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 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.

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