Transgender (IPAEng|trænzˈdʒɛndɚ, from (Latin) derivatives ["trans" gender role (woman or man) commonly, but not always, assigned at birth, as well as the role traditionally held by society.

Transgender is the state of one's "gender identity" (self-identification as woman, man, or neither) not matching one's "assigned sex" (identification by others as male or female based on physical/genetic sex). "Transgender" does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. The precise definition for transgender remains in flux, but includes:

*"Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these."Author unknown, (2004) "...Transgender, adj. Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these..." [ "Definition of transgender"] from the "Oxford English Dictionary", draft version March 2004. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.]

*"People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves."" [ USI LGBT Campaign - Transgender Campaign] ". Retrieved 2007-03-06.]

*"Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth." [ [ Stroud District Council "Gender Equality SCHEME AND ACTION PLAN 2007"] ]

A transgender individual may have characteristics that are normally associated with a particular gender, identify elsewhere on the traditional gender continuum, or exist outside of it as "other," "agender," "intergender," or "third gender". Transgender people may also identify as bigender, or along several places on either the traditional transgender continuum, or the more encompassing continuums which have been developed in response to the significantly more detailed studies done in recent years." [ Layton, Lynne. "In Defense of Gender Ambiguity: Jessica Benjamin. Gender & Psychoanalysis. I, 1996. Pp. 27-43"] ". Retrieved 2007-03-06]

Evolution of the term transgender

The term "transgender" (TG) was popularised in the 1970sKotula, D (2002), "...The term transgender was the 1970s..." in [ A Conversation with Dr. Milton Diamond] from "in the Realm of the "Phallus Palace": the female to male transsexual". Pages 35-56, Alyson Books, Los Angeles. Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] (but implied in the 1960sEkins, R., King, D. (2004) "...As far as we can see, Virginia first used the term 'transgenderal' in print in 1969..." [ Rethinking 'Who put the "Trans" in Transgender?'] GENDYS 2004, The Eighth International Gender Dysphoria Conference, Manchester England. Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] Prince, V. (1969), Men Who Choose to be Women, Sexology, February, pp. 441-444. Use of the term "transgenderal".] ) describing people who wanted to live cross-gender without sex reassignment surgery.Stryker, S. (2004), "...lived full-time in a social role not typically associated with their natal sex, but who did not resort to genital surgery as a means of supporting their gender presentation..." in [ Transgender] from the GLBTQ: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture. Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] In the 1980s the term was expanded to an umbrella termEkins R., King D. (1997), "...When one of us (Ekins) founded the Transgender Archive in 1986, that title was chosen to reflect the wide base of the archive and that it was not confined to material relating to medical conditions..." in [ Blending Genders: Contributions to the Emerging Field of Transgender Studies] from the International Journal of Transgenderism 1,1. Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] and became popular as a means of uniting all those whose gender identity did not mesh with their gender assigned at birth.Ekins, R., King, D. (2004), "...The mid-1980s, in the United Kingdom, for instance, saw the establishing of groups that welcomed both transvestites and transsexuals and their partners...Rather than advocate one particular view on transgender, the aim was to embrace all views in a spirit of acceptance and mutual support..." [ Rethinking 'Who put the "Trans" in Transgender?'] GENDYS 2004, The Eighth International Gender Dysphoria Conference, Manchester England. Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] In the 1990s the term took on a political dimensionFeinberg, L. (1992) Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come, published by World View Forum, New York, ISBN-10: 0895671050, ISBN-13: 978-0895671059.] Feinberg, L. (1997) Transgender Warriors : Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman, published by Beacon Press ISBN-10: 0807079413, ISBN-10: 0807079413.] as an alliance covering all who have at some point not conformed to gender norms, and the term became used to question the validity of those normsBoswell, H. (1991) "...The transgenderist, whether crossing over part-time or full even while masking their genital incongruity gives honest expression to a reality that defies cultural norms..." The Transgender Alternative, Chrysalis Quarterly, 1 (2): 29-31.] or pursue equal rights and anti-discrimination legislation,NCTE, (2003) Mission Statement "...The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country..." [ National Center for Transgender Equality] . Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] PFC, (1995) Mission Statement 1995 "...Press for Change is a political lobbying and educational organisation, which campaigns to achieve equal civil rights and liberties for all transsexual and transgender people in the U.K. through legislation and social change..." [ Press For Change] . Retrieved on 2007-04-10.] leading to its widespread usage in the media, academic world and law.Valentine, D. (2000) 'I know what I am': The Category 'Transgender' in the Construction of Contemporary U. S. American Conceptions of Gender and Sexuality." Ph. D. Dissertation, Anthropology Department, New York University, 2000.] The term continues to evolve.

Transgender identities

While people identify as transgender, transgender identity includes many overlapping categories. These include cross-dresser (CD); transvestite (TV); androgynes; genderqueer; people who live cross-gender; drag kings; and drag queens; and, frequently, transsexual (TS).citation |title=Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling |first=Caitlin C |last=Ryan |first2=Donna |last2=Futterman |year=1998 |publisher=Columbia University Press |isbn=0231111916 |pages=49] Usually not included because it is considered to be a paraphilia (rather than gender identification) are transvestic fetishists. In an interview, artist RuPaul talked about society's ambivalence to the differences in the people who embody these terms. "A friend of mine recently did the "Oprah" show about transgender youth," said RuPaul. "It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar." [ Interview with RuPaul] , David Shankbone, "Wikinews", October 6, 2007.] These terms are explained below.

The extent to which intersex people (those with ambiguous genitalia or other physical sexual characteristics) are transgender is debated, since not all intersex people disagree with their gender assigned at birth. The current definitions of transgender include all transsexual people, although this has been criticized. (See below.)

The term "transman" refers to female-to-male (FtM or F2M) transgender people, and "transwoman" refers to male-to-female (MtF or M2F) transgender people, although some transgender people identify only slightly with the gender not assigned at birth. In the past, it was assumed that there were far more transwomen than transmen, but a Swedish study estimated a ratio of 1.4:1 in favour of transwomen for those requesting sex reassignment surgery and a ratio of 1:1 for those who proceeded.Landén, M., Wålinder, J., Lundstrom, B. (1996) "...Results: During the 20-year period of the study, 233 requests for sex reassignment were processed, and the incidence data were calculated on the basis of this group. This means that the average annual frequency was 11.6 cases. The number of inhabitants in Sweden over 15 years of age increased during the study period from 6.5 million to 7.1 million, i.e. there was a mean population of 6.8 million (12), which gives an annual incidence of request for sex reassignment of 0.17 per 100 000 inhabitants. The sex ratio (male:female) is 1.4 :1. To resolve the question of whether transsexualism increases or decreases, we divided the group into two 10-year periods. As can be seen from Table 1, not only do our results agree with the Swedish incidence data published in the 1970s, but also they remain remarkably stable over time. Separating from all applications the group with primary transsexualism yielded 188 cases, i.e. 9.4 cases annually. As is shown in Table 2, this corresponds to an incidence of primary transsexualism of 0.14 per 100000 inhabitants over 15 years of age. It should also be noted that primary transsexualism is equally common in women and men..." in [ Incidence and sex ratio of transsexualism in Sweden] from [ Acta Psychiatrica Scandanavica] , Volume 93, pages 261-263. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.] There is a school of thought that says terms such as "FtM" and "MtF" are subjugating language that reinforces the binary gender stereotype. [ Cromwell, Jason (1999):28 Transmen & FtMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders & Sexualities (Urbana and Chicago:University of Illinois Press).]

The term "cisgender" has been coined as an antonym referring to non-transgender people; i.e. those who identify with their gender assigned at birth. [Crethar, H. C. & Vargas, L. A. (2007). "Multicultural intricacies in professional counseling." In J. Gregoire & C. Jungers (Eds.), The counselor’s companion: What every beginning counselor needs to know. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. ISBN 0805856846. p.61.]


Transsexual people identify as, or desire to live and be accepted as, a member of the sex opposite to that assigned at birth.APA task force (1994) "...There must be evidence of a strong and persistent cross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is of the other sex..." in [ DSM-IV: Sections 302.6 and 302.85] published by the American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved via [ Mental Health Matters] on 2007-04-08.] World Health Organisation (1992) "...The desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex..." in [ ICD-10, Gender Identity Disorder, category F64.0] published by the [ World Health Organisation] . Retrieved on 2007-04-09.]

Many transsexual people have a wish to alter their bodies. These physical changes are collectively known as sex reassignment therapy and often include hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery. References to "pre-operative", "post-operative" and "non-operative" transsexual people indicate whether they have had, or are planning to have sex reassignment surgery. People who have transitioned, who do not necessarily identify as transgender or transsexual any longer; they identify as simply a man or a woman. Those that continue identifying as transsexual don't want to ignore their pre-transition life and may continue strong ties with other trans people and raising social consciousness.Author and date unknown. "...For some, maintaining a link to their transness or their otherly-gendered-past is highly significant, while for others, they view themselves as no longer trans, but now fully as a man or woman..." [ Post transition identification as a man or ftm or other] from FORGE (For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression), an American education, advocacy and support umbrella organization supporting FTMs and others. Retrieved 2007-04-03.]


The term 'cross-dresser' is not exactly defined in the relevant literature. Michael A. Gilbert,Swartz, Jacqueline (1999) "Professor in drag" in [ Ivory Tower] from [] . Retrieved on 2007-10-09.] professor at the Department of Philosophy, York University, Toronto, offers this definition: " [A cross-dresser] is a person who has an apparent gender identification with one sex, and who has and certainly has been birth-designated as belonging to one sex, but who wears the clothing of the opposite sex because it is the clothing of the opposite sex." This excludes people "who wear opposite sex clothing for other reasons". Also, the group doesn't include "those female impersonators who look upon dressing as solely connected to their livelihood, actors undertaking roles, individual males and females enjoying a masquerade, and so on. These individuals are cross dressing but are not cross dressers."Gilbert, Michael ‘Miqqi Alicia’ (2000) "The Transgendered Philosopher" in [ Special Issue on What is Transgender?] from the [ The International Journal of Transgenderism, Special Issue July 2000] . Retrieved on 2007-10-09.] Cross-dressers may not identify with, or want to be the opposite gender, nor adopt the behaviors or practices of the opposite gender, and generally do not want to change their bodies medically. The majority of cross-dressers identify as heterosexual. [Docter, Richard F., Prince, Virginia (1997). Transvestism: A survey of 1032 cross-dressers. "Archives of Sexual Behavior" 26(6), 589-605.]


A transvestite is somebody who cross-dresses.E. D. Hirsch, Jr., E.D., Kett, J.F., Trefil, J. (2002) "Transvestite: Someone who dresses in the clothes usually worn by the opposite sex." in [ Definition of the word "transvestite"] from the [ The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition] . Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] various (2006) "trans·ves·tite...(plural trans·ves·tites), noun. Definition: somebody who dresses like opposite sex:" in [ Definition of the word "transvestite"] from the [ Encarta® World English Dictionary (North American Edition)] . Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] The term "transvestite" is used as a synonym for the term "cross-dresser",Raj, R (2002) "transvestite (TV): n. Synonym: crossdresser (CD):" in [ Towards a Transpositive Therapeutic Model: Developing Clinical Sensitivity and Cultural Competence in the Effective Support of Transsexual and Transgendered Clients] from the International Journal of Transgenderism 6,2. Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] Hall, B. et al. (2007) "...Many say this term (crossdresser) is preferable to transvestite, which means the same thing..." and "...transvestite (TV) - same as cross-dresser. Most feel cross-dresser is the preferred term..." in [ Discussion Paper: Toward a Commission Policy on Gender Identity] from the [ Ontario Human Rights Commission] Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] although it has been stated that "cross-dresser" is the preferred term.Green, E., Peterson, E.N. (2006) "...The preferred term is 'cross-dresser', but the term 'transvestite' is still used in a positive sense in England..." in [ LGBTTSQI Terminology] from [] Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] The term "transvestite" and the associated term "transvestism" are conceptually different from the term "fetishistic transvestism" (a.k.a. "transvestic fetishism"), as "transvestic fetishist" describes those who intermittently use clothing of the opposite gender for fetishistic purposes,World Health Organisation (1992) "...Fetishistic transvestism is distinguished from transsexual transvestism by its clear association with sexual arousal and the strong desire to remove the clothing once orgasm occurs and sexual arousal declines...." in [ ICD-10, Gender Identity Disorder, category F65.1] published by the [ World Health Organisation] . Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] APA task force (1994) "...The paraphiliac focus of Transvestic Fetishism involves cross-dressing. Usually the male with Transvestic Fetishism keeps a collection of female clothes that he intermittently uses to cross-dress. While cross dressed, he usually masturbates..." in [ DSM-IV: Sections 302.3] published by the American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved on 2007-08-13.] and "transvestite" does not. In medical terms, transvestic fetishism is differentiated from cross-dressing by use of the separate codes 302.3 in the DSM and F65.1 in the ICD.

Drag kings and queens

Drag is a term applied to clothing and make-up worn on special occasions for performing or entertaining as a hostess, stage artist or at an event (e.g. Lypsinka). This is in contrast to those who cross-dress for other reasons or are otherwise transgender. Drag can be theatrical, comedic, or grotesque, and female-identified drag has been considered a caricature of women by second-wave feminism. Within the genre of drag are gender illusionists who do try to pass as another gender. Drag artists explore gender issues and have a long tradition in LGBT culture. Drag has been regarded as an area where transgender people can find more acceptance and financial support than mainstream work environments. Generally the terms "drag queen" covers men doing female drag, "drag king" covers women doing male drag, and "faux queen" covers women doing female drag.


Genderqueer is a recent attempt to signify gendered experiences that do not fit into binary concepts, and refers to a combination of gender identities and sexual orientations. One example could be a person whose gendered presentation is sometimes perceived as male, sometimes female, but whose gender identity is female, gendered expression is butch, and sexual orientation is lesbian. It suggests nonconformity or mixing of gendered stereotypes, conjoining both gender and gayness, [ Wilchins, Riki Anne (2002) ‘It’s Your Gender, Stupid’, pp.23-32 in Joan Nestle, Clare Howell and Riki Wilchins (eds.) Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary. Los Angeles:Alyson Publications, 2002.] and challenges existing constructions and identities. [ Nestle, J. (2002) "...pluralistic challenges to the male/female, woman/man, gay/straight, butch/femme constructions and identities..." from "Genders on My Mind", pp.3-10 in "Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary", edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell and Riki Wilchins, published by Los Angeles:Alyson Publications, 2002:9. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.] Genderqueerness is unintelligible and abjected in the binary sex/gender system. Hale, J.C. (1998) "... [O] ur embodiments and our subjectivities are abjected from social ontology: we cannot fit ourselves into extant categories without denying, eliding, erasing, or otherwise abjecting personally significant aspects of ourselves . . . When we choose to live with and in our dislocatedness, fractured from social ontology, we choose to forgo intelligibility: lost in language and in social life, we become virtually unintelligible, even to ourselves..." from "Consuming the Living, Dis(Re)Membering the Dead in the Butch/FtM Borderlands" in the "Gay and Lesbian Quarterly" 4:311, 336 (1998). Retrieved on 2007-04-07.]

People who live cross-gender

People who live cross-gender live always or mostly as the gender other than that assigned at birth. If they want to be or identify as their gender assigned at birth, then the term "crossdresser"Blumenfeld, W.J. (date unknown) "...full-time cross-dressers..., people who live and work in the other (of their physical anatomical) sex..." in [ A Glossary of Transgender Terms] from [ OutProud] , an American National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.] may be used. If they want to be or identify as the gender they always or mostly live in, then the term "transsexual" may be used. The term "transgender"Green, E & Peterson, E.N. (2006) "...Transgender – A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on anatomical sex...." in [ Trans and Sexuality Terminologies] from [ Trans-academics] . Retrieved on 2007-04-09.] Author and date unknown, "...Transgender (TG) - A person whose anatomical sex and gender identity are not congruent. They may live full-time in their self-identified gender role and may use hormone therapy but do not feel the need for SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery)..." in [ A Glossary of Queer-Related Terms] from [ Positive Images] , an American community education resource and support group for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Questioning youth and young adults. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.] [Bakker, A; "Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica" [ The prevalence of transsexualism in The Netherlands] ] or "transgenderist"Xavier, J. (2007) "...transgenderists (persons living full-time in a gender opposite their birth sex with no desire to pursue surgery)..." in [ A Primer by Transgender Nation] from the [ virtual library] of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Retrieved on 2007-04-09.] has been applied to people who live cross-gender without sex reassignment surgery.


An androgyne is a person who does not fit cleanly into the typical gender roles of their society. Androgynes may identify as beyond gender, between genders, moving across genders, entirely genderless, or any or all of these. Androgyne identities include pangender, bigender, ambigender, non-gendered, agender, gender fluid or intergender. Androgyny can be either physical or psychological; it does not depend on birth sex and is not limited to intersex people. Occasionally, people who do not define themselves as androgynes adapt their physical appearance to look androgynous. This outward androgyny has been used in fashion, and the milder forms of it (women wearing men's pants or men wearing two earrings, for example) are not seen as transgender behavior.

The term "androgyne" is also sometimes used as a medical synonym for an intersex individual. [androgyne. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved April 07, 2008, from website:]

Transgender in contrast with sexual orientation and transsexuality

Transgender vs. Sexual Orientation

Gender identity and transgender identity are fundamentally different concepts to that of sexual orientation. Transgender people have more or less the same variety of sexual orientations as cisgender people.Tobin, H.J (2003) "...It has become more and more clear that trans people come in more or less the same variety of sexual orientations as non-trans people..." [ Sexual Orientation] from Sexuality in Transsexual and Transgender Individuals.] In the past, the terms "homosexual" and "heterosexual" were used for transgender folks based on their birth sex.Blanchard, R. (1989) [ The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias] from Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 18, Number 4, August, 1989. Retrieved via [ SpringerLink] on 2007-04-06.] Professional literature now uses terms such as "attracted to men" (androsexual), "attracted to women" (gynosexual), "attracted to both" or "attracted to neither" to describe a person's sexual orientation without reference to their gender identity.APA task force (1994) "...For sexually mature individuals, the following specifiers may be noted based on the individual’s sexual orientation: Sexually Attracted to Males, Sexually Attracted to Females, Sexually Attracted to Both, and Sexually Attracted to Neither..." in [ DSM-IV: Sections 302.6 and 302.85] published by the American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved via [ Mental Health Matters] on 2007-04-06.] Therapists are coming to understand the necessity of choosing terms with respect to their clients' gender identities and preferences.Lev, A.I. (1998) "...As therapists working with clients struggling to attain a sense of gender integration, it is incumbent upon us to engage in thoughtful discussion of language with each person and not make assumptions about the meaning of words on their identity..." [ Transgender Lesbians?] from Choices Counseling and Consulting, an American practice providing counseling on sexual, gender identity and other issues. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.] Goethals, S.C. and Schwiebert, V.L. (2005) "...counselors to rethink their assumptions regarding gender, sexuality and sexual orientation. In addition, they supported counselors' need to adopt a transpositive disposition to counseling and to actively advocate for transgendered persons..." [ Counseling as a Critique of Gender: On the Ethics of Counseling Transgendered Clients] from the International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, Vol. 27, No. 3, September 2005. Retrieved via [ SpringerLink] on 2007-04-06.]

Despite this distinction, throughout history the gay, lesbian, and bisexual subculture was often the only place where gender-variant people were socially accepted in the gender role they felt they belonged to; especially during the time when legal or medical transitioning was almost impossible. This acceptance has had a complex history - like the wider world, the gay community in Western societies did not generally distinguish between sex and gender identity until the 1970s, and generally perceived gender variant people more as homosexuals who behaved in a gender-variant way than as gender-variant people in their own right.

In the years following the sexual revolution of the 1960s, transgender sexuality has often been accepted into the fold of the burgeoning LGBT movement. The nature and degree of this acceptance has not been without controversy, however, and has drawn criticism from LGB and transgender people alike.

Transgender Vs. Transsexual

The word transsexual unlike the word transgender has a precise medical definition.Benjamin, H. (1966). "The transsexual phenomenon." New York: Julian Press, page 23.] It was defined by Harry Benjamin in his seminal book "The Transsexual Phenomenon". In particular he defined transsexuals on a scale called the "Benjamin Scale". Which defines a few different levels of intensity of transsexualism. Listed as "Transsexual (Nonsurgical)", "True Transsexual (moderate intensity)", and "True Transsexual (high intensity)". Many transsexuals believe thatto be a true transsexual one needs to have a desire for surgery. cite web
last = Gaughan
first = Sharon
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = What About Non-op Transsexuals? A No-op Notion
work =
publisher = TS-SI
date = Saturday, 19 August 2006
url =
format = HTML
doi =
accessdate = Septemer 302008
] However it is notable that Benjamin's moderate intensity "true transsexual" needs estrogen medication as a "substitute for or preliminary tooperation." There also exist people who have had SRS but who do not meet the definition of a transsexual such as Gregory Hemmingway.Citation
last = Conway
first = Lynn
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = The Strange Saga of Gregory Hemmingway
date =
year = 2003
url =
accessdate =
] Citation
last = Schoenberg
first = Nara
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = The Son Also Falls From elephant hunter to bejeweled exhibitionist, the tortured life of Gregory Hemingway.
pages =
year = 2001
date = November 19
url =
] While other people do not desire SRS yet they clearly meet Dr. Benjamin's definition of a "true transsexual". cite video
people = Miriam Rivera
title = Excerpt of "There's Something About Miriam". Miriam a known non-op transsexual talks about how she see's her self, her history, and transsexuality. Compare to Gregory Hemingway then tell me Hemingway is the real post op woman. [ Clip on youtube]
medium = Television Via Youtube
publisher = Edemol & Brighter picture via various Newscorp properties.
location = Filmed in Ibiza, Spain Produced in England.
year2 = 2004
] Beyond Dr. Benjamin's work which focused on Male to Female transsexuals there is the case of the Female to male transsexual for whom surgery is not practical.Citation

last =
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = Female to Male
date =
year =
url =
accessdate =

Outside of the above medical definition there are a wide range of gender expressions which are contrary to the

heteronormative expression. Cross dressers, Drag queens, transvestites, Transvestic Fetishist etc.It is notable that many transsexuals go through one of those self identifications before realizing that they arein fact transsexual.

Some transsexuals also take issue with the term because Charles "Virginia" Prince, the founder of the cross dressing organization Tri-Ess and coiner of the term "transgender", [ [] ] did so because she wished to distinguish herself from transsexual people. In "Men Who Choose to Be Women" Prince wrote "I, at least, know the difference between sex and gender and have simply elected to change the latter and not the former". [ [] ] There is a substantial academic literature on the difference between sex and gender, but it is possibly worth noting that pragmatic English this academic distinction is ignored and "gender" is used mostly to describe the categorical male/female difference while "sex" is used mostly to describe the physical act. [ [] ]

There is political tensoion between the identities that fall under the "transgender umbrella. For example, transsexual men and women who can pay for medical treatments (or who have institutional coverage for their treatment) are likely to be concerned with medical privacy and establishing a durable legal status as men and women later in life. Extending insurance coverage for medical care is a coherent issue in the intersection of transsexuality and economic class. Most of these issues can appeal even to conservatives if framed in terms of an unusual sort of "maintenance" of traditional notions of gender for rare people who feel the need for medical treatments. Some trans people might express this by saying "I don't challenge the gender binary, I just started out on the wrong side of it." [ [] ]

Transgender and healthcare

Mental healthcare

Beginning therapy is recommended for all people who are frustrated by their gender, especially if they desire to transition. People who experience discord between their gender and the expectations of others or whose gender identity conflicts with their body benefit by talking through their feelings in depth with someone who will listen indefinitely. However, gender identity is new to psychology and research is still in its infancy.Brown, M.L. & Rounsley, C.A. (1996) "True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism - For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals" Jossey-Bass: San Francisco ISBN 0787967025]

Transgender people may be eligible for diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID) "only if [being transgender] causes distress or disability." [ [ Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity ] ] This distress is referred to as "gender dysphoria" and may manifest as depression or inability to work and form healthy relationships with others. This diagnosis is often over-simplified to mean that simply being transgender means a person suffers from GID which is not true. This has caused much confusion to transgender people and those who strongly seek to either criticize or affirm them. Transgender people who are comfortable with their gender, whose gender does not directly cause inner frustration or impair their functioning, do not have GID and are not applicable for a related mental disorder. Further, GID is not permanent and is usually resolved through therapy and transitioning, especially its social aspects. GID does not refer to people who feel oppressed by the negative attitudes and behaviors or others including legal entities in the same way that racist institutions do not create a "race disorder." Neither does GID imply an opinion of immorality - the psychological establishment holds the position that people with any kind of mental or emotional problem should not receive stigma. The solution for GID is whatever will alleviate suffering and restore functionality; this often, but not always, consists of undergoing a gender transition.Brown, M.L. & Rounsley, C.A. (1996) "True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism - For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals" Jossey-Bass: San Francisco ISBN 0787967025]

The terms "transsexualism", "dual-role transvestism", "gender identity disorder in adolescents or adults" and "gender identity disorder not otherwise specified" are listed as such in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) or the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) under codes F64.0, F64.1, 302.85 and 302.6 respectively.Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (1994)]

Transgender issues are both new in the scientific field and affect relatively few people, so understandably many mental healthcare providers know little about transgender issues. People seeking help from these professionals often end up educating the professional rather than receiving help.Brown, M.L. & Rounsley, C.A. (1996) "True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism - For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals" Jossey-Bass: San Francisco ISBN 0787967025] Among those therapists who profess to know about transgender issues, many believe that transitioning from one sex to anotherndash the standard transsexual modelndash is the best or only solution. This usually works well for those who are transsexual, but is not the solution for other transgender people, particularly genderqueer people who do not identify as exclusively male or female.

Physical healthcare

Medical and surgical procedures exist for transsexual and some transgender people. (Most categories of transgender people as described above are not known for seeking the following treatments.) Hormone replacement therapy for transmen induces beard growth and masculinises skin, hair, voice and fat distribution. Hormone replacement therapy for transwomen feminises fat distribution and breasts. Laser hair removal or electrolysis removes excess hair for transwomen. Surgical procedures for transwomen feminise the voice, skin, face, adam's apple, breasts, waist, buttocks and genitals. Surgical procedures for transmen masculinise the chest and genitals and remove the womb and ovaries and fallopian tubes. The acronyms "GRS" and "SRS" refer to genital surgery. The term "sex reassignment therapy" (SRT) is used as an umbrella term for physical procedures required for transition. Use of the term "sex change" has been debated.Pfäfflin F., Junge A. (1998) "...This critique for the use of the term sex change in connection to sex reassignment surgery stems from the concern about the patient, to take the patient seriously...." in [ Sex Reassignment: Thirty Years of International Follow-Up Studies: A Comprehensive Review, 1961-1991] from the [ Electronic Book Collection] of the [ International Journal of Transgenderism] . Retrieved on 2007-09-06.] Availability of these procedures depends on degree of gender dysphoria, presence or absence of gender identity disorder,APA task force (1994) "...preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex characteristics..." in [ DSM-IV: Sections 302.6 and 302.85] published by the American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved via [ Mental Health Matters] on 2007-04-06.] and standards of care in the relevant jurisdiction.

Transgender and the law

Legal procedures exist in some jurisdictions allowing an individual to change their legal gender, or their name, to reflect their gender identity. Requirements for these procedures vary from an explicit formal diagnosis of transsexualism, to a diagnosis of gender identity disorder, to a letter from a physician attesting to the individual's gender transition, or the fact that one has established a different gender role.citation |title=Transgender Rights |first=Paisley |last=Currah |first2=Richard |last2=M. Juang |first3=Shannon Price (eds.) |last3=Minter |year=2006 |publisher=Minnesota University Press |isbn=0816643121 |pages=51–73]

Transgender people in non-Western cultures


In Thailand and Laos,Doussantousse, S. (2005) "...The Lao Kathoey’s characteristics appear to be similar to other transgenders in the region..." in [ Male Sexual Health: Kathoeys in the Lao PDR, South East Asia - Exploring a gender minority] from the [ Transgender ASIA Research Centre] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] the term kathoey is used to refer to male-to-female transgender peopleJackson, P. (2003) [ Performative Genders, Perverse Desires: A Bio-History of Thailand's Same-Sex and Transgender Cultures] in Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Issue 9, August 2003.] and effeminate gay men.Winter, S. and Udomsak, N. (2002) [ Male, Female and Transgender : Stereotypes and Self in Thailand] in the International Journal of Transgender, Volume 6, Number 1, January - March 2002.] The cultures of the Indian subcontinent include a third gender, referred to as hijraAuthor unknown, (2003) "Human Rights Violations against the Transgender Community: A study of kothi and hijra sex workers in Bangalore, India", [ full text] , [ summary] , by the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka (PUCL-K), September 2003. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.] in Hindi.Transgender people also have been documented in Iran,Harrison, F. (2005) "...He shows me the book in Arabic in which, 41 years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini wrote about new medical issues like transsexuality. "I believe he was the first Islamic scientist in the world of Islam who raised the issue of sex change," says Hojatulislam Kariminia. The Ayatollah's ruling that sex-change operations were allowed has been reconfirmed by Iran's current spiritual leader..." in [ Iran's sex-change operations] , from the [ BBC] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Japan,Mitsuhashi, J. (2006) "...the male to female cross-dressing (MTFCD) community in Shinjuku, Tokyo, which plays an important role in the overall transgender world and how people in the community think and live..." in [ The transgender world in contemporary Japan: male to female cross-dressers] , translated by Kasumi Hasegawa, from the [ Journal of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Nepal,Haviland, C. (2005) "...The Gurung people of western Nepal have a tradition of men called maarunis, who dance in female clothes..." in [ Crossing sexual boundaries in Nepal] , from the [ BBC] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Indonesia,Graham, S. (2002) "...Among the Bugis of South Sulawesi, possibly four genders are acknowledged plus a fifth para-gender identity. In addition to male-men (oroane) and female-women (makunrai)..., there are calalai (masculine females), calabai (feminine males), and bissu..." in [ Priests and gender in South Sulawesi, Indonesia] from the [ Transgender ASIA Research Centre] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Vietnam,Walters, I. (2006) "...In Vietnam, male to female (MtF) transgender people are categorised as lai cai, bong cai, bong lai cai, dong co, or be-de..." in [ Vietnam Some notes by Ian Walters] from the [ Transgender ASIA Research Centre] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] South Korea,Shim, S. (2006) "...Rush, catering especially to crossdressers and transgenders, is a cafe owned by a 46-year-old man who goes by the female name Lee Cho-rong. "...Many people in South Korea don't really understand the difference between gay and transgender. I'm not gay. I was born a man but eager to live as a woman and be beautiful," said Lee..." in [ S. Korea in dilemma over transgender citizens right to choose] from the [ Yonhap News Agency] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Singapore,Heng, R. (2005) "...Even if we take Bugis Street as a starting point, we should remember that cross-dressing did not emerge suddenly out of nowhere. Across Asia, there is a tradition of cross-dressing and other forms of transgender behaviour in many places with a rich local lexicon and rituals associated with them...." in [ Where queens ruled! - a history of gay venues in Singapore] from IndigNation. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] and the greater Chinese region, including Hong Kong,Emerton, R. (2006) "...Hong Kong's transgender movement at its current stage, with particular reference to the objectives and activities of the Hong Kong Transgender Equality and Acceptance Movement..." in [ Finding a voice, fighting for rights: the emergence of the transgender movement in Hong Kong] , from the [ Journal of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Hung, L. (2007) "...there are many archetypal flamboyant embodiments of female-to-male transgender physicality living and displaying their unrestrained, dashing iconic presence..." in [ Trans-Boy Fashion, or How to Tailor-Make a King] from the [ Gender Studies programme of The Chinese University of Hong Kong] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Taiwan,Ho, J. (2006) "...specificities of Taiwanese transgender existence in relation to body- and subject-formations, in hope to not only shed light on the actualities of trans efforts toward self-fashioning, but also illuminate the increasing entanglement between trans self-construction and the evolving gender culture that saturates it..." in [ Embodying gender: transgender body/subject formations in Taiwan] , from the [ Journal of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] and the People's Republic of China.Hahn, L. (2005) "...Aware that he often felt more like a woman than a man, Jin Xing underwent a sex change in 1995; a daring move in a conservative Chinese society..." in [ Jin Xing TalkAsia Interview Transcript - June 13, 2005] from [ CNN] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Wang, Z. and Xie, F. (2006) "...While it is true that not everyone turns into a drag queen when they are feeling stressed out, many young people do seem to be caught up in the fad of androgyny..." in [ Cross-dressers captivate people across China] from [ China Daily] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.] Goldkorn, J. (2006) "...At one point in 2003, there was so much media coverage of transsexuals in China that Danwei started a special section for it..." in [ Transsexuals in the Chinese media again] from [ Danwei] . Retrieved on 2007-07-22.]

North America

In what is now the United States and Canada, many Native American and Canadian First Nations peoples recognisedFulton, R. and Anderson, S.W. (1992) [ The Amerindian "Man-Woman": Gender, Liminality, and Cultural Continuity] in Current Anthropology: Vol. 33, No. 5, December 1992 pp. 603-610.] the existence of more than two genders, such as the Zuñi male-bodied Ła'mana,Parsons, E.P. (1916) "...of these 'men-women'..." from [ "Zuñi Ła'mana"] in the American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 18, No. 4. (Oct. - Dec., 1916), pp. 521-528. Retrieved on 2007-05-21.] the Lakota male-bodied winkteSchützer, M.A.N. (1994) [ Winyanktehca: Two-souls person] , a paper presented to the European Network of Professionals in Transsexualism, August 1994] and the Mohave male-bodied alyhaa and female-bodied hwamee.Parker, H.N. (2001) [ The myth of the heterosexual: anthropology and sexuality for classicists] , from Arethusa 0004-0975, vol 34, p:313, 2001.] Such people were previouslyStryker, S. [ Berdache] , from the GLBTQ: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture.] referred to as "berdache" but are now referred to as Two-Spirit,Medicine, B. (2002) [ Directions in Gender Research in American Indian Societies: Two Spirits and Other Categories] , taken from Online Readings in Psychology and Culture Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Unit 3, Chapter 2, Western Washington University.] and their spouses would not necessarily have been regarded as gender-different. In Mexico, the Zapotec culture includes a third gender in the form of the Muxe.Stephen, L (2002) [ Sexualities and Genders in Zapotec Oaxaca, Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 41-59. Mar., 2002] .]


In early Medina, gender-variant [ Partial Translation of the Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 41, Number 4910] , USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts, University of Southern California, translated by Prof. Ahmad Hasan.] male-to-female Islamic people were acknowledgedRowsen, E.K. (1991) "...They played an important role in the development of Arabic music in Umayyad Mecca and, especially, Medina, where they were numbered among the most celebrated singers and instrumentalists..." from [ "The Effeminates of Early Medina"] in the Journal of the American Oriental Society 111 (1991), pp. 671-93. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.] in the form of the Mukhannathun. In Ancient Rome, the Gallae were castratedTillyard, E.M.W. (1917), [ A Cybele Altar in London, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 7 (1917), pp. 284-288] .] followers of the Phrygian goddess Cybele and can be regarded as transgender in today's terms.Endres, N. [ Galli: Ancient Roman Priests] from the GLBTQ: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture.] Brown, K. [ 20th Century Transgender History And Experience] ]

Among the ancient Middle Eastern Akkadian people, a "salzikrum" was a person who appeared biologically female but had distinct male traits. "Salzikrum" is a compound word meaning "male daughter." According to the Code of Hammurabi, "salzikrūm" had inheritance rights like that of priestesses; they inherited from their fathers, unlike regular daughters. A "salzikrum's" father could also stipulate that she inherit a certain amount. [Code of Hammurabi § 178 and following, and § 184 and following.]


Transgender issues are controversial in both the public and scientific spheres. Critics believe that trans people are unhealthy varying from an innocent confusion to a mental disorder to an immoral perversion. They believe that trans people who embrace their feelings by transitioning either socially, surgically, or both are especially harmful to themselves emotionally and physically. Trans-affirming people may call these criticisms "transphobia" or "trans-bashing", considering them personal attacks based on hatred and/or fear.

Gender tied to sex

The conservative view is that sex determines gender, and that there is no practical difference between the two. In this view, genitalia or "birth sex" or chromosomes or "something" (positions vary) deeply and permanently determines one's essential identity as a woman or man. Trying to violate this divide is both impossible, unnatural, and unhealthy. It is often pointed out that chromosomes are immutable and that a male will always look like a male, not a female, even after sex reassignment surgery and hormones. Surgery and hormone therapy have medical risks which typically include infertility. While trans people may claim to feel like a certain gender, only a biological female can genuinely feel what it is to occupy a woman's body, including having experiences such as childbirth.Raymond, Janice G. (1980) "The Transsexual Empire" Women's Press, London, ISBN 0704338572 (Pbk)]

In the words of Jerry Leach (who formerly identified as a transvestite then very briefly as a transsexual [] and now is the director of Reality Resources)::"Rather than cutting tissue by invasive surgery and starting a new life, which for the most part doesn't work, people need to find help psychiatrically." [Jerry Leach, director of Reality Resources, as quoted in [ Christianity Today] ]

These arguments are examples of biological determinism. They do not generally address people who are infertile, or both intersex and trans identifying, or passing transsexuals (all of whom actually exist).

Religious criticism

While religions have a variety of attitudes about transgender people, the traditions of Abrahamic religions look upon crossdressing as wrong. [Bible|Deuteronomy 22:5] . They see the Adam and Eve narrative as showcasing that God created the pattern of humanity as only female and only male.Fact|date=April 2008

As driven by libido

The controversialcite journal|last=Dreger|first=Alice D|title=The Controversy Surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age|journal=Archives of Sexual Behavior,|volume=in press|pages=55,56|date =2007-07-03|url=|accessdate=2007-08-20] Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory characterizes transwomen as having one or another sexual motivations for transition.Bailey, J. M. (2003). "The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism". Joseph Henry Press, ISBN-10: 0309084180, ISBN-13: 978-0309084185] Blanchard, R. (2005) "...Since the beginning of the last century, clinical observers have described the propensity of certain males fo be erotically aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women..." in [ Early History of the Concept of Autogynephilia] from the [ Archives of Sexual Behavior] , Volume 34, Number 4, pages 439-446. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.] Smith, Y.L.S., van Goozen, S.H.M., Kuiper, A.J., Cohen-Kettenis, P.T.. (2005) "...The present study was designed to investigate whether transsexuals can be validly subdivided into subtypes on the basis of sexual orientation..." in [ Transsexual subtypes: Clinical and theoretical significance] from [ Psychiatry Research] , Volume 137, Issue 3, pages 151-160. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.] For example, Anne Lawrence, an openly autogynephilic transsexual [] , has hypothesized that the desire by persons with autogynephilia, including some cross dressers and some transsexuals, to alter their body can be compared with apotemnophilia (alternately body integrity identity disorder if framed as an identity issue rather than a fetish). [Lawrence, A. A. (2006). Clinical and theoretical parallels between desire for limb amputation and gender identity disorder. "Archives of Sexual Behavior, 25," 263–278.] Characterizations related to libido like these have been criticized by many in the medical and transgender communities alike as being potentially unscientificMcCloskey, D. (2003) "...The academics don't like Bailey's use of the mantle of Science to push a conservative, unscientific agenda worthy of National Review, or of The National Enquirer..." in [ Queer Science: A data-bending psychologist confirms what he already knew about gays and transsexuals] from [ Reason] , a libertarian magazine covering politics, culture, and ideas. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.] and transphobic.Marks, J. (2004). "...The specific issue was whether the book (The Man Who Would Be Queen) was transphobic...The judges looked at the book more closely and decided it was..." quoted by Letellier, P (2004) in [ Group rescinds honor for disputed book] from [ Advocate Online News] on [] , retrieved on 2007-09-11.]

The issues around psychological classifications and associated stigma (whether based in paraphilia or not) of cross dressers, transsexual men and women (and for that matter lesbian and gay children who may be difficult to tell apart from trans children early in life) have recently become more complex since it was announced that CAMH colleagues Kenneth Zucker and Ray Blanchard would serve of the DSM-V's Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group [] . Within the trans community this has mostly produced shock and outrage, including a petition against the appointments [] and attempts to organize other responses [] .

ee also

*List of transgender people
*List of transgender-related topics
*List of transgender-rights organizations
*Transgender publications
*Gender identity disorder


External links

* "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual Individuals" - Chapter on LGBT issues and public health (co-authored with Emilia Lombardi). [ Social Injustice and Public Health] (eds. Barry Levy and Victor Sidel), Dr. Talia Mae Bettcher, Dr. Emilia Lombardi, Oxford University Press, 2005.

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