstream media outlets reflect this progress and show the growing acceptance of LGBT people and issues in many faith communities. The Religion, Faith & Values team works with denominational groups and faith leaders to help elevate their voices in the mainstream media, and works with both mainstream and faith based media outlets to ensure that the stories of inclusive faith leaders and communities appear in the media.
Visit their website at: www.glaad.org/programs/faith
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)*
HRC Religion and Faith Program
Their mission is to change the conversation about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and faith. Because of the pioneering efforts of brave religious people speaking out for equality, a new movement for change is emerging that embraces a culture of welcome, compassion, and hospitality. These are values at the heart of all our faith traditions.
Visit their website at: www.hrc.org/explore/topic/religion-faith
Gender Spectrum Education and Training*
Providing education, resources and training to help create a gender sensitive and supportive environment.
Gender Spectrum Education and Training is committed to creating a more supportive world for people of all genders. We do this by increasing awareness and understanding of the normal range of gender variations found in everyone.
Whether you are familiar with gender variance or are just starting to learn about gender identity and expression, Gender Spectrum Education and Training can help you create a more gender sensitive and supportive environment for all people, including gender variant and transgender youth. We will assist you in understanding gender in all its complexities and variations, at any stage of life.
For more information please see: www.genderspectrum.org/
Contains a List of Transgender Christian-based Web Sites and Resources.
While the church was looking the other way, gender issues became much more complex. The simple arguments based in Deuteronomy don’t begin to touch the reality of what transgender individuals deal with. Many of the links listed on TransFaith address the real issues of gender identity and offer real solutions.
For more information please see: www.transfaithonline.info
Theology, Identity, Education
Austen Hartke is the author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, a book on theology and personal narratives published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018. He is also the founder and director of Transmission Ministry Collective, an online community dedicated to the spiritual care, faith formation, and leadership potential of transgender and gender-expansive Christians. This website offers a hub for a variety of authors and educators on transgender issues.
For more information please see: http://austenhartke.com/
Cross-Dressers Support Groups:
Crossdresser’s Heaven / Christian Crossdresser*
There are a lot of sites on the Internet that deal with cross-dressing. Some of these are rather “out there” and have more to do with the entertainment aspect or fetish behavior. Light in the Closet does not, on this website address this sort of exploration. Most cross-dressers are very much in the closet, but some are “way out” of the closet. For many the act of cross-dressing is a necessary one if only for therapy alone. The exploration of cross-dressing can be in a dignified, Christian context. For those who feel this exploration is necessary, there are some groups and resources available to them. Following is a link to a resource website: http://www.crossdresserheaven.com/tag/christian-crossdresser/
There are many support groups across the nation. If you would like to locate one near you please email Light in the Closet.
Contact Randi Klein at: – RKlein@lightinthecloset.org
*These resources are being offered as additional information to this LITC website. Light in the Closet does not necessarily endorse or support all messages, claims or information from these sites or other third parties. Please use or view at your discretion.