The terms “transgender” and “transsexual” are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two.
⦁ Transgender is an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. This can include people who identify as male, female, neither, both, or somewhere in between.
⦁ Transsexual is a more specific term that describes people who have undergone medical procedures to transition to the gender they identify with. This can include hormone therapy, surgery, or both.
Not everyone who is transgender chooses to undergo medical transition. Some people may feel that their gender identity is congruent with their physical sex, even if they do not identify with the gender roles associated with that sex. Others may choose to medically transition, but not all transsexual people have the same goals or experiences.
The terms “transgender” and “transsexual” are both valid, and the best way to refer to someone is to use the term they prefer. If you are unsure, it is always best to ask.
Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between transgender and transsexual:
Transgender An umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transsexual A more specific term that describes people who have undergone medical procedures to transition to the gender they identify with.
The terms “transgender” and “transsexual” are related to gender identity, but they have historically been used in slightly different ways. It’s important to note that language and terminology surrounding gender identity can vary and evolve over time, and individuals may have personal preferences for how they identify. Here’s an explanation of how these terms have been commonly understood:
⦁ Transgender: The term “transgender” is an umbrella term that refers to individuals whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people may identify as male, female, or non-binary (a gender identity beyond male or female). Transgender individuals may or may not pursue medical interventions or surgical procedures to align their physical characteristics with their gender identity.
⦁ Transsexual: The term “transsexual” was historically used to describe individuals who sought medical interventions, including hormone therapy and surgery, to align their physical characteristics with their gender identity. Transsexual individuals typically experienced distress or discomfort with their assigned sex at birth and sought to transition to the opposite sex through medical interventions. However, the term “transsexual” is now less commonly used, and “transgender” is often used as a more inclusive and encompassing term.
It’s important to recognize that gender identity is deeply personal, and individuals may have their own preferences for how they identify. Some may prefer to use “transgender” as an umbrella term, while others may use “transsexual” to specifically describe their experiences and journey. Respecting and using individuals’ preferred terminology and self-identifications is crucial to creating an inclusive and affirming environment.