Please note that these definitions are personal and that the exact meanings of these are constantly debated among those involved. It is human nature to want to alter definitions to include oneself, and to paint oneself in the best light (or better than what one really is).
Androphilia: Taken literally, this sounds like it describes love for men. The connotation is that of someone believing they are a TS because they love men and want to be more like a woman. Researchers often refer to the type of transsexualism based on the person's physical parts before any surgery. Androphilia is a condition coined by Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey. It is supported by Dr. Anne Lawrence. In their taxonomy system, there are only 2 types of TSs, androphiles and autogynephiles (AKA non-androphiles).
I find this taxonomy system to be incomplete and degrading, since it implies one has to either be a gay man who transitions in order to satiate his guilt, or that one has to be a heterosexual male pervert who is aroused by being seen as a woman. It is funny that a person who calls herself a TS would support this. To most it is degrading, but apparently to her, it is liberating. That is hard to understand. Neither of these labels support me nor what I term True-TSs. Gender is the motive, not sex as this taxonomy system implies. The 3 involved with this debate all have less than commendable sex lives. The one who did the research allegedly slept with at least one of his subjects. His book written on this twisted everything she said into a sexual context in order to fulfill his sexual fantasies. True-TSs will never be regarded the same as GG women unless we stand as a community and denounce the perversion and the self-serving agendas of Blanchard, Bailey, Lawrence, and others.
Anne Lawrence: A person who had SRS surgery and has created a system to loophole themselves in as a woman. Studying their life, you will find it marked with arrogance, perversion, and professional misconduct. They performed an unauthorized exam on a patient and has approached patients during exams in a sexual manner as alleged by Andrea James. There was an obsession with altered/mutilated genitalia. After getting the surgery, Anne was still not fully accepted as a woman, and this was disillusioning. Anne was not even accepted among TSs, but yet seemed to want to rule over them. When they found the theories of Blanchard and Bailey, they jumped on the bandwagon. After all, it seemed to be a way of reconciling what they were with TSism and ultimately womanhood. On a voice surgery message board, one member hypothesized that Anne refused to attempt to sound like a woman due to internalized homophobia. That is one thought, but makes no sense. Autogynephiles are usually attracted to females. The same poster says that in order to sound like a woman, one has to go through a "gay-sounding stage." That is funny since I never had such a stage.
Anyway, the theories that Anne holds serve other purposes besides legitimizing her femininity. It is Anne's way of hijacking the TS label. It serves as a form of revenge, even if it is only a passive-aggressive form.
Autogynephilia: Literally, this is the self-love of being a woman. The connotation is more one of a fetish. This is a condition coined by Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey. It is supported by Dr. Anne Lawrence. She is a post-op, though we can argue if she was ever really truly a TS. She admits that she is an autogynephile. Her professional ethics and reputation are a bit spotty. Those who transition later in life and maintain a love for women often fit into this taxonomy classification of Blanchard and Bailey.
Coming Out: This can refer to several things. To a gay person, this refers to when they discover they have gay feelings, and/or when they express this to others. To a TG or TS, this can refer to when they have discovered they are TG/TS, when a TG/TS expresses this to others, or when a TS begins to live full-time.
Cross-dresser: Also CD and CDer. A person who dresses as a member of the other sex, but has no belief that they are the other sex, and who has no intentions of transitioning to the other sex. This is not to be confused with transsexuals. Some transsexuals wrongly believe they are/were cross-dressers. In reality, it is impossible change from a cross-dresser to a transsexual. Wives have little to fear if their husband is a cross-dresser, since they will most likely not divorce to pursue surgery or males. Unlike a TS, a cross-dresser only dresses on occasion, and very often, their dressing is exaggerated, lacking in skill, or driven by fetishes. One common archetype of CDers are those who dress to relieve stress. They are often obsessive-compulsive in nature or have a type-A personality, and they may live an overly macho life.
Cross-dressing: The act of wearing clothes of the opposite gender. Since bona-fide MtF TSs are born with the gender of women, they are not cross-dressing when they dress as women, and it is considered derogatory to say that they are doing so. TGs, CDers, and others *are* cross-dressing when they dress as women.
Drab: DRessed As a Boy
Drag: DRessed As a Girl; originally a stage direction since early theater was limited to males.
Drag King: A female who dresses as a male for theatrical purposes.
Drag Queen: A male, often gay (but not always), who dresses in an exaggerated parody of femininity as a form of protest or for theatrical purposes.
FtM: Female-to-Male, a transsexual or transgendered man, one who generally expects to be treated as a man. It is considered polite to refer to them with male pronouns.
Full-Time: This is when a transsexual lives all the time as a member of the gender they believe they are. About 9 months to 2 years of full-time living is required by most surgeons who adhere to the Standards of Care before performing sex-reassignment surgery.
Gaydar: The sense or feeling that another person is gay.
Gendar: A form of intuition that tells a person that another person is transgendered or transsexual. This could be either towards a person who has not yet transitioned, a person who has transitioned, or a person who has detransitioned.
Gender: Used here, it refers to one's identity, the "sex" of the mind and/or soul if you will. Despite common usage, it is not the same thing as a person's physical sex. It can even be opposite of one's physical sex.
Gender Identity: What a person believes themselves to be in regards to gender. It is commonly believed that this does not change. Some hold that gender identity is God-given, and that God created the soul as well as the body. If a person has lived for 30 years as a male, they could have been doing so while possessing a female identity. Usually, there is some sort of gender leakage or other clues if observers are keen to them.
Gender Leakage: The signs and clues a person gives off long before they transition. This is evidence of a gender that does not match the body. If a person doubts a person has always been a woman inside, for instance, it could be that they misinterpreted any gender leakage they may have seen.
Gender Role: How a person fits into society in regards to gender. A number of aspects to this are believed to be arbitrary and cultural. Of course, not all aspects are, since that would not be Biblical, and there would be no TSs. I mean, if gender is completely a social construct, then how could a person be born with a gender that does not match their body? Why get surgery if a female gender is arbitrary since society sinking to the lowest common denominator would deem femininity to be an appropriate expression for a male?
Genetic Girl: A person who was born with female organs and wishes to keep them, ie., a GG.
GG: Genetic Girl, ie., a person who was born with female organs and wishes to keep them.
GRS: Gender Reassignment Surgery. I prefer Sexual Reassignment Surgery since I hold that gender cannot be changed, just the physical sex to a limited degree. As idiotic as GRS sounds, it is what it is called in other parts of the world. Maybe they could call it Genital Reassignment Surgery, or Gender Reconciliation Surgery. Then they can keep the abbreviation and have a more correct understanding behind it.
HRT: Hormone replacement therapy. In the context of transsexuals and transgendered persons, this refers to other-sex hormones. So MtFs would take estrogen, and optionally, they can also take progestins and androgen blockers. FtMs would take testosterone and perhaps an estrogen blocker. It is interesting to note that FtMs may have a hard time getting testosterone since it is considered a controlled substance, and doctors may be required to use a narcotics pad to prescribe it. This probably goes back to steroid abuse to enhance athletic ability.
Even androgen blockers used to stop the actions of testosterone and similar chemicals may become harder to get due to them being used as masking agents. The idea there is for athletes to train while using steroids and then take androgen blockers in an attempt to hide the evidence from blood tests. So androgen blockers might be on adulterant panels of blood tests. Spironolactone is of particular note because in addition to blocking androgens, it also increases urination, and diuretics have always been used by drug abusers wishing to evade tests. This action of spironolactone is not a surprise since the drug was originally used for hypertension and congestive heart failure. The usefulness for TSs was discovered when some men taking the drug developed gynecomastia (male breast growth). I believe this action is due to aromatization. See, the way the body is designed, excess testosterone is converted to estrogen. Now, if testosterone is being blocked at cell receptor sites, it builds up in the blood stream. This unusable testosterone is converted to estrogen, and this could cause the breast growth in some males who use this. Of course, in TSs, the reason it is taken is to reduce the actions of testosterone as an adjunct to estrogen therapy. It is not relied upon alone for feminization.
LGB: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual. Also GLB. You will see me use this as I do not support or recognize transgender and especially not TS inclusion in their community. TSism is an identity or even perhaps a birth defect, and identity is the issue, not sexual orientation. Homosexuality is based on sexual activities. A person does not even have to have sex or even have an orientation in order to be a TS. If a person is truly a woman inside, then any sexual activity with men would be heterosexual in nature. Some MtF TSs consider themselves lesbians, since they are attracted to females and consider themselves as valid as genetic women.
LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. Also, GLBT, GBLT, etc. This is not a sandwich, but a group label for a number of "alternative" lifestyles. I don't support the T on the end since chosen sexual behaviors/sins and gender identity are not one in the same, and the goals of LGBs and TSs are vastly different. If the TGs who are not TSs want to stay tacked on the end of the label, that is fine, but don't include those of us whose identity is not based on choices or immoral behavior. If TSs can have their own identity group, have their own PAC, and associate with their own in a separate setting, that would mitigate the harm that true-TSs gain from the existence of LGBs and TGs who are not TSs.
MtF: Male-to-female, AKA a transsexual woman. It is polite to refer to them with female pronouns.
Non-op: What some refer to as a non-op TS, but I find that to be a contradiction in terms. If one is non-op, one is not a TS, since TSism implies a desire for surgery. But one caution is that there are true-TSs who desire surgery and cannot get it due to disease, age, or poverty. Preop may be a better term to fit them.
Orientation: The choice of which type of sexual partners. This has nothing to do with how a person dresses or presents themselves or their gender behaviors. A history lesson can show that it was heterosexual men who used to be effeminate. Another translation of the word translated as effeminate in the Bible may be gigolo. There were men who became like women to attract or exploit women. Even today, we have people who call themselves "metrosexuals." That is a misnomer since it has nothing to do with sexuality, but dressing somewhat like the opposite sex.
Pre-op: Before the surgery. This term is often wrongly used for TGists and "shemales." However, to be a pre-operative transsexual, one must first want the operation. You cannot say something is before something else if that something else will never happen.
Second-hand bigotry: A condition in which leaders have no problem with a person, but discriminate based on fears of what others would do. An example would be If a pastor refuses to let a TS take part in worship services because of one or two objections of others or because of hypothetical trouble that may never come. It is not they which have the problem, but perhaps the congregation. Yet the congregation may assume it is the pastor or others that have the problem, when nobody really has a problem.
Sex: The physical component in regards to reproduction. This is said to be the "plumbing" of the body. Just relying on this alone to determine how a person is and how they should be treated is misleading. It really is the least important since most civilized peoples don't live in nudist colonies. It makes no sense in using the shape of one's genitals as a means to figure out which way to discriminate against someone.
Shemale: Usually considered vulgar. 1. A slur against TGs and TSs with as much hate behind it as any racial slur. 2. A non-op person who poses nude in pornography. A number of those lie and call themselves TSs (though some really are TSs and use this shameful way to make money for surgery). They tend to give transsexuals a bad name. 3. A gay man who dresses as a woman in order to pose in porn or work in the sex industry.
SRS: Sex-reassignment surgery. That is surgery that alters the genitals to that of the other sex. For MtFs, that would include removing the testes, removing most of the erectile penis tissue, then inverting and relocating the skin of the penis to create a vagina. Sometimes colon tissue or ancillary grafts are used to line the vagina if the penile skin is inadequate.
For FtMs, SRS would include removing the breasts, removing internal female organs, and creating the appearance of male organs. Not all FtMs get the third procedure due to cost and unsatisfactory outcome. At the least, taking male hormones causes the clitoris to lengthen, and a surgeon can perform metoidioplasty to clip the surrounding tissue. Testicular implants can be added if desired. More involved types of phalloplasty involve creating a tube of skin from a series of skin grafts. The grafted skin is left in the original location until the final procedure. Even veins can be grafted internally to allow the neopenis to be used for urination and copulation. This sort of thing for FtMs can cost around $250,000. It seems that it would be more ideal if this sort of surgery is done at the same time as the mastectomy surgery. Then breast tissue could be used to eliminate the need for grafts from other locations.
Standards of Care (SOC): These are the standards that most surgeons performing sex-reassignment surgery follow. They are determined by the HBIGDA (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association). It is so ironic that a post-op pseudo-TS currently sits on the board of directors. It is further evidence that pseudo-TSs like to set themselves up as being ring leaders and gatekeepers of true-TSs. The standards involve things like a 3-month minimum waiting period for hormones, a 6-12 month or longer waiting period for surgery, the requirement of clearance letters, the minimum tests to perform before prescribing HRT, etc.
Stonewall: This was an inn and bar where gay-related rioting took place. I am not sure exactly what started it, but it seems to have to do with some gay men not getting served drinks. Outside, lesbians and transgendered persons were throwing Molotov cocktails through windows and objects at the police. It is funny that the LGBT community wants to call this the start of the TG community. It is just their way of taking credit for the "accomplishments" of transgendered and even transsexual persons. I see no value of the riots for TSs. Some TGs/CDers claim it gave them the right to dress without fear of arrest, but what benefit is even this to TSs when they probably could get prescriptions to dress as women if it was illegal to cross-dress? Some TGs consider the Compton Riots the true beginning of the TG community. But really, that didn't gain rights for most TGs and certainly not TSs either. Apparently, that was started over police brutality and harassment of gay/transvestite sex workers. More bait and switch on the part of the gay and TG communities. Neither riot has helped true-TSs in the least, yet a number of TSs buy into the myths that these helped them.
To TSs reading this, is this the type of image you wish to be associated with? Do you like being associated with drunkenness, prostitution, homosexuality, criminal acts, rebellion, and terrorism? If you want to be accepted as women and not as gay men, then you need to act like respectable women. If you are not really a woman inside, then please do us all a favor and not try to pretend to be something you are not. Likewise for any females who may be pretending to be men.
T*: This is a catch-all label for everything that starts with trans-. The * comes from the *.* which is used in a number of computer operating systems. In that context, *.* refers to any file name with any extension, or in other words, every file.
Transgender: (TG) This is a very ambiguous and loaded word. If you break it down, it really should not be a word. Trans+ means to cross, and a key tenet to TSism is that gender cannot be changed. It is sometimes meant as a shortened form of transgenderist, a person who is somewhere between a CD and a TS. It is most commonly used to refer to anyone who is different or perceived to be different in regards to sex and gender. I refuse to acknowledge this usage as such. Most of the lifestyles making up TGism is based on behaviors and choices. TSism is based on identity and unchangeable differences. The idea that transgender is one big happy family is only a pipe dream, not a reality. The fact is that there is so much conflict. That is what you get when you lump many dissimilar people together and expect them to sit on their differences. It seems to be a way of destroying the culture of true TSs by ignoring them and hijacking their culture. What gets me is that a number of TSs stand for this, when in fact, transgender is the term that their enemies have chosen for them. The transgender movement, as opposed to any TS-specific one, has been founded on rebellion and disrespect. It was about the time of the Stonewall riots when transgender or transgenderist was first used. I don't support anyone who throws objects at the police or sets fires, and such persons do not speak for me. So I use the term to refer to all who are not true-TSs.
Usage note: It is considered impolite to use the noun form in referring to someone and calling them a transgender. The adjective form is preferred. In other words, don't call someone a transgender, but call them a transgendered person. A major distinguishing characteristic does not define a person. People are more than any identifying features or traits they may have. Calling someone a transgender is no more polite than calling someone a colored or a cripple.
Transgender Mind Rot: This is my term for negative changes that occur after a person has identified as TG for a while. It can happen to TSs, but it is more common among TGs. It seems to be similar to the race-bashing attitude that some racial minority members who are heavily into their community have developed. What happens among TGs and some TSs is that they may start out relatively Conservative, open to the possibility of God, and seem to be quite reasonable. But as they get involved in the "transgender" community and view themselves as a minority group and a law unto themselves, they become selfish, irrational, and pour themselves into different types of political causes than before, and distance themselves from all of their old friends. Spiritually, they may turn their backs on their original faith and choose something radically different, or even abandon faith altogether. They even take up for gay causes while at the same time screaming up and down that they are not gay or that they are attracted to members of their birth sex.
Transgenderist: A term coined by Charles 'Virginia' Prince, a married transvestite who disliked TSs. The term was coined to distance those who didn't get surgery from TSs. The term is used to describe those who consider themselves more than CDers but not quite TSs, and who usually don't get genital surgery. Notice that the -ist suffix also appears in the words sexist and racist. Along that line, a number of us have encountered people who are in-between the genders and who feel that makes them better than others. There seems to be a sharp line drawn between transgenderists and transsexuals. For an example of this, go look at the USENET postings in the transgendered newsgroups. Chances are, the same transgenderist and the same transsexual are still feuding. The transgenderist made a comment that a vagina on a transsexual made as much sense as a screen door on the hull of a submarine. This person also made a comment saying they were more of a woman because they kept their penis and that the TS there was a mutilated freak.
Transition: The journey from from gender role to another. This includes a number of areas such as society, law, and medicine. Social changes would include dressing as the gender one believes themselves to be, finding friends of that gender, and joining clubs for that gender. Legal changes would include changing one's name by a court order, getting their gender status marker changed if possible, and updating all the paperwork. Medical changes would be hormone usage and surgery.
There is a mistaken notion that transition is about becoming something one is not. In reality, it is about becoming more of what one already is.
Transvestite: Similar to cross-dresser. Technically, they are both the same. However, the connotation is more negative. Transvestite is actually a clinical term. Transvestism is no longer in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, but fetishist transvestism is. Due to its clinical history, this term is often distinguished from cross-dressers. This term has been used to describe everyone who dressed differently from their born sex in the early days. However, once TS was coined, TV was used solely to refer to those who dress with no intention of surgery or other modifications. Now, it tends to have a sexual connotation.
Transexual: A revised spelling of transsexual to which some subscribe. The idea is to remove the word "sex" from transsexual. That part of the word refers to the physical body, not intercourse as some may wrongly think. So the idea is to remove the word sex. But trans + exual makes no sense. Besides, this spelling is often pushed by some gay groups, and I refuse to accept any label created for me by people attempting to hijack my community or blur the lines.
Transsexual: A person who has a conflict between their physical sex and their gender to the extent that they intend to live as full members of the gender they believe they are a part of and get surgery to make the body match their internal reality. Trans+ refers to crossing, and "sex" refers to one's physical sex. So literally, it means crossing from one physical sex to the other. This implies only 2 sexes and a complete transition. Sadly, the word is often misused by people living in immoral and/or choice-based lifestyles and those who don't have any need for surgery. Calling a TS a member of a third sex is also a misuse of the term, since the word implies only two options.
Doctrine of Sex, Gender, and Orientation
It is commonly held among transsexuals that sex, gender, and orientation are 3 separate and distinct things. Some may split gender into two categories, gender identity vs. gender role.
Sex, as used here, and in words such as transsexual, refers to the biological "plumbing" of the body.
Gender identity refers to who a person is, how their brain is configured, how they interact with the world around them, what their interests are, etc. Gender role, often refers to how a person relates to the world around them, how they dress, the social constructs they subscribe to, etc. Most commonly, both gender identity and gender role are merged into just the word gender. Some will split it to refer to the inward reality vs. what the world sees. While some argue that gender role is purely a social construct, there is no way to say that one's innermost identity is a social construct. So that is why these two are sometimes differentiated.
Sexual orientation refers to a choice of erotic partners. This has nothing to do with how you dress or present yourself. Nor does this have anything to do with what you believe yourself to be. This pertains to behavior rather than identity.
Now, all of the possibilities for the above three items can occur in any combination. For instance, a person can have the physical body of a male, the gender identity of a woman, and an attraction to males. They would consider themselves a heterosexual woman in a male body. That would not be the same as a person with a male body, a masculine gender, and an attraction to males. Even more confusing is the person with a male body, a feminine gender, and an attraction to females. They would call themselves a transsexual lesbian. It is most common to identify oneself by the body one feels they were supposed to have.
There is an easy way to remember the above. I am quoted as saying:
"Sex is between the legs, gender is between the ears, and orientation is between the bed covers."
Another way to put it:
"Sex is the plumbing, gender is the wiring, and orientation is the heat."
Another thing to note is that there seems to be an in-between state in each of the above categories. There are persons with intersex disorder who are between sexes. There are androgynous persons who are between the genders. There are also bisexuals who are between the orientations.
Birth Defect Doctrine
Unlike homosexuality and transgender behavior, true-transsexualism is a medical condition with medical and surgical solutions. It is not a put-down or an insult to say that a TS was born with a birth defect. Of course, "medical condition," "congenital condition," etc. may sound better. Regardless, there is no judgment attached to having a birth defect. Birth defects are things that just happen and the person born with them cannot help having them. Birth defects are not chosen, and they could happen to anyone's children.
In John 9, a man was born blind. Like today, people tried to point fingers and say his blindness resulted from some specific sin the parents did, or that it was punishment for something he did. What did Jesus say about that? He said that this birth defect was a means to give glory to God, and Jesus healed him right there. That meant he was no longer blind. What is healing for us? Yes, some of us might be delivered from being TSs, but that is not frequent. More of us have a healing like Paul the apostle. Paul kept praying for a "thorn in the flesh" to be healed, but God said that His grace was sufficient and refused to heal him the way he asked. God may help some people out of trouble, but others he helps through the trouble. Some may expect us to be helped out of being TSs, but it is also just as valid to expect us to be helped through transition, and to avoid the pitfalls of immoral behavior along the way. Acknowledging oneself as a TS is no excuse to go out and commit sexual sin or to enable those who practice immoral lifestyles. There is no shame to true-TSism like there is for lifestyles commonly mistaken for such.
Causes of Transsexualism
This may shock you that physical causes have been found. It has been found to be associated with prenatal exposure to DES, Roundup™, PCBs, and finasteride (Proscar, Propecia). There are also associations with various illnesses. People with PDD, Asperger's Syndrome, or autism are more likely than the general public than others to also have transsexualism.
DES was a synthetic estrogen that was used from the 1940's to the early 1970's to treat threatened miscarriage until it was banned. We now know that estrogen should never be taken during pregnancy, and that if there is a hormonal cause for miscarriage, progesterone would more likely be the culprit. This synthetic estrogen was misunderstood and used for many things. It was added to beauty products with the hope that it would help increase the appearance of youthfulness. It was taken for a number of health ailments. It was given to fatten up livestock. This widespread usage was a disaster waiting to happen. There were girls who were menstruating as early as 5 years old. There were males (humans and pets) who were developing breasts. Daughters of women taking DES during pregnancy later developed breast and uterine cancer. Sons of DES mothers were sometimes born with genital abnormalities. These things have been documented. There are also sons of DES mothers who were diagnosed as transsexuals. The industry has tried to keep this silent due to lawsuits. They have already had to pay out millions for female-related cancers. Because of these problems, the drug was banned. The problem was not really the medication, but the misuse of it. Doctors now know they were misusing it and prescribing it way too much. We also know that it has no business being given to livestock for the purpose of weight gain. The problem is that it gets into the food supply.
Sometimes gender differences do run in families. I know a 3rd-generation TS personally. I also personally know a TS who is the trans-daughter of an intersexed mother. The trans-daughter credits DES exposure, while the mother believes the condition is related to her own birth defect. It is often hard for mothers to accept that medication taken while pregnant could cause TSism, intersex disorder, or other gender variance in their offspring, and they often look for other reasons. To face