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Throughout our literature & website we will use the commonly accepted umbrella term ‘trans’ to cover individuals identifying as transgender, non-binary, androgynous, bi-gender, gender queer and intersex as well as those who don’t feel they fall into the above categories but exist outside of the more commonly accepted gender norms of male and female & to indicate that not all trans people identify with an established sex or gender label.
Androgyne / Androgynous
Someone who neither identifies with, nor presents as, a man or woman. Being “androgynous” can refer to having both masculine and feminine qualities. This term has Latin roots: Andro- meaning “man” and -gyne, meaning “woman.” Some androgynes may identity as “gender benders”, meaning that they are intentionally “bending” (or challenging/transgressing) societal gender roles.
Someone who identifies as both a man and a woman. A Bigender identity is a combination of these two genders, but not necessarily a 50/50 combination, as these genders are often felt – and expressed – fully. Similar to individuals who identify as gender fluid, bigender people may present as men, as women, or as gender-neutral ways on different days.
To Bind/ Binding
A method of concealing breasts to create a more male looking chest either by a specially made ‘binder’ or compression shirt, which are made for transgender individuals or for men with gynecomastia. There are potential problems for individuals who cannot afford binders & use alternative methods such as bandage, sports elastic or other unsuitable materials. These problems include deformation of ribcage, restriction to breathing & excessive sweating & skin soreness & irritation.
Cis / cisgender
This term captures a person is not trans or does not have a gender diverse identity or presentation. A person who has the gender identity commonly associated with their biological sex (e.g., someone who is assigned as a female at birth and who lives as a woman).
The process of disclosing your sexual orientation or gender identity to some or all people.
While anyone may wear clothes associated with a different sex, the term cross-dresser is typically used to refer to heterosexual men who occasionally wear clothes, makeup, and accessories culturally associated with women. This activity is a form of gender expression, and not done for entertainment purposes. Cross-dressers do not wish to permanently change their sex or live full-time as women.
IMPORTANT: Transgender women are not cross-dressers nor drag queens; drag queens are men, typically gay men, who dress like women for the purpose of entertainment & art.
Be aware of the differences between transgender women, cross-dressers, and drag queens. Use the term preferred by the individual. Do not use the word “transvestite” at all, unless someone specifically self-identifies that way.
Someone whose trans status is not known by anyone they interact with on a daily basis.
Female to Male
FTM / F2M
Male to Female
MTF / M2F
A trans person who was assigned female/male sex, and now lives as a man/woman and has a masculine/feminine gender identity. This person may or may not have altered his physical body with surgery, hormones, or other modifications (e.g., voice training to develop a deeper/higher spoken voice). FTM is an abbreviation of female to male. Generally uses masculine pronouns (e.g., “he” or “his”) or gender neutral pronouns. MTF is an abbreviation for male to female. Generally uses feminine pronouns (e.g., ‘’she’’ or ‘’hers’’) or gender neutral pronouns.
A condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex, gender identity and/or internal sense of sex.
Someone whose gender identity and presentation are not confined to only one gender category. Gender fluid people may have dynamic or fluctuating understandings of their gender, moving between categories as feels right. For example, a gender fluid person might feel more like a man one day and more like a woman on another day, or that neither term is a good fit.
Someone who looks and/or behaves in ways that don’t conform to, or are atypical of, society’s expectations of how a person of that gender should look or behave. Please note that not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender; nor are all transgender people gender non-conforming.
Someone who may be questioning their gender or gender identity, and/or considering other ways of experiencing or expressing their gender or gender presentation.
Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS)
A surgical procedure whereby the sex organs of a person are reconstructed o that of the gender in which they identify. Also known as sex reassignment surgery (SRS) or Genital Reconstructive Surgery (GCS).
An umbrella term that refers to anyone who, for any reason, does not have a cisgender identity (which includes the trans* umbrella). Others acknowledge issues with this term as it implies that such genders are “deviations” from a standard gender, and reinforces the “naturalness” of the two-gender system. Some prefer the terms “gender diverse” or “gender-nonconforming.”
Someone who identifies outside of, or wishes to challenge, the two-gender (i.e., man/woman) system; may identify as multiple genders, a combination of genders, or “between” genders. People who use this term may feel that they are reclaiming the word “queer”, which has historically been used as a slur against gay men and women. This term is used more often by younger generations doing the “reclaiming” and less often by slightly older generations who may have personally experienced the term “queer” as a slur.
The process of hormonally reassigning a person’s biochemistry to match their gender identity and or internal sense of sex.
Generally refers to someone whose chromosomes, gonads (i.e., ovaries or testes), hormonal profiles, and anatomy do not conform to the expected configurations of either male typical or female typical bodies. Some intersex conditions are apparent at birth, while others are noticed around puberty or later (if ever). Some individuals no longer use the term “intersex conditions” and instead prefer “disorders of sex development.”
An umbrella term within the bigger umbrella terms of transgender or genderqueer. Includes people who do not identify within the binary gender system (i.e., man/woman). According to Neutrois.com, some common Neutrois identities include agender neither-gender, and gender-less.
Similar to genderqueer, this is a way of describing one’s gender as outside the two-gender (i.e., man/woman) system and/or challenging that system.
Choosing to not provide a commonly recognised label to one’s gender. When used by someone to describe themselves, this may feel like a freeing way of describing (or not specifically describing) their gender. The term “other” should not be used to refer to people whose gender you can’t quite understand or place.
“Pan” means every, or all, and this is another identity label such like genderqueer or neutrosis that challenges binary gender and is inclusive of gender diverse people.
To put an object in one’s clothes that suggests the presence of male genitalia.
When a transgender person choses not disclose their trans status to people they interact with on a daily basis and can function fully according to their presented gender role without question.
Testosterone. The abbreviation for the usual hormone treatment for FTM trans people
A partial or full mastectomy to breasts to create a male looking or masculine looking chest.
An umbrella term that includes all people who have genders not traditionally associated with their assigned sex. People who identify as transgender may or may not have altered their bodies through surgery and/or hormones. Some examples:
Trans Man (see FTM above) – Although some people write the term as “transman” (no space between trans and man) or trans-man (note the hyphen), some advocate for a space to be included between “trans” and “man” in order to indicate that the person is a man and that the “trans” part may not be a defining characteristic or central to his identity.
Trans Woman (see MTF above) – Although some people write the term as “transwoman” (no space between trans and woman) or trans-woman (note the hyphen), some advocate for a space to be included between “trans” and “woman” in order to indicate that the person is a woman and that the “trans” part may not be a defining characteristic or central to her identity.
Trans Person (see transgender above); another way of saying someone is a transgender person. (Note that “transgender” tends to be preferred over “transgendered”).
For many people this term indicates that a person has made lasting changes to their physical body, specifically their sexual anatomy (e.g., genitals and/or breasts or chest), through surgery. For some, the term “transsexual” is a problematic term because of its history of pathology or association with a psychological disorder. In order to get the operations necessary for sexual reassignment surgeries or gender confirming surgeries, people long needed a psychiatric diagnosis (historically, that diagnosis was “transsexualism”) and recommendations from mental health professionals.
The time when a person begins to living as the gender with which they identify rather than the gender they were assigned at birth, which often includes changing one’s first name and dressing and grooming differently. Transitioning may or may not also include medical and legal aspects, including taking hormones, having surgery, or changing identity documents (e.g. driver’s license, Social Security record) to reflect one’s gender identity. Medical and legal steps are often difficult for people to afford.
Someone assigned a female sex at birth and who identifies as masculine, but may not identify wholly as a man. Often, you’ll encounter the phrase “masculine of centre” to indicate where people who identify as transmasculine see themselves in relation to other genders.
Someone assigned a male sex at birth who identifies as feminine, but may not identify wholly as a woman. Often, you’ll encounter the phrase “feminine of centre” to indicate where people who identify as transfeminine see themselves in relation to other genders.
The concealment of male-typical genitalia to present a flatter genital region, more typical of females. This is usually accomplished with the use of tape and underwear such as gaff pants.
This term likely originated with the Zuni tribe of North America, though two-spirit persons have been documented in numerous tribes. Native Americans, who have both masculine and feminine characteristics and presentations, have distinct roles in their tribes, and they are seen as a third gender. Incidentally, in recent times Germany & Nepal adopted a third gender for their citizens to select.