Transgender glossary

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

A few slurs are included here, so note that slurs can act as both a sword against or a shield used by marginalized communities. Like the African American verbal game, "The Dozens",Wikipedia LGBT slang was used a shield to toughen up individuals within the community against a harsh and difficult outside world.[1] After the 1969 Stonewall riots,[note 1] the LGBT community has gradually gone from marginalization to mainstream, and the continued use of slurs within the community nowadays would be perceived as self-hatred rather than 'toughening up'.


AFAB / AMAB / AGAB[edit]

See Sex assignment at birth


AndrogynyWikipedia is gender ambiguity.

Baby trans[edit]

A trans person who has recently discovered that they're trans. It may also refer to a trans minor. An analogous term, "baby gay",Wiktionary sees some usage in the gay community.


A trans woman who is aware/knowledgeable about issues of transmisogyny (even within the trans community). Reclaimed from Old English "bæddel" (feminine male, hermaphrodite) and likely etymology of the word "bad".


Alternative forms: manmode, guymode, etc.
Also see Girlmode.

When a trans person presents as male.

Boymoding does not imply anything about a person's gender identity, or assigned gender at birth. People of any gender may choose to boymode. For example, a trans woman might choose to present as male, at least part of the time, to avoid harassment, job loss, or abuse.

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 / AGAB which conveys the view that gender assignment is arbitrary but still strictly enforced.

Chaser / trans chaser[edit]

A person who seeks to date trans persons solely because they are trans, particularly in a fetishistic and dehumanizing manner.[3] A now very rare term with the same meaning is transfanWiktionary. The term skoliosexualWiktionary also means something similar, though it's less derogatory.


Chestfeeding is a more inclusive alternative to the term "breastfeeding." Since breasts become gendered, to say "breastfeeding" automatically suggests womanhood. Chests, however, do not, according to society, necessarily presuppose a gender, thus to say one chestfeeds is to ensure there is a higher likelihood of preventing another person from automatically gendering the nursing parent. Chestfeeding is a term, thus, that seeks to indicate acknowledgment of and support for trans and non-binary people.

Chicks with dicks[edit]

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


Alternative form: "cissexual", as a counterpart to transsexual.

A cisgender person is a someone whose gender identity matches their assigned sex at birth, i.e. someone who is not transgender or nonbinary. Compare: dyadic.


"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".

"Clocky" is sometimes used to mean "a person likely to be clocked," or "a person who is visibly gender-nonconforming."

Cross-dresser / Transvestite[edit]

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. In the early 1900s, the term "transvestite" was sometimes used to refer to transgender people, and more exactly "extreme transvestites" or "total transvestites" were used at that time by Magnus Hirschfeld to distinguish them from others under the same label.[4][5] Such usage already would have been considered antiquated by about mid-century, as the term transsexual took its place.

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.[6] 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.[7]


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.[8] A drag king is a woman dressed as a stereotypical man, often with facial hair, leather or formal suits, and fake penises (packing).[9] 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.[10]


A slang abbreviation of non-binary; can be used as a noun (e.g. "an enby", or "some enbies"). Some non-binary people don't like the term, considering it overly "cutesy", while others do like it or at least find it useful.


Short for feminine. Also French word meaning "woman". Sometimes written "fem".


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 identity[edit]

"Gender identity" typically refers to one of two things: someone's outwardly stated and expressed gender, or else one's internal sense of their own gender (whether explicitly expressed or not). As for the latter usage, some evidence suggests it could be partly innate for some people (see: Transgender § As an inborn characteristic).


Also see Boymode.

When a trans person presents as female.

Girlmoding does not imply anything about a person's gender identity, or assigned gender at birth. People of any gender may choose to girlmode. For example, a non-binary person assigned female at birth might choose to present as binary female, at least part of the time, to avoid harassment, job loss, or abuse.

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". It is possible to be both intersex and transgender. In fact, it appears like the occurrence of transgender identity, nonbinary identity, and/or gender dysphoria may be several times higher in intersex populations than the general population.[11][12] (Though, considering the rarity of either population, this could be somewhat difficult to reliably study.)


Third person singular pronouns typically used to refer to non-human animals and inanimate objects, and in more recent times often used to mock trans people. However, some people in the trans and/or non-binary community might use these pronouns. This pronoun was more commonly used within the LGBT community in pre-Stonewall days.[1]:114


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.


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.


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


A term originating on 4chan’s /lgbt/ (aka /tttt/ whose users are mostly trans women and retain many characteristics of 4chan’s general userbase such as referring to themselves with slurs and making suicide jokes) for a stereotypical trans man who behaves extremely femininely. It has also been co-opted by transphobes who target trans men.

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. Named for the neo-Nazi website and a stereotype of proseccoWikipedia drinkers as (a certain type of) woman.[13]

Real-life experience[edit]

Abbreviation: RLE

The experience of living for a period of time while openly expressing oneself as the gender one wishes to become. In many places (e.g. Germany), undergoing this experience is/was a requirement prior to receiving access to hormone replacement therapy. It's considered a form of gatekeeping, and is also flawed for the way it often enforces stereotypical gender roles even though someone (even a transgender person) may prefer to express themselves in various gender non-conforming ways.

🛡️ / ⚔️ / ⚡[edit]

The shield emoji (🛡️) is commonly used to signal opposition to transmedicalism. On the other hand, the crossed-swords (⚔️) and lightning bolt (⚡) emojis are used as truscum dogwhistles. The swords emoji originated from Kalvin Garrah, who is now inactive but formerly called his fans the "cis knights"[14] while the lightning bolts originate from a former transmedicalist named Storm Ryan.

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: Assigned Female At Birth
  • AMAB: Assigned Male At Birth
  • AGAB: Assigned Gender At Birth

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 slur used to insult trans women. It is a common term in the pornography industry. The term was controversially used by drag queen RuPaul.[15]


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

Woodworking is a somewhat dated term for cutting off all contact with anybody who knew a trans person by their assigned gender at birth, relocating to a new area, and going fully stealth. Until the 1990s, health care professionals often assumed this should be the end goal of any gender transition. Trans people were sometimes pressured to disassociate from friends, family, and professional contacts even if they did not wish to do so, under threat of being deemed not trans enough to receive health care.

Today, some individuals view "going stealth" as a tactic to avoid anti-trans discrimination. Though, this comes with certain social trade-offs even if somebody finds it achievable, such as relative isolation from the wider trans community, and a general lack of real-world personal support regarding trans-related experiences. The disadvantages are also obvious to cutting ties to old friends and relatives one had a positive relationship with.


"Trans for trans," describing a romantic or sexual relationship between two trans people. It can also describe a trans person who prefers relationships with other trans people.


A trans man/boy or trans woman/girl, respectively. Not inherently derogatory, but these terms are primarily used in the context of sex and/or pornography, so using it to refer to a random trans person will come across as very creepy.

TERF Island[edit]

A half-sarcastic nickname for the United Kingdom, due to its overwhelming and widespread transphobia in news media, entertainment, and politics, especially of the TERF kind (unlike the US, where transphobia is instead almost entirely a component of the conservative political agenda).[16] Some polling by Ipsos suggests attitudes towards transgender people among the general population of the UK are similar to that of the general population of the US, if not in fact slightly more positive;[17][18][19]:35–39 this may suggest any unique issue (in comparison to the US) is moreso confined to the British intelligentsia.

Trans broken arm syndrome[edit]

Trans broken arm syndrome is the sarcastic and often-hyperbolic title given to scenarios where someone (usually, but evidently not always,[20][21] a doctor) automatically assumes a trans person's ailment is caused by their gender transition, even if this is excessively unlikely or there is otherwise no rational basis to believe it (such as with a broken arm). This is considered a type of medical discrimination.[22] This might not stem from mean-spiritedness on the part of the doctor, but may indicate ignorance of transgender medicine.

Trans-inclusionary radical feminism[edit]

A trans-inclusionary radical feminist, or TIRF, is a radical feminist who is inclusive towards transgender people, and (crucially in some distinctions) transgender women. The phrases "TIRF" and "TERF" were actually coined by a TIRF in order to distinguish her own beliefs from those of TERFs, who are exclusionary towards transgender people and particularly transgender women. Some transgender people may self-identify as TIRFs as well. One prominent trans-inclusionary radical feminist who is cisgender would be Catharine A. MacKinnon,Wikipedia who was previously an associate of the late Andrea Dworkin.


A derogatory and offensive term for a transgender person.[23] 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",[24] and Trannyshack, which was renamed to Mother.[25]


A contraction of "trans lesbian", that is, a trans woman / MtF attracted to women. Preference for certain terms varies between individuals, so some may prefer "trans lesbian" over "transbian", or vice versa. Some may prefer to simply say "lesbian" without anything in addition.

Transfeminism / transfeminist[edit]

Alternate spelling: trans feminism / trans feminist

TransfeminismWikipedia is a sub-branch of feminism; it cuts across different schools of feminism and could include trans-inclusionary radical feminism. It focuses on issues especially affecting transgender people, such as transmisogyny, through a lens informed by feminist theory.


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


Abbreviation: trans, or less commonly, TG

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


For more information, see: Gender ideology

Outdated term for "being transgender", today primarily used by transphobes to imply that being transgender is a political ideology (or product of one) rather than a state of being.

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.


See the main article on this topic: Transmedicalism
Abbreviation: transmed

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


See the main articles on this topic: Transmisogyny and Misogynoir

Discrimination or prejudice towards black transgender women.

Transmisogyny-affected (TMA)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Transmisogyny

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]

See the main article on this topic: Transmisogyny

A term for people not affected by transmisogyny: cis people of all genders, trans men/transmasculine people, 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


Abbreviation: TS

A term for trans people who specifically undergo HRT and SRS, or seek to do so. The "-sexual" suffix is used here more like it is in the term intersexualWiktionary (i.e. referring to sex such as in intersex) than in homosexual (which refers rather to sexuality). A shift towards instead using the broader term "transgender" took place around the 1990s onward, especially "as a collective organizing term".[26] Some people continue to identify with the term "transsexual",[27] while others consider the term outdated or offensive; therefore, it's recommended to use it only if someone self-identifies with the term (or possibly in some other circumstances, e.g. quoting historical materials).[28] Among people who still self-identify as transsexual, there are those who were a part of the trans community when this was the common terminology and simply never changed theirs. There are also some who use it as a kind of dog whistle to signify exclusionary attitudes towards other types of trans people: truscum, TERFs (of the self-hating trans variety), or transmedicalists may identify as "transsexual" to that end, for instance. There is nothing inherent about the term that lends itself to these scenarios, however, and some people may simply prefer the term to describe their own experiences.

Trans bashing[edit]

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

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.[29]


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 (a trans girl character who was raised as a girl because of religious superstition, but identified as a boy at the time, prior to -STRIVE-), 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.[citation needed]

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 Japan, this is often associated with a subculture called otokonoko. For many anime fans, the word 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 onward, 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 its use to determine if it is being used in a transphobic way, if it is an anime fan discussing a character, or a cross-dresser using it to identify themself.


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.[30]


"Tucute"Wiktionary basically refers to people who aren't "truscum" and don't prescribe to transmedicalism or any even more extreme anti-trans beliefs. In essence, someone who has a positive approach to transgender people and defines "transgender" in a way that includes people both with and without gender dysphoria, as well as transgender people who don't adhere to the gender stereotypes of their gender identity.


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").

Specific types[edit]


Agender (meaning "without" or "a lack of" a "gender"; also genderless, non-gendered, ungendered[31][32]) is a person who identifies as "having no gender" or "without gender identity".[33] It may fall under the genderqueer or transgender[34][35][36] (lit. being "beyond gender") umbrella. It is related to, and may overlap with the gender identity of neutrois, defined as either a neutral or neither gender, or sometimes no gender.[37]


BigenderWikipedia is a gender identity that consists of two genders.


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).


FaʻafafineWikipedia is a gender identity in traditional Samoan culture, variously described as including transgender women, and/or bigender/third-gender AMAB people. One estimate states that between one and five percent of the Samoan population are faʻafafine.[38]


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.


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.[39]

Kathoey (ladyboy)[edit]

In Thailand, kathoey (usually translated to English as 'ladyboy') is used to encompass trans women and effeminate gay men.


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

See genderqueer.


Neutrois is a gender identity that is neutral or null. Neutrois people may also describe themselves variously as genderless, neither male nor female, or androgynous, or possibly agender,[37] the lack of a gender, a term with which there is a degree of overlap, although neutrois tends to cover a neutral gender identity, whereas agender tends to cover the lack of a gender.

Transfeminine / Transfemme[edit]

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.

Trans man / FtM[edit]

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

Transmasculine / Transmasc[edit]

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.

Trans woman / MtF[edit]

A trans womanWikipedia is a person who identifies as female and was AMAB. The term “MtF” has fallen out of favor in the trans community in recent years.[40]


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


Two-spiritWikipedia is a term used by some Indigenous North American peoples to describe gender-variant people in their communities. Indigenous people often perceive the term as offensive cultural appropriation when used by people who are not of Indigenous heritage.

Surgeries and similar procedures[edit]

Bottom surgery[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Gender transition

Refers to any surgery to transform the genitals, usually a vaginoplastyWikipedia (for a trans woman / MtF) or a phalloplasty/WikipediametoidioplastyWikipedia (for a trans man / FtM). Also see: top surgery and sex reassignment surgery.

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.[41] It thus reduces the effects on facial anatomy caused by male puberty. One study found that FFS significantly increases how frequently its recipients are perceived as a woman (57.31% of the time for pre-operative subjects, 94.27% for post-operative subjects, and 99.38% of the time for cisgender women).[42] Perhaps for that reason, the surgery is associated with better quality-of-life in transfeminine individuals who undergo it.[43][44]

Facial masculinization surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: FMS

Facial masculinization surgeryWikipedia is facial feminization surgery's less-common sibling. It may involve augmenting the Adam's apple, forehead, brow ridge, jaw, etc.

Gender reassignment surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: GRS
Sometimes also referred as sex reassignment surgery (SRS)

Alternative wording for sex reassignment surgery

Hair removal[edit]

Any process by which hair is removed or reduced, permanently or semi-permanently. Most commonly applied to facial hair or body hair. Can be done via laser hair removalWikipedia or electrologyWikipedia (also called "electrolysis"), the latter of which is known to be more permanent but also time-expensive.


A hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus. The ovaries and Fallopian tubes may be removed as well (which would be a oophorectomy and salpingectomy, respectively). For various reasons, some transgender people including many transgender men prefer to undergo this, and may or may not seek a full sex reassignment surgery in addition to it.[45]


Abbreviation: Orchi

An orchiectomy is the removal of the testicles. Though this could be performed out of simple preference, it's commonly performed because someone has testicles and wants to stop testosterone production without having to continually take anti-androgen drugs. Some individuals may like to do this without going all the way with a sex reassignment surgery.[46]

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. Most usually, this refers to bottom surgery.

Top surgery[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Gender transition

Refers to a surgery done on the chest area, most usually a thorough breast reductionWikipedia (what a trans man / FtM might seek[47][48]), or somewhat less commonly, a breast augmentationWikipedia (something a trans woman / MtF might seek[49]). See also: bottom surgery.

Voice feminization surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: VFS

A surgery to feminize someone's voice. Many people (not just transgender people — voice actors and singers can confirm) can achieve this non-surgically with voice training lessons and practice, but this would be the more straightforward (though more expensive) option. Also see: voice masculinization surgery.

Voice masculinization surgery[edit]

Abbreviation: VMS

Although voice masculinization is one of the things testosterone tends to do very well, and it can also be achieved with non-surgical voice therapy, in some relatively rare cases transgender people, particularly transgender men, may seek a voice masculinization surgery for various reasons.[50] Also see: voice feminization surgery.


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



Abbreviation: Fin

FinasterideWikipedia is an anti-androgen that reduces the production of dihydrotestosteroneWikipedia (DHT). This is most frequently used by cisgender men to prevent hair loss (and was FDA-approved for that). In some relatively rare cases, transgender women use it for the same purpose,[51] although a usual hormone replacement regime is typically enough to stop hair loss for such a case (or, less commonly, even to induce regrowth in some cases).[52] In other edge cases (e.g. if the patient has contraindications with any other anti-androgens), transgender women may even use it as a substitute for other anti-androgens. Transgender men may also use finasteride to block DHT and thus prevent hair loss while retaining any other personally-desired effects from testosterone.[51]

GnRH agonists[edit]

GnRH agonistsWikipedia are the most common form of what's usually referred to as puberty blockers. It prevents the start of, or stops the progression of, puberty in both AFAB and AMAB young people (and is similarly used on cis children experiencing precocious puberty). By overstimulating GnRH receptors, it ultimately shuts down the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis' signal to the gonads to produce sex hormones. It is never prescribed before Tanner stage 2. The young person can decide to either move on to masculizing or feminizing hormone therapy or to stop treatment, in which case puberty will resume normally.


MinoxidilWikipedia is a drug that combats loss of hair on the scalp, in both men and women; it's one of the few drugs FDA-approved for this purpose. It may be used by transgender people for that same purpose, possibly combined with finasteride. A somewhat more novel use is to promote beard growth,[53] which may be useful to a transgender man if the individual's experience with facial hair growth as a result of testosterone alone isn't considered extensive enough.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators[edit]

Abbreviation: SERMs

Selective estrogen receptor modulators,Wikipedia as their name suggests, adjust how the body receives certain estrogens in a more targeted way. A few SERMs (tamoxifen,Wikipedia lasofoxifene,Wikipedia and raloxifene)Wikipedia have been discussed for their potential use by some rare few individuals who desire a more androgynous appearance.[54][55] Its use in transgender people for that particular purpose is considered new (that is, experimental) by the mainstream medical literature, but SERMs have also been used as a potential solution for various health issues in cisgender men and women such as breast cancer,[54] or infertility.[56] There have been reports that one SERM, clomipheneWikipedia (or "clomid"), has been successfully used in some transgender women and transgender men to induce fertility even after months of hormone replacement therapy.[57][58]



Abbreviation: Bica

BicalutamideWikipedia is an anti-androgen. Its use is relatively rare compared to cyproterone acetate and spironolactone, but may be prescribed as an alternative (especially in the United States where it may be used secondarily to spironolactone). Unlike the others, bicalutamide blocks the androgen receptor rather than lowering androgen levels.

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;[51] however studies linking cypro with liver problems have been criticised and the link questioned.[59] Although cypro is mainly used for its anti-androgenic effects it reportedly induces "progesterone-like activity", especially mildly-elevated levels of prolactin when compared against subjects who instead took spironolactone.[51]


Abbreviation: E or E2

EstradiolWikipedia (also spelt oestradiol) is a primarily female hormone that transforms secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia It's one of the most commonly used and known estrogens.[60]


Abbreviation: E

EstrogensWikipedia (also spelt oestrogen) are a family of steroidal compounds that produce female secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia The HRT regime of most transgender women consists of either just some sort of estrogen and an anti-androgen, or else some sort of estrogen alone (the latter especially in any cases where the body no longer produces testosterone).


PremarinWikipedia is the common (brand-name) term for conjugated estrogens. It was frequently prescribed from about the 1940s–1990s for transgender HRT.[61][62] Premarin has been the butt of many jokes because it is derived from pregnant mare urine (thus the contraction "Premarin"). However today, a different sort of hormones derived from materials like diosgenin or stigmasterol found in plants such as wild yams, cacti, or soybeans are much more commonly used.[61][63] The most common recipients of conjugated estrogens as a hormone supplement have always been menopausal cisgender women — Premarin was actually at one point the most common brand-name prescription drug in the United States.[64] As a prescription for transgender women, conjugated estrogens declined in usage by the early 2000s,[62] and major guidelines for transgender medicine have, since at least 2022, stated that their use by transgender women is non-preferred when estradiol is available.[65]


Abbreviation: Prog

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.[66] It's the main effect if you're a trans woman because it suppresses testosterone.[67][68][69] It's known to cause salt cravings. It's an anti-androgen used in the US as an alternative to cyproterone acetate.[51]



Abbreviation: DHT

DihydrotestosteroneWikipedia is an androgen may be used, relatively rarely, by transgender men in addition to testosterone. Its effects can include male pattern baldness, which may be desired or undesired depending on the individual's preferences; if undesired, it can be blocked using finasteride. DHT is also used by some trans men in preparation for transmasculine sex-reassignment surgery.


Abbreviation: T

TestosteroneWikipedia is a primarily male hormone that transforms secondary sex characteristics.Wikipedia Most transgender men take this alone.

See also[edit]


  1. Trans women and drag queens played a major role in the riots that led to the gay liberation movement.[2]


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  3. Beware the Chasers: “Admirers” Who Harass Trans People by Christin Scarlett Milloy (Oct 02, 20149:36 AM) Slate.
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  6. Laverne Cox lambastes ‘deadnaming.’ What is it and why is it a problem? by Allyson Chiu (August 14, 2018) The Washington Post.
  7. What Is Deadnaming?, Healthline
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