T - LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild

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Third Gender:

The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are categorized (by their will or by social consensus) as neither man nor woman, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders. The term "third" is usually understood to mean "other"; some anthropologists and sociologists have described fourth, fifth, and even some genders.

Top Surgery:

This term usually refers to surgery for the construction of a male- type chest, but may also refer to breast augmentation.


An abbreviation that is sometimes used to refer to a gender variant person. This use allows a person to state a gender variant identity without having to disclose hormonal or surgical status/intentions. This term is sometimes used to refer to the gender variant community as a whole.


Often a pejorative term for a transgender person, it is now being reclaimed by some transgender people. Offensive when used as an epithet and should be avoided except in quotes or as someone’s self-identified term.


Transgender: is an all-encompassing term used to identify a wide variety of gender-variant identities and expressions.  Also “trans-people”, “trans-folks”, “trans-identified.”  Binary Specifiers: MTF (male-to-female), FTM (female-to-male).  A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on anatomical sex. Sexual orientation varies and is not dependent on gender identity.  (Note that it is inappropriate to use the adjective “transgendered” since that connotes a condition versus the noun “transgender” which connotes an identity).

Transgender (Trans) Community:

A loose category of people who transcend gender norms in a wide variety of ways. The central ethic of this community is unconditional acceptance of individual exercise of freedoms including gender and sexual identity and orientation.  Used most often as an umbrella term, some commonly held definitions 1. Someone whose behavior or expression does not match their assigned sex. 2.  A gender outside of the man/woman binary.  3. The condition of having no gender or multiple genders.  4.  Some definitions include people who perform gender or play with it.

Transgender Man (Trans Man):

A person who was considered female at birth but identifies and lives as a man. Transgender people sometimes use the acronym FTM, or female to male. Sometimes shortened colloquially to trans man. Use in news stories only when transgender status is germane; otherwise, identify a news subject as a man.

Transgender Woman (Trans Woman):

A person who was considered male at birth but identifies and lives as a woman. Transgender people sometimes use the acronym MTF, or male to female. Sometimes shortened colloquially to trans woman. Use in news stories only when transgender status is germane; otherwise, identify a news subject as a woman.

Transhate / Transphobia:

The irrational hatred of those who are gender variant, usually expressed through violent and often deadly means.


This term is primarily used to refer to the process a gender variant person undergoes when changing their bodily appearance either to be more congruent with the gender/sex they feel themselves to be and/or to be in harmony with their preferred gender expression.


The irrational fear or hatred of transgender people or people who do not meet society’s gender role expectations. Transphobia is closely linked with homophobia and biphobia. Fear, hatred or dislike of transgender people or transsexuals. May be harbored by gays, lesbians and bisexuals in addition to heterosexuals.


Avoid this antiquated term in favor of “transgender” and “transgender people.” Some individuals prefer it, but it can carry misleading medical connotations.  A person who identifies psychologically as a gender/sex other than the one to which they were assigned at birth. Transsexuals often wish to transform their bodies hormonally and surgically to match their inner sense of gender/sex.


Someone who dresses in clothing generally identified with the opposite gender/sex. While the terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘transvestite’ have been used synonymously, they are in fact signify two different groups. The majority of transvestites are heterosexual males who derive pleasure from dressing in “women’s clothing”. (The preferred term is ‘cross-dresser,’ but the term ‘transvestite’ is still used in a positive sense in England.)


Native persons who have attributes of both genders, have distinct gender and social roles in their tribes, and are often involved with mystical rituals (shamans). Their dress is usually mixture of male and female articles and they are seen as a separate or third gender. The term ‘two-spirit’ is usually considered to specific to the Zuni tribe. Similar identity labels vary by tribe and include ‘one-spirit’ and ‘wintke’.  “Two-Spirit” is the closest thing to an appropriate umbrella term of referring to these gender traditions among Native peoples.  However, there are a variety of definitions and feelings about the term “two spirit.”
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