The term transgender can mean different things to different people. There are a number of other labels individuals who are transgender use to describe their gender.
This can be confusing at first, particularly if you or someone you know think they might be transgender.
For example, a person who was assigned a female sex at birth and has a male sense of self could be categorized as transgender.
A person who was assigned male at birth and has a female sense of self could also be categorized as transgender.
Sometimes, those who are transgender use the abbreviated term “trans” to convey the idea that the sex they were assigned at birth doesn’t fully and accurately reflect their core sense of self or internal experience of gender.
Those who are transgender can identify as a woman, man, a combination of both, or something else altogether.
The word transgender can also be used in conjunction with other labels to indicate the gender or sex someone knows themselves to be.
For example, someone can identify as a transgender man, a transgender woman, or a transgender nonbinary person.
Nonbinary is an umbrella term that describes those who have a gender that can’t be exclusively categorized as male or female.
As a rule of thumb, the term transgender provides information about the extent to which someone identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth.
The following word often communicates important information about the way someone experiences and understands gender, as well as how they might want to be referred to.
For example, a transgender male is someone who doesn’t identify with the sex assigned at birth and has a sense of self that’s male.
Some transgender people change their appearance, body, name, or legal gender marker to convey and affirm their internal experience of gender. Others don’t feel the need to make these changes to express and validate this aspect of who they are. Either way is OK.