What's transexuality? And what's the difference between that and transgender?
Last Updated: 04/24/2020 at 7:16pm
Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC
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I disagree with lots of the answers on this question... I'm trans and here is my answer : Transsexuality is a term created by doctors to pathologize and hierarchise trans people. It's not ok to use it, except if you're a trans person using it to label yourself (and yourself only). It's like "faggot" : it's ok to use it when you're a gay person taking that slur back in an empowerment way, but not if you're talking about all the community, and if you're not gay yourself. There is absolutely NO difference between that word and "transgender". This last one is one used by trans people in the community (or more often : "trans") and accepted as it's not discriminating. Making a difference between trans people according to the fact that they have done or not genital surgeries (or medical ones) is very transphobic, since it allow people to tell very intimate informations about someone... NO ONE should ask about someone's genitals or give that information without the person's consent... So to keep things shorts : the correct and respectful term are : - transgender (as an adjective. eg : a transgender man) - transidentity (or transidentities) as a noun to describe the fact of being trans. Terms to ban : transsexuality, transsexualism, transsexual person...
Transsexual is a term to describe an individual who's mind and sexuality is of one gender, though their sexuality does not correlate with their assigned birth gender. Transgender is generally when a person either wants to or has had surgery to change their assigned gender
The short answer is there is no difference. Transexual was a term that was used to previously distinguish between whether a transgender person underwent medical transition. However, in more recent times, we know this is intrusive and invalidating, and people no longer use the term transexual very often. Usually if it is used, the person is older and grew up during the time when the distinction existed, and therefore it's the comfortable term for them. Transgender includes people who medically and/or socially transition, as well as those who don't, under one umbrella term to reduce discrimination, and gatekeeping. Unlike another answer mentioned, there is no "genuine transexual" that suggests there are "not genuine" trans people: all trans people, whether they use the term transexual or transgender, view themselves as their gender, want to be seen and treated as that gender, and are all equally as "genuine". And any identity under the trans umbrella may wish to undergo medical transition to have their outer biology match their identity, although it is not always possible, safe to do so, or always desired, hence why we have moved away from forcing people into distinguishing boxes of "transitioned or not".
Transgender is a general term for anyone who does not feel like they belong to the gender they were assigned at birth. Transsexual is specifically refers to those who get sexual reassignment surgery. "Transgender" includes those who are transsexual, but can also apply to people who are nonbinary or never get sexual reassignment surgery.
"Transgender" indicates people who identify with a gender different than their biological sex. There are people who are born biologically female but identify as male, and viceversa. Transexuals are those transgender people that have undergone the transition therapy to be assigned to become physically matching with the gender they identify as.
The word transsexual is used to imply that a person has or desires to have some sort of medical assistance (like sex reassignment therapy, hormone replacement therapy, gender affirmative surgery), A transgender person is someone who feels like they have not been assigned the correct gender. They may or may not choose to get medical assistance. Trans* can also be used as an umbrella term.
From my understanding, transsexual is a slightly outdated (but still used, obviously) term for trans people, specifically those who have had surgeries (aka physically transitioning). The difference is usually whether or not someone has physically transitioned, especially sex reassignment surgery. A trans person may not be transsexual because they haven't had any surgeries; transgender describes the gender portion, transsexual describes more of the genitals/sex part.
transsexuality is someone who believes they were born in the wrong gender and someone whom is transgender believes and identifies themselves as belonging to the gender that they were not physically born in...one is sort of an umbrella for the other
Transsexualism is when you are born with the complete being of one sex and the body of the other, where you desire to fully conform to only one sex and be fully regarded as being a born member of that sex. Transsexual folks seek hormones and surgery to eliminate their transsexualism so they can just be ordinary, mainstream, cisgender men or women. They do not seek a third gender ghetto but work hard to conform and do their best to ensure nobody knows that they ever had this condition. Genuine transsexuals are a subset of the cisgender community. They simply have a birth condition that gave them the wrong genitals and caused their parents to abuse them by raising them as the wrong gender. Because transsexual women were supposed to be born with female parts, they are not expressing any hypocrisy when they speak against homosexuality, transgenderism, or any sort of deviance. Their rights are based on being included in existing laws and the genitals they were supposed to have from birth but were denied. Transgenderism is when someone is either born with a non-standard sense of self or when someone chooses to dress and live as a gender that does not match their true sense of self. Transgender folks are a subset of the LGBT Community. Since this is purely an invented social construct that has no biological basis, their rights come from trying to convince others to give them rights. To help understand these differences, it helps to understand the Tessaract Model. That says that are sexuality and gender are the result of at least 4 parameters: * Physical sex -- This is your reproductive role, your genitals, and what makes you a male or a female. * Gender identity -- This is who you are, what type of neurology you have, what type of soul you have, and what your inborn interests are. This is what makes you a man or a woman as opposed to male or female. For transsexual folks, this is at odds with their physical sex, and sense your body is not who you are, genuine transsexuals will seek to correct their body to match their gender identity. * Gender role or expression -- This is society's rules about how you are to reconcile your gender identity and body type with the demands of society and its values. This is the part that feminists find objectionable. They reason that being born with a certain type of body should not dictate what they wear or what work they should perform. For transgender folks, there is a discrepancy between their chosen gender role and what society demands. For transsexual folks, gender role is the least part of things. They seek to fix their bodies and eliminate differences, thus gender role is merely trivial. If they truly have a feminine gender identity, others around them can see and feel this. If they transform their bodies, then society should see that. So if someone with a feminine body appearance and a feminine nature adopts feminine dress and mannerisms, society would have no cause to object.
Transgender is a person who's gender identity doesn't match what they were assigned at birth. Transexual describes a transgender person who has undergone medical transition. However, be careful with the term transexual as many people view it as outdated, exclusive, incorrect or offensive. There are some occasions however where a transgender person will identify as transexual too. Make sure you know the particular individual uses the term transexual to describe their identity before using the word though. However you shouldn't use it for the general trans population or someone you don't know very well. I myself am a trans person and would not like that term. However, I am not in the position to gate keep anyone who doesn't mind it or even likes it.
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