What does “transgender” even mean?


Really though, WTH does “transgender” mean?

Quick Hits:

  • If you don’t know something, that doesn’t make you a bad person.

  • Anatomy, identity, expression, sexuality – are four distinct components of our lives that deal with gender.

  • These four components, like most things in life, exist on a spectrum, which is to say, they are non-binary or have more than two possible outcomes.

  • To be transgender is defined by each individual, but basically refers to the extent to which a person’s gender identity, role, or expression is different from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex.For example – a person could have the anatomy of a female but identify and/or express themselves in a way that is less feminine, or more masculine, than cultural norms.

  • Transgender / Gender nonconforming people have been around forever.The way cultures have responded to them has changed.For example, indigenous cultures referred to GNC people as “Two Spirited”, and they were revered as healers and visionaries.

  • Gender nonconforming (GNC) folks are not dangerous.Tragically, GNC folks are much more likely to be the targets of violent crimes than to be perpetrators.

First off – not knowing something is nothing to be ashamed of.  If you’re confused about some aspect of identifying as transgender, there is nothing wrong with you!  This post is designed to help.  My goal is to provide some basic factual information on this topic.  My hope is that this information will help you be more comfortable and feel better informed when you interact with folks who identify as transgender, or gender nonconforming (GNC). 

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