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Glossary of transgender terms

by Jeannie Roberts | April 25, 2021 at 4:44 a.m.

Assigned at birth: The sex assigned to a child at birth, most often based on the child's external anatomy. Also referred to as birth sex, natal sex, biological sex or sex.

Cisgender: A term used to describe people whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.

Deadnaming: Calling a transgender person the name they were given at birth and no longer use.

FTM: Female-to-male transgender person. Sometimes identifies as a transgender man. Someone assigned the female gender at birth who identifies on the male spectrum.

Gender dysphoria: Clinically significant distress caused when a person's assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify.

Gender expression: External manifestations of gender, expressed through a person's name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, and/or body characteristics.

Gender identity: A person's internal, deeply held sense of their gender. For transgender people, their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.

Hormone replacement therapy: The process in which transgender people choose to take a prescription of synthetic hormones. For transgender women, that may include estrogen as well as testosterone blockers. For transgender men: testosterone.

MTF: Male-to-female transgender person. Sometimes known as a transgender woman. Someone assigned the male gender at birth who identifies on the female spectrum.

Nonbinary: An adjective describing a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman.

Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Transition: An individualized process in which transgender people move from living aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth to living aligned with their gender identity.


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