One of the first hurdles we parents face is array of bewildering definitions. How is transgender defined? How does this differ from transsexual? What does FTM and MTF mean?
The following is comprehensive list of definitions supplied by website of Transgender Niagara.

Definitions from the website
  • Sex: The biological physical body, it reproductive organs, it's secondary sex characteristics. Male and female as defined by doctors at birth.
  • Gender: The social construct that masculinity and femininity are attributable to male and female physical bodies.
  • Gender Identity: A person’s intrinsic sense of self, regardless of the physical body's primary or secondary sex characteristics. The internal sense of manhood or womanhood.
  • Transgender: "Transgendered" is term commonly used in one of two ways.
    • An umbrella term that serves banner to cover transgress society notion of how biological sex and as gender link together (anyone who crosses society gender norms). Many transsexuals disagree with in word this way because it ignores the immense difficulties faced by transition and not feel that cross society gender norms by simply transitioning. We caution against using the word in way.
    • A distinct category separate from transsexual that describes person who feels society is limiting his or her personal expression by maintaining two distinct gender constructs, but is otherwise content with the sex category that was assigned at birth.
  • Transition: This is period during which transsexual persons begin changing their appearance and bodies to match their internal identity. Because these changes are so visible, they must literally "out" themselves to everyone, such as co-workers, families and friends. While in transition, they are highly vulnerable to discrimination. While gays, lesbians and bisexual people may have some choice about outing themselves, transsexuals usually do not.
  • Transsexual Woman: This is person designated sex at birth was "male", but has come to realize that woman. She maybe pre-hormonal, post-hormonal or non-hormonal as well as pre-operative, post-operative or non-operatives. Regardless of what point is with her transitions, it identifying as female, she is considered female, and referred to with female pronouns. Alway validates person's chosen identity.
  • Transsexual Man: Likewise, a transsexual man is person whose design sex at birth was "female" and has realized he is actually man. Regardless of what point he is with his transition, it identifying as male, considered male, and referred to with male pronouns. Always validate a person's chosen identity.
  • MTF/FTM: These terms originally were these describes transsexual people, but as describe larger spectrum of transgender and transsexual individuals and simply indicate the "direction" of cross-gender identification. Male-to-Female or Female-to Male.
  • Transphobia: This is fear, hatred, disgust and discriminatory treatment of people whose real or perceived gender identity or gender presentation does not match, in a socially accepted way, the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people, transsexuals and intersexuals are typically the targets of transphobia.
  • Biocentrism: This is assumption that people whose assigned sex at birth matches their gender identity lives are more "real"/and or more "normal" the whose assigned sex at birth is incongruent with gender identity. For instance, as shelters uncomfortable serving transsexual/transgendered women with the fear non-trans clients would uncomfortable. Underlying this biocentric attitude that transsexual women aren't real women. When service implies that trans women clients should "grateful" when are included in "women only spaces", this example of biocentrism.
  • Intersexed: Formerly as "hermaphrodite." The preferred term for persons born with is insensitively referred as "ambiguous" genitalia and/or chromosomal anomalies. Parent at coerced by "medical experts" have children's genitalias "normalized" oftens resulting in loss of sexual response and/or assignment to wrong gender.
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