A Handy Guide to Common Trans Words

You’d be forgiven for your confusion upon hearing the term cis used quite frequently on this blog. I’ve never exactly provided a list of common trans or even LGBT terms that I use often on my blog so for this week’s Trans Tuesday here are a few trans terms you should probably know. days2 copy

Trans– short for transgender/transsexual which by the way are not interchangeable terms. Trans is an umbrella term which covers generally all those who do not fit within the typical binary of male/female. Including drag queens and transvestites, though some in the trans community aren’t entirely comfortable with this definition. Transsexual is specifically a person who wishes to undergo surgery to correct their gender as defined at birth. Not all trans people are transsexual much in the way not all Wiccan’s are witches and vice-versa. (Technically speaking I would be transsexual but as I might have stated in a previous blog post there’s a lot of baggage to that word that I just stick with trans).

Cis– shorthand for Cisgender which is essentially the opposite of transgender. According to the New-Oxford Dictionary, cisgender is

(adj) denoting or relating to someone whose sense of personal identity corresponds with the gender assigned to them at birth.

Dysphoria– or more specifically ‘gender dysphoria’ is a complicated term that I believe means something different for everyone. If you read my blogpost last Trans Tuesday about unpacking the ‘trans enough’ debate, you may recall that everyone experiences gender dysphoria differently or not at all. According to the DSM-V:

“There must be a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months.”

This feels to me sort of an ambiguous phrasing. Particularly because even before I came out as trans I was pegged as female, by complete strangers. It was people who knew me that tried to insist I was anything else, and for a time I didn’t really think to correct them. Under this phrasing it would seem I don’t actually have ‘gender dysphoria’ and yet…

There’s a lot that’s problematic with the DSM-V’s classification of gender dysphoria, and trans people, but it’s the book psychologists go by… suffice it to say that the reality is far more complex than I can go into in a simple blog post. Everyone’s dysphoria is experienced differently. Even my own experience with dysphoria differs each time I experience it.

There’s probably some I’m forgetting and if you can think of any that confuse you please feel free to comment below. 

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