Transgender: Medicine and Research

Throughout human history, there have been people who were transgender, individuals whose gender identity and expression differ from the sex they appear to be at birth. Some cultures accepted these differences, whereas others violently opposed them. The current world culture is in the midst of a sea change with regard to gender. And although there is still open hostility in some sectors, in many places, there is an increased openness toward people who are gender-nonconforming.

Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine. 

Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or may decline to label their sexual orientation. The term transgender is also distinguished from intersex, a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies”. The counterpart of transgender is cisgender, which describes persons whose gender identity or expression matches their assigned sex.

 

 

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