Transgender glossary

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This glossary documents the more common terms of art, neologisms, and memes used by transgender people.



See Sex assignment at birth


AgenderWikipedia is an identity of not having a particular gender.


AndrogynyWikipedia is gender ambiguity.

Baby trans[edit]

A trans person who has recently discovered that they're trans, or a trans minor.


BigenderWikipedia is a gender identity that consists of two genders.


Also see Girlmode.

When a trans person presents as male.

Breast binding[edit]

Abbreviation: Binding
Also see Tucking.

When a person uses a binderWikipedia to hide their breasts or make them less noticeable.


An abbreviation of the phrases Coercively Assigned Female/Male At Birth, a variation on AFAB/AMAB which conveys the view that gender assignment is arbitrary but still strictly enforced.


A person who seeks to date trans persons solely because they are trans, especially in a fetishistic and dehumanising manner.[1]


A cisgender is a person whose gender identity matches their assigned sex.


"Being clocked" means being read as your assigned sex or as transgender, when trying to pass e.g. "He clocked me as trans, despite me being in girlmode".

Cross-sex hormone therapy[edit]

See Transgender hormone therapy


The offensive act of using the name a trans person's used prior to transitioning, whether in social contexts, official documents, media/online, or explicitly as an attack on a trans person.[2] While it might sometimes happen accidentally among friends/relatives, it is considered harmful and demeaning because it can be a rejection of a person's identity as trans and an attack on their attempt to transition and the reality of their gender identification.[3]


A nonbinary gender identity that identifies as being partially another gender. Demigender people may feel more associated with one gender than any other, but not enough to identify as said gender. Common demigenders include demigirl, demiboy, and demiflux (when a neutral gender is the preferred gender).


DetransitioningWikipedia is the cessation or reversal of a transgender identification or gender transition.

Drag queen/king[edit]

A drag queen is (usually) a man who dresses as a women often in elaborate costume and makeup for performance. It is a theatrical tradition common in gay clubs and other venues, that often includes dancing, lip syncing, live singing, and "reading" (humorously putting down) other performers and audience members.[4] A drag king is a woman dressed as a stereotypical man, often with facial hair, leather or formal suits, and fake penises (packing).[5] Although often done by LGBTQ people, drag artists are not necessarily transgender and many performers are cis or non-binary when offstage.


Anyone that isn't Intersex.


A transgender person before such person recognizes themselves as trans or who is about to recognize themselves as trans.[6]

Facial feminization surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: FFS

Facial feminization surgeryWikipedia is plastic surgery that makes faces more feminine. This procedure aims to emphasize the somatic traits of women including (but not limited to): hairline, brows, nose, jaw.[7] It thus reduces the effects on facial anatomy caused by male puberty.


Short for feminine. Also french word meaning "woman".


For more information, see: Gatekeeping

The lengthy process of obtaining access to HRT medication that might be more or less influenced by the belief of some medical professionals that a person "is not truly trans" because they don't fit some specific sexist stereotypes, or they have a sexual orientation towards the "wrong" gender.

Gender dysphoria[edit]

Gender dysphoriaWikipedia is the state of dysphoria (displeasure, disapproval) one feels from not conforming to their identified gender. It also occurs when a trans person is identified with the wrong pronoun.

Gender euphoria[edit]

The state of euphoria (pleasure, approval) one feels from being affirmed in their gender identity.

Gender fluid[edit]

A gender identity that changes over time e.g. a gender-fluid person may be a boy on Mondays and a girl on Sundays.


A genderqueer person is someone who doesn't fully identify on the gender binary (man or woman), but on a continuum between those two.

Gender Reassignment Surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: GRS
Sometimes also referred as Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)

Alternative wording for sex reassignment surgery


Also see Boymode.

When a trans person presents as female.


A term for traditional third gender cultures in the Indian subcontinent, with a long history and increasing legal recognition as a separate gender; some are intersex or eunuchs but others are neither. There are many other names in different languages and cultures including Kinnar or Kinner in India and Khawaja Sira in Pakistan.[8]

Hormone Replacement Therapy[edit]

Abbreviation: HRT
See the main article on this topic: Hormone replacement therapy

See drugs section, below.


See the main article on this topic: Intersex

Intersex refers to any biological ambiguity of an animal or human's sex from "chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals".


Contraction of the word "masculine".


The term monosexual refers to sexual orientations that involve sexual attraction towards one gender, in contrast to bisexual or pansexual.


Contraction (abbreviation): enby
See the main article on this topic: Non-binary

See genderqueer.


A non-binary gender identity associated with a neutral gender. Not to be confused with agender.


Packing is the practice of making a bulge in one's groin to emphasize one's masculinity and relieve body dysphoria for transmasculine people. Packers run the gamut from wadded-up socks to realistic silicone likenesses of genitalia.


"Passing" is when a trans person is assumed or perceived to be cis, or their preferred gender. "Passing" is reliant on many different factors and it is not possible for all trans people to always pass at the expense of affirmation surgery and hormones, as well as document changes, and the difficulty of making a clean break from pre-transition life. Because of this, passing is often conditional or temporary.


Trans women are known to enjoy eating pickles, due to the salt cravings caused by spirolactone (more commonly known as "spiro"). Not all trans women eat pickles on spiro, but it is common enough to be a meme.


The term polysexual refers to sexual orientations that involve sexual attraction towards multiple genders.

Prosecco Stormfront[edit]

A nick name for Mumsnet, because of its central role in the promotion of transphobia in the United Kingdom among middle class white cis women.

Sex reassignment surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: SRS
Sometimes also referred as Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS)
See the main article on this topic: Gender transition

Surgery that involves changing one's primary and secondary sexual characteristicsWikipedia to become the opposite sex.


The shield emoji is used in bios or names on Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media sites to signal opposition to truscum or transmedicalist beliefs, to counter the crossed swords emoji and/or lightning bolt emoji(s), which are used to signal support for truscum or transmedicalist beliefs, as a reference to (and often specifically to signal that one is a fan of) Kalvin Garrah and/or Storm Ryan, respectively.

Sex assignment at birth[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Sex assignment at birth

Sex assignment at birth refers to the sex that an observer declares the baby to be shortly after birth. The doctor (or midwife, or whoever else is present) examines the infant and declares "It's a boy!" if a penis is present or "It's a girl!" if a vulva is present. In the case of certain intersex conditions, one may not be able to make that call, as the genitalia of the infant may be ambiguous.

A breakdown of the terms and abbreviations involved:

  • AFAB
  • AMAB

The terms "AMAB" or "AFAB" are generally preferred over the terms "female-bodied/male bodied" or "anatomically male/anatomically female", or "biologically male/biologically female", as these terms automatically assign a gender to certain body parts, and do not take into account the possibility that the individual in question may have undergone surgery to change their genitals. "Genetic male" or "genetic female" are also incorrect terms, as certain intersex conditions can be caused by having a XY karyotypeWikipedia (combination of chromosomes) but be born with a vulva/uterus, or have XX karyotype and be born with a penis/testicles. For further information on some intersex conditions: XY gonadal dysgenesis (Swyer syndrome)Wikipedia, XX male syndrome (De la Chapelle syndrome)Wikipedia, XXY male (Klinefelter syndrome).Wikipedia


A spirogirl is a trans woman who takes spironolactone.


"Going stealth" means living like ones preferred gender completely with nobody (or almost nobody) knowing that they're trans. In effect, nobody knows or sees them as anything but a cisgender person. This often may include breaking contact with most or all of their pre-transition relatives and friends. Going stealth is not possible for all trans people since it requires being able to pass completely.

TERF Island[edit]

A nickname for the United Kingdom, due to its overwhelming and widespread transphobia, especially of the TERF kind (unlike the US, where transphobia is instead a component of the conservative agenda).[9]


A catch-all word for people with a gender identity "more feminine" than that assigned at birth. This is inclusive of trans women and AMAB non-binary people, as well as intersex people assigned as such at birth who undergo transition. It covers far more than the term "MtF", and is independent of transition status. One can also talk of a "transfeminine transition" which can refer to any steps a transfeminine person may take in transitioning. The word is more of a direction than a state, hence why it can include such a large number of groups.


A longer word for truscum: those who seek to divide trans people into "real" and "fake/wannabe".


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity isn't the one typical of their sex assigned at birth.

Transgender hormone therapy[edit]

Transgender hormone therapyWikipedia is hormone replacement therapy meant to bring a trans person's secondary sexual characteristics closer to their true gender.


TransitioningWikipedia is process where a trans person changes their gender presentation over time. It may or may not involve doing HRT.


A catch-all word for people with a gender identity "more masculine" than that assigned at birth. This is inclusive of trans men and AFAB non-binary people, as well as intersex people assigned as such at birth who undergo transition. It covers far more than the term "FtM", and is independent of transition status. One can also talk of a "transmasculine transition", which can refer to any steps a transmasculine person may take in transitioning. This word is directional in a similar manner as the word transfeminine.


See the main article on this topic: Transmedicalism

Those who believe trans people must seek medical intervention and/or that only people medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria are "really" trans.

Transmisogyny-affected (TMA)[edit]

A term for transfeminine people, that highlights how many aspects of transphobia (including anti-nonbinary sentiment) uniquely affect trans people who were assigned male at birth (as opposed to cis people and transmasculine/non-binary AFAB people).

Transmisogyny-exempt (TME)[edit]

A term for people not affected by transmisogyny: cis women, cis and trans men, AFAB enbies.


The term "transnormativity" can mean two distinct things:

  • the normalization of the idea that there is inherent diversity in the experience of being trans
  • the idea that there is only one, normative way to be trans: to pass completely as the opposite binary gender


An outdated term for binary transgender people who specifically undergo HRT and SRS. The term is being abandoned in favor of the more inclusive transgender, but it's still used among truscums, anti-trans activists, and people in countries where the term still has widespread use along with some older trans people (plus in academia, as they haven't caught up fully).

Trans bashing[edit]

Trans bashingWikipedia is verbally, physically or sexually abusing a trans person.

Trans man / FtM[edit]

A trans manWikipedia is a person who identifies as male and was AFAB. The term β€œFtM” has fallen out of favor in the trans community in recent years.[citation needed]

Trans panic defense[edit]

See the main articles on this topic: Blaming the victim and Gay panic

Gay and trans "panic" defenseWikipedia tactics ask a jury to find that a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant's excessively violent reaction.[10]

Trans woman / MtF[edit]

A trans womanWikipedia is a person who identifies as female and was AMAB. The term β€œMtF” has fallen out of favor in the trans community in recent years.[11]


TrigenderWikipedia refers to a person who identifies as male, female, and non-binary.


A term (pronounced "true scum") used to describe transgender people who believe you need gender dysphoria to be transgender, at a base level, whether diagnosed by a doctor or not. People who fit with the Truscum ideology are often transphobic to those deemed "less trans" such as non-binary people, to transgender people who don't desire to undergo sex reassignment surgery, or those who state they don't experience gender dysphoria. The term is derogatory in nature, but has been used as a self-description to those who are less open, or flat out opposed, to the highly inclusive nature of the transgender community. While the term has been used interchangeably with transfundamentalists or transmedicalists, those terms typically refer to those who have a desire to have some form of gatekeeping with achieving a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria for obtaining Hormone Replacement Therapy and/or having surgeries (transmedicalist). Truscum people who are judging others based on their definition of what a "true" transgender person is, hence the term truscum (transfundamentalist). The more extreme of truscum views can be seen by many as in alignment with TERFs ideology, however, not all truscum people share this way of thinking.


Also see Breast binding.

The act of hiding one's penis between their legs to appear to have a vagina. The act may result in negative health consequences, so it should be used with caution.[12]


Two-spiritWikipedia is a term used by some Indigenous North American peoples to describe gender-variant people in their communities.


An ironic term used to criticize how the expression "(Women and) non-binary people" is often used (both in women's and in queer spaces) with the implicit expectation that "non-binary" means "women-lite", in the sense of a slightly androgynous AFAB enby person not on hormones. These implicit expectations harm people from both directions of the gender transition: transfeminine people (because they might fear transmisogyny from a women's space), and transmasculine people (because it can be seen as "women and people that we still see as women").


Chemical structure of estradiol (E2).
Chemical structure of spironolactone (Spiro).
Chemical structure of testosterone (T).


Cyproterone acetate[edit]

Abbreviation: Cypro

Cyproterone acetateWikipedia is an anti-androgen used in hormone therapy (as well as to treat other conditions such as prostate problems and acne). Because of fears of liver injury it is not used in the US, where spironolactone is instead used; however studies linking cypro with liver problems have been criticised and the link questioned.[13]


Abbreviation: E2

EstradiolWikipedia (also spelt oestradiol) is a primarily female hormone that gives secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia It's one of the most commonly used and known estrogens.[14]


Also known as: Titty skittles or Feminems

EstrogensWikipedia are a family of steroidal compounds that produce female secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia


ProgesteroneWikipedia is a primarily female hormone that enhances breast growth and can lead to improved mood and counteract the decrease in libido from anti-androgenic medications.


Abbreviation: Spiro

SpironolactoneWikipedia is a steroid that has medical uses, although it's not normally given to men because of its feminizing side effects.[15] It's the main effect if you're a trans woman because it suppresses testosterone.[16][17][18] It's known to cause salt cravings. It's an anti-androgen used in the US as an alternative to cyproterone acetate.



Abbreviation: T

TestosteroneWikipedia is a primarily male hormone that gives secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia


Want to lose all of your trans friends? Refer to them as these terms.

Chicks with dicks[edit]

A slur used to describe trans women without SRS. It is a common term in the pornography industry.


See the main article on this topic: Cross-dresser

Someone who likes to dress up as the opposite sex. Both terms are mostly used to imply that trans people are perverts. However, some cisgender individuals do cross-dress without any malice and it is fine to refer to them specifically as cross-dressers.


A slur used to insult trans men.


A slur used to insult trans women.


A slur used to insult trans people.


A slur used for a transwoman who doesn't pass. Notable in that self-hating transwomen who (sometimes mistakenly) believe they do not pass use this term liberally, especially towards themselves. The term comes from "honey", which was a feel-good "everyone can be beautiful" message espoused on certain forums, used earnestly; now it is used as a slur or term of mockery.


Referring to people with "it/its/itself" pronouns is offensive in general, since these pronouns are used to refer to inanimate objects (or non-human animals), but these are more often used to mock trans people. Some non-binary people use these pronouns, however, it is very rare.

LGBTQIA[Insert alphabet here][edit]

Generally used to mock the diversity within the LGBT community which allowed more identities to be included inside the label. It is commonly used by TERFs and Truscum who believe that the LGBT is nothing more than a joke nowadays.


A slur used to insult trans women. It is a common term in the pornography industry.


A sissy is someone who practices sissification, a kink for dressing ultra-feminine and/or "slutty" clothes and then being sexually humiliated. Practitioners are always AMAB and are generally cisgender, although some are trans men. The term is sometimes used as a slur against trans women (and also, gay men).


While neither term is necessarily derogatory in nature, these terms are used mostly in pornography, and thus referring to trans people with these terms will come across as fetishizing.


Like the previous term, it isn't necessarily derogatory and was in fact preferred terminology used up to the mid-to-late 90s. However the terms fell out of favor, largely due to being used by transphobes to dismiss being transgender as an ideology instead of a state of being. Nowadays it's often used by older people who never learned the new terminology and the aforementioned transphobes.

In the present, most trans people prefer synonyms such as "being transgender". Using the word transgender as a noun also is something that fell out of favor due to eventual primary usage by transphobes and should instead be used as an adjective (Bob is transgender instead of Bob is a transgender).


A derogatory term for a transgender person. Usually used to attack trans women. In the past, this term has been used within the transgender community, e.g., the "Tranny Fest" film festival, which has since been renamed the "San Francisco Transgender Film Festival".[19]


A derogatory term frequently used by followers of truscum ideology, suggesting that a person is only pretending to be trans to attract attention and that their identity is not valid. Frequently levied against nonbinary people but also against binary trans people who don't fully conform or pass to what is expected of their gender identity.


The word trap is a piece of internet slang, that depending on usage may be regarded as a slur.

The slang originates from the internet forum SomethingAwful, one of the earliest online anime communities, where in a discussion about the character Bridget from the fighting game franchise Guilty Gear (the character in question identifies as a male, but was raised as a female because of religious superstition), an administrator of the board responded with a reaction image of the character Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi saying "it's a trap", poking fun at the fact that the character is a cisgender male yet the forum posters (assumed at the time to consist largely of straight males) were being sexually interested in the character.

As a result, in anime communities, the word "trap" is nearly always used to describe cisgender male characters who dress in feminine clothing, but otherwise identify as male. ("Reverse trap" is used for the same, but for cisgender female characters who dress in masculine clothing). In Japanese, this is often associated with a subculture called otokonoko. For many anime fans, the word as a result does not carry negative connotations, and there is a genre in anime dedicated to these sorts of characters, with the same name.

When 4chan was created after moot (the owner of 4chan) was banned from SomethingAwful, usage of the word was moved over to 4chan, along with the rest of the SomethingAwful subculture. On that site, it eventually was exploited by transphobes to insinuate that transgender women are trying to "trap" men into having sex with them.

Due to extensive hate mobs from 4chan users over the years, the word to many people outside of the anime community eventually became regarded as a slur. The word became controversial from 2016 onwards, when anime itself entered mainstream popularity, and many transgender people who only experienced the word as a slur ended up clashing with older anime fans (some of whom are also transgender) who had largely missed the aforementioned hate mobs. Further complicating things is that for cross-dressers, the word is also often used as a self-identification, which caused further clashing with transgender people.

The result is that at present, the term is subject to every opinion under the sun, ranging from the obviously bad-faith "it's never a slur" (largely pushed by transphobes who want to use the term against transgender women), to "it's only a slur if you use to refer to a real person who doesn't consent to being called that" (often used by older anime fans who don't want to let go of the term and don't regard it as a slur), to "it's always a slur" (used by people new to the fandom). All of these opinions, except for the first one, are also often held by transgender people.

In conclusion, the use of the term is a complicated one, and one should care to examine context behind it's use to determine if it is being used to be a transphobe, or if it's an anime fan discussing a character or a cross-dresser using it to identify themselves.


A portmanteau of "trans" and "loon"/"goon" used to insult primarily trans women. Popular on Kiwi Farms.

See also[edit]


  1. ↑
  2. ↑ Laverne Cox lambastes β€˜deadnaming.’ What is it and why is it a problem? by Allyson Chiu (August 14, 2018) The Washington Post.
  3. ↑ What Is Deadnaming?, Healthline
  4. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Drag queen.
  5. ↑ The beard, the breasts and the bulge, Salon, 23 Jun 2003
  6. ↑
  7. ↑ [1] (September 09/17/2018) Deschamps-Braly.
  8. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Hijra (South Asia).
  9. ↑ "How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans", New York Times
  10. ↑
  11. ↑ [2]
  12. ↑
  13. ↑ Oestrogen and anti-androgen therapy for transgender women, Vin Tangpricha and Martin den Heijer, Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017 Apr; 5(4): 291–300. Published online 2016 Dec 2. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30319-9
  14. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Estradiol (medication).
  15. ↑ Rathnayake D, Sinclair R (2010). "Use of spironolactone in dermatology". Skinmed 8 (6): 328–32; quiz 333. PMID 21413648. 
  16. ↑ The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) (2011). "Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  17. ↑ "Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 94 (9): 3132–54. September 2009. PMID 19509099. 
  18. ↑ "Spironolactone with physiological female steroids for presurgical therapy of male-to-female transsexualism". Archives of Sexual Behavior 18 (1): 49–57. February 1989. PMID 2540730. 
  19. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.