Trans Terminology

While I am on this explanation kick, let’s get some terminology down. If I get anything wrong, or missed some important terms, let me know.

Transgender: (Not “a transgender” or “transgendered”). Someone who is transgender feels that their gender identity does not match their assigned gender. They generally suffer emotionally from this, and it is referred to as dysphoria.

CIS or Cisgender refers to someone who is not trans. “Cis” is a prefix from Latin meaning “on the same side”, which is the opposite of the prefix “trans”. Cisgender is someone who feels comfortable with their assigned gender.

Assigned Gender is the gender you were given at birth, usually based on a cursory glance by the doctor or midwife, or whoever delivered you.
AMAB means assigned male at birth. AFAB means assigned female at birth.

Transsexual is an old, out of date term that was intended to refer to transgender people. It has a negative connotation to most people and is not preferred.

Non-binary or NB or enby, refers to someone who knows they don’t fit into the strict male/female definition, but rather somewhere else on the spectrum.

Gender fluid, is an NB who’s gender identity is not fixed, but can change depending on their feelings at the time. It could be day to day, hour to hour, or year to year. It is flexible.

Gender Nonconforming or Gender Queer is anyone who doesn’t feel they match their assigned gender and/or don’t fit in the binary system.

Transfem or Trans Woman is a transgender person who identifies as a woman. MTF refers to a male to female transgender person.

Transmasc or Trans Man is a transgender person who identifies as a man. FTM refers to a female to male transgender person.

RLT or Real Life Test is an antiquated term that was used in the past to see if a trans person was serious about their trans-ness. The idea was that the person would spend a year living as their preferred gender before a doctor would prescribe hormones or surgery. The requirement was removed from most treatment protocols within the last few years.

TERF or Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist is the phenomenon of feminists who believe that trans woman are not “real” women and do not belong in women’s spaces and do not deserve equal rights.

Queer refers to anyone who is not heterosexual or cis. It is an umbrella term for the wide variety of people across the identity and orientation spectrum.

Intersex is a medical condition where the person has indeterminate sexual organs, or elements of both male and female reproductive anatomy. It is generally a result of a genetic anomaly in the sex chromosomes. The person may or may not experience any dysphoria. These variations are considered normal variations in humans, and corrective measures are not needed. Some doctors and parents sought surgery on intersex children to make them appear to be male or female. There is no guarantee that the child will grow up with the gender identity forced upon them and such procedures should be avoided until the person is of age. It is estimated that an intersex condition occurs in 1-2% of the population. The term hermaphrodite is not an accepted term for intersex.

Bottom Surgery or SRS or GRS or GCS or GAS all refer to the procedure to make a person’s genitals match the appearance of their desired gender.
SRS is Sexual Reassignment Surgery GRS is Gender Reassignment Surgery GCS is Gender Conforming Surgery GAS is Gender Affirming Surgery

Vaginoplasty is the surgical procedure to remove male genital tissue and create a vagina, clitoris and labia.

Phalloplasty is the surgical procedure to construct a penis and is often done in conjunction with several other procedures to remove the female anatomy and make male anatomy.

Top Surgery refers to bilateral mastectomy on FTM and breast augmentation on MTF.

FFS or Facial Feminization Surgery refers to the surgeries performed to make a person's face appear more feminine. There is also FMS Facial Masculinization Surgery.

HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy is the combination of medications and hormones used to help a patient reduce their dysphoria and gain some physical characteristics of their desired gender.

Estrogen or Estradiol is the female hormone given to MTF patients. It is available in pill form, sublingual form, in a patch, via injection and as a topical cream.

Anti-Androgen is a medication that blocks the production or effectiveness of testosterone. The most common is Spironolactone aka Aldactone. Others include Finasteride aka Propecia, Flutamide, Cyproterone acetate, and Bicalutamide. Occasionally Progesterone is used.

Testosterone is the male hormone given to FTM patients. It is available in pill form, as an implant, in a patch, via injection, and as a topical cream.

Deadnaming refers to the practice of people calling a transgender person by their former name. It is considered insulting and if done intentionally or maliciously, a deliberate attack. It can cause dysphoria, distress, anxiety, embarrassment, and even danger.

Transphobia is the hatred or fear or transgender people.

Internal Transphobia refers to the feeling a transgender person can have towards themselves. I difficult part of the journey of a transgender person is self-acceptance and the deeply ingrained attitudes of society can interfere with a person’s progress.