Glossary of Transgender Terms

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Glossary of Transgender Terms


Most people are already aware of some of the terminology in this glossary. There are lesser known terms that apply to the transgender and gender non-conforming community, though. This page contains a list of definitions relevant to the community.


Androgyne

An androgynous person displays both masculine and feminine gender traits, presenting as neither clearly male nor clearly female. Androgynous people may identify as a mix of both binary, culturally defined genders, or as neither of the two. They may express or present with merged feminine and masculine characteristics, or present neutrally.

APA

This acronym can refer to one of two medical associations in the United States. The American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association are responsible for dictating the ethics and practices of their respective professions. Psychiatrists and psychologists both use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, currently in its fifth edition, to diagnose mental health conditions. As of the fifth edition, gender identity disorder has been renamed gender dysphoria and is no longer classified as a mental disorder in and of itself.

Assigned Sex

At birth, sex (and, therefore, assumed gender) is assigned by the doctor based purely on the appearance of sexual anatomy. This determines the role to which the child is expected to conform. Especially in the gender non-conforming community, you may see references such as AMAB / MAAB or AFAB / FAAB, which translate to "assigned male at birth" or "female assigned at birth," depending on the format used.

Autogynephilia

Autogynephilia is a paraphilia first proposed in 1989 by Ray Blanchard, who defined it as "a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman." The term is part of a controversial behavioral model for transsexual sexuality informally labeled the Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence Theory. The model originated as an attempt to explain trans women (male-to-female transsexual and transgender people) who are not exclusively attracted to males, including lesbian (or "gynephilic"), bisexual, and asexual trans women.

The model claims that trans women (called "gender dysphoric males" by Blanchard) who are not sexually oriented toward men are instead sexually oriented toward the thought or image of themselves as women. Most of the attention paid to Blanchard's work on gender dysphoria focuses on what he calls "nonhomosexual transsexuals" or "autogynephilic transsexuals." He calls trans women who are exclusively attracted to males "androphilic" or "homosexual transsexuals." While some transgender people self-identify with this term, most vehemently oppose it as it does not apply to them.

Transgenderism is inborn with symptoms manifesting by the age of four or five years old, while autogynephilia is a sexual classification that would not present until at least the teen years. It should be noted that sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with transgenderism.

Bigender

A bigender person shifts between masculine and feminine gender behavior. This differs from androgyny in that an androgyne keeps their gender identity and presentation at all times, while bigender people shift or change their role and identity to suit the moment.

Binary Gender System

This is a culturally defined code of acceptable behaviors assigned as either male or female. This code is often used to set expectations for the behavior of others, especially children, and it allows for only two possible genders. Transgender individuals are living proof that this system is inherently flawed, as we show through our authenticity that gender is a wide spectrum.

Binding

Binding is the act of wrapping female breast tissue to give it a flat, masculine appearance. This is done by female-to-male transgender people as well as gender-nonconforming people who prefer a masculine presentation. The easiest (and healthiest) way to accomplish this is to use a binder, available for purchase at several online shops offering supplies for transgender individuals. Binders are rigid, corset-like garments designed to flatten the chest. You should never use tape or bandages to flatten your chest. Doing so is painful and can cause lasting damage to your breast tissue.

Biphobia

The irrational fear, hatred, or intolerance of those who are sexually attracted to more than one gender. This can be expressed through words or actions, and one is not required to be bisexual to be targeted by this behavior. The perception is often enough. A common example of biphobia is the tired argument that there is no such thing as bisexuality.

Bisexual

Bisexual people are sexually attracted to both men and women.

Bottom Surgery

This term refers to genital surgery associated with sex reassignment. It is most commonly used by female-to-male people and encapsulates the creation of a penis and testicles. When used in a male-to-female context, it refers to the removal of the testicles and creation of a neovagina. Not all transgender people opt to have this surgery. Some may not be able to afford it, some may not be in good enough general health to allow it, and some simply don't want to have it done. Whatever the reason, non-operative transgender people deserve every bit as much recognition and support as those who choose to have the surgery.

Boydyke

A female-assigned person who, whether intentionally or not, presents in a way that is viewed as male or masculine according to the binary gender stereotype. Some may wish to pass as male while remaining female. Others just prefer that appearance for themselves. This form of expression is as valid and accepted as any other.

Breast Augmentation

Often abbreviated within the community as "BA," this surgery is medically known as augmentation mammoplasty. The purpose of the procedure is to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. Male-to-female individuals may opt for breast augmentation if they desire a larger bust size than is achieved through hormone therapy. Standard augmentation involves either saline or silicone implants.

Breast Forms

Breast forms, originally made for women who have undergone mastectomies due to cancer, are prostheses worn on the chest to add to the bust line. Many crossdressers and trans women also make use of breast forms to enhance their feminine appearance. Most breast forms are made of silicone, providing a natural weight and balance to the bust, though there are breast forms made with foam rubber as well. Breast forms come in several varieties. Some can be attached to the chest with adhesives, while others are designed to be held in place by a properly fitted bra. Breast forms can create an entirely new bust line, or they can enhance the appearance of breasts in those who are not satisfied with the growth achieved through hormone replacement therapy.

Butch

This term describes a person who often identifies and expresses in ways that fit the male stereotype. Its use can be considered positive or negative, depending on the intent of the person who uses it.

Chondrolaryngoplasty

More commonly referred to as a "tracheal shave," this surgery is performed to reduce the cartilage in the throat, thereby making the Adam's apple less prominent.

Cisgender

A cisgender person is one who is not transgender. That is to say, they identify fully as the binary gender they were assigned at birth.

Cissexism

The institutionalized assumption that everyone fits the binary gender norms associated with the sex they are assigned at birth. This often manifests in words or actions that show a disregard for the transgender condition or the expression of the opinion that trans people are somehow flawed or "less than" cis people.

Clock

"Getting clocked" is a phrase used by the trans community to describe being visually perceived as a trans person, rather than purely as the gender being presented. Also called "getting read."

Colovaginoplasty

This method of creating a vagina for the male-to-female transsexual involves cutting away a section of the sigmoid colon and using it to form a vaginal lining. This surgery is sometimes performed on women with androgen insensitivity syndrome, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, vaginal agenesis, Mayer-Rokitansky Syndrome, and other intersex conditions that make non-invasive methods of lengthening the vagina medically impossible. Most often, though, it is used for male-to-female transsexuals as an alternative to penile inversion and may or may not be accompanied by a skin graft taken from the thigh or abdomen. This method carries a high risk of numerous complications, so most surgeons will only perform a colovaginoplasty when there is no safer option available. Use of this method in male-to-female patients is typically reserved for those who have attempted removal of their male genitals, making the standard reassignment surgery method impossible.

Coming Out

"Coming out" to others involves revealing one's alternate sexual preference or gender identity. Much thought is generally given by the trans community to this subject, as revealing a non-standard gender identity puts us at risk of rejection by our friends and family and, in some parts of the world, physical harm.

Conversion (Reparation) Therapy

This "therapy" is an incredibly dangerous attempt to "cure" gay or transgender people. Every program of this nature known to us has been funded and managed by hateful religious organizations. The practice is typically led by unlicensed "counselors" affiliated with whichever church is behind the idea. Methods used include inducing extreme guilt and shame, preaching hellfire and damnation, quoting the Bible, and displaying absolute rejection of alternate sexual preferences or gender identities. This type of "therapy" can be deadly - while many people subjected to the shame engendered by these organizations become more inclined to attempt suicide on their own, it's also not uncommon for the "counselors" to tell people they should kill themselves if they can't change the way they were born. Reparation and conversion therapies have been soundly rejected by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and a number of other medical professional groups.

Corset

A corset is a very constrictive ladies' undergarment worn by some crossdressers and male-to-female transsexuals to give their torso a more female appearance. Most corsets are laced in the back, though there are a handful of styles with the laces on the front. By tightening or loosening the laces on the corset, the wearer can adjust the level of modification to their desired appearance.

Crossdresser

Commonly abbreviated in the trans community as "CD," crossdressers are individuals who wear clothing typically associated with the opposite binary gender from that assigned to them at birth. Most of the community uses this term in favor of the older, outdated word "transvestite," as transvestism is more frequently associated with a sexual fetish (more can be found on that below). Most crossdressers are heterosexual, though there are many who are not. Crossdressers are primarily motivated by a desire or need to experience the role of a gender other than they were assigned.

Cross-living

Cross-living is the act of crossdressing full-time. This is different from transgender full-time presentation as those engaged in cross-living do not consider themselves to be transsexual.

De-transition

De-transition is a return to living as a member of the sex one was assigned at birth after spending time living as one's target sex.

Drag

Drag kings and drag queens (female and male, respectively) are those who exaggerate their appearance as a member of the opposite sex, most usually for purposes of performance and entertainment. While some live the role full-time and may even opt for surgery to enhance their appearance as a member of the opposite sex, most put on their drag personas only when performing.

Dyke

Use: femme dyke, bi dyke, butch dyke, etc. The term is generally used to describe a lesbian, and may be modified as shown to offer more detail about the person's usual presentation. Many modern lesbians use the term to describe themselves, though even today this word is commonly used by bigots with the goal of insulting the lesbian community.

Effeminate

This term is often used in a negative context to describe a male-presenting person who displays behavior and mannerisms more commonly associated with the feminine stereotype.

Endocrinologist

Often referred to in the trans community as "endos," these doctors specialize in working with the human endocrine system and the hormones it produces. Endocrinologists prescribe estrogen, progesterone, and androgen inhibitors for male-to-female transsexuals, and testosterone for female-to-male transsexuals. Regular appointments with an endocrinologist are required, as they must monitor how the body reacts to hormone treatment and alter doses accordingly.

Fag

This is a derogatory term that has been used for decades to describe gay men. Some gay men use the word themselves, though it is still generally frowned upon regardless of context.

Female-bodied

This term refers to someone who was assigned female at birth or who has undergone surgery to acquire female genitalia. Its most common use is among gender variant and non-conforming people to specify that their identity is not confined by their biology.

Femme

Shorthand for "feminine," this word describes a person who identifies as such. The word can be used in a derogatory manner, but such use is rare.

FtM

FtM is community shorthand for "female-to-male," describing transgender people who were assigned female at birth but who identify as male. Transition from female to male is not a requirement in order to be referred to in this way.

Gaff

Gaffs are feminine undergarments designed to hide the presence of the penis in crossdressers and trans women. It accomplishes this by tucking the penis into a pouch between the legs, thereby giving the appearance that no male genitalia is present.

Gay

A socially acceptable term used to describe a homosexual person. It is most commonly used to refer to men, though it is equally valid for lesbian women as well.

Genderfluid

Genderfluid individuals experience gender, well, fluidly. They may identify as male for a time, followed by time as female, or they may flow between entirely different points on the gender spectrum. Genderfluid people may also at times present a combination of multiple genders or no gender at all.

Genderqueer

Genderqueer people are those who may or may not identify as transsexual, but who nonetheless identify with a gender and/or sexual orientation outside the assumed societal norm.

Gender bender

Gender benders are people who merge characteristics of all genders, whether in subtle presentation or vivid appearance.

Gender dysphoria

Dysphoria is the term used to describe the intense, continuous discomfort transgender people feel as a result of having bodies and societal expectations contrary to their gender identity thrust upon them. Gender dysphoria is a clinical psychological diagnosis required to receive hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery. For years, many trans people found the need for a diagnosis offensive. Some still do, however as of the 2015 release of the DSM-V, gender dysphoria is no longer considered a disorder of the mind; it is now classified as merely a condition that exists. The leading minds in the medical and psychological communities now agree that the appropriate "treatment" for gender dysphoria can include, for those who want it, medical transition.

Gender identity

This is the inner sense of where one falls on the gender spectrum.

Gender community

Also called the transgender community, this is a loose association of people and organizations who vary from societal gender norms in any of a variety of ways. The central ethic of this community is unconditional acceptance of individual exercise of freedoms, including gender identity and sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Disorder

This outdated diagnosis from previous versions of the DSM describes a mental illness that causes those afflicted to believe their gender is something other than the sex they were assigned at birth. This has since been rejected in favor of gender dysphoria, which is no longer classified as a disorder.

Gender roles

Gender roles are those expectations created by society that prescribe how one "should" look and act, based on the sex one is assigned at birth. They are entirely a societal creation and often vary from one culture to the next.

Gender therapist

When the trans community refers to a gender therapist, we mean a licensed therapist or counselor who adheres to the WPATH (formerly HBIGDA) Standards of Care. Gender therapists are required for the purpose of diagnosing dysphoria as well as writing letters of recommendation for patients to begin hormone replacement therapy or receive sex reassignment surgery.

Genetic sex

This term refers to the chromosomal makeup of an individual. It's often used to refer to one's sex as assigned at birth.

Gynecologist

Sometimes called a "gyno," this medical specialist is a doctor who focuses on the health of the female reproductive system, including the breasts. After sex reassignment surgery, many male-to-female patients opt to visit a gynecologist for confirmation that they are healing correctly. It is also recommended that post-op trans women see a gynecologist at least once yearly to be sure she is physically healthy. While male-to-female patients lack the cervix and the uterus, it is always possible to develop cancer of the vagina. Screening for this and other routine vaginal concerns will take place at the yearly checkup.

Harry Benjamin Syndrome

Called "HBS" for short, this is purported to be an intersex condition that is said to originate in the womb during the first twelve weeks of gestation. It is based on Harry Benjamin's "brain sex" theory. Subsequent studies disagree with the existence of this syndrome, however. HBS was conceived of by laypeople, not medical professionals, and the American Medical Association rejects the validity of this classification. While the creators did outline standards of care for people they consider to have this condition, the only medically accepted standards of care are those outlined by WPATH and approved of by the medical community.

Hermaphrodite

This is a (very) outdated term for intersex people.

Heteroflexible / Homoflexible

These terms describe someone who is primarily attracted to one gender, but has had or is open to having relationships with genders other than the one they primarily prefer.

Heterosexism

This is the institutionalized assumption that everyone is heterosexual and that heterosexuality is inherently superior to homosexuality or bisexuality.

Hir

A pronoun used by some in place of "him" or "her," chosen by some who don't conform to the binary gender system.

Homophobia

The irrational fear and hatred of love and/or sex between two people of the same sex. This can be expressed through words or actions, and one is not required to be homosexual to be targeted by this behavior. The perception is often enough.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Often referred to in the trans community as "HRT," this describes the administration of hormones to effect the development of secondary sex characteristics of one's target gender. HRT is a lifelong process, using administered hormones to replace those naturally produced by the body. Male-to-female patients are often given estrogen, progesterone, and an androgen blocker, while female-to-male patients typically receive testosterone. Hormone use without medical supervision is strongly discouraged. It has resulted in thousands of transgender deaths. You can never be sure of the composition of hormones provided to you illegally. Herbal concoctions taken in large doses not approved by the FDA have also resulted in death or permanent disability for many people, to say nothing of the fact that they produce minimal results, if they even produce results at all. TransPulse emphatically rejects the use of illegal hormones and herbal "solutions."

Hysterectomy

Occasionally referred to as a "hysto," this surgical procedure remove all or part of the uterus. For many female-to-male patients, the same operation will also include the removal of the cervix, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes.

In the closet

Refers to someone who has chosen not to disclose their sexual preference or gender identity.

Internalized transphobia

This term refers to the belief that one's own identity as a transgender person makes them inferior to others. The internalization of negative messages, poor self-image, and negative thoughts about one's gender identity leads to self-hate and difficulty accepting oneself. A large part of internalized transphobia is a fear of breaking cultural or societal gender norms.

Intersex

Intersex people are born with full or partial genitalia of both binary sexes, or with underdeveloped genitalia. The presentation of the intersex condition at birth is wholly unique to the person who has it. An example would be a person born with internal female organs but whose outward presentation includes only a penis and testicles. Even today, surgery immediately after birth to "correct" the condition is common, forcing the intersex person into one binary sex or the other. Those who are assigned a sex without having any choice in the matter often develop a sense of loss, feeling that an essential part of themselves is missing. It is not at all uncommon for intersex people to grow up identifying as the gender opposite the one that was chosen for them.

Labiaplasty

This surgery for male-to-female patients is generally only needed when their surgeons use a two-stage vaginoplasty procedure. During this procedure, the labia and the clitoral hood are created.

Male-bodied

This term refers to someone who was assigned male at birth or who has undergone surgery to acquire male genitalia. Its most common use is among gender variant and non-conforming people to specify that their identity is not confined by their biology.

Mammaplasty

This procedure, also called mammoplasty or mastoplasty, is an umbrella term for surgeries performed with the intent of altering the breasts. Most in the trans community simply refer to breast augmentation, though the term also includes breast reduction and other modifications.

Mammogram

A mammogram is a cancer screening recommended for anyone who has female breast tissue, regardless of their gender identity. The screening involves X-rays of the breast tissue, which can be instrumental in detecting tumors before they can be seen or felt. Those assigned female at birth are generally advised to have annual mammograms after the age of 30 or 35, while male-to-female patients are encouraged to begin having annual screenings beginning at age 40.

Mastectomy

This term describes the surgical removal of female breast tissue. Often called "top surgery" by female-to-male patients, the procedure eliminates the need to bind the breasts in order to achieve a more masculine appearance. This procedure is also performed on those assigned female at birth who develop breast cancer that cannot be treated through other means.

Metoidoplasty (Metaoidoplasty)

This surgical procedure, often referred to in the trans community as a "meto" or "meta," involves freeing the enlarged clitoris (neo-penis) from the underlying labia minora and dropping it via release of the suspensory ligament.

MtF

MtF is community shorthand for "male-to-female," describing transgender people who were assigned male at birth but who identify as female. Transition from male to female is not a requirement in order to be referred to in this way.

Neo-clitoris

This is the clitoris created for male-to-female patients during sex reassignment surgery. There are two methods in use today for creating a neo-clitoris. Most common is the removal of the glans (head) of the penis, using a portion of that tissue to function in the place of a clitoris. Less common is the use of spongiform tissue from the urethra to create the neo-clitoris. Most trans women's bodies readily accept the relocation of glans tissue to the location of a clitoris during construction of a vagina.

Non-labeling

Non-labeling individuals find the existing labels too constrictive and/or choose not to identify within any particular category.

Non-op

Non-operational trans people are those who, for whatever reason, choose not to proceed with sex reassignment surgery. They also may choose not to pursue hormone replacement therapy. For many, self-identification and self-expression are sufficient to address their gender dysphoria and as a result there is no need for medical intervention. Others may be unable to pursue medical transition due to existing medical conditions or financial limitations.

Orchiectomy

This is a surgical procedure to remove the testicles. Some trans women opt to have an orchiectomy performed to reduce testosterone and stop the need for androgen blockers. Depending on the person, an orchiectomy can be either a step toward full sex reassignment surgery or the final procedure for those who do not desire a full surgical transition.

Packing

Packing describes the placement of an item within the underwear of a pre-op female-to-male individual to suggest the presence of a penis. Some make do with a sock, however there are shops - mostly online - that sell "packers," or realistic prosthetic penises. Some of these prostheses, called STPs (stand-to-pee), even allow trans men to urinate while standing.

Passing

Passing is defined as presenting as one's target sex in such a way that they are perceived as having been born with that sex. Some trans folks don't care about passing, while others place high importance on it for reasons of peace of mind or personal safety.

Phalloplasty

Phalloplasty is the surgical construction of a penis in female-to-male patients. Some procedures involve taking flaps of skin from the groin and abdomen, but more recent surgeries involve the "free forearm flap method," during which a segment of skin from the forearm is bisected and sued to form the penis. This modern method allows for sensitivity during sexual intercourse as well as standing urination.

Pre-op

Pre-operative transsexuals are those who have not yet undergone sex reassignment surgery but plan to do so in the future. They may or may not live full-time as their target sex and may or may not receive hormone replacement therapy. Additional surgical procedures may be sought to change existing secondary sex characteristics.

Post-op

Post-operative transsexuals are those who have undergone sex reassignment surgery as well as other surgeries to modify secondary sex characteristics.

Presentation

One's presentation is the appearance they show to the world through clothing, voice, behavior, and mannerisms.

Primary sex characteristics

This term refers to the sex organs themselves. For those assigned male at birth, it means the penis and testicles. For those assigned female at birth, it refers to the vagina.

Real life test

Also called the life test, RLT, real life experience, or RLE, this is a period of time during which candidates for sex reassignment surgery are required to live full-time as their target sex. Many surgeons require an RLT period of at least two years before they will consider performing sex reassignment surgery. The purpose of this test is to make sure the candidate can adapt to life in the role they're seeking surgery to confirm.

Secondary sex characteristics

These are the characteristics that develop or change during puberty. They include, but are not limited to, facial and body hair, muscle mass, and voice changes for those assigned male at birth. For those assigned female at birth, secondary sex characteristics include breasts and wider hips. This term also refers to characteristics developed through hormone replacement therapy.

Sex assignment

This is the assignment of sex to a baby by the doctor present during birth. It is informed purely on the basis of genitalia, and is used by society to set expectations regarding how one "should" look and act as they mature.

Shapewear

Shapewear consists of a number of feminine undergarments such as padded underwear, girdles, or bras designed to enhance or produce a feminine figure.

Shemale

This vile term was coined by the porn industry to describe male-to-female individuals who opted to keep the genitalia they were born with. That industry often labels these people "transexuals" (note the incorrect spelling).

Silicone pumping party

This is the illegal practice of injecting industrial silicone into the face, breasts, hips, and/or buttocks of trans women by people who are not licensed to carry out any sort of cosmetic procedure. This often leads to death or permanent disfigurement as the silicone used is not intended for this purpose and, depending on the "ethics" of the person offering the injections, may contain other, more dangerous materials than just the silicone. TransPulse rejects this practice. Members are not allowed to suggest it as an option under any circumstances.

Sex reassignment surgery

This is a permanent surgical alteration of the genitalia to resemble that of the patient's target sex. This is considered a necessity for most people who feel their body does not match their gender.

Standards of Care

Often abbreviated as SOC, this refers to the minimum guidelines prescribed by WPATH for the psychological and medical care of transgender individuals. This document sets forth requirements for both consumers and health care providers.

Stealth

This term defines the act of living "in plain sight," without being perceived as transgender. Living in stealth essentially means blending in.

Target sex

One's target sex is the physical sex one desires to be, as opposed to the one defined by their genitalia at birth.

Top surgery

This refers to any one of the many transition-related surgeries that take place above the waist, though it is most commonly limited to procedures performed on the chest. Used more by the female-to-male community to describe the removal of breast tissue, it can also mean breast augmentation for male-to-female patients.

Transgender

The term "transgender" is often taken to mean "transsexual," though there is a difference between the two. The transgender umbrella covers everyone whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes transsexuals, non-binary folks, genderfluid people, genderqueer people, and anyone else who doesn't identify as cisgender.

Transgender advocate

An advocate is a person who openly and publicly campaigns for trans-inclusive rights and the welfare of all gender non-conforming people, seeking to improve our quality of life. One does not have to be transgender to be an advocate for our cause.

Transition

Transition is the period during which a transgender individual begins to live as their target sex. This process, which also includes the real life test, culminates for some with sex reassignment surgery. For those who choose not to have surgery, transitioning from presentation as their assigned sex to expression of their target sex is considered the end of the process.

Trans man / trans woman

Some transgender people prefer these designations over the more clinical "female-to-male" or "male-to-female" classifications.

Transphobia

The irrational fear and hatred of those who identify as a gender that differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. This can be expressed through words or actions, and one is not required to be transgender to be targeted by this behavior. The perception is often enough.

Transsexual

This term describes transgender individuals who either have undergone sex reassignment surgery or plan to do so.

Transvestic Fetishism

As previously mentioned, crossdressers were in days gone by referred to as transvestites. This fetish, marked by those who are sexually aroused by the act of dressing in clothing - usually undergarments - more typically associated with the opposite sex, is part of the reason for that shift in terminology. While crossdressers generally derive no sexual pleasure from the act of dressing, transvestites usually do.

Tucking

Tucking is the process of concealing male genitalia by tucking the anatomy between the legs in a way that mimics the effect a gaff would achieve. Many who tuck find that they have to tape their genitals in place to prevent them from coming loose as a result of normal movement.

Two-spirit

This term describes both homosexual and transgender people. Its origin is Native American, and various tribes use different language to describe the same tradition. The Navajo word nadleehe translates roughly to "one who is transformed." The Sioux recognize such people as winkte, the Mojave as alyha, the Zuni as lhamana, the Omaha as mexoga, the Aleut and Kodiak as achnucek, and the Zapotec as ira'muxe.

Vaginoplasty

For male-to-female patients, this is the surgical procedure during which a neo-vagina is created. There are two primary methods for achieving this, both of which make use of tissue from the penis and the scrotum. The first method entails the ligation and clamping of the right spermatic cord. The incision is then continued up the ventral (lower) side of the shaft of the penis. The anterior (top) flap is then developed from the skin of the penis. The urethra is dissected from the shaft, followed by the separation of the corpora cavernosa to ensure a minimal remaining stump. (The corpora cavernosa are the two chambers which run the length of the penis and are filled with spongy tissue into which blood flows to create an erection.) Next, the anterior flap is perforated to position the urethra. The skin flaps are sutured and place in position within the vaginal cavity.

The second method was pioneered by Dr. Suporn Watanyusakul in Thailand and is known as either the Chonburi Pouch Method or the Suporn Technique. This procedure differs greatly from the original method as it does not use penile inversion to create the neo-vagina. Instead, Dr. Suporn constructs the vaginal vault with scrotal skin and uses penile tissue to fashion the labia, clitoris, and other external features. A full-thickness inguinal (groin crease) skin graft is used for the vaginal lining in rare cases where inadequate scrotal skin is available. Dr. Suporn's method generally yields a deeper neo-vagina than the more standard penile inversion technique.

After either method is completed, the neo-vagina is packed to ensure that it holds its shape as the patient begins the healing process. Some swear that Dr. Suporn's method is superior, while others stand by the penile inversion technique.

A third method - colovaginoplasty - involves lining the neo-vagina with tissue taken from the sigmoid colon. As discussed above, this method carries a high risk of complications and is only used when no other option is available.

Ze / xe

A pronoun used by some in place of "he" or "she," chosen by some who don't conform to the binary gender system.

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