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Transgender Glossary

A helpful glossary for both ours and the cisgender community, courtesy of our friends at Age UK.

A

Acquired gender:

Used in legal circumstances to describe affirmed gender.

Affirmed gender:

Your gender following transition – the true gender with which your identity has been affirmed.

Agender:

Feeling your gender identity is neutral or you have no gender.

Assigned sex/gender:

The sex you are given at birth, based on the appearance of your genitals.

 

B

Bi-gender:

Feeling you have two distinct female and male identities or identifying as two genders simultaneously.

Bilateral mastectomy:

Removal of some breast tissue from both breasts and the reconstruction of the chest wall to resemble a male chest.

 

C

Cisgender:

Not trans – your gender identity conforms to your biological sex assigned at birth.

Cross-dresser:

A person who enjoys wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex for personal comfort and pleasure.

 

E

Endocrinology:

The field of medicine concerned with hormones, including the sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone.

 

F

Facial feminisation surgery:

Surgical and non-surgical procedures to feminise the face of trans women.

FtM:

Female-to-male trans man (can be problematic, however, as a trans man is unlikely to have identified as female in the first place).

 

G

Gender binary:

The traditional view of gender that limits possibilities to the ‘binary’ of male and female. Current thinking defines gender as more diverse than a binary model.

Gender dysphoria:

Medical term used to describe feeling discomfort or distress with the gender you were assigned at birth.

Gender expression:

External appearance of your gender identity, such as behaviour, clothing, hairstyle or voice.

Gender fluid:

A wider and more flexible range of gender identities that varies over time.

Gender identity:

Your internal sense of being male or female, both genders or neither.

Gender incongruence:

Alternative medical term for gender dysphoria.

Gender reassignment:

The process of transitioning from female to male or male to female, which may include personal, social or medical processes.

Gender reassignment surgery / genital reconstruction surgery/ gender confirmation surgery:

Surgical procedures that change some body parts to better reflect a person’s gender identity.

Gender variance:

Feeling discomfort or distress with the gender you were assigned at birth – the same as gender dysphoria but frequently preferred as a less medicalised term.

Genderqueer:

Similar to non-binary, but while some people embrace ‘queer’ others regard it as offensive.

 

I

Intergender:

An identity between female and male.

Intersex:

Intersex bodied people are born with a physical sex anatomy that doesn’t fit medical norms for female or male bodies.

 

L

Lower or bottom surgery:

A range of gender-validating surgical procedures that can be performed on the reproductive organs or genitals.

 

M

Metoidioplasty:

A procedure using the growth of the clitoris, which results from taking testosterone, to create a penis.

MtF:

Male-to-female trans woman (can be problematic, however, as a trans woman is unlikely to have identified as male in the first place).

Mx:

Gender-neutral alternative title to Ms and Mr, now widely accepted by government and businesses.

 

N

Non-binary:

Gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine and therefore outside the gender binary of male and female.

 

O

Oophorectomy:

Surgical removal of the ovaries.

Orchidectomy:

Surgical removal of the testes.

 

P

Penectomy:

Surgical removal of penile tissue.

Phalloplasty:

Plastic surgery performed to construct a penis.

Preferred gender:

Commonly used to describe the gender with which you identify but often considered inappropriate as it implies there is a choice.

 

S

Scrotoplasty:

Surgical procedure that creates a scrotum for testicular implants.

 

T

Top surgery:

Surgical procedures on the breast area – breast augmentation or a mastectomy.

Transgender or trans:

Umbrella terms that embrace the many different identities of people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex.

Trans*:

An asterisk is sometimes added as a way of including all transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming identities.

Transsexual:

Used largely in medical or legal circumstances to describe someone who proposes to undergo or has undergone gender reassignment.

Transition:

The process of beginning to live full-time in your true gender identity, which may include reassignment therapy, hormone replacement treatment, surgery and legal affirmation.

Transvestite:

A person who enjoys wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex for personal comfort and pleasure – the term cross-dresser is generally preferred in the trans community.

True gender:

The gender with which a person self-identifies.

 

V

Vaginectomy:

Surgical removal of the vagina and closure of the vaginal opening.

Vaginoplasty:

Plastic surgery performed to create a vagina.

 

Z

Ze and zir:

Gender-neutral alternatives to she/he and her/his, though their use is still limited.

 

Whether you are transgender or cisgender, we hope that this helps you to understand our world better.

Until next time,

The GI Collection team

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