Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of identities.  While so many of us take our gender identity for granted, others suffer with conflict and confusion living as one gender while feeling like another.  This experience can lead individuals to isolation from family and friends for fear of being discovered, and often self-destructive behavior for being different.  I believe it’s time to embrace people of all genders, learn to understand and accept their differences, and open up our mind and heart to a group of people who deserve to be loved just like everyone else.

Knowledge equals power so let’s begin by learning some basic definitions:

Cross-dresser (CD) is someone who simply enjoys wearing clothes from the opposite gender.  They may or may not be sexually stimulated by the act.

Drag Queen or Drag King is a cross-dresser who dresses for theatrical reasons and is often an impersonator and entertainer.  They may or may not be sexually stimulated by the act.

Transvestite (TV) is a cross-dresser who is sexually stimulated by dressing up in clothes of the opposite gender.

Transsexual (TS) is a person who dresses as, desires to be and may undergo surgery to alter their body so that they can live their lives as the opposite gender.

Transman (FTM) refers to female-to-male transgender people.

Transwoman (MTF) refers to male-to-female transgender people.

Transgenderist (TG) describes someone who dresses and is living full-time in a new gender role, but they do not desire to have any physical body altering surgery.

Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) is the term for physiological gender surgery. Female to male (F2M) transsexuals have top surgery (double mastectomy) and bottom surgery (hysterectomy and reconstructive surgery) that will reshape the female body into a body with a male appearance.  Male to female (M2F) receive hormones and have Vaginoplasty, a technique which turns the penile skin inside out creating the depth of a new vagina somewhere between 5-7 inches.

She-male is a male who chooses to have both male and female characteristics with the help of hormones and/or surgery, which differs from an intersexed individual, formerly called “hermaphrodite” who is born with ambiguous genitalia.

There are so many myths about transgender that I wanted to take this opportunity to separate some myths from fact … read the rest of this article here: Transgender

~ by Dr. Ava on April 9, 2010.

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