For ease of writing for this site, a Female-To-Male trans person will be referred to as either FTM or a trans man and a Male-To-Female trans person as either MTF or a trans woman. The addition of a star ‘*’ to the word trans throughout the site is intended to reflect the broad range of identities covered by the trans* banner.
People may identify as trans* who are not FTM or MTF and there are many different ways people refer to themselves particularly if they consider themselves to fall outside the gender binary (the gender binary is the two categories male and female). It is always polite to respect the terms people use to refer to them as and make sure you attempt to use the correct pronouns.
Other groups under the trans* banner include:
- Androgyne: Someone whose gender identity is neither male nor female, but a mix of masculine and feminine attributes.
- Bigender: Someone who identifies as both male and female.
- Cisgender: Someone who is not trans*, or someone whose gender is the same as the one they were assigned at birth.
- Crossdresser: These are people who sometimes wear the clothing of the opposite sex, but don’t want to live full-time as a member of the opposite sex.
- Drag kings/queens: This is similar to crossdessers but often has a more theatrical element to it, possibly an impersonation.
- FTM (trans* man): A female to male trans* person – someone who was assigned female at birth but now identifies as male. Or sometimes used to mean female-towards-male as an attempt to explain where on a gender spectrum they sit.
- Genderqueer: A term for someone who identifies outside the binary gender system, as neither male nor female, or who views their gender as fluid and subjective. Sometimes referred to as third gender or polygender.
- Intersex: An intersex person is born with genitals, chromosomes or internal reproductive organs that are not clearly male or female. Many intersex people do not consider themselves trans* (they see it as a sex issue and not a gender issue) but it is included here as it is often spoken about in reference to trans* people.
- MTF (trans woman): A male to female trans* person – someone who was assigned male at birth but now identifies as a woman. Similar to FTM this could also mean male-towards-female.
- Transsexual: Someone who feels that the gender they were assigned at birth is not right for them and seeks to change their gender role and/or their body, to live as a member of the “other” sex. This can involve a change of name or pronouns, different clothes, hormones, surgery, speech therapy and many other aspects.
- Transvestite: This term is often used interchangeably with cross-dressing.
There are various other trans*-related terminology, some of which can be found on the internet.