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Conceptual article structure and/or replacement for an expanded transgender page. Initial comparison: homosexuality, but some potential expansion beyond that, too.

Lead section[edit]

Terminology and etymology[edit]

Summary. Should link to transgender glossary as a main article.


Present variance demographic splits. There are different FTM/MTF ratios in various countries and studies. There should also be some information about nonbinary/binary split. Also information about how large the community is per country.


Gender binary[edit]

Nonbinary/binary distinction.

Dysphoria status[edit]

Dysphoric, non-dysphoria, different levels and types of dysphoria.

Transition status[edit]

Pre-op, post-op, non-op.


(to be further fact-checked, researched, expanded/briefened at parts, cited)

There are difficulties in interpreting many of the historical accounts that appear to describe transgender people. One of the major problems involves ambiguity: sometimes, a person in history who appears to be transgender can also be reasonably interpreted as a person who was gay, gender-nonconforming, cross-dressing, or intersex — and not further helping the matter is the fact that any combination of these may also be correct, since these five characteristics are not necessarily mutually exclusive (thus there are, for instance, intersex transgender people). Another major problem is definitional: there is not a universal definition of who is transgender. Nevertheless, there are accounts that are more explicitly analogous to recent transgender experiences than others. This includes some attestations from as early as the Roman Empire that appear to describe gender-dysphoric people who even underwent a form of physical and social gender transition.

One such account, from the first century, is given by the displeased Philo of Alexandria. In the midst of a derogatory screed, he wrote:

They ... leave no ember of their male nature to smoulder. Mark how conspicuously they braid and adorn their hair, and how they scrub and paint their faces with cosmetics and pigments and the like. In fact, the transformation of the male nature to the female is practiced by them as an art and does not raise a blush... Certainly you may see these hybrids of man and woman continually strutting about through the thick of the market, heading the processions at the feasts, appointed to serve as unholy ministers of holy things, leading the mysteries and initiations and celebrating the rites of Demeter... Some of them ... craving a complete transformation into women, they have amputated their genital organs.

Maybe in another two thousand years, one of the surviving proofs of transgender existence today will be a Matt Walsh rant.

Marcus Manilius (thought to be a contemporary of Philo) writes:

These [persons] will ever be giving thought to their bedizenment and becoming appearance; to curl the hair and lay it in waving ripples or else to gather in the locks with circlets and arrange them in a heavy top-knot, and to alter the head by adding false ringlets; to polish the shaggy limbs with hollow pumice-stone; Yea! and to hate the very sight of [themselves as] a man, and long for arms without growth of hair. Woman's robes they wear; the coverings of their feet are less for use than show; and steps broken in to an effeminate gait are their delight. Nature they scorn...

Such accounts as these, representing fairly well-articulated analogues to contemporary transgender experiences, are somewhat rare until about the 1800s–1900s. Yet the ones above do demonstrate some level of familiarity with non-fictional transgender concepts from as early as classical antiquity. Transgender themes in fiction appear much earlier.

In the third century, there was also Elagabalus, a teenage Roman emperor who reigned for just four years, and enjoyed one of the worst reputations of any emperor (leading to a swift assassination). There is a claim that Elagabalus enjoyed presenting as and being referred to as a woman, and even sought a kind of sex reassignment surgery, offering vast wealth to any doctor who could provide it. This is somewhat contested, especially because of Elagabalus's horrible reputation and the possible unreliability of the sources claiming it. However, whether it was true or an attempt to frame Elagabalus as reckless, and/or overly effeminate by Roman standards, it demonstrates that people from this time and place could conceptualize the existence of transgender people, and even conceptualize of a hypothetical sex reassignment surgery.

Somewhat more ambiguous are the Enarei, a group of elite Scythian seers who existed centuries before the Roman accounts mentioned above. Accounts state that they were people who were born male, yet became eunuchs (castrated) and then socially presented like women in various ways, including dress and speech. Hippocrates says that they displayed "feminine inclinations and behave[d] as women." Their condition was ascribed a divine origin, and dubbed the "female sickness" by Herodotus (who attributed it to Aphrodite, and her supposed curse inflicted on the Scythians after they raided her temple). The condition of the Enarei actually has the unique distinction of appearing in the Hippocratic Corpus; this cameo led to an unusual degree of interest in their condition over the centuries, including among late-modern psychiatrists. It was sometimes erroneously supposed (including in the Corpus) that their condition was caused by infertility stemming from frequent horseback rides, cold weather, and/or tight pants.

From late antiquity until about the Age of Enlightenment, many cases that appear in the historical record of the Western world are at least slightly ambiguous, in that they could in many instances be interpreted either as cross-gender "impersonators" (including cross-dressers and those escaping a repressive female social role), or as genuinely transgender; to complicate the matter, some people would interpret "cross-gender impersonators" who lack physical gender dysphoria as transgender in any case (or at least "gender-transgressive"), due to the way they may define the term "transgender" to mean a kind of presentation (especially a consistent one) or series of "transition" acts, regardless of whether the person has/had gender dysphoria. Among these cases to be interpreted are quite a few venerated saints, e.g. Euphrosyne/Smaragdus of Alexandria (fifth century), Marina/Marinos the Monk (probably fifth century), and Anastasia the Patrician (sixth century); the exact form each one's gender-transgression took varies. Regardless of whether these are to be defined as transgender people in late antiquity and the medieval era, certain of them are held as "patron saints" among some contemporary transgender Christians.

Outside Christianity, a similar situation is found in Germanic paganism. For instance there is Hervör in the Icelandic Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (Saga Heiðreks konúngs ens vitra; from the thirteenth century but containing earlier material), who poses as a man and begins using the name Hervard instead of Hervör. Elsewhere in the Norse mythology there are mentions, and depictions, of Loki and Odin transforming genders. Loki, a trickster god, has in particular been recognized as genderfluid, having spent quite a few consecutive years presenting as a woman.

In Judaism, there was a 1322 writing (a poem called Even Boḥan) by the rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus that expressed regret over not having been born female. From the poem:

Oh, but had the artisan who made me created me instead—a fair woman. Today I would be wise and insightful. ... On holidays I would put on my best jewelry. I would beat on the drum and my clapping hands would ring. And when I was ready and the time was right, an excellent youth would be my fortune. He would love me, place me on a pedestal ... And on the appointed day, in the season of joy when brides are wed, for seven days would the boy increase my delight and gladness. ... The three husbandly duties he would fulfill ... And three wifely duties would I also fulfill. Father in heaven, who did miracles ... Who would then turn me from a man to woman? ... What shall I say? Why cry or be bitter? If my Father in heaven has decreed upon me and has maimed me with an immutable deformity, then I do not wish to remove it. And the sorrow of the impossible is a human pain that nothing will cure and for which no comfort can be found. So, I will bear and suffer until I die and wither in the ground. And since I have learned from the tradition that we bless both the good and the bitter, I will bless in a voice, hushed and weak, Blessed are you, O Lord, who has not made me a woman.

This is traditionally interpreted as some kind of satire, although it has been re-interpreted in contemporary times by some transgender readers. Much earlier than that, the Talmud (a collection of important Jewish texts) recorded more than two sexes or genders; it was written in ancient times, and is said to transmit oral traditions from an even earlier period than it was written in. One of the more unusual gender categories the Talmud presents is that of a tumtum, who is someone of apparently-indeterminable sex and seemingly obligated to follow the religious regulations for both men and women — a kind of bigender role. Another case is that of an androgynos, which almost certainly refers to an intersex person; the gender role of such a person in Judaism is debated in the Talmud.

Cultures more remote from the West sometimes record "third genders"; accounts of these often either predate colonial European contact, or appear to be first recorded in early accounts of such contact. The hijra in India are one notable example of a third gender in a non-Western culture, and hijra identity apparently emerged during the late medieval era, appearing under both Hindu and Muslim rule (in the fourteenth century, the Islamic monument Hijron Ka Khanqah was made for this community and still stands today). For many hijra today, their patron deity is the goddess Bahuchara Mata. Often the hijra have been marginalized, working in roles such as prostitution, though their unique status means they are also frequently hired to bless events such as weddings.

In late fourteenth century England there are accounts about John or Eleanor Rykener, a prostitute who persistently presented as a woman though having been assigned male at birth. From the sixteenth century there's Eleno de Céspedes and Antonio de Erauso, both Spaniards who may have been trans men; in the seventeenth century Thomas/ine Hall was an intersex person in Virginia who presented as either male or female at different points and was declared by a court to be both. By the 1640s, entries begin to appear in English dictionaries for the word "transfeminate", or "transfeminated", defined as a person changing sex.

By the 1700s some more explicit cases begin to appear. Two of the more unique ones are Chevalière d'Éon and the Public Universal Friend. The former was assigned male at birth but later legally recognized as female after socially transitioning, living and presenting in this role for a considerable proportion of her life. The latter was a Quaker who declared themselves to be animated by a genderless (agender) spirit, persistently rejecting their previous name and birth gender; the Public Universal Friend also began a new religious movement. Somewhat similar to the Public Universal Friend was Romaine Rivière, who was assigned male but declared herself to be animated by a female spirit; she referred to herself specifically as a prophetess, and is called Romaine-la-Prophétesse. Under these auspices, she led a rebellion early into the Haitian Revolution (in the 1790s).

Throughout the 1800s there are cases such as Kaúxuma Núpika, James Barry, Charley Parkhurst, and Little Joe Monahan, all of whom have sometimes been interpreted as trans men. Barry in particular lived his entire adult life as a man and even attempted to arrange for it to be the case that nobody would inspect his body once he died — somewhat of an unusual length to go to. Murray H. Hall was similarly persistent in his presentation, keeping the fact that he was assigned female at birth a secret from even his adopted daughter; it was only discovered in 1901, which caused a media sensation. Hall managed to vote and was even a politician in New York City. Joseph Lobdell was another such a case, and he considered himself "a man in all that the name implies", according to one doctor in 1883. There were also quite a few cases of people assigned female at birth in this century who posed as men to become soldiers; some of them continued with this presentation so persistently that they have been interpreted as trans men. One case of this was Albert Cashier, who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. An article from 1893 in The Chicago Herald states that "everyday life fairly swarm with instances" of "women who personate men".

There are also accounts of people assigned male at birth who expressed themselves as women in the 1800s. Peter Sewally (who worked under the name Mary Jones) is one of the more ambiguous cases. However, there are also more obvious cases such as Frances Thompson (who testified to US Congress about the Memphis Riots of 1866) and Lucy Hicks Anderson, both of whom explicitly identified as women (and were both black trans women). Anderson in particular is known to have insisted that she was a girl from a very early age, and this caused a doctor to advise that she be allowed to live and be treated as a girl/woman — which she did, until the 1940s when she imprisoned for this (she told the court that she: "lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman"). An 1858 report in Raftsman's Journal states there was a gender-transgressor named Countess de Solege de Lange who "turned out to be a man" upon postmortem inspection, and lived as a nun in Versailles for half a century.

Gender dysphoria appears to have become a topic of discussion in the medical literature by the 1800s (though by different names), if not earlier, with some relating the condition to that of the Enarei found in the Hippocratic Corpus. This included an 1829 overview written by Johann Baptist Friedreich, a psychiatrist from Germany. The Proceedings of the Finnish Medical Association published a case study in 1882 of a trans man. As early as 1885, French psychologist Théodule-Armand Ribot published Diseases of Personality, with reference to what he called a "cerebral disorder of unknown character (a woman supposing herself to be a man, or vice versa)" causing "the feelings, the ways, the speech, the dress of the imaginary sex". In 1886 the German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing named gender dysphoria "metamorphosis sexualis" (termed "metamorphosis sexualis without paranoia" or "with paranoia" depending on whether he personally judged the case to involve delusions) or alternatively "transmutatio sexus". Around this same time, Magnus Hirschfeld began to write on people he called "sexual intermediaries" by the end of the century, a category which included transgender, intersex, and gay people alike.

Articulation of transgender experiences, both through self-expression and medical theory, really began to take off around the turn of the century. Hirschfeld began to define people later described as transsexual (a term he may have actually coined, though barely used) as "extreme tranvestites", or "total transvestites". Havelock Ellis (who was aware of Hirschfeld's work) termed it differently, coining the phrase sexo-aesthetic inversion in 1914, and later referring to it as eonism, in reference to Chevalière d'Éon. Also active about this time was non-binary writer Jennie June, who termed himself an androgyne, a bisexual (in the "both male and female" sense), and an "instinctive female impersonator" though he referred to himself with masculine pronouns; he sometimes prayed to be turned into a girl. He was ostensibly involved in the gay and transgender advocacy group Cercle Hermaphroditos, though it is unclear whether this group ever really existed.

Many more accounts of clearly-transgender people exist beginning in the first half of the 1900s. Hirschfeld founded the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee in the 1890s, and would later found the Institute of Sex Research (Institut für Sexualwissenschaft) in 1919; both of these advocated for social tolerance towards gay and transgender people. The work of Hirschfeld and the research institute did plenty to articulate transgender existence and experiences — the institute offered a plethora of services and doubled as a clinic for transgender medicine. Hirschfeld was initially opposed to transgender medicine, but came around to the idea upon learning that it could help decrease suicidality — which was also a problem that Jennie June had been concerned about, and Hirschfeld himself had previously argued for social tolerance towards gay people as a way to prevent suicides. A number of notable cases of transgender people in the 1900s received moral support and/or help with gender transition from the institute, including the intersex trans man Karl M. Baer, whose book on his experiences became popular in Germany. Others included Toni Ebel, Dora Richter, and Lili Elbe (all trans women).

Still around the same point in time, there are accounts of trans people who had no apparent contact with Hirschfeld or his institute, nor even any apparent awareness of its existence. These included Harry Allen, a trans man who was a notoriously rowdy criminal and caused a sensation in American newspapers from about 1900–1922. There is also the extremely strange account from 1905 of May Best, a woman who supposedly began transforming into a man in her thirties, perhaps due to some intersex condition. She underwent some unspecified "operation" after this that "left her a woman in in experience and ideals, but a man in form and physical attributes". What makes this case quite strange is the fact that, based on the reports, she was not at all happy with this, yet was pressured into living as a man from then on.

Amelio Robles Ávila was another case, a trans man who served as a soldier during the Mexican Revolution (which took place 1910–1920). Ávila was actually so insistent on being referred to as a man that he would violently threaten anyone who denied it to him; he lived as a man until he was ninety-five years old (in 1984). On at least one occasion, a newspaper report from this era written about a transgender and/or intersex person helped another's awareness: Hiram Calder (born May Calder) was a trans man who showed such an article about "mistaken sex" to a priest as a way of explaining. Calder stated to him: "this is my case exactly, Father". Calder moved from his birthplace and lived as a man in Florida for some time before dying in 1914, when it was then discovered by the locals that he was transgender.

Back in Germany, Hirschfeld began distributing "transvestite passes" as a kind of doctor's note in about 1909, to cross-dressers and transgender people alike (who, remember, were both categorized as "transvestites", even if the latter were called "total transvestites"). These assisted them in evading legal persecution. There is a somewhat analogous case from a couple decades prior: in 1885, a trans man in Virginia named Lawrence Register Payne (originally named Rebecca Payne) had his gender identity legally recognized with the help of a doctor's attestation. Payne had told his grandmother, in private, that he was male.

The Institute of Sex Research may have been where much of trans medicine really got its start, even though it was only a relatively niche service among the many that the institute provided to the public. Historian Robert M. Beachy mentions how the institute experimented not only with sex reassignment surgery (which had somewhat already been a thing — surgical interventions were sometimes used on intersex people with or without their own consent), but also facial feminization surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and hair removal.

Transgender medicine[edit]

Gender transition[edit]

Can largely be a summary of the gender transition article. Perhaps some extra points can be added.

Physical transition[edit]

Social transition[edit]

Includes legal transition. Briefly mention psychological benefit since it's in the medicine section.

Health issues[edit]

Origin theories[edit]

Evolutionary perspectives[edit]

As an inborn characteristic[edit]




Other traits[edit]

Relationship to homosexuality[edit]

Compare/contrast with homosexuality, mention history of cultural cross-over, and how they both challenge traditional gender roles.



Culture war fodder[edit]

May explain how it perfectly overlaps with so many various prejudices, such that everybody wants to chip into the "culture wars" regarding trans people: it tugs on various groups' hatred for women, hatred for men, for body autonomy, the irreligious or secular, autistic people, people of different political views, gay people, "political correctness" and "language policing", academia and the higher-educated, Big Science, Big Pharma and doctors in general, hatred for the unknown, and for change.

Sex segregation[edit]

See also articles: Transphobia and public restrooms, and Sex segregation in public restrooms, Sex and gender in sport. This section is partly commented out; viewable in source/editing mode. Hidden sections could perhaps be made their own articles.

Conspiracy theories[edit]

Cover transvestigation and the overlapped antisemitic conspiracy theories (e.g. represented by the Bilek crowd, in part). Also the "Big Pharma" type garbage that overlaps with the antisemitic and/or far-right stuff as well as with anti-LGBT far-leftism (especially tankies).


Link transphobia article as the main page. List discriminatory impacts. Mention that the gender pay gap is reflected with trans men/women too, somewhat fascinatingly. Could discuss transmisogyny, in that vein.


Hate crimes[edit]

Should mention the police-media relationship that likely buries a lot of trans deaths as trans deaths (reporting them as their birth sex alone, reporting them as cross-dressers, etc...).

Conversion therapy[edit]

Link conversion therapy article as the main page.

Religious views[edit]

This whole thing might be better off summarized on the transgender page, then split into its own article, if there really is this much content available (there probably is). Perhaps "Religious views on LGBT topics", more broadly? Or an equivalent to the attitudes towards homosexuality article, not specifically religious. To this end, there are many sub-sections hidden here in comments, viewable only in source.

As a spiritual characteristic[edit]

"A masculine/feminine soul trapped in the wrong body": an analogy many hold to be antiquated, but some still view as legitimate for religious reasons. Section may be brief and this can be elaborated on in the religious views section.

Abrahamic faiths[edit]

Link Transphobia#Among fundamentalist Christians as a "see also".

Link out to the gender ideology article when discussing Catholicism; but mention pro-trans stances in the Catholic church as well.

Eastern religions[edit]

Chinese religions[edit]
Dharmic religions[edit]


Link Transphobia#Neopagan transphobia as a "see also".


Indigenous religions[edit]

New religious movements[edit]


Merge in "days of significance". Include information about transgender culture.

Cross-cultural occurrence[edit]

  • Kathoey

Notable transgender people[edit]

List more historical figures perhaps.

In nature[edit]

There are, surprisingly, some sources that discuss "transgender in nonhuman animals" (example one, two, three, four, five). I have not yet reviewed these in much depth. It's possible that the concept is too patently ridiculous to really include, but maybe not. In any case, pro-trans sources appear to reach wildly various conclusions on this. There has also been the comparison to clownfish, mushrooms, etc. with their sex-changing and multi-sex ways, but this may be more fittingly called intersex, if anything. We'll see.

A useful source may be Bruce Bagemihl,Wikipedia particularly his book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity.


Could add more photos of people here, especially if all of the ones in the history sections can't fit.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Health and medicine[edit]

Biology and origins[edit]

Historical analyses[edit]

Politics and society[edit]

Religious views[edit]