I once thought and taught the common belief that a transgender person suffered from a birth defect, as they were one gender trapped in the body of another gender; surgery would be a desirable corrective, just as surgery correcting a cleft palate would be corrective of that birth defect.
I no longer believe that assertion! Rather, I believe that the sex we are anatomically born with determines our sex, though our gender feelings and performances can run the full gamut. In other words, a boy can express his gender as a boy and also as a girl, yet he is sexually still a boy. Expressing his gender as a girl doesn't nullify his sexually being a boy.
Many transgender people, like so many others, have bought into the notion, the myth, that gender expression is binary, whereas such expression can profitably be seen to exist on a continuum just as we see with sexual expression. And one's feelings often associated with such expression can also be seen to exist on a continuum, so that no transgender person is a "mistake."
Just as a male loving another male doesn't change his status as a male, or a female loving another female doesn't change her status as a female, being transgender also doesn't change the status of one's being a male or a female.
Rather, transgender people are still sexually male or female, the determinant of which is seen at birth (save for intersex babies), and one's feelings don't determine or change that fact, nor does any surgery or other accoutrements.
Men can act like the cultural definition of "male" in a society, or act like the cultural definition of "female" in a society, yet they are still sexually males, regardless of whether or not they feel like females. The same phenomenon holds true for women.
Acting and feeling feminine or masculine doesn't mean the person was born in the "right" or "wrong" body. Rather, it shows that there is a very wide range of gender perception and expression, and that range does not in any way infer or determine that one is a biological mistake.
Being transgender is not being abnormal! What is abnormal is the desire for so many people to see human beings as having dichotomous traits and expressions of those traits, many of which are culturally determined in the first place.
So, whether or not one has surgery to bring one's anatomy into line with his/her gender-feelings and gender expression, one's sex is still what one's anatomy at birth dictates.
To put it simply: not all men feel or are macho; not all women feel or are feminine! Some men feel like women and act like women, but if they were born with a penis, they are sexually still men. Some women feel like men, but if they were born with a vagina, they are sexually still women.
By not buying into the fiction that gender perceptions must be dichotomous, and that the body must be brought into line with those perceptions, one can then feel comfortable in knowing that one is feminine even if he has a penis, and one is masculine even if she has a vagina.
Blended gender exists, and when that blended gender exceeds one's comfort zones and/or society's comfort zones, many transgender (and other) people are led to believe that they are one gender trapped in the body of the opposite gender when, in fact, they are not trapped at all, but are created just as they are meant to be by God Who also transcends gender.
Hence, it's up to all of us, transgender or not, to recognize transgenderism as a gift, as transgender people can be seen to more fully represent the nature of God Who also transcends gender!