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Transgender Definitions


Transgender: This is an umbrella term that applies to anyone who does not feel that their gender identity (e.g., identifying as male, female, or other) matches their anatomical/biological sex.

Transsexual: This is typically used to describe people who identify as transgender who are transitioning toward the gender with which they identify. This may include socially presenting (e.g., clothing, hair, mannerisms, overall gender expression) as the gender with which they identify, or it may include more extensive changes like taking hormones and/or surgical procedures to modify their body.

Transitioning: There is a spectrum of what transitioning looks like for different people. It can range from simply socially presenting (clothes, hair, mannerisms, overall gender expression) as the gender with which they identify, to use of hormones, to surgical procedures to modify the physical body.

Intersex: This is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with chromosomal, hormonal, and/or anatomical attributes that do not fit the "typical" definitions for female or male. Many intersex people are surgically "corrected" in infancy, and some grow up to feel like they have had an essential part of themselves taken away without their consent.

Androgynes, Gender Queer, Gender Bender, and Gender Blender: These are some terms used for people who merge the characteristics of men and women in various ways which are sometimes subtle and sometimes shocking. They may consider themselves outside fo the male-female two-gender model and identify as "Third Gender" or "Two Spirit".

Drag Kings and Drag Queens: Present larger than life images of men and women, exaggerating gender stereotypes for entertainment, attention, or self-gratification.

Cross Dressers: Wear clothing usually associated with the gender "opposite" to their anatomical sex. Cross dressing may be done full- or part-time in the privacy of the person's own home or in public. Cross-dressers' gender identity remains the same as their anatomical sex, and they typically do not seek medical treatment. Erotic pleasure is sometimes the motivation for cross dressing, especially in younger people. Cross-dressers can be attracted to either same-sex or opposite-sex partners, or both.