The simple diagram above can be reversed for F to M transgendered people.
‘Transgendered’ is possibly the least well-defined and most overused term you will find anywhere on this site, and indeed in the trans community as a whole. Although it is an ‘umbrella’ term, used to classify anyone with any type of gender dysphoria as explained above, you may at some point encounter people who identify themselves as simply ‘tg‘.
This might seem confusing and you may well be asking yourselves - if ‘transgendered’ is an ‘umbrella’ term, these people must fall into another category as well? Well, the answer is "Not necessarily"!
Recently there has been a move by such people to use other terms to describe themselves; but as stated above, the easiest to understand for our purposes is ‘third gender’.
A person living as tg or third gender may present as female yet remain biologically male. They may have certain body modifications, for example breast implants, whilst remaining male. They may or may not take female hormones to alter their body chemistry. Women may present as male whilst remaining female. There are many possible combinations and this list is not exhaustive.
The more you start to look around at people you appreciate just how much we all differ as human beings. Just look at us women - long hair, short hair, somewhere in the middle hair, pierced ears, pierced lips, eyebrows, belly buttons, or nothing pierced at all. Breast enlargement, breast reduction, plucked eyebrows, painted nails, short nails, different sizes and shapes. No two of us are the same, we all go about things differently - some of us live in jeans, others live in skirts and dresses. The point is we are allowed to be and do as we choose and as we feel is right for us.
If we apply the same thinking to gender, which is a thing very few of us actually think about, is it really that difficult to understand?
We are usually fortunate enough to be born with a subconscious inbuilt knowledge of who we are. For the transgendered, however they define themselves, this inbuilt knowledge often does not match society's expectations of what they should look like and how they should behave as men or women. People who are transsexual, for example, know their bodies do not match what their brain is telling them and whilst for them it is simpler, in as much as they KNOW that their minds and bodies don't match and can seek treatment to alter their bodies, for "third gender" people, things are a bit more fuzzy around the edges.
They may not feel wholly male or wholly female. They may feel like a mixture of the two. They may, if they are strongly drawn to the female aspects of their personalities, present most or all the time as women but opt not to have any surgical or hormonal intervention to alter their bodies. They may present part of the time as male and part of the time as female. The best such a person can hope for is to find a combination of lifestyle and treatment which works for them and where they feel comfortable, and live that way.
© Transpartners 2008