A Basic Trans Glossary

Compiled by Chris Paige from various sources
(still somewhat in-progress)

Some General Terms Defined

Sexual identity - strictly biological, by definition. People here are either male, female or intersexed (though the individual may or may not "fit" the biology and therefore be cissexual or transsexual).

Gender identity - is socio-cultural, by definition. Here the terms girl or boy and woman or man are appropriate. What it means to be a girl or a boy, a woman or a man in any society can vary.

Gender roles - rules assigned by society that define what clothing, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, relationships, etc. are considered appropriate and inappropriate for members of a given gender. Which things are considered masculine, feminine, or unisex varies according to location, class, occasion, and numerous other factors.

Sexual orientation - denotes whom an individual is most typically attracted to or aroused by. This usually indicates romantic and/or erotic relation. Homosexual (gay, lesbian), heterosexual (straight), and bisexual (attracted to both genders) are most common. However, the absolute values androphilic (attracted to men), gynecophilic (attracted to women), ambiphilic (bisexual) help to avoid confusion when speaking of transgendered, intersexed, two-spirited persons et al.

Trans - Across, Through, Beyond

Transition - change from one state to another

Transformation - change the shape or character of

Transexual (TS) - A person whose mental sex or gender identity (i.e. "male" or "female") does not correspond to the sex or sexual identity they were born with; this condition is considered a physical birth defect

Translate - turn from one language to another

Crossing - intersect, pass over, go across

Crossdressers and Transvestites - persons who enjoy dressing as a member of the gender “opposite” from their birth gender, but have no desire to change their sex permanently.

Between - in the middle of two, of space, time; in the middle or intermediate space, midway

Inter - between, among, mutually

Intersexual - person born with mixed sexual physiology; an actual medical condition exhibiting the physical manifestation of genital/genetic/endocrinological differentiation which is different from the cultural norm

Other - not the same; alternative, different

Transparent - letting light pass through

Bend - to curve, bow, turn

Blend - to mix or combine, and to harmonize.

Transgress - to break (a law); to sin; to cross a boundary

Transgender - A general term which refers to anyone who does not fit into the sterotypical two gender labeling system. Transgressive of gender norms. Gender identification and/or presentation does not conform to culturally standard patterns. This term is commonly used as an umbrella term to include all manner of gender transgression, including transsexuals, crossdressers, transvestites, and intersexuals, as well as other self-defining people.

Native American Sacred traditions

Support - offer your unconditional love; educate yourself; help your loved one communicate with significant and/or supportive individuals, including yourself; respect their self-definitions

Reconcile - adjust; settle; harmonize

Healing - restore to health; make well

Whole - complete; healthy; all complete thing or system

Otherwise - differently; in a different way


Bent - inclination; or turn of mind

Shape-shifting -

Holy - free from sin; set apart; sacred



Intercourse - mutual dealings; communication; connection

radical - root; fundamental; thorough

"Trans Glossary" compiled by Chris Paige; https://www.angelfire.com/on/otherwise/glossary.html

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