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Transgender Identities

Different cultures across time and around the world have conceptualized gender identity, gender expression differently. Currently transgender is a broad term that refers to people who experience their gender identity or express their gender in ways that do not conform to their assigned sex at birth.

Transgender identified people may but do not necessarily:

  • Prefer male pronouns, female pronouns, or gender nonspecific pronouns such as ze, hir, or hirself.
  • Choose to change their names and/or gender markers.
  • Choose to pursue hormone therapy, surgical intervention, or electrolysis to outwardly reflect their gender identity.
  • Engage in binding, packing, enhancing, or tucking to outwardly reflect their gender identity.
  • Conform to societal expectations about gender expression.

Remember, there are infinite ways to arrive at being transgender and of being transgender. People that identify as transgender are extremely diverse, and one trans-identified person cannot speak for all.  People have intersecting identities related to race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, socioeconomic status, as well as other identities that are salient to them.

Trans-identified individuals experience a great deal of verbal harassment, physical assault, and discrimination in employment, health care, and housing. Victims of anti-trans violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color. In 2016, there were 27 transgender-identified individuals murdered in the United States, the majority of whom were transwomen of color (Schmider 2016).

For resources, click here.