Quickly learn defnitions of key terms, phrases, and acronyms used in transgender writings with this glossary.

Transgenderism Glossary

American Psychiatric Association
The US-based professional organization of pyschiatrists (medical doctors of mental illness) that maintains a list of mental illnesses. This list once included homosexuality and still contains transsexuality and transvestitism.

American Psychological Association
The US-based professional organization of psychologists (ph.d. professors and helping professions of mental phenomena). Though this group also includes scientists who do not necessarily advocate pathological terminology, this group is dominated by helping-professionals who endorse the American Psychiatric Associations model of mental health.

a person who live without appearing or behaving particuarly male or female.

Having both masculine and feminine gender typed traits. According to Sandra Bem, this is an ideal of gender role development. It is preferable to masculinity (having masculine traits but not feminine traits), femininity (vice-versa), or being underdifferentiated (lacking clear gendered traits).

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.

An abbreviation for "Bondage, Domination, Sado-Masochism" sexuality characterized by the consenual exchange of power. This is echange of power can be either physical (e.g., spanking), psychological (e.g., teasing), or both. Often BDSM involves gender-related play when the partner with power adopt a male role and the partner without power adopts of female role.

The tendency to fliexbly shift between masculine and feminine gender-typed behavior depending on context. While an androgynous person retains the same gender-typed behavior across situations, the bigendered person purposely changes their gender-role behavior for the situation. It is particularly noteeorthy that this concept emerged from within the transgender community rather than being adopted by the transgdern community after it was created by another sub-culture (e.g. transsexual was defined first by the mental health community).

To tape one's breast to remove to remove the suggestion of the presence of breasts.

A person with a stable sex. This is the opposite of a transsexual and accounts for most people's gender development.

Cross Dressing
To wear clothing typically associated with members of the other sex. Someone who cross-dresses is a cross-dresser. According to psychologists, cross-dressers are moselty hetereosexuals. However it is somewhat difficult to distinguish a cross-dresser from a drag-queen except by the sexual orientation sub-cultures.

To retun to living as a member of one's biological sex after an extended full-time period of living as one's target sex.

Drag King
A female who presents as male and, in doing so, purposely takes masculinity to an extreme.

Drag Queen
A male who present as female and, in doing so, purposely takes femininity to an extreme.

Abbreviation for the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" published by the American Psychiatric Association. It currently lists transsexuality (gender identity disorder), cross-dressing (transvestic fetishism), and BDSM (sado-masochism) as mental illnesses. It removed homosexuality from its list in 1973.

Female to Male
A transsexual born as female and transitoning to male.

trait, behaviors, thoughts, dress, and other manner viewed by a culture as typical of females. Often a trait is considered feminine if it focuses on establishing and mantaining harmonious human relationships.

sexual interest in an object not typically viewed as sexual (e.g. boots). Though the term originates as a psychological diagnosis, it is also used in alternaitve sexuality sub-cultures to refer to a style of dress typified boots, leather, and latex. For use as a psychological term, one should note that a person can wear fetish attire without having a fetish (e.g., gothic) and one can have a fetish for any object regardless of it's role in a sub-culture (e.g., chalk-boards).

social phenomena associated with being male or female.

Gender Bend
To remain within a gender role but push the boundaries but engaging in behavior that is atypical for one's gender (e.g. a girl playing football but still retaining a girlie personality).

Gender Dysphoria
Having negative or conflicting feelings about one's sex or gender role.

Gender Euphoria
Feeling positive about one's cross-gender activities. The term arises in the transgender community as a pun playing on the psychological term "gender dysphoria"

Gender Fuck
To purposely present with strongly visible elements of both sexes (e.g., to have a beard and wear a dress). The intent of gender-fucking is typically to provoke people to think about gender roles.

Gender Identity
An inner sense that one is or belongs to a particular sex.

Gender Identity Disorder
A mental illness included in the DSM referring to a gender identity that is inconsistent with one's biological sex.

Gender Role
The behaviors, traits, thoughts, and dress expected by a culture of members of a particular sex.

Gender Schema
A "schema" is an internalized pattern of responses. A gender schema is an internalized pattern of responses that differs by gender. For example, the pattern, "if someone hits me I hit back two time twice as hard" is characteristic of male gender role behavior.

Gender Schematic
Gender Aschematic
To consider gender an important factor in one's behavior. That is, if you immediate classify a person as male or female and repsond to them accordingly, you are gender schematic. Alternatively, if you first classift smone by something other than sex (e.g., race, profession, attractivenss, etc) and your responses to a person are the same regardless of gender, you are "gender aschematic"

Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association
The organization of mental health professionals that maintains the standards of care for the treatment of transsexuals.

Harry Benjamin Standards of Care
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 be subject to an experimental study to confrim their effectivenss.

A person with primary or secondary sex characteristics of both sexes. Note that, though this term continues to be used by mental health professionals, those classified as such often consider it derogatory. The preferred term is "intersexed person"

Hormone Replacement Therapy
A term used for the taking of sex-related hormone s (e.g., estrogen, testosterone). Most often the term is used for post-menapusal women taking estrogen. The term also applies to a transsexual taking hormones of the target sex.

International Classification of Diseases
An international version of the DSM. Both the DSM and the ICD closely parallel one another.

Having primary or secondary sex charasteristics of both sexes. This is the preferred term for intersexed personsadvocacy groups benefititing the intersex.

trait, behaviors, thoughts, dress, and other manner viewed by a culture as typical of males. Often a trait is considered masculinity if it focueses on instrumental use of the environment.

Male to Female
An abbreviation for "male to female" It refers to a transsexual born as male and transitoning to female.

To put an object, often a dildo, in one's pants to suggest to others the presence of a penis.

A sex-drive directed at any non-socially accepted object or activity. Kissing, though directed at an object not directly linked to procreation is not considered a paraphilia because it is socially acceptable. A fetish is a kind of paraphilia. Transgenderism is currently considered a paraphilia but homosexuality no longer is.

To succeed at presenting as one's target sex.

A transsexual who has completed SRS.

A transsexual who has not yet had SRS.

The gender one is attemption to be perceived as. That is, to present as female means to behave in a manner to be viewed by others as female.

Primary Sex Characteristics
The genitalia associtaed with each sex (i.e. penis, vagina)

Primary Transsexual
Originally a mental health term referring to a trannsexual who seeks SRS during adolescence or emerging adulthood. The classification is no longer viewed as important for the mental health community.

Deviation from societal norms for gendered and sexual behavior. Queer is an umbrella term to many groups including those who are transgendered, those who practice BDSM, or those who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Although originally a derogatory term of the larger society, it has been seized for empowerment as a term of self-definition.

Radical Feminism
A branch of feminism that was particularly popular among "second-wave feminists" in the 1960's. It advocates a post-moderm perspective and views gender groups (males & females) as social classes. Socety is a patriarchy where the male social class control the female social class. When SRS first became readily available, radical feminist opposed transsexuaity. This is a belief that is not often shared by those in generation X, third-wave feminism.

To be viewed as a member of one's biological sex despite presenting as a member of one's target sex.

Real Life Test
A requirment of the HB-SOC that transsexuals live for one year as their target sex before SRS. The most recent HB-SOC renamed the real life test as "real life experience" though it still retains it's test-like use.

Secondary Transsexual
Originally a mental health term referring to a trannsexual who seeks SRS in middle adulthood. The classification is no longer viewed as important for the mental health community.

Secondard Sex Charatersitcs
Traits linked to bioloigcal sex though not directly invovled in procreation (e.g., breasts, facial hair)

A term referring to biological aspects of being male or female: chromosones, genitalia, hormonses, and secondary sex characterics.

Sex Reassignment Surgery
A medical procedure for changing one's primary sex charasterisc to be or resemble to primary sex characteristics of one's target sex.

Sexual Orientation
Sexual attraction to a particular group of persons. Typical sexual orientations are to the other sex (heterosexuality) and one's own sex (homosexuality).

A typically-derogatory term for a male to female transsexual with breasts and a penis. This term is common in pornography but rarely used in other contexts.

Sissy Boy
A term codified by the mental health community for bioloigcally male children with gender identity disorder.

for a transsexual to live in a manner that conceal their past sex.

Stone Butch
A lesbian who exhibits and exhaults male gender role behavior escpecially including emotion control. The term arises from Leslie Fineberg's book "Stone Butch Blues"

Target Sex
The desired sex of a transsexual or transgendered person. This the opposite of one's biological sex,

Purposely spelled with only one "s", this term was intended to take the psychological term from the mental health professional sub-culture and re-define it for the transgender sub-culture.

An umbrella term referring to anyone who's behavior, thoughts, or traits differ from the societal expectations for their sex. This group includes cross-dressers, transsexuals, intersexuals, gay men, lesbian women, and bisexuals.

A person who lives as their target sex without the desire to change biological sex.

The process or switching from one's bioloical sex ro one's target sex.

A person born of one biological sex who seeks to become the other sex. This term orginally was amental illness diagnosis but was dropped in favor of "gender identity disorder." The term is still used in psychological research where it only refers to those persons who have undergone SRS.

A psychopatholigical term that includes cross-dressing but also includes other opposite-sex-related clothing activity. Transvesitism includes behaviors from cross-dressing to masturbating while wearing a single object of the opposite-sexes clothing

To tape one's penis and testicals back to remove the suggestion of the presence of a penis.