What is Transgender?
Some people confuse homosexuality with transgenderism. Sexual orientation is different than transgenderism.
Sexual orientation has to do with the gender of people one finds emotionally and physically attractive. For example, a man may feel emotionally and sexually attracted to men (homosexual), women (heterosexual), or both men and women (bisexual). A man who is gay or bisexual is not transgendered. The gender of people one to whom one feels attracted is not transgenderism.
Trangenderism is complex. There is no real quick, easy and accurate way to describe the complexity of transgenderism. The definition that appears below is a rough lay definition. People interested in knowing more about transgenderism are encouraged to get more professional and precise definitions from sites that take a more scientific approach to the topic. The Transgender/Intersex Links page has resources that provide more detailed definitions and descriptions.
Transgenderism is a catch-all term about how one expresses one's gender. A transgendered person expresses gender in a non-traditional manner. A wide range of gender expressions may be considered to be transgendered. A few things that may be thought of as transgendered transgendered include:
Dressing in clothes usually associated with members of a different physical gender.
Displaying behavior and dress of people who have a different physical gender.
Not identifing as either male or female. In this case, people may not identify themselves as either a man or a woman.
People with male anatomy seeing themselves partly or completely as females.
People with female anatomy seeing themselves partly or completely as males.
Being born with both some combination of male and female anatomy. This is generally called intersex.
Having gender reassignment surgery. For example, a man may go through a series of surgeries to be given anatomy society identifies as female.