May 17

All About Girdles

Corsetry was changing rapidly in the late twenties and early thirties, and as new lightweight elastic fabrics became available, new undergarments made from them began to replace the previous rigid laced corsets. New terms were devised for these garments, and these terms were rapidly adopted by the new generation to distinguish their modern garments from their mother’s museum pieces. The girdle was invented around 1910 by the French designer Paul Poiret, to be worn with the clothing he was designing. It is made to aesthetically mould a woman’s figure and may consist of garters. Any girdle is designed with a rubber like fabric which is tied with hook and eye closures

Spigel 1960s girdle

1960s Girdle by Spigel

Corsets were usually put on by wrapping them around the body and then either hooking them together or lacing them up (referred to as Wrap-ons), younger women generally chose the relatively lightweight garment which was knitted as a seamless tube on a circular knitting machine. These were generally put on by turning them inside out, and upside down, stepping into them and then rolling them up into the right position. They were called Roll-ons, and this first generation of women adopted this term as the general name for girdles.

A girdle encircles the lower torso, perhaps extending below the hips, and worn often for support or to smooth and flatten the wearers tummy and buttocks. It can extend significantly above her waist, though if it covers her breasts it becomes a Corselette.  The word girdle originally meant a belt. In modern English, the term girdle is most commonly used for a form of women’s foundation wear that replaced the corset in popularity. In sports, a girdle may be similar to compression shorts.

Although the original Roll-ons had no seams, the term soon came to be applied to any girdle which did not have a zip fastening, or other opening. I suspect that many of the ‘roll-on’ generation continued to use the term after they had graduated to more serious underwear, rather than admit this to their friends.

More mature women wore a firmer elastic girdle with a zip fastening. They stepped into them to put them on, so they were known as Step-ins. Firmer girdles usually include boning, especially if they come above the waist, and may have openings, with hook and eye and/or zip closing, to facilitate putting on and taking off. So we have Laced girdles, Zip fastening girdles and panelled girdles.

Girdles may either be open at the bottom, or closed, in which case they may also have legs. They are divided into two main groups; Open Girdles or Open Bottom Girdles (OBGs) and Pantygirdles. Both groups are further subdivided according to the height of the waist, and type of construction, and panty girdles are subdivided according to the length of the legs.

The twentieth century women’s girdle attracts various references in literature, often in a disparaging way. For example, Marilyn French in her classic book, The Women’s Room, is very critical not only of the girdle itself, but also of the virtual compulsion to wear one, a compulsion which existed until the late 1960s

Playtex open botom girdleOne of my first experiences in womenswear was around the age of 12 when I first tried on my mother’s Playtex open bottom girdle. The feel of that girdle when wearing a tight skirt and walking around the house perhaps captured my imagination and has driven my desire even today to wear sexy feeling underwear. Idda van Munster, a connoisseur of the vintage look says, “A woman wearing a girdle will walk and sit with a charming, careful grace that is distinct from the impression produced by the ungirdled informality. In addition to the pleasant tactile feeling of a girdle, many women enjoy the vintage feeling, the sense of dressing and moving like the truly classical Hollywood actresses.  A girdle is like a great fitting bra, it is the foundation to an incredible outfit that will give the wearer the support and confidence to look and feel her best”

Today  modern women say the girdle was created by men who wanted women to look like something which they thought women “should’ look like….. Is there a man on this earth who has worn, or who would wear, something extremely uncomfortable so that he would look good for a woman? No, I think they stop at using a comb and aftershave and some don’t even use those nowadays”

Scroll down in this article to the comment from “Katie Cahill”. Her beau, Michael, from Ireland, convinced her to wear a girdle, but she countered only if he wore one too. The outcome is surprising.

Happiness is a flat tummyEvery generation of women has a garment that is supposed to help eliminate bulges, bumps and all manner of obvious lumps. My grandmother wore a corset. I used to have to help her pull together both sides and snap it shut. I remember struggling with it as if I were reeling in a large tuna. I would try to encourage her to try to simply wear a bra, but she was adamant that it made her back feel good and made her figure look more youthful.

Today it is the pantygirdle. There’s the story of the woman hurried into the restaurant at Selfridge’s in a waft of powder, perfume and parcels. As she joined her friends for coffee, she gushed in a voice audible several tables away, “I’m so sorry to be late. I was trapped inside my panty-girdle!”

Another woman said’ “Yes I did and they were horrible. My mother was quite cross with me when I stopped wearing them telling me that I would suffer with a bad back if I didn’t wear them. I already was under a specialist for a bad back and, later, after seeking private treatment I was told to throw them away as they were the cause of my problems. They were bad for the circulation, gave us indigestion, made us roast in the warm weather and so I could go on.”

 

Well, now, a new generation of fat flatteners has emerged called Spanx. You can purchase one for almost every part of your body. They recently came out with one that addresses the front and the back like a suit of armor. I tried the pantyhose on with the control top, because if anything is “out of control” it’s my stomach. I walked around the house a few minutes and ripped them off. The relief I felt was immediate. I knew at that moment that I was meant to have it “all hang out.” Let’s face it, all these under garments that promise miracle results, lose their miraculous possibilities once you take them off. Perhaps working out and eating less might just be more of a miracle. But for us, the glamour of femininity is too big a draw. But then I still need something to hold up my panties.

And then, just for pure enjoyment, let’s watch the Girdle Girls

Next, here is a five part video series on the girdle as you may remember them.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF GIRDLES (1)
THE GOLDEN AGE OF GIRDLES (2)
THE GOLDEN AGE OF GIRDLES (3)
THE GOLDEN AGE OF GIRDLES (4)
THE GOLDEN AGE OF GIRDLES (5)

Finally, wth many thanks to a reader, here are links to two chat sites talking about girdles. You may find them interesting

Chat Room 1

Chat Room 2

 

May 16

Explaining Transgenderism To Kids

talking to kidsThis subject by its very nature is a difficult one, and opinions vary, so this is not an authoritative source. Explaining to a child who had a normal father-mother relationship and now has a second part-time Mom or possibly two Moms is at best somewhat disconcerting and whether the children are pre-kindergaten or teenagers, they deserve the best we can do to help them understand this phenomena we call transgender.

Sara Bibel said “it happened to me. My father transitioned when I was a kid (4 years old) and it was nothing like “Transparent” I wish I could have watched a TV show about a family like mine. Here is Sara’s story.

The following article from Yahoo Shine also treats the subject in a reasonable and practicable manner.

It was almost two years ago that my daughter, then three years old, met the wonderful person who is now her “other” mom. I’d brought her along for my first date with a cute, young man, explaining to him that I was a package deal and that he’d need to get to know my daughter if he wanted to know me. Before we parted ways, he whispered to me, “I want to kiss you good-bye, but I don’t want to confuse your daughter.” I pulled him aside and we shared our first, secret kiss. I quietly remarked, “You kiss like a woman,” and would have immediately regretted the comment it if it weren’t for the fact that he smiled, as if flattered, when I said it. A few weeks later, my budding love-interest filled me in on a big secret: “he” didn’t identify as a “he” at all, and, as a transgender woman, was beginning the process of transitioning to look more like the woman she saw herself as.

The first thing I thought was, “I have no idea how I’m going to explain this to my daughter.” After all, it had only been a few days since I’d explained to her the basic biological differences between boys and girls. How could I let my three year old know that Mommy’s boyfriend was actually Mommy’s girlfriend, and that she’d be changing her appearance to reflect that? It gave me enough pause that I considered ending our brand-new relationship right then and there. But love will make you do crazy things, and those crazy things often turn out wonderful… and I’m pleased to say that my soon-to-be-wife, who my daughter accepts as “kind of like a daddy and a mommy at the same time” is acknowledged and loved within my little family for the wonderful woman she is.

How did we get to this point? Talking to kids about transgenderism isn’t easy, but I feel like my family did it right. Here are five simple tips that, should you need to broach this topic with your own child, can help you navigate the potentially confusing topic of transgenderism.

1. Don’t make it a big deal.

If your child has a friend or relative who is transgender, your instinct might be to sit her down for one of those serious talks and have a deep, detailed discussion. This isn’t necessary and really might do more harm than good. Kids take things in stride when you introduce new or possibly confusing topics nonchalantly, instead of making a huge ordeal out of them. Keep the conversation casual and friendly, not formal and intimidating.

2. Explain that some people’s bodies and brains don’t match up.

You don’t have to go into the actual detailed definitions of gender and sex, but it’s important to clarify that how a person looks (or how a person was born) may not match how that person feels or presents. Before you bring up the person you’re talking about, you might tell your kiddo, “Remember how I told you that boys have penises and girls have vaginas? That’s true almost all of the time, but there are some people who feel like girls when they were born with boy-bodies, or feel like girls when they were born with boy-bodies.” Listen to any feedback your child has and answer any questions that may arise,
factually and respectfully.

3. Teach respect for gender identity.

This is easier than most parents expect. After all, if your kid has known Uncle Jake for 10 years, what is he going to do when he’s suddenly asked to call his “uncle” Aunt Jackie? It’s really not as hard as you or your child might think. Just explain, “Even though Aunt Jackie is still the exact same person, she feels sad about the fact that she looks like a man right now, and she feels sad when people call her Jake. I need you to be respectful of Aunt Jackie by calling her by the name she wants and talking about her as if she is a girl, because she doesn’t feel like a man and it’s not fair to call her one.” Of course, model this by consistently using correct names and pronouns around your child. Remind your kiddo that it’s okay to slip up every now and then (accidental use of “old” name or pronoun is, unfortunately, something that trans people encounter often), but make sure your child is making an effort to be respectful. Your kid will adjust more easily than you might think.

4. Explain transitioning in kid-friendly terms.

No, your child doesn’t need to know about everything that transitioning (or a “sex-change”) entails, but, if your child knows someone who is transgender, she deserves to have some idea of what’s going to happen to her loved one. One simple way to explain it might be, “Since Aunt Jackie looks like a man right now and that makes her sad, she has to take medicine that will make her look more like a lady. She might not look like a man at all anymore pretty soon, but she’ll still be the same person inside.” Your kids (especially tweens and teens) might have questions about surgical treatments, but it’s best to avoid discussing these with kids. The details of surgery, and whether or not a trans person will have it, is unnecessary and violates that person’s privacy unless that person is freely sharing the information. You might simply say that you don’t know if Aunt Jackie is having surgery because her private parts aren’t anyone else’s business, but you can add that it would be nice to send her cards or flowers if she has to be in the hospital at some point.

5. Offer reassurance and real answers.

Learning about transgenderism can be confusing and intimidating even for adults, but kids may be especially befuddled by the concept. Kids have naturally open minds and most have no problem accepting it, but others might have a lot of questions (How does a person know if she’s transgender? If there are transgender women, are there also transgender men? How do those medicines work?) or be confused and worried (Are these treatments dangerous? Does this mean I might grow up to be the opposite sex, even though I don’t want to? Are people going to make fun of me for having a transgender friend or relative?) To all of these concerns, it’s best to have simple, easy, and reassuring answers ready. Nothing about this conversation, or the experience of knowing a transgender person, has to be stressful. Keep an open mind and a compassionate voice and you’ll find that this seemingly difficult conversation is far easier than you might expect.

Five More Tips for Explaining a Transgender Family to your Kids

Kendra Gayle Lee  the wife of a trans guy and brings her own unique perspective to the issue

When my partner Simon came out as transgender, the first thing both of us concerned ourselves with was how this would impact our daughter. We fretted. We made plans to move to a larger, more liberal city. We played out various coming out scenarios (most of them looked like the emotional equivalent of a zombie apocalypse). Eventually, we reached a point where we needed to just move forward, for better or worse. So we just took the plunge, telling the people closest to us first, and moving outward in concentric circles until we finally were ready to tell everyone — via Facebook, of course.

Instead of emerging as emotional zombies, as we’d feared, we were inundated with support for our family. We are so grateful for the transgender people who came before us fighting for increased visibility and acceptance. They’ve made our journey so much easier.

Even telling our daughter about her Baba’s transition only involved one meltdown — and that was simply a communication issue (at first, she thought transitioning meant her Baba would be going away). Unbeknownst to us at the time, we lucked out on the timing of Simon’s transition, since preschool-aged children tend to have fewer issues with a parent’s transition. They may adjust easier because their notions about gender are just being hammered out. Or it could be because so many things in their world seem topsy-turvy that a gender transition doesn’t seem all that out of the ordinary.

Either way, Jane adjusted to Simon’s transition spectacularly — well, barring that one time at Starbucks when Simon gave his name at the counter, and Jane fell on the floor laughing, yelling, “Simon! Ha! He said his name is Simon!” Typical preschool hijinks. Nothing to see here, folks.

Now that our cataclysmic fears regarding the destruction of our entire social network have been laid to rest, I get to resume the normal parenthood worries. The latest: I worry that people will exclude our daughter not because they hate our family, but because they don’t know what to say to their kid about our family. Parents have an inherent fear of being mortified by their children (this parent included).

So how should you discuss a transgender family with your kid?

Don’t Project

Kids are way more open than adults. New experiences and situations are the norm for them.
Explain gender to your child simply:
· Biological sex has to do with private parts.
· Gender identity is how someone feels inside (like a boy or a girl—or both or none-of-the-above).
· Gender expression is how people show the world their gender (the frilly dress, the swagger, the long princess hair, the bowtie).

Sometimes all three of these factors match up. Sometimes they don’t. When biological sex and gender identity don’t match up, a person sometimes identifies as transgender. (While it may be more difficult to explain, depending on their age, it’s important to note that some folks fall somewhere on the gender spectrum. They may identify as non-binary, gender diverse, agender, or gender expansive, to name just a few other identities. These people may present their gender in a non-traditional way although they may not technically be transgender, and they fall under the encompassing trans* umbrella.)

Emphasize that environmental factors can’t make a person transgender. It is just simply a unique part of who they are.

You can also help by keeping an open mind about gender norms in your own parenting. As a society, we’ve assigned gender to everything — including toys — so, it is natural for a kid to be gender-transgressive once in a while. Which is why, if your son plays with that Barbie, you might want to dispense with all the fretting and let it go (Elsa style, of course). Tutus for everyone!

Be Mindful Of The Preferred Name & Pronouns

What’s in a name? For a transgender person, a helluva lot. If your child knew the transgender child or adult before they began to transition, it may be a difficult switch to using the new name and pronouns. Practice with your child before they spend time with the person. Using the correct name and pronouns shows acceptance, support, and respect. Remind your child that, if they mistakenly use the wrong name or pronoun, they should simply apologize, just like if they spilled milk on the carpet.
No one expects your kid to be perfect. Sometimes even my partner still slips up and says his birth name instead of Simon. He gets some pretty confused looks but everyone emerges unscathed.

Focus on Safety

Unfortunately, people feel really strongly about upholding the gender binary. This puts transgender people (particularly transgender women of color) at much higher risk for violence. For this and other social and personal reasons, some transgender people choose to go “stealth.”

“Stealth” is when a person transitions and lives a life in which they do not publicly acknowledge that they are transgender. Whether or not the person is public about their gender identity, it is never OK for you or your child to out someone as transgender. Only the transgender person and/or their family can choose who to tell and when. Be sure to teach them that.

Remember That It’s OK From Them To Have Lots Of Questions

My daughter asks approximately 400 questions before breakfast. For some kids, encountering someone who is trans* unleashes a litany of questions. Encourage your child to bring honest questions to you and then do your best to find answers — this is where the Internet gets really handy. Some transgender folks (or their parents) are even happy to field respectful and relevant questions.

But if it that question is about genitalia (or as my daughter calls it “your privacy”), it is neither respectful nor relevant to ask a trans* person.

Emphasize That Love Makes a Family

Gender conformity shouldn’t be a requisite for love. Kids don’t stop loving their transgender parent. And many parents love — and strive mightily to protect — their transgender and gender non-conforming kids. For trans* kids who aren’t fully supported at home or at school, your child can be a caring and supportive force in a world that constantly tries to invalidate gender non-conforming identities.

The more your child hears and understands that love makes a family, the more they will embrace their classmates’ and friends’ identities and family structures, however diverse they may be.

May 15

Transgender Terminology

We start with the basics from Rachel Rollins

Then the following list is provided courtesy of Aunt Marci at “Why Men Crossdress” I have found Marci’s explanations to be of unusual clarity.

Admirer – A term to describe men that date, have sex with and or are romantically involved with or in pursuit of transgender women. Also known as “Tranny Chasers”. Note: Not all men involved with transgender women agree with this definition.

Androgynous – The general use of being androgynous is a person that blends both male and female gender characteristics into a single presentation, or someone that lacks any specific gender identification. An example of the first might be singers Annie Lenox or David Bowie.  An example of the second would be Hirjras (of India ) who are often described as “neither man nor woman”.

Androphilia/Gynophilia –  The romantic and/or sexual attraction to adult male, or the romantic and/or sexual attraction to adult females. These terms are increasingly used in the reference of transgender people and their attractions as the term homosexual (or gay) to describe a trans woman’s attraction to men for example, is not accurate.

Asexual – Asexuality is a general term or self-designation for people who lack sexual attraction or otherwise find sexual behavior unappealing. There is debate as to whether this is a sexual dysfunction or a sexual orientation; furthermore, there is disagreement over the exact definition of the word. There has been little research done on asexuality.

Autogynephilia – The love of oneself as a woman. A sexual behavior (or deviation) proposed in 1989 by Ray Blanchard, who defined it as “a man’s paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman.” It is part of a behavioral model for transsexual sexuality informally known as the Blanchard, Baily, and Lawrence theory; an attempt to explain  transwomen.

B & D – Bondage and Domination is the act of being enslaved by a master/ mistress, to succumbing to the will of another by force for sexual and/or emotional pleasure.  B & D activities are sometimes combined with S & M role play.

Bi-Gendered – A person who lives a dual life, having one role as a man and another role as a woman. Bi-gendered  people spend significant time in each role and have separate names, pronouns, social circles, and gender identities. Often one social circle is unaware of the person’s other identity. Sometimes
called a transgenderist. (4 on the Benjamin gender scale.)

Bi-Sexual –  Men or women who are attracted to both their own sex and those of the opposite sex.

Binding – The process of flattening (and thereby “hiding”) ones breasts to present a flat look under their clothing.

Boi – A slang term sometimes used for biologically born women that portray a male identity. Also used to describe a submissive male, as in the term houseboi, someone  subservient to a dominant male.

Butch – A term used within the lesbian community associated with a masculine or tough acting woman.  Also a female who crossdresses in men’s clothing, has a masculine haircut, and takes on the masculine
gender role, but does not try to pass as a man or change pronouns. See also Gender Bender.

Cisgender  – People whose gender identity and gender expression align with their assigned sex at birth (i.e., the sex listed on their birth certificates). Cisgender is a newer term that some people prefer when writing and speaking about transgender and non-transgender people, with the non-transgender people being referred to as “cisgender.” In this manner, a transgender person is not singled out as being different or abnormal

Crossdresser (or CD) – Literally, a person who sometimes dresses in clothing traditionally associated with the opposite sex. In practice, most crossdressers assume the feminine gender role, presenting completely as a woman (with long hair, makeup, padding, and sometimes changes to voice and body language.) Crossdressers change repeatedly back and forth between man and woman. Most  crossdressers spend only small amounts of time crossdressed, either alone or at a support group. (3 on the Benjamin gender scale.

Clocked – When the general public sees past a transgender persons presentation and recognizes their birth gender.  Alternative slang is “being read,” or “being spooked.”

Drag Hag – A term used to describe women that spend most of their time in the company of gay men, or are otherwise fans of gay men.

Drag King – A term used for biological women that perform as men, such a King Dredd.

Drag Queen – The term  is slang to describe a male that dresses up as a woman (usually in a very dramatic way) for the purpose of performance and/or shock value.  Their goal is to attract as much attention as is possible and their sexual orientation is usually of the gay persuasion. They are often mistakenly called crossdressers and even though they do dress in the clothing of the opposite sex, their motivation for doing so are entirely different from that of a crossdresser.  Unfortunately, this is another of the primary mental pictures, abet wrongly, that comes to most peoples mind when they hear the word ‘crossdresser’. Well known drag queens includes performers such as Lady Bunny, Miss Understood, and Heklina. They shouldn’t be confused with female impersonators like Randy Roberts or transsexual performers like Candis Cayne or Mimi Marks.

Drag Q – Effeminate behavior considered to be more feminine than masculine.

Endocrinologist – The professional you consult before engaging in sex reassignment hormone therapy. They are skilled in the study of endocrinology; the study of the endocrine glands of the human body, the hormones produced by them, and their related disorders.

Eunuch – A castrated human male.

Facial Feminization Surgery – Also referred to as FFS. It is a surgical procedure that alters the bone structure of the human face to present a more feminine appearance.

Female Impersonators – Men that strive to authentically impersonate women, usually for performance purposes. Not to be confused with drag queens that present more in “high camp,” like a caricature of a woman rather than an actual woman.   The women they impersonate are usually celebrities of some type and most who do this for a living are really good at it. Some who do this are transsexuals, some are crossdressers, and some are transvestites. In any of these cases it’s easy to see why society might see them as different and therefore lump them together with everyone else.

Femininity – Comprises the physical and mental attributes associated with the female sex. Some are partly culturally determined, rooted in the socialization of a girl’s early development (and adjusted throughout adulthood by picking up or reacting to societal cues),while other attributes can be traced to the female reproductive role. Female gender roles can vary between different societies and eras.

Gender – The role a person takes in social interactions, as in “man” or “woman”, “masculine” or “feminine”, “he” or “she”. Gender involves a person’s internal feelings of “gender identity” as well as external “gender role” or “gender expression”. Gender is not a synonym for “sex”,  although the sex and gender of most people are congruent. “Sex” is what you have between your legs, “gender” is what you have between your ears. See “Man”, “Woman”, “Sex”, “Gender Roles”.

Gender Bender – A person who presents elements of both masculine and feminine appearance without trying to pass as the opposite sex. Examples include a man in a skirt, or with painted nails, styled hair, or dangling earrings, a woman in jacket and tie, or in a tuxedo, or a short masculine haircut or bound breasts. A gender bender is expressing how they are most comfortable.

Gender Characteristics – The physical attributes of a person, as they relate to the traditional stereotypes of “man” or “woman” and “male” or “female”, usually applied to intersexual persons. Gender characteristics include height, body shape, deepness of voice, body hair, and also include biological sex differentiations like genotype, hormonal metabolism and genitals. Protection of gender characteristics means that a person will not be treated differently if their gender characteristics do not match those traditional for their sex. Examples include a short man, a woman with facial hair, a person whose genotype does not match their assigned sex, (e.g. a woman who is not genetically XX,) or a person with ambiguous genitals. (See http://www.isna.org/ for more information about intersexuality.)

Gender DysphoriaGender dysphoria is a condition in which a person feels there is a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.

Gender Expression – The external presentation or appearance of a person, as it relates to the traditional stereotypes of “man” (or “boy”) and “woman” (or “girl”.) A person’s gender expression includes appearance, dress, mannerisms, speech patterns, hair style, and social interactions. Protection of gender expressions means that any gender expression that is acceptable for one sex is also acceptable for the other sex.

Gender Identity – The internal feeling that all of us have of being a man or a woman. In the case of transsexuals, the feeling of identity or belonging is not compatible with the sex assigned at birth. The gender identity of a crossdresser is somewhere between the endpoints “man” and “woman”, and may move back and forth. Gender Neutral are people who dress so as to express no gender or ambiguous gender.

Gender Queer – As defined by Jami, Gender Queer *can* mean those who self-identify as embracing all genders, not embracing any genders, are gender fluid, or deny gender in it’s entirety as a concept. Some may even self-identify as “gender-f**k: ” physically, and through mannerisms, to totally “f**k” with the rest of societies concepts of gender role, or even in defiance of such. (One example of such might be a person who has a full ZZ Top like beard, wears a dress, has hairy arms/legs, some makeup, or not, and freely masculine sounding voice – no voice disguise.)

These people are NOT fetishists. They are totally challenging all the old “established” notions/concepts of gender, gender appearance, gender mannerisms, and gender roles. They are just merely being themselves, and are true to themselves, without reservations, nor fear of consequences. For them, sexuality is freely expressed, and while they can be bisexual, more often they are pan-sexual; and are most often very openly-sharing of their sexual feelings/preferences.

They ARE usually very intelligent, well-educated, and very talented: as artists, as musicians, as authors, as spoken-word performers, as performance artists, as motivators, as leaders, as activists; and they are very much involved in causing change to occur. They are extremely comfortable with who they are, and how they express themselves.

They ARE very much at the “cutting-edge” “front-lines, ” of gender expression, what gender means, or that it means NOTHING. Gender Queer is NOT a fashion statement, nor a means to change fashion, but more a means to change society, sometimes in a political means… sometimes defiantly… but most often by just being themselves and being very proud of who they are.

Gender Roles – Societal expectations of how we are supposed to appear and behave depending on one’s being male or female. One of the most explicit social rules is that one is expected to present oneself in public in a manner consistent with one’s sex, and that presentation is to be unambiguous.

Gender Variance – The degree to which a person’s gender expression, or gender identity, or gender characteristics is different from cultural expectations. A gender variant person is
one whose gender variance is high enough for them to be harassed or discriminated against.

GID (Gender Identity Dysphoria) – A condition where the individual does not identify with or as the gender assigned at birth. The simplified explanation is for example a “woman trapped in a mans body” It is a case that a person’s mind, heart and soul tell them that they are of one gender but their physical sex is of another. GID is an actual diagnosis provided by PHD Psychiatrists following diagnostic criteria. Important note not all TS are GID but all GID are TS. GID often goes on to adapt some form of life as the gender they identify with. Many will engage in some form of body modification to achieve some form of congruency between body and soul. This could be anything from adopting and appropriate hair style with their actual hair (when possible) to full SRS, FFS, and HRT. GID will often adopt the life of the gender they identify with, in its entirety. They become for all intents purposes and to the best of their ability the woman or man they are meant to be. This is not emulating woman, or acting out, pretending, or “expressing their fem side”, they become, as best as they can and as best as they are allowed.

GG or GW – Genetic Girl or Genetic Woman

GM – Genetic male.

Intersexual or IS – A person for whom the process of biological sex differentiation has resulted in a genital phenotype which is culturally unacceptable. The term often implies a medical history of intersexuality and is preferable to the outmoded term Hermaphrodite.

Prevalence – The ratio of number of people with a given condition at a given time to the total population

Sex Characteristics – Another term for Gender Characteristics. Some Intersex individuals draw a distinction between gender characteristics (visible physical attributes of a person) and sex characteristics (biological sex differentiations.) Usually both types of characteristics are included under the term gender characteristics.

Sexual OrientationA person’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction to others. May be lesbian, gay, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. Sexual orientation is distinct from sex, gender identity and gender expression. A person’s sexual orientation should not be assumed based on the perceived sex of that person’s  partner(s), since the partner’s gender identity may not match the perception.

SO or Significant Other – This can be anyone who real or imaginary is looked upon as a partner in life. Grouped in this is DH (dear hubby) GF (girlfriend) BF (boyfriend) wife, husband etc.

Tranny  Pejorative term for a transgender person. Offensive at the same level as the n-word, faggot, or dyke

Transgendered or TG (Sometimes Transgender) – A term that is used to refer to the entire community of individuals whose sex is not entirely congruent with their gender identity. This includes the entire range from the occasional, recreational crossdresser to the transsexual. This term is also used to describe non-operative transsexuals, intersexuals, feminine males, masculine females, or anyone who crosses the line outside the “man” or “woman” boxes expected by society. Transgender was the umbrella term used by medical professionals as a catch all term for anyone who displays, acts out, or otherwise indicates a crossing or mixing of tradition gender lines.

Transgenderist – Not to be confused with “transgender” or “transgendered”. A transgenderist is a person who lives fulltime or nearly full-time in the opposite gender from their birth sex, but does not desire surgery. Also called a non-operative transsexual. Sometimes the term “transgenderist” has been used to describe what this glossary calls a bi-gendered person. (5 on the Benjamin scale.)

Transphobia –  Dislike of, or discomfort with, people whose gender identity and/or gender expression do not conform to traditional or stereotypic gender roles

Transsexual or TS – A person who desires to permanently live as the opposite sex from their birth sex. This person may choose to have sex reassignment surgery. See “SRS.” (6 or 7 on the Benjamin scale. 6 refers to a pre-operative transsexual, and in some scales, 7 refers to a post-operative transsexual.)

TransitionThe process that people go through as they change their
gender expression and/or physical appearance (e.g., through hormones and/or surgery) to align with their gender identity. A transition may occur over an extended period of time, and may involve coming out to family, friends, co-workers, and others; changing one’s name and/or sex designation on legal documents (e.g., driver’s licenses, birth certificates); and/or medical/surgical intervention.

Transvestite –  Outdated term for Crossdresser. Commonly used in countries outside the U.S.