Transgender: The current overarching term describing a person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transsexual: An older, more clinical term describing a person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an overarching term . Many transgender people prefer the word transgender over transsexual.
Trans: a shortened form of the word transgender or transsexual.
Cis-gender: A person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their assigned sex at birth, i.e., not transgender.
Assigned sex: At birth, infants are assigned a sex, usually based on their external genitalia. Categories include: Male, female, and intersex (formerly, hermaphrodite).
Gender identity: A person’s internal sense of their gender. For a transgender person, their gender identity does not match to their assigned sex at birth.
Gender expression: A person’s external manifestation of gender. This includes their name, clothing, voice, haircut, etc.
Sexual orientation: A person’s physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person.
Cross-dresser: A term for people who dress in clothing not traditionally worn by their assigned sex. Formerly known as “transvestitism.”
Drag: Exaggerated, theatrical, and/or performative gender presentation.
For an extended terminology list, visit www.glaad.org/reference/transgender.