Terms

Androgynous
To appear neither male nor female or to be a combination of both male and female.

Autogynephilia
Component of a psychological theory intended to explain the development of Gender Identity Disorder (GID). GID is said to be the result of a mis-directed sex-drive. According to the creater of this theory, Ray Blanchard, a transsexual who is sexually attracted to members of their target sex has a sex-drive directed at the idea of being the target sex.

Binding

The taping down of a genetic female’s breasts to hide them. Usually this is practiced by pre-op FtoM transsexuals.

Butch (Dyke)
Used to identify a person who expresses and/or presents culturally/stereotypically masculine characteristics. Often a person who self-identifies to a great degree with the stereotypically masculine end of a gender characteristic spectrum. Can be used either as a positive or negative term.

Clocked
In the case of a male-to-female transgender individual, the act of being caught or discovered while en femme as “a man in a dress”.

Crossdressing or Crossdresser
To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex. Crossdressers are usually comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and do not wish to change it. “Crossdresser” should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as the other sex, or who intends to do so in the future. Crossdressing is a form of gender expression and is not necessarily tied to erotic activity. Crossdressing is not indicative of sexual orientation.

Drag King
Usually a lesbian woman who dresses up in male personna, typically for public performance.

Drag Queen
Usually a gay male who dresses up in women’s clothing, typically for public performance.

En Femme

For a male, the act of being dressed, either privately or publicly, in women’s clothing.

Estrogen

Estrogens (alternative spellings: oestrogens or œstrogens) are a group of steroid compounds, named for their importance in the estrous cycle, and functioning as the primary female sex hormone. Estrogens are used as part of some oral contraceptives, in estrogen replacement therapy of postmenopausal women, and in hormone replacement therapy for transwomen. Like all steroid hormones, estrogens readily diffuse across the cell membrane; inside the cell, they interact with estrogen receptors.

Female Impersonator

A male who dresses up in women’s clothing, typically for public performance. As opposed to a drag queen, this person will dress to resemble a female stage or screen star, living or dead, that is known to a wide array of individuals.

Gaff

A device used to conceal a genetic male’s penis so that no bulge is visible underneath female garments.

Gender Expression

External manifestation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through “masculine,” “feminine” or gender variant behavior, clothing, haircut, voice or body characteristics. Typically, transgender people seek to make their gender expression match their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex.

Gender Identity
One’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or a boy or girl.) For transgender people, their birth-assigned sex and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match.

Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
A controversial DSM-IV diagnosis given to transgender and other gender-variant people. Because it labels people as “disordered,” Gender Identity Disorder is often considered offensive. The diagnosis is frequently given to children who don’t conform to expected gender norms in terms of dress, play or behavior. Such children are often subjected to intense psychotherapy, behavior modification and/or institutionalization. Replaces the outdated term “gender dysphoria.”

GenderQueer or GenderFuck
A person who perceives their gender as being neither that of a man nor that of a woman but outside of the gender binary.

Harry Benjamin Standards of Care (HB-SOC or SOC)
A list of rules dictating what is considered by a consenesus of mental health professionals the appropriate way to treat transsexuals. Despite the power of this document, many of it’s standards have not been subject to an experimental study to confrim their effectivenss.

Hermaphrodite
DEROGATORY see Intersex.

Intersex
Describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations which make a person’s sex ambiguous (i.e., Klinefelter Syndrome, Adrenal Hyperplasia). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical operations to conform the infant’s body to that assignment. This practice has become increasingly controversial as intersex adults are speaking out against the practice, accusing doctors of genital mutilation.

Packing
Describes the procedure of padding the trouser front so that a transsexual female-to-male individual may more successfully assimilate into male society.

Padding
Undergarments that utilize foam to create or enhance certain body features to make them appear more masculine or feminine.

Sex
The classification of people as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex based on a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitals.

Sex Reassignment Surgery or Genital Reassignment Surgery
Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see Transition above). Preferred term to “sex change operation.” Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS. Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the importance of SRS to the transition process.

Sexual Orientation

Describes an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a man who becomes a woman and is attracted to other women would be identified as a lesbian.

Shemale

A male who has undergone some feminization, such as cosmetic surgery or breast implants, but retains the male genitalia. The connotation is that this has been done for sexual or pornographic purposes; hence, the term is usually considered highly pejorative by other groups within the transgendered community, who stress the emotional rather than sexual aspects of transgenderism.

Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid.

T-Friendly (Gender-Friendly or Transgender-Friendly)
Any organization or institution that is accepting of transgendered peoples and their needs.

Transgender
An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant people. Transgender people may identify as female-to-male (FTM) or male-to-female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.

Transition
Altering one’s birth sex is not a one-step procedure; it is a complex process that occurs over a long period of time. Transition includes some or all of the following cultural, legal and medical adjustments: telling one’s family, friends, and/or co-workers; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and possibly (though not always) some form of surgical alteration.

Transman
A slang term refering to a female-to-male transgender or a female-to-male transsexual person.

Transphobia
The fear and hatred of or the discomfort with people who identify or may be perceived to be transgender, respectively. Transphobic reactions often lead to intolerance, bigotry, and violence against anyone not perceived to match gender norms. Transphobia is not homophobia, yet they do have a connection. Stereotypes of the lesbian and gay communities are often based on gender expressions and/or roles within a binary gender system in a monosexual (hetero, gay, lesbian) paradigm (i.e. gay men as effeminate, lesbians as masculine, etc). Since trans identified folks transgress a binary gender system, they may be more susceptible to homophobic actions.

Transsexual
An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. Many transgender people prefer the term “transgender” to “transsexual.” Some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves. However, unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, and many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.

Transvestite
DEROGATORY see Crossdressing.

Transwoman
A slang term refering to a male-to-female transgender or a male-to-female transsexual person.

Tuck
To hide the male genitals while dressed as a woman in order to avoid detection.

Two Spirit
American Indian persons who have attributes of both genders, have distinct gender and social roles in their tribes, and are often involved with mystical rituals (shamans). The term “Two-Spirit” is usually considered to be specific to the Zuni tribe.

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Gay Flag
The rainbow flag, sometimes called ‘the freedom flag’, was popularized as a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and diversity by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The different colors symbolize diversity in the gay community, and the flag is used predominantly at gay pride events and in gay villages worldwide in various forms including banners, clothing and jewelry. For the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots held in 1996 in New York city a mile-long rainbow flag was created and post-parade cut up in sections that have since been used around the world.

Originally created with eight colors, pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes and as of 2006, it consists of six colored stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow.

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Transgender Flag
The Transgender Pride flag was designed by Monica Helms, and was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 2000. The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes, two light blue, two pink, with a white stripe in the center.

Monica describes the meaning of the flag as follows:”The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersex. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.”

Other transgender symbols include the butterfly (symbolizing transformation or metamorphosis), and a pink/light blue yin and yang symbol is also used.

Jennifer Pellinen created this design in 2002. The colors on the flag are from top to bottom. Pink, light purple, medium purple, dark purple, and blue. The pink and the blue represent male and female. The 3 purple stripes represent the diversity of the TG community as well as genders other than male and female. The flag is public domain.

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