Transgender is a term by which some individuals identify themselves. It often means that the transgender individual or trans person does not identify their gender identity based on a sex assigned at birth (e.g., male or female). Sex is used to describe physical and biological features which are commonly unrelated to expression and identity. Therefore, a trans person who was assigned male sex at birth (as an infant, by a doctor), may identify as a woman, a man, or neither as they develop their identity (who they are as a person). The prefix “trans” means “across”, so think of gender as being a spectrum (the gender spectrum) that individuals live across, rather than being restricted to a binary (one or the other). The opposite of transgender is usually referred to as cisgender or non-trans. If you are meeting a trans person and would like to know what to call them, the best place to start is always with their name.

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