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Transgender glossary

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Spectra and binaries


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

Basic concepts[edit]

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 cause one to have XY chromosomes but be born with a vulva, or have XX chromosomes and be born with a penis.



People with vulvas are declared to be "girls", and are thus "assigned female at birth" (AFAB) or "female assigned at birth" (FAAB).


AgenderWikipedia's W.svg is an identity of not having a particular gender.


People with penises are declared to be "boys" and thus "assigned male at birth" (AMAB) or "male assigned at birth" (MAAB).


AndrogynyWikipedia's W.svg is gender ambiguity.

Baby trans[edit]

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


BigenderWikipedia's W.svg 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 binder 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 person solely because they are trans, usually 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. EG, "He clocked me as trans, despite me being in girlmode".

Cross-sex hormone therapy[edit]

See Transgender hormone therapy


The offensive act of using a trans person's original name (their name before transitioning).[2]


Not Intersex.


A transgender person before such person recognizes themselves as trans.[3]

Facial feminization surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: FFS

Facial feminization surgeryWikipedia's W.svg is plastic surgery that makes a face more feminine. This procedure aims to emphasize the somatic traits of a woman including (but not limited to) hairline, brows, nose, jaw [4]


Short for feminine.

Ferris Argyle[edit]

Ferris is a trans woman from the anime Re:Zero.Wikipedia's W.svg Ferris is used in a various trans memes that are derived from the angry dog noises meme.[5]


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's W.svg is the state of dysphoria 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 one feels from being affirmed in their gender identity.

Gender fluid[edit]

A gender identity that changes. 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.


Also see Boymode.

When a trans person presents as female.

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".


Short for masculine.


The term monosexual refers to sexual orientations that involve sexual attraction towards one gender.


Abbreviation: enby
See the main article on this topic: Non-binary

See genderqueer.


A non-binary gender identity associated with 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 to be cis, or their gender. Passing is reliant on many different factors, and it is not possible for all, or even most, trans people to always pass, because of 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 because of the salt cravings spiro causes. Not all trans women eat pickles on spiro, but it's common enough to be a meme.


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

Sex reassignment surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: SRS
See the main article on this topic: Gender transition

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


The shield emoji is often used in Twitter profile names to signal the support for non-binary, non-med or non-straight transgender people, and in opposition to gatekeeping and transphobic transgender people.


A spirogirl is a trans woman who takes spironolactone.


Going stealth means living like your preferred gender completely with (almost) nobody knowing that you are trans. In effect, nobody knows or sees you as anything but a cis person. This often includes breaking contact with most or all of your pre-transition relatives and friends. Going stealth is not possible for all trans people since it requires being able to pass completely.


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


TransitioningWikipedia's W.svg 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.


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.

Trans bashing[edit]

Trans bashingWikipedia's W.svg is verbally, physically or sexually abusing a trans person.

Trans man / FtM[edit]

A trans manWikipedia's W.svg is a person who identifies as male and was AFAB.

Trans panic defense[edit]

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

Gay and trans "panic" defenseWikipedia's W.svg 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.[6]

Trans woman / MtF[edit]

A trans womanWikipedia's W.svg is a person who identifies as female and was AMAB.


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


A term (pronounced "true scum") used to describe transgender people who are transphobic towards those who are "less transgender" than them.[7] For example, towards non-binary people, or transgender people who don't desire to undergo sex reassignment surgery, or trans people who haven't experienced gender dysphoria. In a sense, they are TERFs trapped in a transgender person's body. While originally used as an insult, the term is sometimes used as a self-description by those who consider themselves gatekeepers of trans, and who are otherwise known as transfundamentalists or transmedicalists.[8]


Also see Breast binding.

The act of hiding one's penis between their legs to appear to have a vagina. The act has negative health consequences, so it must be used in moderation.[9]


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


The drugs that do magic to your body. (βœΏβ—•β—‘β—•)


Cyproterone acetate[edit]

Abbreviation: Cypro

Cyproterone acetateWikipedia's W.svg 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.[10]


Abbreviation: E2

EstradiolWikipedia's W.svg (also spelt oestradiol) is a primarily female hormone that gives secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia's W.svg It's one of the most commonly used and known estrogens.[11]


Also known as: Titty skittles or Feminems

EstrogensWikipedia's W.svg are a family of steroidal compounds that produce female secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia's W.svg


ProgesteroneWikipedia's W.svg 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's W.svg is a steroid that has medical uses, although it's not normally given to men because of its feminizing side effects.[12] It's the main effect if you're a trans woman because it suppresses testosterone.[13][14][15] It's known to cause salt cravings. It an anti-androgen used in the US as an alternative to cyproterone acetate.



Abbreviation: T

TestosteroneWikipedia's W.svg is a primarily male hormone that gives secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia's W.svg


Want to lose all of your trans friends? Refer to them with 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. Used to imply that trans people are perverts.


A slur used to insult trans men.


A slur used to insult trans women.


Referring to trans people with the "it" pronoun is offensive. Most of the time, this also applies to non-binary individuals; however, some non-binary people actually prefer "it/its/itself" pronouns, although this is very rare.


A slur used to insult trans people.


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


Sissification is a kink in which a submissive man is dressed like a (usually either ultra-feminine or "slutty") woman and humiliated (by someone of any sex/gender). It doesn't have anything to do with sexuality or gender identity, and practitioners (sissies) are often heterosexual cis males. The term "sissy" is usually considered highly insulting by gay men and trans women, both groups against whom it is often used in anger.


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".[16]


A derogatory term that commonly refers to a pre-op trans woman or feminine crossdresser. It means that somehow a trans woman is tricking a cis person into believing they're a woman. The horror of telling the truth. Keep in mind people get murdered because of this way of thinking. Unfortunately the term is popular within anime fandoms.

TERF terms[edit]

The genderqueer flag (left) and the terfragette flag (right). Radfems have started appropriating the former in order to confuse and muddy the waters, in a similar way to what they've done with non-binary vs "genderfree"

Actual woman[edit]

Self-description by TERFs, because they think they get to decide who's an actual woman and who isn't.[17]

Adult human female[edit]

Either presented as a dictionary definition of "woman" or as a self-identification or self-description, this is used by transphobes in the apparent belief that it excludes trans women who are (in their minds) not real women, while also suggesting that trans people are not mature adults or somehow subhuman.[18] Anyone who claims to be an "adult human female" is probably a TERF.

AFAB trans woman[edit]

Not to be confused with AFAB or trans woman.

An incoherent set of labels that is used to misgender trans men as women and trans women as men.

Agender as in atheist[edit]

A dog-whistle sometimes used by "gender-critical" feminists. Not to be confused with non-binary or non-malicious uses of agender.


The chequered flag is used by proponents of the TERF/gender-critical/genderfree movement, and started emerging around the same time of "genderfree".


A movement where its proponents argue dropping the 'T' from LGBTQ. This movement is not exclusively adopted by TERFs.


Since the evil gays and bisexuals didn't want to throw trans people out, some lesbians have proposed of going their own way separating themselves from the GBTQ community.[19]. Increasingly echoed unironically by trans people and other members of said community in response to the hostility and protectionism sometimes found among (cis) lesbians.


A (failed) attempt of the alt-right to promote intra-LGBT hatred by claiming that being bisexual is inherently transphobic.[20]

Female-to-trans (FtT)[edit]

A TERF way to refer to trans men, when TERFs remember they actually exist.

Gender abolitionist[edit]

Not to be confused with non-binary.

Often used as a dog whistle for gender-critical/TERF. The reasoning is that gender is "just" a set of stereotypes, and that it shouldn't matter. Only sex assigned at birth should matter. Therefore it's fine to discriminate and stereotype based on the latter. Note that the expression is however sometimes used by well-meaning individuals as well.

Gender Critical feminism[edit]

The version of "TERF" that TERFs insist on being called.

Gender ideology[edit]


A new euphemism(April 2019) that radfems/TERFs have started using to describe themselves, implying that gender is a set of stereotypes, should not matter, and the only thing that matters is sex assigned at birth.


A cisgender woman who supports transgender rights. From the Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid's Tale, where the handmaids were servants of patriarchy, so it's extra-offensive as an insult.


A misspelling of queer used by radfems and exclusionists to mock queer and non-binary people. A censored "q*eer" is also sometimes a signal that you're dealing with radfems and exclusionists.


While discrimination and fear of lesbians do exist, this is more often used by TERFs and radfems as a dog-whistle against male-to-female transgender people. This term is also commonly seen when transgender women are "discriminating" or "invading women's spaces" in an attempt to gatekeep them from entering said spaces.

Male-to-trans (MtT)[edit]

A TERF way to refer to trans women.

Peak trans[edit]

The event or statement that, according to a TERF/gender-critical person, made them become such.[21] An attempt was made by trans people to repurpose/steal the hashtag, but it did not gain significant traction in the long term.

Rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD)[edit]

Rapid onset gender dysphoria is, essentially, the idea that Tumblr, Reddit and similar sites are turning teens (especially girls) trans, teens that had not previously displayed any signs of being transgender. Naturally, this became a favourite among TERFs and other transphobes, who saw it as "proof" that the Trans Agendaβ„’ is turning kids trans. All evidence for the existence of ROGD is one hilariously bad "study" which, among other things, didn't include said kids.


An attempt to reclaim the term TERF while pretending they're equivalent to the suffragettes who campaigned for votes for women. Used as self-identification by TERFs.[17]

Trans agenda (or Queer agenda)[edit]

According to TERFs and alt-righters, trans people have an agenda to:

  • Confuse, trick, and make cis people uncomfortable
  • Invade cis people's bathrooms
  • Feminize men
  • Erase the meaning of "woman" by letting trans women use the term "woman"
  • Replace lesbians with "fake" trans lesbians
  • Destroy lesbianism by pushing young AFAB individuals into calling themselves "non-binary", "trans men", "queer", "pansexual" instead of the classical "lesbian"
  • Cause a genocide of homosexual people, by pressuring them to transition, like in Iran

Meanwhile, trans people's real agenda is to lower the suicide rate for trans people, and reduce gatekeeping.

Trans-identified female (TIF)[edit]

What some TERFs nowadays like to call trans men- that is, of course, in the incredibly rare occasion that they even remember that they exist.

Trans-identified male (TIM)[edit]

The new way some TERFs have started to refer to trans women. MtT and FtT were deemed not good enough, since they actually imply some real change is happening.

Trans Rights Activist (TRA)[edit]

A transgender person that supports the mainstream transgender rights movement (as opposed to TERF/GC views). The name is made to echo the sexist "MRA" movement, in an attempt to draw an equivalence.

Womyn-born womyn (WBW)[edit]

A TERF version of cisgender woman. Womyn alone is also used as a dog-whistle for trans-excluding spaces.

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. ↑
  4. ↑ [] (September 09/17/2018) Deschamps-Braly.
  5. ↑
  6. ↑
  7. ↑ Truscum, SJ Wiki
  8. ↑ This is what i wish people who identify as β€˜truscum’ would try to understand, Sam Dylan Finch, Let's Queer Things Up, July 14, 2018
  9. ↑
  10. ↑ 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
  11. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on Estradiol (medication).
  12. ↑ Rathnayake D, Sinclair R (2010). "Use of spironolactone in dermatology". Skinmed 8 (6): 328–32; quiz 333. PMID 21413648. 
  13. ↑ 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. 
  14. ↑ "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. 
  15. ↑ "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. 
  16. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.
  17. ↑ 17.0 17.1 TERF Warning Signs to Look Out For, Michea B,, Aug 10, 2018
  18. ↑ Woman billboard removed after transphobia row, BBC, 26 September 2018
  19. ↑ #DropTheL petition
  20. ↑ #DropTheB on KnowYourMeme
  21. ↑