How to Respect a Transsexual Person

The term “transgender” is an umbrella term that includes any and all

gender variant people: transsexual people, cross-dressers, drag kings and queens, intersexuals, genderqueers, bigendered people, and many other types. Drag performers and cross-dressers are typically not transsexual people. Please don’t call it cross-dressing if I am wearing clothes that match my gender.

Don’t assume that I have chosen to be a transsexual person. The only choice I have made is whether or not to accept my situation and fix it to live a healthier life.

The changes I make to my body are not cosmetic, but rather reconstructive. Having a body I am comfortable with is vital to my health.

Please don’t openly talk about my genitals any more than you would for a non- trans person.

The Nature of Gender

  • Gender comes from the way our brain, mind and/or soul is configured, not from the body. Chromosomes, hormones, upbringing, etc. do not determine or change a person’s gender.
  • The only person who can know about their gender is themself. No external “clues” can prove or disprove somebody’s true inner gender. Some people knew it their entire lives. Some manage to deny it for a long time. Some always knew there was something different. Some did a lot of soul searching to figure out they were male or female and that this was a legitimate medical situation.
  • Don’t call a non-transsexual woman a “real girl” or “completely female”.

 

Terminology

  • This page only deals with transsexual people specifically.
  • Do not confuse transsexuality with cross-dressing. Cross-dressers are men who like to wear women’s clothing for sexual or fetishized reasons. These men do not identify as female and are often straight.
  • Do not confuse transsexual people with drag queens or kings. Drag performers will wear elaborate and often stereotypical clothes of the opposite gender on stage for show or to do impersonations. This is most often done by gays and lesbians.
  • The term “transgendered” is an umbrella term that includes any and all gender variant people: transsexual people, cross-dressers, drag kings and queens, intersex, genderqueer and bigendered people, and many other types. Be careful when using it. For example, many transsexual people don’t like to be associated with cross-dressers.
  • The short form “trans” can mean either transsexual or transgendered. On this page, we use it to mean transsexual.
  • The term “tranny” is slang for transsexual, either as an adjective or noun. Many feel that it is offensive, on par with words like fag, dyke and nigger. As such, many feel that only trans people themselves can reclaim it and use it. In some cities, however, it only means cross-dresser and not transsexual. Use it with much caution, if at all.
  • The term “she-male” is vulgar and never appropriate. It is used by the pornography industry to objectify and fetishize pre-operative transsexual women.
  • Don’t call it cross-dressing if I am wearing clothes that match my gender. Cross-dressing is if I wear clothes of the opposite gender, e.g. a female-to-male transsexual man wearing women’s clothing.

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