Trans- is a prefix that could cover many terms – transgender, transsexual, transvestite, but they are not the same. “Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term. Many transgender people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. It is best to ask which term a person prefers. If preferred, use as an adjective: transsexual woman or transsexual man,” according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.1 A transvestite is defined as “a person who wears clothes designed for the opposite sex.”2

Transgender, according to the Human Rights Campaign, is “an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.”3

Transsexual,4 is “still preferred by some people who have permanently changed – or seek to change – their bodies through medical interventions (including but not limited to hormones and/or surgeries),” and other people identify as Gender Non-Conforming and Genderqueer but every term is unique to the person and terms are not interchangeable.

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on the transgender community.

Footnotes: 1., accessed 4/11/2018; 2., accessed 4/11/2018; 3. “Transgender,”, accessed 4/12/2018; 4. “A Glossary In Honor Of Transgender Awareness Week,”, 11/17/2014

  1. How to Navigate Gender Dysphoria During Sex

    “Maintaining sexual health without any guidance can be especially difficult if a transgender person experiences gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria encompasses the feelings of anxiety and discomfort that transgender people can experience regarding their sex assigned at birth. Not every transgender person experiences gender dysphoria, and for those who do, it can be more or less intense depending on the day. ‘Gender dysphoria, the experience of distress when your assigned gender does not match your experience of yourself, can make the complexities of navigating sex, pleasure and connection exponentially more challenging,’ Angie Gunn, LCSW, CST, Talkspace therapist and sex therapy expert, told Teen Vogue. ‘When your body is incongruent with our identity, exploring it with curiosity and desire can be really tough.'”

    Sawyer Stephenson,, 6/27/2019

  2. World Health Organization Removes Transgender From List Of Mental Disorders

    “The World Health Organization (WHO) has made history and removed transgender from its list of ‘mental disorders’. The WHO approved the major change to its global manual of diagnoses on 25 May 25. It comes after WHO introduced it as a change last year in the latest. International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD is described as ‘the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions’. The latest revision is known as ICD-11. … But in the same assembly, the WHO also managed to enrage the intersex community. More than 50 intersex organizations released a joint letter condemning the (WHO) for classifying traits as ‘disorders of sex development’.”

    Shannon Power,, 5/27/2019; (Broken link removed 9/2022)

  3. Ovary Function Is Preserved In Transgender Men At One Year Of Testosterone Therapy

    “Transgender men preserve their fertility potential even after one year of treatment with the male hormone testosterone, according to a study that will be presented Saturday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La.”

    The Endocrine Society,, 3/23/2019

  4. What Does Transgender Mean?

    “Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender identity is a person’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or boy or girl.) For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into those two choices. For transgender people, the sex they were assigned at birth and their own internal gender identity do not match.”

    Online Resource,, accessed on 4/11/2018

  5. Employee Health Insurance, Obamacare Make Sex Change A New Reality For 1.4 Million Americans

    “Changes in the culture and heavy media attention have helped, but another force behind the increase in surgical procedures is more willingness on the part of health insurance companies to cover it.”

    Tim Mullaney,, 3/27/2018

  6. My Second First Time: What It’s Like To Have Sex After Transitioning

    “For transgender or genderqueer people, however, this comfort is often lacking in their first sexual experiences. Thankfully, having sex after they begin their transition can be a completely different experience. It’s almost like losing your virginity for a second time.”

    Lane Moore,, 7/17/2017

  7. Estimate Of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles To 1.4 Million Adults

    “As the national debate escalates over accommodations for transgender people, the new figure, though still just 0.6 percent of the adult population, is likely to raise questions about the sufficiency of services to support a population that may be larger than many policy makers assumed.”

    Jan Hoffman,, 6/30/2016

  8. 10 Words Transgender People Want You to Know (But Not Say)

    “Here’s a guide to words well-known throughout the transgender community and yet misunderstood, misused, or unknown in the world outside the T.”

    Dawn Ennis,, 2/4/2016

  9. 11 Ways To Be A Trans* Ally, According To Transgender People Themselves

    “With tips drawn from transgender people themselves, organizations like GLAAD and Straight For Equality, and transgender associations across American college campuses, here is your definitive starting guide to beginning a journey as a transgender ally.”

    JR Thorpe,, 4/24/2015

  10. What Is The Difference Between Transsexual And Transgender? Facebook’s New Version Of ‘It’s Complicated’

    “Transsexuals are people who transition from one sex to another. … Transgender, unlike transsexual, is a term for people whose identity, expression, behavior, or general sense of self does not conform to what is usually associated with the sex they were born in the place they were born.”

    Susan Scutti,, 5/17/2014