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Sex, gender and sexuality

Transgender and trans

TRANSTransgender or trans people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth.

A transgender man is a term used to describe someone who is assigned female at birth but identifies and lives as a man. This may be shortened to trans man, or FTM, an abbreviation for female-to-male. A transgender woman is a term used to describe someone who is assigned male at birth but identifies and lives as a woman. This may be shortened to trans woman, or MTF, an abbreviation for male-to-female.

​​Transitioning are the steps a trans person may take to live in the gender with which they identify. Each person’s transition will involve different things. For some this involves medical intervention, such as hormone therapy and surgeries, but not all trans people want or are able to have this. Transitioning also might involve things such as telling friends and family, dressing differently, and changing official documents.

​Transphobia is the fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including denying their gender identity or refusing to accept it. Transphobia may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, trans.

​Transsexual was used in the past as a more medical term (similarly to homosexual) to refer to someone whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. This term is still used by some although many people prefer the term trans or transgender. 

Organisations for transgender and trans people | MEN R US

Glossary of terms: Trans and transgender | MEN R US
Transgender/ Trans/ Transitioning/ Transphobia/ Transsexual/ Transexual

Be an ally

  • Listen to trans people
  • Use correct pronouns and state your pronouns
  • Use gender-inclusive language and appreciate gender diversity
  • Learn and educate yourself
  • Recognise that being transgender is not about how someone looks
  • When you make mistake: apologise and move on
  • Assemble: show up for trans community events
  • Call out transphobia

How to be a trans ally | Imperial College London
How to be a good trans ally at work | TUC
Gender identity for beginners: a guide to being a great trans ally | Amnesty International UK
A guide to being a trans ally | LGBT Foundation
A beginner's guide to being an ally to trans people | USA | GLAAD

News and articles

The puberty blocker ruling offers trans people hope | Huck | 21 Sept 2021
Cost of changing legal gender cut to less than £10 | BBC News | 7 Apr 2021
Emma Smith: The transgender sports journalist making a career on her own terms | BBC Sport | 31 Mar 2021
Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support | The Conversation | 29 Mar 2021
Transgender struggle: 'I had to keep who I was secret' | BBC News | 17 Nov 2020
Half of transgender and non-binary people hide their identity at work in fear of discrimination – here’s how you can help | The Conversation | 30 May 2019
Almost half of trans pupils have attempted suicide — schools must do more to challenge gender stereotypes | The Conversation | 15 Nov 2017
5 trans guys who shared their beautiful transition stories to inspire others | Pink News | 21 Sep 2017
Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage? | The Conversation | 9 Feb 2016

International Transgender Day of Visibility | Wikipedia

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