I never cease to be amazed about the ignorance making the rounds about transgender individuals.
No one is telling anyone that they can be a girl if that's what they want to be. Let me try and explain it as I understand it.
Sex: Is determined by biology and can be either male, female or intersex. Intersex individuals make up about 1.6% of the population and have either physical or chromosomal characteristics that don't match the typical male or female types,
Gender: Refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. Obviously gender is not arbitrary but extensively influenced by sexual characteristics.
Gender Dysphoria: Strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own biological sex that results in significant distress or impairment.
To be clinically diagnosed with gender dysphoria:
A. Must persistently and strongly identify with the opposite gender (aside from desiring any perceived cultural advantage of being the other gender).
B. A persistent discomfort with his or her sex traits or sense of inappropriateness of the gender associated with those traits. Must have strong discomfort with own gender and express that discomfort.
C. Not concurrent with physical intersex condition.
D. Causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
I don't know where people get this impression that one can simply declare themselves a member of the other gender. For instance one would not be recognized as transgender in a school environment without psychiatric concurrence.
The number of transgender individuals in the US is minuscule. Depending upon whose numbers you believe they are somewhere between 0.3% and 0.6% of the population.
To put this in perspective, 14% of the US population lives in poverty so I figure we have much more important things to worry about.