GLBT National Help Center Blog

Helping the LGBT Community

The “T” in GLBT

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The biggest trend in calls that we’ve seen in the last couple of years is the increasing number of calls from those who identify as transsexual or transgendered.  Later entries will deal with some of the issues these callers are facing, but first some terms should be established.

“Transsexual” and “transgender” are often used interchangeably as terms to describe a person who does not identify with the gender of the body he/she was born with.  The terms change with the times, so it can be confusing for callers who are looking for a term to match their personal situation.

Currently, “transgender” is more of an umbrella term to describe all of those whose gender identities are at odds with traditional gender roles (feminine/masculine), including but not limited to those who cross-dress or identify as genderqueer.  “Transsexual” describes specifically those who identify as members of the gender opposite to that assigned at birth.  A person who identifies as transsexual often lives as and is accepted as the gender he/she feels is right for him/her.

There is also confusion around gender versus sexual orientation.  A feminine man is not necessarily homosexual.  Nor, of course, is he necessarily transsexual, but the ideas of homosexuality being associated with men who behave in traditionally feminine ways or women who behave in traditionally masculine ways confuse the issue.  It is often revelatory to callers that just because they might feel feminine or masculine, that has nothing to do with their sexual attractions.

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Written by glbtnhc

July 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

Posted in Definitions, T

One Response

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  1. […] so that the outside of his body reflects the gender that he knew he was on the inside.  Click here for a definition of transgender or […]


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