currently in no particular order:
Transexual: Person whose sexual identity is opposite to their assignment at birth. Transsexual individuals, experiencing intense discomfort with gender roles and/or bodies, may use medical treatments to make their bodies more congruent with their internal self-images. These treatments may include hormone therapy, surgery and other social and legal changes. Not all TS folk have gender confirmation surgeries, for various reasons, including personal preference.
Individuals who do not identify with their birth-assigned genders and sometimes alter their bodies surgically and/or hormonally. The Transition (formerly called “sex change”) is a complicated, multi-step process that may take years and may include, but is not limited to, gender confirmation surgery.
Transgender: Refers to those whose gender expression at least sometimes runs contrary to what others in the same culture would normally expect. Transgender is a broad term that includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens/kings, and people who do not identify as either of the two sexes as currently defined. When referring to transgender people, use the pronoun they have designated as appropriate, or the one that is consistent with their presentation of themselves.
Trans*: is a quick, shorthand way to symbolise that your definition of ‘transgender’ is the widest, most inclusive form. (the asterisk is a wildcard, denoting that several different suffixes could apply). This could be short for ‘transsexual’, ‘transgender’, ‘transvestite’, ‘trans man’, ‘trans woman’, ‘(gender) transgressive’ or ‘(gender) transcendent’. There is also the implication that the wildcard invites and includes the reader’s own personal self definition. As such trans* is understood to also include genderqueer, gender variant and gender non-conforming people, and all other potentially transgender identities. (http://practicalandrogyny.com/2011/04/28/transgender-organisation-inclusivity/)
Intersex: Previously referred to as a hermaphrodite. “Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. (http://www.isna.org/faq/what_is_intersex)
Gender Confirmation Surgery: Also known as Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) or Gender-Reassignment Surgery
Includes genital reconstructive surgery, chest reconstructive surgery, breast implants, facial surgery. The surgical options chosen by trans* people vary. One does not have to have surgery to be trans*.
Crossdresser: Someone who enjoys wearing clothing typically assigned to a gender that the individual has not been socialized as, or does not identify as. Cross-dressers are of all sexual orientations and do not necessarily identify as transgender. Cross-dresser is frequently used today in place of the term transvestite.
FTM (Female-to-male): A person, assigned female at birth, who has an internal sense of himself as male. There is a full range of expression for one who identifies as FTM, from living full time as a man, having had surgery and/or hormone treatment, or identifying privately as male.
MTF (Male-to-female): A person, assigned male at birth, who has an internal sense of herself as female. There is a full range of expression for one who identifies as MTF, from living full time as a woman, having had surgery and/or hormone treatment, to identifying privately as female.
Sexual Orientation: who you find erotically attractive: opposite (hetero), same (homo), both (bi), neither (asexual). Transgender people may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or asexual, just as cisgender people do.
Asexual: An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. (http://www.asexuality.org/home/overview.html)
Gender: Gender can refer to sense of self (gender identity), perception of self by others (including gender recognition or misgendering), behavior, expression, and role. There are both psychological (arising in the mind) and socio-cultural (determined by others, ideas about what is masculine and feminine, and role expectation) aspects of gender. Along with one’s physical traits, it is the complex interrelationship between those traits and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviors related to that perception. (http://www.genderspectrum.org/understanding-gender and http://genderqueerid.com/gq-faq)
A person’s deeply held sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender. One’s gender identity can be the same or different than the gender assigned at birth. Most people have a gender identity that matches their assigned gender at birth. For some, however, their gender identity is different from their assigned gender. All people have gender identity, not just transgender people.(http://transequality.org/Resources/Model%20District%20Trans%20and%20GNC%20Policy%20FINAL.pdf)
Gender Expression: Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation. Gender expression also works the other way as people assign gender to others based on their appearance, mannerisms, and other gendered characteristics. Sometimes, transgender people seek to match their physical expression with their gender identity, rather than their birth-assigned sex. Gender expression should not be viewed as an indication of sexual orientation, or gender identity. (http://www.genderspectrum.org/understanding-gender)
Gender nonconforming: A term for people whose gender expression differs from stereotypical expectations, such as “feminine” boys, “masculine” girls, and those who are perceived as androgynous. This includes people who identify outside traditional gender categories or identify as both genders. Other terms that can have similar meanings include gender diverse or gender expansive. (http://transequality.org/Resources/Model%20District%20Trans%20and%20GNC%20Policy%20FINAL.pdf)
Cisgender: A person whose sex assignment at birth corresponds to their gender identity and expression. Referring to cisgender people as ‘non trans’ implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal. (http://www.basicrights.org/uncategorized/trans-101-cisgender/)
Sex: Sex is biological and includes physical attributes such as sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, internal reproductive structures, and external genitalia. At birth, it is used to identify individuals as male or female. (http://www.genderspectrum.org/understanding-gender)
Transition: The process in which a person changes their gender expression to better reflect their gender identity. In order to feel comfortable and to express their gender identity to other people, transgender people may take a variety of steps: using a nickname or legally changing their name; choosing clothes and hairstyles that reflect their gender identity; and generally living, and presenting themselves to others, consistently with their gender identity. Some, but not all, transgender people take hormones or undergo surgical procedures to change their bodies to better reflect their gender identity. (http://transequality.org/Resources/Model%20District%20Trans%20and%20GNC%20Policy%20FINAL.pdf)
Drag King: A female who emulates a man in appearance and manner, generally for the purposes of entertainment, and not necessarily because the person identifies as a man or as transgender.
Drag Queen: A male who emulates a woman, in appearance and manner, generally for the purposes of entertainment, and not necessarily because the person identifies as a woman or as transgender.
Genderqueer: Genderqueer is a term used to describe those whose gender is non-binary and /or non-normative (“queer”). See a collection of definitions from various print and web sources at Defining Genderqueer.
Androgyny (also androgynous, bi-gendered, no-gendered): A person who identifies as both or neither of the two culturally defined genders, a person who expresses merged culturally defined genders, or a person who expresses merged culturally/stereotypically feminine and masculine characteristics or mainly neutral characteristics.
Binary Gender: A system that defines and makes room for two and only two distinct and opposite genders (male and female). These two genders are defined in opposition to each other, such that masculinity and femininity are seen as mutually exclusive. In this system, there is no room for any ambiguity or intermingling of gender traits.
Biological Sex: This can be considered our “packaging” and is determined by our chromosomes (XX for females; XY for males); our hormones (estrogen/progesterone for females, testosterone for males); and our internal and external genitalia (vulva, clitoris, vagina for females, penis and testicles for males). About 1.7% of the population can be defined as intersexual—born with biological aspects of both sexes to varying degrees. So, in actuality, there are more than two sexes.
Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to both men and women. Some people avoid this term because of its implications that there are only two sexes/genders to be sexually attracted to and this reinforces the binary gender system.
Queer: Historically a negative term used against people perceived to be LGBT, “queer” has more recently been reclaimed by some people as a positive term describing all those who do not conform to rigid notions of gender and sexuality. Queer is often used in a political context and in academic settings to challenge traditional ideas about identity (“queer theory”). Used as an umbrella identity term encompassing gay, lesbian, questioning, bisexual, non-labelling, transgender people, and anyone else who does not strictly identify as heterosexual.
SOFFA: which stands for Significant Other, Friends, Families, and Allies: refers to the people close to the person who is transitioning or transgender. These people, particularly partners and other family members, also go through a transition related to their relationship with the trans person.
Transgender / Transexual Medical References
Pre-op: Term used within some transgender circles to describe individuals who have not undergone and surgical changes to their bodies.
Post-op: Term used to describe individuals who have had a surgical procedure to change an aspect of their appearance.
Chest surgery: Typically refers to when a person is having their chest reconstructed to fit the sex they seek to identify with – this may mean having fuller breast implants or having breasts removed.
Facial Feminization: Various procedures that are done to change the shape of their face to make it more feminine.
Bottom Surgery: Typically refers to when a person is having their genitalia reconstructed to fit the sex they seek to identify with.
Penectomy – Removal of the penis, where the shaft of the penis is used to create the neo vagina.
Phalloplasty – Construction of a penis typically using skin from ones forearm
Vaginectomy – the closing of the vaginal opening from the bottom and opening from the top internally
Metoidioplasty – Releasing of an enlarged clitoris so that it resembles a penis
Labiaplasty – Typically done for MTFs when they use the scrotum to construct a new labia
Hysterectomy – removal of uterus (some states require people to have this procedure in order to legally transition)
Opherectomy – removal of the ovaries
Scrotoplasty – construction of the scrotum using labia
Cross-Hormonal Therapy: the use of testosterone (FTM) or estrogen (MTF) to biologically produce secondary physical characteristics.