What is a transgender?

A "transgender" is a way to say "transgendered person." It is not a term for a "transsexual" person (someone born with the need to get corrective genital surgery). There are various definitions of transgender and they are adjectives: they describe people as in "That person is transgendered."

One definition is based on the idea that gender is not black and white, boy/girl, 1 or 0. In this definition, no one is all of anything, everyone is a mix, and there are even times in life where the %'s change based on the need of the individual. Look at prison life: most of the individuals that go in and come out are heterosexual, but while in prison the power struggle and lack of available females apparently cause a lot of homosexual behavior but the basic orientation still remains heterosexual. Transgendered in this case means that a person doesn't think they (or just doesn't) fit society's binary system. In the end, this definition of transgender would explain people's behavior better than the "male/female" only theory.

Another definition is someone who deliberately lives in a way opposed to their physical sex. For example, if a person is born with female genitalia and wants to keep it, but expresses and feels that they are a boy mentally, then they are transgender. Transsexual and transgender is not the same thing since the term transsexual is only applicable to those born with a need to correct their genitals, while most transgender people desire to keep their original genitalia. A person is born with transsexualism, and after surgery, they are no longer transsexual, and have never been transgendered. It is a hurtful myth to say that a person becomes transsexual after surgery. The whole idea of the surgery is to stop having transsexualism and to get on with life as if they never had the condition.

Transgender usually means someone who born one biological sex, but doesn't feel like they fit into that category, but who rarely get surgery. Transgender individuals usually do not identify with their biological sex. Transgender and transexual are two different categories because most transgender people do not have surgery to physically change their sex. Transsexuals are in the process of physically changing their sex. Transgender has more to do with how the individual identifies themselves (gender identity) rather than biological sex.

Another definition is political in nature and refers to anyone who considers themselves as different in terms of sex or gender. Many transsexual persons refuse to be lumped in with the TG Community, but others like nonop TG persons or see political value in working together.

The term transsexual relates to persons who have a gender (mental description) that is the opposite of the physical sexual organs of birth. This group is assigning the word transsexual to describe the state of having a gender that doesn't match your physical sex. In these cases, societies believe that gender and sex only come in 2 flavors, male/man female/woman. They ascribe to the idea that there are only these 2 modalities. A transsexual woman is not transgender because she was supposed to have a vagina. She was born with a female brain, and a feminine soul, and was supposed to be born with a vagina. But a typical transgender woman was really supposed to be born with a penis and live as a man, as evidenced by their lack of need for surgery.