• Category Archives Terms and Concepts
  • Terms and Concepts about Transgender Children (Part 2)

    What does MFT and FTM mean?

    MTF Refers to a Refers to a Male to Female Trans person.  FTM Refers to a Female to Male.

    What is LGBT?

    LGBT refers to Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender.  Sometimes ‘Q’ or ‘QQ’ is added for Queer and Questioning.  Also ‘I’ and ‘A’ are added for Intersex and Allies.  It is generally used to refer to the group of people who define themselves and gender or sexual non-conforming, non-normative or other than the ‘hetero-normative’.

    What is the Tanner Scale?

    The Tanner Scale is a five stage scale that measures the physical development for males and females.  It measures the secondary sex characteristics such as size of genitals and breasts.  It is typically used with Transgender children to determine the timing of starting Puberty Blockers.  This is often done about one year into ‘Tanner stage II’.

    What are ‘Natal Gender’ and ‘Felt Gender’?

    These terms used to describe the gender (and sex) one was born into the ‘Natal Gender’ -  verses the gender a Trans person feels themselves to be – the opposite gender or the ‘Felt Gender’.  ‘Authentic Gender’ can also be used for this.

    What is Transition ?

    This is the process of changing over to the other gender.  There can be a ‘Medical Transition’ which may involve hormones and surgeries, and a ‘Social Transition’ which involves one’s presentation in the world – meaning looking like a boy or girl and having a male or female name, etc..

    What is SRS ?

    SRS refers to Sexual Reassignment Surgery.   This is also referred to as ‘GRS’ for ‘Gender Reassignment surgery’ or as ‘GCS’ for ‘Gender Confirmation Surgery’.

    What is Cis-gendered?

    This refers to Non-transgendered individuals – those who are born with their gender and biological sex matching.

    What is Gender Binary?

    Gender Binary refers to the (much criticized) idea of there being only two possible gender states – that of ‘Male’ and ‘Female’.  The new field of ‘Queer Theory’ has a lot to say about the gender-binary.

    What is Passing?

    Passing refers to ‘passing as the new gender’.  Meaning being seen as the new gender with there being no idea of having been the other gender.

    What is Stealth?

    Stealth means hiding one’s trans status after having transitioned.  This used to be a preferred way to go, but now with more public acceptance of Transgenderism, young people often do not feel the need to ‘go stealth’.

    see also Terms and Concepts about Transgender Children (Part 1)

    terms and concepts transgender

  • Terms and Concepts about Transgender Children (Part 1)

    What is Transgender?

    Transgender can is often used as an umbrella term to signify all gender-variant people including transexual, gender queer, intersex, cross-dressers and others. A person is Transgender if they feel uncomfortable, uneasy and dissatisfied with the sex they were born into.  So, someone who was born male, but feels inside to be female, or someone who was born female, but feels inside to be male. This often results in anxiety, depression, restlessness, and other symptoms.  There is usually a strong wish to change one’s body and gender expression (how one presents to the world) to be more in keeping with what is felt to be one’s gender identity (the gender that one feels oneself to be).

    Very often transgender kids feel more like the other sex, but its also possible that they may eventually identify as ‘Gender Fluid’ or ‘Gender Queer’.  This means not identifying as entirely male or female.  ‘Transsexual’ is another (older) term that could also refer to cross-dressers and other gender variant people.

    What is Sex?

    When we’re talking about gender issues, sex refers to the physical state of male or female (which does not necessarily coincide with how one feels oneself to be).  One is usually born Male or Female (unless one is born intersex – in which case the sex can’t be determined at birth).  But in general, one’s sex is one’s physical body’s state of being male or female.

    What is Sexual Orientation?

    One’s Sexual Orientation or Sexual Preference or refers to who they are attracted to.  People attracted to the same sex usually identify as Gay and Lesbian.  Other terms that describe sexual preference are ‘heterosexual’ (attracted to the opposite sex), ‘homosexual (attracted to the same sex) and ‘bisexual’ (attracted to both sexes).

    What do these things mean? Gender Identity Disorder, Gender Dysphoria, Gender Incongruence, Gender Variance?

    These are all technical terms (jargon) that refer to the extremely uncomfortable feelings a Transgender person has about their gender.  More specifically  ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ – was the name of the condition used in the DSM-IV (the manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose disorders, you can see the entry here).  The new term in the ‘DSM-5’ will be Gender Dysphoria’.  Dysphoria is “An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease 1.  Gender Incongruence was a new term suggested to replace ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ in the new DSM.  It refers to the incongruence between the biological sex a transgender person was born into and the gender that person feels oneself to be.  It was an awkward term at best and was dropped in favor of ‘Gender Dysphoria’.  ‘Gender Variance refers to “behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female. People who exhibit gender variance may be called gender variant, gender non-conforming, or gender atypical2.

    See also Terms and Concepts about Transgender Children (Part 2)


     transgender terms and concepts