What does it mean to be Transgender?
The word transgender or trans is an umbrella term. Breaking down the term, the Latin word trans means to cross. Therefore, transgender typically means crossing gender. Sometimes people will use the term trans* to describe anyone who is gender variant or gender non-conforming. The asterisk denotes an inclusive, diverse definition of the term.
When discussing gender we may be referring to a person’s gender identity, a person’s gender expression or a combination of the two. Our gender identity includes how we see ourselves in the world. Our expression of gender includes how we communicate our gender to the world. Examples of expression might include the way we dress, the way we walk, talk, etc. Gender expression is typically thought of as masculine on one end of the spectrum, feminine on the other and a whole, vast continuum in between. To be transgender assumes that a person’s gender identity is different than the sex with which we were born. A transgender person’s gender expression typically does not line up with what society might expect from someone born male or female.