Terminology

Created - 2015-12-03
Updated - 2016-05-13

I have included this list on this site to try to help to achieve some consistency in gender terms that we use to describe ourselves, or others. For instance, I now do not consider myself as a ”transsexual”, I have completed my transition and am now a woman, but if pushed I would consider ”transwoman” as useful.

Given the complexity of gender, it is not surprising that an increasing number of terms and phrases are developing to describe it. I've used various sources for this list, and each term is referenced to its source, below are some of the terms you might encounter -

Acquired Gender

  • The gender role that a trans person achieves through the process of transition. It is the legal term in relation to the issuing of a Gender Recognition Certificate which gives a trans person full legal rights in this gender 2.

  • The "gender" (when opposite to the sex assigned at birth) in which a person lives 3.

Ally

  • A cis person who supports and celebrates trans identities, challenges transphobic remarks and actions of others, and willingly explores these biases within themselves 7.

Androgynous

  • A person who does not fit clearly into the typical gender roles of their society. Androgynous people may identify as beyond gender, between genders, moving across genders, entirely genderless, or any or all of these. Androgyne identities include pan-gender, bi-gender, ambi-gender, non-gendered, a-gender, gender-fluid or intergender 3.

  • A blend of other genders; a person whose gender androgynous might refer to themselves as an androgyne 7.

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 of the male-female two-gender model and identify as "Third Gender" or "Two Spirit" 5.

Asexual

  • A person who does not desire physical/sexual relationships with other people 3.

  • Someone who does not experience sexual desire for people of any gender. Some asexual people desire romantic relationships, while others do not. Asexuality can be considered a spectrum, with some asexual people experiencing desire for varying types of intimacy. This desire can fluctuate over time. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate refraining from sexual activity. Asexual people experience high levels of invisibility and trivialization 7.

Attributed Gender

  • The gender and sex that one is taken to be by others. This is usually an immediate, unconscious categorisation of a person as being a man or a woman, irrespective of their mode of dress 2.

Bigender

  • A gender identity of having two full genders which one can move between 7.

Binding

  • Compressing one's chest to create a more androgynous or masculine appearance 7.

Biological/Anatomical Sex.

  • The physical structure of one's reproductive organs that is used to assign sex at birth. Biological sex is determined by chromosomes (XX for females; XY for males); hormones (oestrogen/progesterone for females, testosterone for males); and internal and external genitalia (vulva, clitoris, vagina for assigned females, penis and testicles for assigned males). Given the potential variation in all of these, biological sex must be seen as a spectrum or range of possibilities rather than a binary set of two options 1.

Biological Gender (sex)

  • This includes physical attributes such as external genitalia, sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and internal reproductive structures. At birth, it is used to assign sex, that is, to identify individuals as male or female 1.

Bisexuals

  • People who are physically and/or romantically attracted to other-and same-gender individuals. This does not mean that bisexuals must have relationships with more than one gender or that they are equally attracted to all genders, but simply that the potential exists to be attracted to more than one gender 3.

Breast Augmentation

  • A gender-affirming, feminizing, top surgery that enlarges one's breasts 7.

Butch

  • Describes gender expressions and/or social and relationship roles that are perceived as being masculine, or refers to a person who embodies these qualities. Might be trans, but not necessarily 7.

CAFAB

  • Acronym for Coercively Assigned Female at Birth; refers to people declared to be female at birth, and raised within a female gender role that does not match their gender. Another acronym that is used is DFAB, Designated Female at Birth 7.

CAMAB

  • Acronym for Coercively Assigned Male at Birth; refers to people declared to be male at birth, and raised with a male gender role that does not match their gender. Another acronym that is used is DMAB, Designated Male at Birth 7.

Chest Surgery

  • A gender-affirming, masculinizing, top surgery that removes breast tissue and sculpts remaining tissue into a shape that is typically considered to be more masculine 7.

Cisgender

  • The antonym of transgender. Used to describe those whose gender identity is congruent with their sex assigned at birth. Should only be used as an adjective e.g. 'cisgender people' 6.

  • Having a gender that matches one's assigned sex; non-trans 7.

Clitoral Release:

  • A gender-affirming, masculinizing, lower surgery to cut ligaments around the clitoris, releasing it from the pubis, giving the shaft more length, thus creating a penis 7.

Coming Out

  • The process of a queer person becoming aware of his/her sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or intersex identity, and of letting other people know. This is a life- long, continual process because we live in a hetero-normative, gender-normative society. It is not uncommon for non-heterosexual people to be "out" to some people (e.g., certain friends, family) and not "out" to others (e.g., a boss, work colleagues). The decision to disclose one's sexual orientation or gender identity should always be a personal decision - you should never out another person 3.

  • The process of becoming aware of one's trans identity, accepting it, and/or telling others about it; coming out is also used to refer to disclosing one's non-heterosexual sexual orientation 7.

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 3.

  • People who wear clothing traditionally associated with a different gender than their gender; cross-dressers may or may not be trans; 'cross-dresser' has generally replaced the term 'transvestite', as 'transvestite' is considered offensive by many 7.

Dyke

  • This is typically considered to be a derogatory term for lesbians. Some lesbians have chosen to reclaim this word to have a positive meaning, especially when using it in the company of other lesbians and/or gay men 3.

Disorders of Sex Development (DSD)

  • A reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not closely resemble typical male or female reproductive or sexual anatomy, which may be related to genitalia, secondary sex characteristics, and/or chromosomal make-up; DSD replaced the outdated terms '‘hermaphrodite', as 'hermaphrodite' is considered offensive by many; see also 'intersex'; DSD is different from trans 7.

Drag

  • A term applied to individuals who cross dress often for entertainment purposes 3.

Drag King

  • Drag kings are performance artists who dress and act in a masculine manner and personify male gender stereotypes as part of their routine. Might be trans, but not necessarily 7.

Drag Queen

  • Drag queens are performance artists who dress and act in a feminine manner and personify female gender stereotypes as part of their routine. Might be trans, but not necessarily 7.

Endocrinologist

  • A doctor specially trained in the study of hormones and their actions and disorders in the body 7.

Facial feminization surgery

  • Surgeries that feminize the face, which include Adam's apple reduction, nose feminization, facial bone reduction, face lift, eyelid rejuvenation, and hair reconstruction 7.

Female

  • A sex, usually assigned at birth, and based on chromosomes (e.g. XX), gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy (e.g. vagina, uterus) 7.

Female-to-Male (FTM)

  • May refer to a person assigned female at birth whose gender is male all or part of the time; transitioning-to-male; female-to-male spectrum 7.

Feminine

  • Describes socially and culturally constructed aspects of gender (e.g. roles, behaviour, expression, identity) typically associated with girls and women 7.

Feminizing Hormone Therapy

  • The use of medications (e.g. Oestrogen, anti-androgens, progestins) to develop physical characteristics that are in line with one's gender or gender expression, including breast development, more fat on the hips, thighs, and buttocks, and softer skin 7.

Feminizing Surgeries

  • Gender-affirming surgical procedures that create physical characteristics reflective of one's gender identity and/or gender expression, including breast augmentation, vaginoplasty, facial feminization surgery, voice surgery, thyroid cartilage reduction, buttock augmentation/lipofilling, and hair reconstruction 7.

Femme

  • Describes gender expressions and/or social and relationship roles that are perceived as being feminine, or refers to a person who embodies these qualities. Might be trans, but not necessarily 7.

Gaff

  • A garment that flattens the lower part of your body, concealing the penis and the testes 7.

Gay Men

  • Men who form their primary loving and sexual relationships with other men 3.

Fag(got), Queen, Fairy

  • These are typically considered to be derogatory terms for gay men. Some gay men have chosen to reclaim these words and use them to have positive meanings, especially when using them in the company of other gay men and/or lesbians 3.

Gender

  • However gender is far more complicated. It is the complex interrelationship between an individual's sex (gender biology), one's internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity) as well as one's outward presentations and behaviours (gender expression) related to that perception, including their gender role. Together, the intersection of these three dimensions produces one's authentic sense of gender, both in how people experience their own gender as well as how others perceive it 1.

  • Gender is expressed in terms of masculinity and femininity. It is largely culturally determined and is assigned at birth based on the sex of the individual. It affects how people perceive themselves and how they expect others to behave 2.

  • Socially and culturally constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and trans people 7.

Gender Affirming Surgery

  • Range of surgeries that create physical characteristics that are in line with one’s gender identity, including vaginoplasty, breast augmentation, chest surgery, and phalloplasty; sometimes referred to as sex reassignment surgery (SRS) 7.

Gender Binary

  • A view that there are only two genders (girls/women and boys/men) that are separate and unchanging 7.

Gender Creative

  • Refers to people, often children, who identify and express their gender in ways that differ from societal and cultural expectations 7.

Gender Diverse

  • Gender roles and/or gender expression that do not match social and cultural expectations; gender non-conforming; gender variant 7.

Gender Dysphoria

  • An anxiety, uncertainty or persistently uncomfortable feelings experienced by an individual about their assigned gender which is in conflict with their internal gender identity 2.

  • Gender dysphoria is a medical condition in which a person has been assigned one gender at birth but identifies as another gender, or does not conform to the gender role society ascribes to them. Gender dysphoria is not related to sexual orientation. Gender dysphoria has replaced gender identity disorder as the word disorder is seen as stigmatising.

  • A person with gender dysphoria can experience anxiety, uncertainty or persistently uncomfortable feelings about their gender assigned at birth. This dysphoria may lead to a fear of expressing their feelings or of rejection and in some cases deep anxiety or chronic depression. It is effectively treated using methods such as counselling, hormone replacement therapy, surgery or simply social transition 6.

  • Distress resulting from a difference between a person's gender and the person's assigned sex, associated gender role, and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics 7.

Gender Expression.

  • Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behaviour, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation. Gender expression also works the other way as people assign gender to others based on their appearance, mannerisms, and other gendered characteristics. Sometimes, transgender people seek to match their physical expression with their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex. Gender expression should not be viewed as an indication of sexual orientation 1.

  • How one outwardly shows gender; including through name and pronoun choice, style of dress, voice modulation 7.

Gender Fluidity.

  • Gender fluidity conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender expression, with interests and behaviours that may even change from day to day. Gender fluid children do not feel confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical expectations of girls or boys. In other words, a child may feel they are a girl some days and a boy on others, or possibly feel that neither term describes them accurately 1.

Gender Identity.

  • One's innermost concept of self as male or female or both or neither - how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different than the sex assigned at birth. Individuals are conscious of this between the ages 18 months and 3 years. Most people develop a gender identity that matches their biological sex. For some, however, their gender identity is different from their biological or assigned sex. Some of these individuals choose to socially, hormonally and/or surgically change their sex to more fully match their gender identity 1.

  • The gender to which one feels one belongs 2.

  • Internal and psychological sense of oneself as a woman, a man, both, in between, or neither 7.

Gender-inclusive Pronouns

  • Pronouns used to avoid gender binary-based words (e.g. she/her, he/him) or making assumptions about people's gender; for example, ze/hir or they/them 7.

Gender Marker

  • A term some people use for sex marker on identification/documents 7.

Gender Non-conforming

  • This term refers to people who do not confirm to society's expectations for their gender roles or gender expression. Another term used for this is 'gender-variant' 7.

Gender Normative/Cisgender.

  • Refers to people whose sex assignment at birth corresponds to their gender identity and expression 1.

  • Gender roles and/or gender expression that match social and cultural expectations 7.

Genderqueer

  • This term refers to people who do not confirm to society's expectations for their gender roles or gender expression 7.

Gender reassignment

  • The process by which an individual reassigns their gendered appearance 3.

Gender recognition

  • The legal recognition of an individuals acquired gender as the opposite of the sex assigned at birth.

  • Usually once a person has begun the process of transitioning, pronouns that are appropriate to the gender towards which he or she is transitioning should be used 5.

Gender Role.

  • This is the set of roles, activities, expectations and behaviors assigned to females and males by society. Our culture recognises two basic gender roles: Masculine (having the qualities attributed to males) and feminine (having the qualities attributed to females). People who step out of their socially assigned gender roles are sometimes referred to as transgender. Other cultures have three or more gender roles 1.

  • Socially constructed and culturally behavioural norms, such as communication styles, careers and family roles, that are often expected of people based on their assigned sex 7.

Gender Variance

  • A persons feelings about his or her gender identity that do not conform to the stereotypical boy/man or girl/woman category as assigned at birth. This variance is increasingly understood to derive from sex differentiation in the structure and working of the brain, which may be inconsistent with the other physical sex characteristics 3.

Hair restoration surgery

  • Surgical technique that moves individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the donor site to a different part of the body called the recipient site 7.

Hermaphrodite

  • An outdated term that was historically used to label people who have a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not closely resemble typical male or female reproductive or sexual anatomy, which may be related to genitalia, secondary sex characteristics, and/or chromosomal make-up; replaced by the more respectful term, 'disorders of sex development' or 'DSD' 7.

Heterosexuals/Straight People

  • People who are physically attracted to individuals of the "opposite" gender 3.

Homosexuals

  • Men and women who form their primary loving relationships with people of the same gender. Many gay people prefer that the terms "gay men and lesbians" or "gay people" be used to describe homosexuals as a group rather than the term "homosexuals" 3.

  • An outdated term that was historically used to describe people who were attracted to other people of the same gender; replaced by the more inclusive and respectful term, 'gay' or 'lesbian', which are not considered offensive by many 7.

Hormones

  • Chemical substances that control and regulate the activity of certain cells or organs; see also: sex hormones 7.

Hormone Therapy (HT)

  • Administration of sex hormones for the purpose of bringing one's secondary sex characteristics more in line with one's gender; hormone replacement therapy; HRT; transhormonal therapy 7.

Hysterectomy

  • A surgical procedure to remove all or part of the uterus, and sometimes the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes; a gender-affirming, masculinizing lower surgery 7.

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 5.

  • A reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not closely resemble typical male or female reproductive or sexual anatomy, which may be related to genitalia, secondary sex characteristics, and/or chromosomal make-up; DSD replaced the outdated terms 'hermaphrodite'; see also 'disorders of sex development'; DSD is different from trans 7.

Intersex Person

  • An individual who is born with ambiguous genitalia and may or may not be accompanied by various degrees of gender dysphoria. The condition may arise due to certain congenital disorders or hormone imbalances in the foetus or placenta. True hermaphrodites (having both types of gonads and ambiguous genitalia) are extremely rare 2.

Lesbians

  • Women who form their primary loving and sexual relationships with other women. Some lesbians prefer to call themselves "lesbians" and use the term "gay" to refer to gay men. Others use the term "gay" to refer to all homosexuals 3.

Lifestyle choice

  • An outdated and offensive term used to imply that trans people make a choice in the way that they live their lives or behave in ways that are according to the attitudes, tastes, and values associated with the gender identity 7.

Lipofilling

  • The surgical transfer of fat removed by liposuction to other areas of the body 7.

Liposuction

  • A surgical technique for removing excess fat from under the skin by suction 7.

Lo-Ho

  • a slang term used by some trans people who take low doses of hormones 7.

Lower Surgery

  • Umbrella term for gender-affirming surgeries done below the waist, including masculinizing (e.g. hysterectomy, clitoral release, metoidioplasty, and phalloplasty) and feminizing (e.g. Orchiectomy and vaginoplasty) surgeries. Also called "bottom surgery" 7.

LGBT

  • Acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans people; GLBT 7.

LGBT2Q+

  • An evolving acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Two-Spirit, Queer, and additional identities 7.

Male

  • A sex, usually assigned at birth, and based on chromosomes (e.g. XY), gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy (e.g. penis, testicles) 7.

Male-to-Female (MTF)

  • May refer to a person assigned male at birth whose gender is female all or part of the time; transitioning-to-female; female-to-male spectrum 7.

Man

  • A human being who self-identifies as a man, based on elements of importance to the individual, such as gender roles, behaviour, expression, identity, and/or physiology 7.

Masculine

  • Describes socially and culturally constructed aspects of gender (e.g. roles, behaviour, expression, identity) typically associated with boys and men 7.

Masculinizing Hormone Therapy

  • The use of testosterone to develop physical characteristics that are in line with one's gender identity or gender expression, including more facial hair, more body hair, increased muscle mass, and deepened voice 7.

Masculinizing Surgeries

  • Gender-affirming surgical procedures that create physical characteristics reflective of one's gender identity and/or gender expression, including chest surgery, hysterectomy, clitoral release, metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, pectoral implants, liposuction, and lipofilling 7.

Medical Transition

  • To undergo medical steps one deems necessary to transition to one's own sex, for example hormones therapy and/or gender affirming surgery 7.

Metoidioplasty

  • A gender-affirming, masculinizing, lower surgery to create a penis and scrotum, done by cutting ligaments around the clitoris to add length to the shaft, grafting skin around the shaft to create added girth, lengthening the urethra so one can urinate from the shaft, and creating a scrotum 7.

Monthly Bleeding

  • A term for 'menstrual bleeding' or 'period' used by some trans people 7.

No-Ho

  • A slang term used by some trans people who do not take hormones 7.

Non-flesh penis

  • Penis made from synthetic materials; may also be referred to as a 'packer' or 'prosthetic penis' 7.

Omnisexual/pansexual

  • A person who is physically and/or romantically attracted to all or many gender expressions. Ominsexual attraction typically is more focused on individuals not conforming to a certain gender identity 3.

Oophorectomy

  • A surgery to remove the ovaries; a gender-affirming, masculinizing lower surgery 7.

Orchiectomy

  • A surgery to remove the testicles; a gender-affirming, feminizing, lower surgery 7.

Outing someone

  • Accidentally or intentionally revealing another person's gender identity or sexual orientation without their permission 7.

Packing

  • A term some people use to describe wearing padding or a non-flesh penis in the front of the lower garment or underwear 7.

Padding

  • Use of undergarments to create the appearance of larger breasts, hips, and/or buttocks. Includes breast forms 7.

Pangender

  • Gender identity that includes all genders; multi-gender; omni-gender 7.

Penis*

  • Penis* (with an asterisk) is used to acknowledge the many different words that are used for this body part: penis, strapless, shenis, etc 7.

Person of Trans History

  • Someone who has transitioned to female or transitioned to male and no longer identifies as trans 7.

Phalloplasty

  • A gender-affirming, masculinizing, lower surgery to create a penis and scrotal sac (phase 1), then testicular implants and implants to obtain rigidity/erection (phases 2 and 3) 7.

Physical Sex

  • To what sex do the organs of the body match, i.e. male or female. Birth with ambiguous genitalia occurs in roughly 1:2000 live births (see Intersex Person) 2.

Primary Care Provider

  • An individual's main health care provider in non-emergency situations (check ups, referrals); Family Doctor; General Practitioner (GP); Nurse Practitioner (NP) 7.

Privilege

  • Refers to the social, economic and political advantages and power held by people from dominant groups on the basis of attributes such as gender, race, sexual orientation, and social class 7.

Pronouns

  • The pronouns an individual uses in reference to them, such as she or he, they, ze, or the person’s name. (Gender (Free) For All) 7.

Puberty Blockers

  • A group of medications for youth that temporarily suppress or inhibit puberty by suppressing the production of sex hormones and preventing development of secondary sexual characteristics 7.

Queer

  • An umbrella term which embraces a matrix of sexual orientations and behaviours of the not-exclusively-heterosexual majority. Queer is a reclaimed word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. It is important to note that today, even those for whom the term mighty apply, some still see the word as a hateful insult 3.

Questioning

  • A term sometimes used by those in the process of exploring their gender or sexual orientation, as well as choosing not to identify with any other label 7.

QTPOC

  • Acronym for Queer, Trans, and People of Colour 7.

QTIPOC

  • Acronym for Queer, Trans, and Indigenous People of Colour 7.

Read as

  • When someone is correctly assumed to be the wrong gender; this term has replaced the outdated term "to pass" which implied that a person is failing when they are not being read as their correct gender 7.

Real Life Experience (RLE)

  • A former requirement for medical transition, during which one was required to live full-time in their self-determined gender role; this requirement has been removed in the current WPATH Standards of Care (Version 7) 7.

Salpingectomy

  • A surgery to remove the Fallopian tubes; a gender-affirming, masculinizing lower surgery 7.

Self-determined Gender and Gender Identity

  • A person's inner sense of their own gender identity, which is independent of their gender expression, biological makeup and any gender that may be externally attributed to them by other people, including legally and socially 6.

Self-Identified Men

  • Term used to be inclusive of trans men or trans persons of history who self-identity as men (e.g. this restroom is for self-identified men) 7.

Self-Identified Women

  • Term used to be inclusive of trans women or trans persons of history who self-identity as women (e.g. this restroom is for self-identified women) 7.

Sex

  • Biological attributes and legal categories used to classify humans as male, female, intersex or other categories, primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, genetic expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy 7.

Sex Assignment

  • Legal designation of sex, usually made at birth 7.

Sexual Orientation

  • Patterns of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to groups of people (e.g. men, women, trans people), a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions; for example pansexual, bisexual, LGB, heterosexual 7.

Sex Hormones

  • Hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone, affecting sexual and reproductive development or function 7.

Sex Marker

  • Legal designation of sex (usually male or female) on official documents, such as government issued identification and birth certificates. Sometimes called "gender marker" 7.

Sex Reassignment Surgery

  • See gender-affirming surgery 7.

Sexuality/Sexual Orientation

  • The direction in which an individual wants to direct their sexual desires, forces or libido. Trans people display the normal spread of sexualities – heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual etc. The sexuality of a trans person may remain the same or change through the process of transition 2.

  • Term that refers to being romantically or sexually attracted to people of a specific gender. Our sexual orientation and our gender identity are separate, distinct parts of our overall identity. Although a child may not yet be aware of their sexual orientation, they usually have a strong sense of their gender identity 1.

Standards of Care (for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People)

  • Guidelines containing the recommended course of care for people seeking medical transition to their self-determined gender, published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) 7.

Stealth

  • The practice of living one's life entirely as one's gender without disclosing past experiences 7.

Surgical Readiness Assessment

  • Evaluation conducted by a healthcare professional to determine if a patient is ready to be referred for gender-affirming surgery 7.

Third Gender

  • A gender other than male or female 7.

Top Surgery

  • Umbrella term used for some gender-affirming above-the-waist surgeries including masculinizing chest surgeries and feminizing breast augmentation surgeries 7.

TPOC

  • An acronym for Trans People of Colour 7.

Transfeminine

  • This umbrella term may describe people who were assigned male at birth, who are trans, and whose gender expression leans towards the feminine 7.

Trans

  • Trans is an umbrella term used to describe people whose lives appear to conflict with the gender norms of society. Whether this is in their clothing, in presenting themselves or undergoing hormone treatment and surgery. Being trans does not imply any specific sexual orientation 3.

  • Trans is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of people whose gender and/or gender expression differ from their assigned sex and/or the societal and cultural expectations of their assigned sex; includes people who are androgyne, agender, bigender, butch, CAFAB, CAMAB, cross-dresser, drag king, drag queen, femme, FTM, gender creative, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, gender variant, MTF, pangender, questioning, trans, trans man, trans woman, transfeminine, transgender, transmasucline, transsexual, and two-spirit 7.

Transgender

  • Sometimes used as an umbrella to describe anyone whose identity or behaviour falls outside of stereotypical gender norms. More narrowly defined, it refers to an individual whose gender identity does not match their assigned birth gender. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation (attraction to people of a specific gender). Therefore, transgender people may additionally identify with a variety of other sexual identities as well 1

  • An umbrella term used to include transsexual people, transvestites and cross-dressers, as in "the transgender community." 2

  • 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/bio- logical sex 5.

  • An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from that of their sex assigned at birth. Transgender people may or may not alter their bodies to better fit with their gender identity through means such as hormones or surgery. Some intersex people identify as transgender but the two are not the same. Identities such as transsexual or transvestite are distinct sub-categories of transgender and should not be used as synonyms. Should only be used as an adjective e.g. 'transgender people'. The word "Transgendered" is used by some people but its use is discouraged 6.

Transgender Person

  • A person who, like a transsexual person, transitions - sometimes with the help of hormone therapy and/or cosmetic surgery - to live in the gender role of choice, but has not undergone, and generally does not intend to undergo genital surgery 2.

Transition

  • The social, psychological, emotional and economic processes that a trans person undergoes to move from their assigned gender role into their chosen or acquired gender. The time this takes is variable and depends on the individual's ability to embrace significant change in their life. If requiring genital surgery the individual will have to undergo a so called Real Life Test, i.e. living in their acquired gender role for a minimum of 1 year 2.

  • Refers to the process during which trans people may change their gender expression and/or bodies to reflect their gender, including changes in physical appearance (hairstyle, clothing), behaviour (mannerisms, voice, gender roles), identification (name, pronoun, legal details), and/or medical interventions (hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgery) 7.

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 5.

  • Transitioning is the term used to describe someone taking up a gender role and/or presentation that is different from the one they were assigned at birth and may or may not involve medical intervention. Transition may include some or all of the following: social, legal and medical adjustments, telling one’s family, friends, and/or colleagues, changing one's name and/or sex on legal documents, voice therapy and changing one's style of dress 6.

Trans man/woman

  • A term that is used by some trans people (transsexual and transgender people) who are open about their status and do not fear the consequences of their pasts being revealed or who believe that transition does not mean they become men or women. A generic term that the trans community wishes to see used in documents, policies, statutory instruments etc 2.

Transman

  • A female-to-male [FTM] transsexual man [transman] is someone who was labelled female at birth but has a male gender identity and therefore transitions to live completely and permanently as a man 4.

  • Female-to-male transsexual men can be described as straight if they are attracted to women, gay if they are attracted to men or bisexual if they are attracted to both men and women 4.

  • May describe someone who is trans and a man 7.

Transmasculine

  • This umbrella term may describe people who were assigned female at birth, who are trans, and whose gender expression leans towards the masculine 7.

Trans-misogyny

  • Transphobia directed at trans women and transfeminine people that reinforces male power and privilege, including harassment, violence and discrimination 7.

Transphobia

  • Ignorance, fear, dislike, and/or hatred of trans people, which may be expressed through name-calling, disparaging jokes, exclusion, rejection, harassment, violence, and many forms of discrimination (refusing to use a person's name/pronoun, denial of services, employment, housing) 7.

  • Transphobia is an irrational fear of, and/or hostility towards, people who are or are perceived to be transgender or who otherwise transgress traditional gender norms. Transphobia also includes actions that contribute to or perpetuate ideas, misconceptions or myths which disadvantage trans* people 6.

Transsexual Person

  • A person who feels a consistent and overwhelming desire to transition and fulfil their life as a member of the opposite gender. Most transsexual people actively desire and complete gender reassignment surgery. The ratio of Female to Male (FTM) and Male to Female (MTF) transsexual people is in the region 1:3 – 1:4 2.

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 5.

Transsexualism

  • This term is used to describe a person who has "transitioned", or is in the process of "transitioning", or intends to transition from male to female or female to male. For a transsexual person, the process of "transitioning", may involve a variety of treatments including: hormone therapy, surgery and hair removal. People who have transitioned do not necessarily identify as trans any longer; they may identify as simply a man or a woman. Some transsexual people may not transition due to family or other social constraints 3, 5.

  • When people complete their transition, they may no longer regard themselves as part of the trans umbrella. They might consider having been transsexual to just be an aspect of their medical history which has now been resolved and so is no longer an issue in their life. In such cases, they simply describe themselves as men or as women and it is most disrespectful to insist on calling them trans, transgender or transsexual against their wishes 4.

Transvestite

  • A person who dresses in the clothing of the opposite sex as defined by socially accepted norms. Consequently, in contemporary society, the majority of transvestites are cross-dressing men. Social transvestites cross-dress merely to feel more comfortable. The erotic transvestite cross dresses to achieve sexual gratification alone or with a partner. Transvestites normally cross dress only occasionally and do not seek hormones or surgery 2.

  • A transvestite individual feels compelled to wear clothing normally associated with the opposite sex, but does not desire to live permanently as a member of the opposite sex 3.

  • An outdated term that was historically used to label people who cross dressed as having a mental illness; replaced by the more inclusive and respectful term, 'cross dresser', which is not considered a mental illness 7.

Transwoman

  • A male-to-female [MTF] transsexual woman [transwoman] is someone who was labelled male at birth but has a female gender identity, and therefore transitions to live completely and permanently as a woman 4.

  • Male-to-female transsexual women can be described as straight if they are attracted to men, lesbian if they are attracted to women or bisexual if they are attracted to both men and women 4.

  • May describe someone who is trans and a woman 7.

Tucking

  • Method of positioning the penis and testicles so as to conceal them 7.

Vagina*

  • Vagina* (with a asterisk) is used to acknowledge the many different words that are used for this body part: front hole, etc 7.

Vaginoplasty

  • A gender-affirming, feminizing, lower surgery to create a vagina and vulva (including mons, labia, clitoris, and urethral opening) and inverting the penis*, scrotal sac and testes 7.

Vocal feminization surgery

  • Feminizing surgery to elevate the pitch of the voice 7.

Woman

  • A human being who self-identifies as a woman, based on elements of importance to the individual, such as gender roles, behaviour, expression, identity, and/or physiology 7.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)

  • Professional organization devoted to transgender health, whose mission as an international multidisciplinary professional association is to promote evidence based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy and respect in transgender health 7.

Ze/Hir

  • Gender-inclusive pronouns used to avoid gender binary-based words (he/she, him/her), or making assumptions about other people's gender 7.

Sources


  1. https://www.genderspectrum.org/quick-links/understanding-gender/ 

  2. http://gendertrust.org.uk/glossary 

  3. Sexual Health. University of Georgia, University Health Center. (2014) https://www.uhs.uga.edu/sexualhealth/LGBT/foo.html 

  4. Gender identity. LGBT Health and Well-being. (2014) http://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/gender_identity.pdf 

  5. Office for National Statistics, ed. (2009). Trans Data Position Paper. Crown copyright. Office for National Statistics. 

  6. http://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/files/gender_reassignment_staff.pdf February 2015 

  7. http://transhealth.phsa.ca/trans-101/glossary