TTU Home Student Counseling CenterHandouts and Information

Handouts and Information

What is an Ally? | Developing a Common Language | Gay and Lesbian Identity Development | Heterosexual Questionaire
Heterosexual Privilege | Trans Definitions | Overview of the Transgender World
The Intersexed Condition | What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality | Choosing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual-Affirming Therapist


Trans Definitions

It is useful to keep two distinct continuums in mind when exploring transgender lives and experiences.

  • Biological Sex: Male--------------------------Intersexed-------------------------Female
  • Gender Identity: Masculine--------------------Androgynous----------------------Feminine
  1. Transgender: An umbrella term that includes all levels of gender noncomformity. A transgender person is someone whose gender identity and/or expression differs from conventional expectations for their sex assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to the internal sense of being male, female, or some other gender. Gender expression refers to how people present their gender to the world through style of dress, mannerisms, hairstyle, etc. A transgender person may make a gender transition that modifies their physical characteristics and gender expression to be more aligned with their gender identity. Transgender people can be straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
  2. Intersexed: An umbrella term used for several conditions that result in an individual having partially or fully developed sex organs of both genders. While not a dangerous physical condition, it is often treated as a medical emergency and physicians generally assign a gender to an infant, using surgery and recommending hormonal therapy throughout a lifetime. Typically, intersexuals are not told of their birth status, their surgery, or the cause of resulting medical problems. In recent years, advocates have been successful at decreasing isolation and lobbying for change in a medical system that disallows this biologically-based gender non-conformity.
  3. Transvestites: engage in cross-dressing mainly for the purposes of erotic stimulation. May be limited to undergarments only, but may require full attire and make-up for erotic effect. Vast majority of transvestites are heterosexual males and many are in heterosexual relationships. The goal for transvestites is typically not to appear feminine or pass as a female. Transvestism is virtually non-existent in women.
  4. Drag Queens/Kings: Cross-dress, often very elaborately and mostly for entertainment purposes. Goal is to imitate, as closely as possible, the opposite sex. May cross-dress more often or full-time. Vast majority are gay men and relationships are typically with more masculine gay or bisexual men. Although a small minority may be transsexual, most identified with their biological sex and do not seek genital reassigning surgery. But many drag queens may use hormone treatment or breast augmentation to enhance their appearance.