Important Terms

Trans*: Anyone whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Transgender* is a broad term and is good for non-transgender people to use. “Trans*” is shorthand for “transgender*”.

Trans Man: A trans* individual who identifies as a man.

Trans Woman: A trans* individual who identifies as a woman.

Cis-Gender: A person who self-identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender Identity: An individual’s internal sense of gender such as being a man or a woman. This is not necessarily visible to others.

Gender Expression: An individual’s external representation or expression of their gender identity through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics.

Gender Queer: A term used by some individuals who identify as neither entirely male nor entirely female nor something else entirely.

Gender Non-conforming: Individuals whose gender expression is different from societal expectations related to gender.

Intersex: is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Transition: The time when a person begins living as the gender with which they identify rather than the gender they were assigned at birth. This process, which can take years or more, may include: changing their first name, dressing and presenting as their self-identified gender, taking hormones, having surgery(ies), changing identity documents (e.g. driver’s license, Social Security record) to reflect their true gender identity.


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