What Is The Difference Between Transgender And Transsexual?

If you are not transgender or transsexual yourself, it is very important that you do your research into the terms so that you can give them the respect that they deserve and make them feel as comfortable as possible.

What Is The Difference Between Transgender And Transsexual?

Here is what you should know about the terms transgender and transsexual and the difference between them. We will also talk about other languages used. 

What Does Transgender Mean?

Transgender refers to the various ways in which people’s gender identity differ from the sex given to them at birth. There are a few different labels used by transgender people in order to identify themselves.

Some people that are transgender alter their appearance, body, name, or legal gender marker in order to communicate and validate their internal gender experience.

Others do not see the necessity to make these modifications in order to express and affirm this element of their identity.

Some people alter their bodies to suit their gender identification by taking hormones and maybe undergoing surgery.

Some transgender persons reject the standard notion of gender as just “male” and “female,” and instead identify as transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer, or anything else.

What Does Transsexual Mean?

Transsexuals were historically and medically defined as those who have had medical treatments, such as gender-affirming surgery, to match their gender identification and physical looks.

More precisely, the word is frequently used to convey that a person’s gender experience includes medical changes, such as hormones or surgery.

That help transform their anatomy and appearance to better correspond with their gender identification.

Some individuals may still use the term transsexual to describe someone who has a different gender identification than the sex given to them at birth.

The modern definition of transgender, on the other hand, does not indicate that a person has had gender-affirming medical operations.

Although the phrase was originally used by medical practitioners to denote those who have had medical or surgical intervention to match their bodies to their real gender identification, it has since slipped into common usage to designate all trans people.

Many people, even those who do not desire or require these surgical treatments, find the word “transsexual” insulting.

To prevent insulting someone, avoid referring to them as transsexual unless they expressly state otherwise.

What Is the Difference Between Transgender And Transsexual?

The fundamental distinction between the terms transgender and transsexual is in how they are used and experienced.

Transgender is more inclusive and affirming than transsexual since it encompasses both persons who want medical alterations to validate gender and those who do not.

Many transgender persons feel that the term “transsexual” has negative connotations for them.

The term transsexual is used to this day in transgender health practices, but it is no longer the most affirming and inclusive term to refer to someone who has a gender other than the sex given at birth.

Transgender or trans are now widely accepted and promoted terminology in Western nations to describe people who have a gender other than the one assigned at birth.

While some transgender and transsexual campaigners believe that the term “transsexual” does not necessarily have to involve medical alterations, the greater transgender community has yet to accept this idea.

In general, the term transgender acknowledges the need to medically modify one’s anatomy, hormonal composition, or appearance isn’t necessary for everyone who identifies with a gender other than the sex given at birth.

The decision to pursue physical and medical changes might differ from one transgender individual to the next.

Using The Correct Terms

Using The Correct Terms

When speaking to a transgender person or discussing them with others, there are some terminologies that should be avoided. These are frequently cruel and transphobic phrases.

Cissexism is a kind of prejudice and exclusion in which people think there are and should be just two genders – male and female. They may also assume that a person’s gender and sexual traits are inextricably linked.

Cissexism refers to someone as male due to a doctor assigning them that gender at birth, even if that person does not identify as male.

The easiest method to avoid using an insensitive phrase is to ask yourself if you would ask the same questions or use the same terms to a cisgender individual.

Cisgender people identify with the sex assigned to them by a doctor at birth.

You must avoid using pejorative terminology such as he-she, tranny, or any suggestion that the transgender/transsexual person does not look like the gender with which they identify.

When referring to someone, this involves using the incorrect pronouns.

Furthermore, asking a person their genuine name or their birth name is disrespectful since it implies that their identity is illegitimate.

This breach of privacy also assumes the right to know personal information about someone else.

Understanding Gender Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is a phrase used by psychologists and clinicians to describe transgender people’s misery, sadness, and anxiety as a result of a mismatch between their body and their gender identity.

A person can be diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a professional in order to obtain medical therapy that will assist them in transitioning.

This was once referred to as “gender identity disorder” by psychologists.

However, mismatching a person’s physique and gender identity is not a mental disorder in and of itself, but it can cause emotional discomfort, thus the name was altered to reflect that.

What It Means To ‘Pass’

‘Passing’ is the term used when a transgender person is being perceived by others as the gender they wish to be perceived as.

For many transgender persons, passing is crucial. Passing can be emotionally significant since it validates one’s gender identification.

Passing through can also protect you from harassment and violence.

Due to transphobia, a transgender individual who passes will usually have an easier time navigating the world than someone who is recognized to be transgender or seems more androgynous.

However, not all transgender persons feel the same way about transitioning. While some individuals value passing, others believe the term implies that certain people’s gender presentation isn’t as genuine as others.


The phrases transgender and transsexual have different meanings, and some individuals prefer one over the other.

It is typically preferable to avoid referring to someone as transsexual unless they wish it, as some individuals may find the term insulting.

Other terminology and phrases should be avoided, as they might be hurtful or offensive to transgender persons. It’s generally a good idea to ask someone which words they prefer.

Gay Worlley

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