Note this covers the basic terms you may encounter but is in no way complete.
The most important thing to know about labels is that they don't define you, nor can you use them to define anyone else. The purpose of labels is to start a conversation. That said, you should adopt labels based on what makes you feel comfortable or how you want that conversation to start.
Sometimes people try to build hierarchies in labels, they try to say, for example, only real gay men do this or that. That you're not really gay, because, etc etc. It is important to know that isn't how labels work or our identity. Nobody gets to tell us how we identify, what that means to us, and who we are. Nobody is more trans than someone else and there isn't a right way to be any label. They have common definitions of course, but they're flexible and meant to start a conversation, not define. So let's get into those common definitions.
Terms, like with any words, are created and change meaning over time. A word is not suppose to be a definitive thing, but rather an idea to play with. That means when we look at these definitions, keep in mind that people use and define words differently. So, when we discuss words, we are discussing what they generally mean. Before we have our big old list of terms, here are some ways other people define these words!
This is Glaad's reference guide for media, so essentially how people use terms for papers or articles, if you know, they're inclusive and respective. Glaad also holds people to it and will call out places that are transphobic.
Here is a resource created for psychologists
This is a community resource that is created by and for transgender people.
This is how we define things and when these words are used in the website, they are used with this definition in mind!
Gender Identity: your brains innate and internal sense of what your sex is.
gender dysphoria. A clinical term. In transgender people, emotionally painful discontent about some aspect of one's assigned gender. The aspect in question may be social gender dysphoria, body dysphoria, or other specific details, such as voice dysphoria. Some prefer the less clinical term "gender dissonance."
Male/Female (Binary) Gender IdentitiesEdit
Cis: is a latin prefix that means The same or in alignment with”
Cisgender: is used as a blanket term to include everyone whose gender assigned at birth matches the typical cultural norms associated with that gender. Including, but not limited to, gender expression and gender identity. Cissexual: is someone whose gender identity matches or aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. Since it is in alignment, it doesn’t cause any pain or confusion, so it is for the most part invisible to the experiences of cissexual people. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, for the same reason we may not notice what goes into our movements, until we pull a muscle.
Trans: Trans is a latin prefix that means “The opposite or not in alignment”.
Transgender: This is a blanket term to include everyone whose sex assigned at birth is in opposition or not in alignment with their gender identity or gender expression. This includes a long list of binary and non-binary identities that will be covered next.
Transsexual: is someone whose sex assigned at birth is different from who they know they are on the inside. Many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to change their bodies. Some undergo surgery as well.
non-op: A trans person who hasn't gotten surgery, and won't get it.
post-op: A trans person who has gotten surgery.
pre-op: A trans person who hasn't gotten surgery yet, and may or may not plan to do so.
Cross dressers: A person who puts on the dress or mannerisms of another gender. There's a ton of reasons to do so, but it is mainly attributed to entertaining, exploring or experiencing a new role. The main difference between this and other identities is that this one is primarily external and the others are internal or a mix of both.
GenderFluid: A person who doesn’t strongly identify as male or female and will change how they feel and project to match a situation or their comfort.
Androgynous: Someone who is an equal part female and male
Non-Binary Gender identitiesEdit
nonbinary:is an umbrella term for all who don't identify as just female or male. Though there are many kinds of nonbinary gender identities, some people identify as "nonbinary" only, or in addition to other labels for their gender identity. Number of survey respondents who used the word "nonbinary" for their gender identity: 796 in Nonbinary Stats Survey 2013, and 1975 in Nonbinary Stats Survey 2016.
Agender: Someone who doesn’t identify as either gender
Genderqueer/Gender Non-conformin : Two different identities that both identify outside of the binary of male or female. That means they may not strictly identify as the gender they were born with nor would they strictly express a gender that is in alignment or opposite of their sex assigned at birth.
Third Gender: These people identify outside the binary, suggesting that there are more than two days to understand and express gender.
Bigender/Trigender/Pangender: Identities that are sometimes taken on by people who are gender fluid or genderqueer and denotes that they feel the encompass more than one gender or all gender expressions.
We are not wiki on sexual orientation but some terms are useful, especially when talking about nonbinary people
gynephilic. A romantic or sexual orientation in which a person feels attraction to women or femininity.