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Transgender is an umbrella term referring to individuals whose gender identities do not match to the sex they were assigned at birth. This can include both traditional binary identification (i.e. exclusively male or female) or non-binary identifications (e.g. genderqueer, agender, bigender, etc.). This umbrella is sometimes extended to cover cross-dressers and others who "transgress" gender boundaries, though this is widely debated among the trans community.

While the term "transgender" is often conflated with transexualism, in which an individual identifies with and may present as a sex different than the one they were assigned at birth, not all transgender persons identify as such. Some transgender individuals have no wish to change their gender presentation (i.e. how they generally present themselves to others through dress, actions, and other identifiers). Some who wish to transition consider themselves exclusively transsexual and separate from the transgender community entirely.


The term transsexual is commonly used to denote individuals with a strong and persistent identification with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, and wish to socially and/or medically transition[1]. While trans men and trans women are the most common, some non-binary individuals including genderqueers and neuter/genderneutral individuals also transition.[2]

Transsexual individuals may choose to change their physical attributes medically or surgically, a process which is known as transition. Methods of transition are heavily monitored by medical and psychiatric professionals to ensure the physical and mental health of the patient through-out their transition. Common methods of transition include hormone injections and/or genital surgery. Many female-to-male transsexuals may choose to have a double mastectomy preformed to remove their breast tissue (a procedure colloquially referred to as "top surgery"), while male-to-female transsexuals may undergo breast augmentation. Genital augmentation is also often preformed for the reconstruction of the reproductive organs into the desired form. Transitioning individuals may also have other procedures such as facial reconstruction to gain a more feminine or masculine appearance.

The process of legal transition on documents such as birth certificates, driver's licenses, and passports varies by country and state, though many require medical testimonies or even surgical transition to be enacted. In some areas, transition is not recognized, and there is no way for a transsexual individual to amend their legal documentation. Due to these limitations, as well as the length and cost of legal transition, many individuals are unable to due so, despite their gender identity or presentation.

Non-binary Gender Identifications[edit]

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While cisgender (or cis) individuals, those who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth,[3] and binary trans individuals, those who identify as either men or women despite being assigned female or male, respectively, are far more common,[citation needed] transgender individuals who identify outside of the traditional male/female gender binary also exist.

Non-binary individuals may identify as having no gender, having two genders, or being of a third gender among a host of other identities. The term "genderqueer" is sometimes used as an umbrella term for anyone who is neither a man nor a woman,[4] but not all non-binary identified individuals use the term.

Transgenderism/Transsexualism and furry[edit]

As with real life, transgender and transsexual people exist within the furry fandom. One stereotype of the fandom is that any person playing a female character is either a trans woman or a man playing pretend. It is not uncommon[citation needed] for people to have fursonas and/or characters whose gender and/or genitalia do not match the gender or assigned sex of the person playing them, especially for purposes of TinySex or non-sexual roleplay. Such people are not necessarily transgender and may in fact be cisgender.

See also[edit]


  1. International Classification of Diseases (ICD): F64 Gender identity disorders. World Health Organization (2007). Retrieved on 2011-02-23.
  2. Transition
  3. Trans 101: Cisgender on Basic Rights Oregon. Retreived August 17, 2013.
  4. What is "Genderqueer"? on Genderqueer Identities. Retreived August 17, 2013.

External links[edit]

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