Transgender vs. Transsexual


Transgender and Transsexual are individuals who do not identify with the sex they are born into. "Transgender" individuals feel a lack of fit between their own internal gender and the gender roles made by their society. Some transgender people's sense of difference is so strong that they identify as "transsexual," someone who believes their assigned sex at birth is wrong and their correct sex is one that aligns with their internal feelings.

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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.

Contents: Transgender vs Transsexual

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 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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Comments: Transgender vs Transsexual

Anonymous comments (3)

April 15, 2013, 3:35pm

Whoever wrote this is full of it! A lot is misleading information. First you need to understand the difference between gender and sex. Gender is a linguistic term based on social standards which can vary a lot from one society to another, while sex is a biological.

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people who do not conform to the social rules of gender. It simply means to "transcend" the barriers of "gender." Cross dressers, drag queens, drag kinds, queers, transvestites, transsexuals, gender benders, etc., are all examples of transgender people.

Transsexuals are people who do not identity internally (mentally) with the biological sex they were born with. NOT assigned to like the author stated. You are NOT and can NOT be assigned a sex. The only exception are people born with DSD and ambiguous genitalia. In some cases doctors perform a surgery to assign them a sex. The word transsexual means to "transcend" the barriers of "sex." That's because transsexuals transcend from one sex to the other.

Even though transsexuals are also considered transgender because as they transcend the barriers of sex, they also transcend the social barriers of gender. Many transsexual people do not like to be identified as transgender for different reasons. Some because they do not want to be associated with Xdressers and transvestites. Which is understandable since many ignorant people see transsexuals as transvestites. Perhaps in the same way that people with DSD do not like to be seen as transsexuals, which in fact they aren't.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which most people see sex and gender in black and white only and don't realize that there are a lot of shades of gray in between. They do not understand the difference between sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

Sex is what "junk" (physical sex organs) you were born with. Which is more than just chromosomes like some would like to suggest. In fact, you can not tell someone sex from sex chromosomes alone. But that's different can of worms. People assume that there are only females and males, yet there are people who are born somewhere in the middle. Or what we know has DSD or intersex.

Gender Identity is the sex you internally identify with internally (mentally). Once more, people think that you can only identify as female or male, yet some identity as being somewhere in the middle.

Gender Role is based entirely on social rules and NOT biology. In most societies a female is expected to act and dress in a social appropriate way for females and the opposite for males. There are some people who feel that gender roles do not apply to them and act and dress in an androgynous way.

Then sexual orientation. Most are familiar with gay, straight, and bisexuals. So there's no need to explain these further.

A person is a combination of all these four factors. You can be born female, identify as a female, express you way in a feminine way, and like men. That's the ideal picture of a female in most cultures. But you could also be born female, identify female, express your your self in a masculine way, and be bisexual or gay or straight. Or be born female, identify as a male, express androgynously, and like men. Or any other possible combinations of all these four factors. The point is that human behavior is more complex than black and white or yes and no.

So keep in mind that if you see someone who you think is transsexual or gay, may in fact not me one. They may I just be someone who express themselves in a way that may be more sociably acceptable for their opposite sex.

When I was a teen, we had a male neighbor who identified as a male, dressed as a woman (dresses, make up and all), but guess what, he was not gay!!! He was physically and sexually attracted to women and not men at all. So don't judge a book by its cover. That's a very basic social rule that most talk about, but that flys out the window when they see someone who does not conform to what society have brain washed them into thinking is normal female and male behavior.

— 96.✗.✗.18

August 2, 2013, 9:50pm

I disagree with something that anonymous wrote (the really long post). Anonymous wrote that "you are not and can not be assigned a sex." Uh, it happens each time a baby is born. If the parents haven't found out ahead of time, the medical personnel look at the outer genitalia and pick boy or girl from what they see. Finding out boy or girl before that is still looking at just outer genitalia using a sonogram. When things aren't apparent at first glance is when things get interesting. Unfortunately years ago sex was assigned without further testing. At least these days there is DNA testing.

— 68.✗.✗.213

November 27, 2010, 11:45pm

My name is Jason and I am a VERY proud transsexual! Keep your heads up ladies/guys :) XOXO

— 173.✗.✗.122


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