Individuals who are transgender and transsexual do not identify with the sex and/or gender constructs they were born into. People who are transgender feel a disconnect between their own internal concept of their gender and the gender roles made by their society. For example, someone born male may not feel much, if any, connection to what his culture has defined as being "masculine" and may instead strongly identify with what is typically defined as being "feminine."

Some transgender people's sense of difference is so strong that they identify as transsexual and believe their assigned sex at birth was wrong and that their correct sex is one that aligns with their internal feelings. They often have a deep desire to alter their physical appearance until it better matches their gender identity; two common methods of doing this include sex reassignment therapy and/or surgery.

In general, transgender is an umbrella term than can include transsexual, as well as other related terms, such as transvestite.

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Definition An umbrella term that refers to those with identities that cross over, move between, or otherwise challenge the socially constructed border between the genders. While this can include medical or social transition, it may not. A term referring to a person who does not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth and wishes, whether successful or not, to realign their gender and their sex through use of medical intervention.
Surgery Usually do not get surgery. Often, if available to the person, however it completely depends on the person.
Medical Condition While no consistent diagnoses is given to transgender people, some may qualify for a diagnosis under Gender Dysphoria or Intersex conditions. DSM-V labels transsexual people Gender Dysphoric, a label contested by many trans people who say the problem is physical, not mental. Typically medical and/or surgical intervention to align one's sex and gender aids in feeling of dysphoria
Additional Conditions Due to the societal pressure to conform, some transgender people can experience depression, anxiety, panic, substance abuse issues, and/or suicidal ideations. Due to the societal pressure to conform, some transsexual people can experience depression, anxiety, panic, substance abuse issues, suicidal ideations and/or social isolation.
Sexual orientation Typically not relevant. Therefore transgender people can be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, etc. Typically not relevant. Therefore transsexual people can be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, etc.

edit Differences in Sexual Orientation

Transgender people of all kinds, including transsexual people, can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or asexual. Sexual orientation is not linked to gender identity. A transsexual person who undergoes gender reassignment surgery may be perceived as having an orientation change if they go from being interested in the "same" gender to the "opposite" gender or vice versa because of their own transition.

In the following video, a trans woman clearly explains the terms transgender, transsexual, drag queen, drag king and transvestite:

edit Categories

The definition of transgender is very ambiguous and may fall into overlapping categories like cross-dressers/transvestites (an outdated term considered offensive by some), androgynes and genderqueers.

Transsexual condition is very well defined and can be diagnosed medically. There is medical help available, if the individual is eager to change one’s physical appearance.

edit Community or Symbol

The transgender community is symbolized by a pride flag which consists of pink and blue horizontal stripes on both ends, symbolizing transition. Another symbol for transgender people is the butterfly symbolizing metamorphosis. There is, however, no separate symbol for transsexuals.

edit Medical Intervention

Some transgender individuals opt for medical intervention to change their appearance. Those that fall within the transsexual subsection of the transgender community are more likely to opt for such changes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is available for both trans men and trans women to promote masculine and feminine attributes respectively.

Surgical procedures are also available to remove ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the uterus in trans men and make adequate changes in the chest and genitalia. Similarly, in trans women, appropriate changes are made to the face, throat, chest, waist, buttocks and genitalia along with excess hair removal.

edit Legal Aspects

Depending on the person's state or country of residence, a legal change of name or gender change may be allowed only if the individual is diagnosed with gender identity disorder (GIS) indicating distress. Prior to making these legal changes, a letter from the physician to confirm the diagnosis may be required. Some jurisdictions require full surgical reassignment before a change of gender is allowed on official documents, while others less restrictive rules. Some do not allow a change in legal documents at any time.

Transsexuals who undergo surgery may face discrimination at work and health insurance issues after the change.

edit Etiquette

The etiquette of talking with transgender people isn't really different from talking with cis-gendered people. In What Not to Say to a Transgender Person, novelist T. Cooper offers the following advice:

edit Religious Views

Different religions have their own views about transgender and transsexual individuals, and not all religions are tolerant toward this community. There is no clear distinction of the two terms in religious texts, and, though most religions have condemned trans behavior, there are cultures and traditions that promote acceptance in some parts of the world, religion notwithstanding.

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"Transgender vs Transsexual." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 18 Nov 2015. < >