Glossary of Gender
This glossary was compiled by Transgender Nation (San Francisco, California). The organization is a diverse group of transgendered and non-transgendered people united “in anger” and resolved to directly empower all transgendered people by direct political action.
assigned gender at birth - the gender one is considered to be at birth, due to the presence of whatever external sex organs. Once this determination is made, it becomes a label used for raising the child in either one gender image or the other.
bigendered - meaning those who feel they have both a male and a female side to their personalities. Some bigendered people cross-dress, while others evolve into transsexuals and have sex reassignment surgery. Christine Jorgensen - wasn't the first to have sex reassignment surgery, but was the first person to be widely known for having done so. News of her sex change in 1952 brought hope to many other transsexuals around the world.
clock(ed) - you are clocked when someone detects you are transgendered, as in the following example: an MTF TS is in public, living in the preferred female image, when someone calls out, ‘that's a man’. This is embarrassing at the least, and devastating at the worst. The word clocked apparently comes from the phrase, read me like a clock. Read is a synonym. Contrast with pass.
clock my T - means I was clocked.
cross-dresser (CD) - someone who from time to time wears the clothes of the opposite (of their physical anatomical) gender, to relieve gender discomfort. Cross-dressers want to appear as convincing as possible as their other selves. A large subset of this group are men who enjoy dressing as women and have otherwise ordinary marriages with wives who are not transgendered. Many say this term is preferable to transvestite, which means the same thing.
estrogen - the female sex hormone. Actually, both men and women have estrogen in their systems; women just have a great deal more of it. Estrogen can be administered in both pill and injection form.
former transsexual - some say that  once a transsexual has completed surgery; they are no longer transsexuals. Contrast with definition 2 of transsexual. A compromise view might be that a former transsexual is  one who has completed surgery, and no longer wants anything to do with the transsexual community.
FTM -  female-to-male (transvestite or transsexual). Example: Billy Tipton. It is more politically correct (sic) to use the abbreviation rather than the complete phrase, except to explain it to someone who doesn't know what FTM stands for. Also abbreviated as F2M. FTM is also  the name of a group that is for FTM TSs and TVs.
full-time transvestite - same as definition  of transgender.
gender - there are perhaps five broad categories of gender:  physical anatomy, or sex organs,  secondary sex characteristics that develop at and after puberty,  fashion choices,  movement and behaviour, and  the mind including gender identity. Sometimes we have to make it clear which of these we are talking about. Gender is also used as a prefix.
gender assignment - see assigned gender at birth.
gender bender - anyone crossing the gender line who does not care about appearing convincing. Example: a man wearing a dress, who looks like a man wearing a dress, and doesn't care if he does look like a man wearing a dress. Drag queens are the major group within this category.
gender clinic - a medical clinic where transsexual health care services (at least hormones or hormone prescriptions) are made available. Counselling may or may not be part of the services available there. Surgery is usually referred elsewhere.
gender community - the community of all cross-dressers, transsexuals, and gender benders, and anywhere they meet.
gender discomfort - like gender dysphoria, but not quite that bad. Occasional cross-dressing often provides sufficient relief.
gender dysphoria - literally, it's being unhappy with the gender you are (physically anatomically, prior to changing anything. Full-blown gender dysphoria syndrome is the same as transsexualism.
gender identity - the hard-to-define sense of being male or being female that is usually in accord with, but sometimes opposed to, physical anatomy. There is no clear agreement on how gender identity is formed, but most current theories say that gender identity is formed before birth.
genetic -  refers to the chromosomal endowment of the individual, with emphasis on the sex chromosomes (XX in women and XY in men). This word is also used to mean  someone who is not transgendered, for example, "This is Georgina, a cross-dresser, and her partner Lee, who is a genetic woman”, or worse yet, "She's genetic". Since we are all generally something, the use of genetic this way is both politically and technically incorrect.
Harry Benjamin, Dr. - an endocrinologist, sexologist, and geriontologist, and one of the first researchers in transsexualism. In 1966, his book The Transsexual Phenomenon was published, it was first serious work on the subject.
HBIGDA - Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association.
in transition -  in the process of transition.  A synonym for pre-op incurable transsexual - any transsexual without hope of access to sex-reassignment techniques, including those living in the Third World without western-style medical care available, and all transsexuals who lived and died before 1952.
intersex - born with the (full or partial) sex organs of both genders, or with underdeveloped or ambiguous sex organs. About 4 per cent of all births are intersex to some degree. This word replaces the politically loaded term ‘hermaphrodite’.
irreversible - no sex-change can change a person 100 per cent into the opposite anatomical gender. An MTF can never bear a child; an FTM can never sire one. While there is technically nothing to stop a post-op from going back, the results are not the same as when one started-one ends up essentially like a post-op of the opposite direction. This is what is meant by irreversible, and is one of the reasons why many providers make transsexual services hard to obtain.
manufactured transsexual - some babies are born with (full or partial) sex organs of both genders, or with underdeveloped or ambiguous sex organs (see intersex). Usually, the doctor decides what is going to be, and performs corrective surgery without even consulting or getting the approval of the parents. A few of these babies grow up deciding "they took away everything I wanted, and left me with the parts I have no use for". These people are the manufactured transsexuals.
metamorph - an alternative word for transsexual, mainly used by those who are uncomfortable being called transsexuals. Not frequently used.
MTF - male-to-female (transvestite or transsexual). Example Christine Jorgensen. It is more politically correct to use the abbreviation rather than the complete phrase, except to explain it to someone who doesn't know what MTF stands for. Also abbreviated as M2F.
new man -  post-operative FTM transsexual. Also sometimes used to mean  an FTM transsexual who is well along in the transition process.
new woman -  post-operative MTF transsexual. First used in a 1952 newspaper article in reference to Christine Jorgensen. Also sometimes used to mean  an MTF transsexual who is well along in the transition process.
non - a word used by transsexuals to mean a person who is not a transsexual. Example: "Me? I'm not a non." Some say it is more correct to say person who is not transsexual.
non-op - same as non-surgical transsexual.
non-surgical transsexual - transsexuals who seek sex reassignment through hormones and who cross-live, but stop just short of surgery. Some  have concerns about major surgery, which is not always successful. Others  have been unable obtain the money necessary and have essentially given up on this final step. Yet others  feel they are complete without surgery and are the same as definition 1 of transgender. Others who  cannot have surgery due to special health problems, such as AIDS.
pass - means to be in your preferred gender image, and to be able to do convincingly. Example an FTM TV, who looks like a man, not like a woman.
passing woman -  chiefly used in the historical sense to refer to a non-transgendered woman living as a man in order to have access to careers and lifestyles only available to men at that time.  Some historical figures who would today be more accurately called FTM transsexuals or transsexual men are sometimes referred to as passing women.
post-op - a transsexual who has had his or her sex-change operation(s), and now has the physical anatomy desired.
pre-op - a transsexual who has not yet had their sex-change operation(s), but who is working towards it.
read - a synonym for clock(ed). Examples: "I was read yesterday. I hope they don't read me today.” This word has been mainly replaced by clock(ed).
sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) - sex-change operation.
Standards of Care (SOC) -  a set of guidelines established by HBIGDA regarding the way transsexual services are made available. These guidelines are slanted towards making it difficult to obtain a sex change, under the idea that only the most qualified and most persistent should be allowed to proceed. Some feel these guidelines are too restrictive.  The Transgender Law Conference has issued an alternative Standards of Care which amount to little more than signing an informed consent form.
testosterone - the male sex hormone. Actually, men and women have testosterone, men just have a great deal more. Some testosterone is necessary to have sex drive. Since it is destroyed by stomach acid, most supplemental testosterone is delivered via injections.
T-friendly - any organization or institution that is accepting of the transgendered people, and their needs. Contrast with transphobic.
transgender (TG) - originally, this word meant  what are also known as full-time cross-dresser or non-surgical transsexuals, people who live and work in the opposite (of their physical anatomical) gender continuously and for always. Now it also means  the group of all people who are inclined to cross the gender line, including transsexuals, cross-dressers, and gender-benders. This is the main use for the word, and is referred to as the umbrella as it covers everyone. A few use the word as  a synonym for transsexual.
transgenderist - same as definition  of transgender. Those who mean definition  of transgender now tend to use transgenderist to avoid confusion.
transition - the process of changing sex, including hormones, cross-living (see), and finally surgery. A practical minimum for this process is about two years, but usually it takes longer, sometimes much longer.
transphobia/transphobic - the groundless fear and hatred of cross-dressers, transsexuals and gender benders and what they do and everything that results from this disrespect, to denial of rights and needs, to violence.
transsexual (TS) - anyone who [I] wants to have,  has had, or  should have a sex-change operation. The third definition is for those in denial. This word also includes  non-surgical transsexuals. TSs want to appear convincing as their new selves. Dr. Harry Benjamin was the first serious researcher in this area.
transsexual health care - hormones and SRS are the essentials. Many transsexuals believe counselling is not an essential item, but that it should be available to those who want it.
transsexual female/woman - an MTF TS- The medical literature tends to use the extremely demeaning term ‘male transsexual’ to mean the same thing. Note that you can usually tell the preferred form is in use when the gender word comes after the "T" word.
transsexual male/man - an FTM TS. The medical literature tends to use the extremely demeaning term ‘female transsexual’ to mean the same thing. Note that you can usually tell the preferred form is in use when the gender word comes after the "T" word.
transvestite (TV) - same as cross-dresser. Most feel cross-dresser is the preferred term.
true transsexual -  one who will be happy living the rest of his or her life in a new gender image, and will not regret going through transition, as opposed to one for whom a sex change is just a passing fancy.  If you want a sex-change operation, this is what you have to convince doctors you are. This easily becomes an obstacle in its own right and has been called jumping through hoops.