What does transgender mean?


Simply put, a transgender person is someone who does not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. Transgender can also be shortened to trans, which is used as an umbrella term to describe a host of labels/identities, including Transgender, Non-Binary, Genderfluid, Genderqueer and many more. Some people openly identify as trans and others simply identify as men or women, but are trans nonetheless. Trans people aren’t necessarily trying to transition from male to female (MtF / trans woman), or female to male (FtM / trans man), they may identify somewhere in-between, or outside of, the binary.

People are often confused by the difference between sex and gender, but it is important to make this distinction to understand trans identities. A person’s sex is determined by their DNA and sexual organs, whereas gender is a social construct, it is the part of us that relates to feeling male, female or otherwise. When someone first comes out as trans, they have not yet changed their sex, although this can be done through a host of medical procedures.

Some trans people will undergo hormone therapy and surgeries, and some choose not to alter their bodies at all, with others being prevented from doing so by existing medical conditions. Procedures such as chest reconstruction surgery, the removal or construction of breasts, are used to create a more masculine or feminine appearance.


A list of key terms:



not identifying with the gender assigned at birth.



describes a trans person who has physically altered their body to align with their gender identity.



an umbrella terms used to describe gender identities that also include not identifying with the gender assigned at birth but are not defined just by this.



as an individual label, this describes someone who identifies with a gender outside of the binary male/female.

as an umbrella label, this can be used to describe many gender identities which include identifying with a gender outside of the binary but use more specific definitions.



does not identify with having a fixed gender.



does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both or a combination of male or female genders.