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Gender Glossary

Amazon Feminism A branch of feminism that emphasizes female physical prowess as a means to achieve the goal of gender equality.


  1. A person whose biological sex is not readily apparent, whether owing to chance or choice (see 'genderfuck').
  2. A person who is intermediate between the two traditional genders.
  3. A person who rejects gender roles entirely.

'Intersexual' and 'hermaphrodite' refer to people intermediate in sex, 'androgyne' to people intermediate in gender.

Assigned gender at birth Gender one's considered to be at birth.

Bear Bears are commonly, but not always heavy-set men and are often characterized as having hairy bodies and facial hair; some are also muscular; some project an image of rugged masculinity in their grooming and appearance. Younger or smaller men who identify with bear culture may also be labelled as cubs.

Bigendered Those who feel they have both a male and a female side to their personalities.

Butch Masculine appearing person of either sex. Most white masculine lesbians are considered "butch" (see Stud, Hard Butch & Soft Butch).

Cross - dresser (CD) Someone who from time to time wears the clothes of the opposite (of their physical anatomical) gender, to relieve gender discomfort. Crossdressers want to appear as "convincing" as possible as their other selves. This term is preferable to "transvestite".

Cross-living Living full-time in the preferred gender image, opposite to one's assigned sex at birth, generally in preparation for a sex-change operation.

Drag Originally used ( I ) in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to mean DRessed As Girl, referring to male actors playing female roles. Now (2) mainly used by gender benders and cross-dressers of both directions to mean "in women's clothes". Less frequently used, Drab means DRessed As Boy.

Drag King FTM cross-dresser, often uses masculine dialogue, mannerisms and voice. Often packing (see).

Drag Queen Gay man who from time to time wears women's clothes, generally without trying to be convincing.


  1. (of words) indicating either sex with only one grammatical form;
  2. Partaking of the characteristics of both sexes;
  3. Common to both sexes; worn or inhabited by both sexes.

This word has taken on a variety figurative meanings over the centuries (Ben Jonson used it to mean something like 'effeminate'); still, more than any other word, it emphasizes what is common to both sexes. Its Greek root means 'common,' and it shows up in descriptions of garments that either sex can wear, or places both sexes dwell ('Epicene...Convents, wherein Monks and Nuns lived together.' -- Fuller, c.1661). It is probably preferable to 'androgyne' for the meaning ANDROGYNE 3 (see above).

Femme Feminine appearing person of either sex.

FTM Female to male transsexual.

Gender Sex is a set of biological differences between people; gender is a set of social statuses built on the backs of those differences (brief definition).

Gender is a "mix and match" mode of self expression, and people within our culture are ever finding new ways to express their gender, with exciting subtleties and intriguing implicationsSome people, however, use gender to mean sex. This inconsistency in usage can lead to great confusion.

Gender bender Anyone crossing the gender line who does not care about appearing 'convincing'. Also 'gender fuck' - politicized cross-dressing in both directions, emphasizing gender ambiguity and challenging traditional gender concepts.

Gender Dysphoria The state of discontentment with one's biological sex or sex-of-rearing. Not all transgendered people are gender dysphoric. Full blown gender dysphoria syndrome is the same as transsexualism.

Genderfuck Deliberately sending mixed messages about one's sex, usually through dress (e.g., wearing a skirt and a beard). Deliberate flaunting of gender norms with a goal of shocking others.

Gender identity A complex interaction of genetic predisposition, physiological factors and the process of socialization. A sense of belonging to one of the gender categories. How one sees themself socially.

Gender Outlaw (Kate Bornstein) A person who defies traditional gender roles.

Gender roles Expression of gender signals through appearance, dress, performance of gender behavior and expected social tasks


  1. A synonym for androgyne; now little used, but it's in the OED.
  2. Brent Spiner's child by Whoopi Goldberg.

Hard Butch A soft butch is also sometimes known as a chapstick lesbian. She is a woman who has some masculine traits and also some subtle feminine traits. The masculine traits may be in the way she dresses, for example wearing menís jeans and shirts. Some of her mannerisms may also be on the masculine side. However, a soft butch also shows some of her feminine side, and when people look at her they can tell she is a woman. For example, she may have longer hair than a harder butch, and some of her mannerisms or other aspects of her personality may be slightly softer and more feminine.

He-she Extremely masculine, cross-dressing women, who often 'pass' (see); frequently butch lesbians; also drag king(see), bull-dagger (BD), gender blender. Also used for 'intact' men with breasts like you see in all of the mags. (see She-Male).


  1. (medical) A person biologically intermediate between male and female. 1 a. (sometimes 'true hermaphrodite') a person with both ovarian and testicular tissue, i.e. a person with ambiguous gonads; lb.(also 'pseudohermaphrodite') a person with two ovaries or two testes, but ambiguous genitals. The term 'intersexual' is now preferred for senses la and lb.
  2. (biological) an animal or plant having both male and female reproductive organs.
  3. (mythological; rarely used in this sense) A boy with breasts (Hermaprhoditus is so depicted in Greek art). 4. (probably obsolete, though not so listed in Webster's Collegiate) Something that is a combination of diverse elements.

Many people think the term 'hermaphrodite' applies only to a person with both a penis and vagina. This mistaken idea comes from a variety of disreputable sources, but chiefly, I think, from pornographic movies, which sometimes feature 'hermaphrodites' made the same way as the unicorn in Blade Runner.

Hermaphroditus A youth in Greek myth, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who was joined in one body with the nymph Salmacis while bathing. The best-known telling of this story is in Ovid's Metamorphoses.

Homovestite A person who obsessively, compulsively and neurotically wears the clothing of their own sex.

Hormone Therapy Hormones taken to change ones secondary sex characteristics. Estrogen by MTFs and testosterone by FTMs.


  1. (obsolete) homosexual. (The switch only makes sense, since bisexual' used to mean 'hermaphrodite.')
  2. A person biologically intermediate between male and female. Born with the (full or partial) sex organs of both anatomical genders or with underdeveloped or ambiguous sex organs.

The 'true intersexed' condition, where both ovarian and testicular tissue are present in either the same gonad or in opposite gonads, accounts for fewer than 5 percent of all cases of ambiguous genitals.... Although most cases of ambiguous genitals do not represent true intersex, in keeping with the contemporary Iiterature, I will refer to all such cases as intersexed. (Kessler, 'The Medical Construction of Gender,' Signs(1990:5))

Intersexed children are routinely given surgery to make their genitalia unambiguous; such surgery is most often medically unnecessary, and can cripple sexual response.

Kinsey Scale A scale rating sexuality. With 0 being pure heterosexual to 6 being pure homosexual. The study results showed a bell curve with most somewhere in the middle.

Lipstick Lesbian Lesbian & Bisexual women who exhibit extremely feminine gender attributes, such as wearing make-up (thus lipstick) wearing dresses or skirts and having other characteristics associated with feminine women..

MTF Male to female transsexual.

Non-Operative Trannsexual See 'transsexual'

Packing Wearing a dildo or penile prosthesis.

Pass To be in Your preferred gender image, and to be able to do so convincingly.

Pre-operative Transsexual See 'transsexual.'

Read When someone detects you are transgendered; also clock(ed).

Sex A classification based on reproductive biology. Most people think of sex as wholly bipolar, with male and female as the only possibilities; more precisely, it is a continuum with most individuals concentrated near the poles.

Sexual Identity How one sees tbemselves physically: male, female or in-between (spectrum).

If someone is born female, but wishes to see their body as male in all respects, their sexual identity is male. It is rude to speak of such a person as female, since it denies their right to inhabit the social and physical role of their choosing.

Sexual Orientation Which sex one finds erotically attractive: opposite (hetero), same (homo), or both (bi).

She-male MTF cross-dresser with 'tits, big hair, lots of make-up and a dick' (Bornstein) Also, 'chick with a dick', she-hes or trangenderist.

Soft Butch Sometimes known as a chapstick lesbian. A woman who has some masculine traits and also some subtle feminine traits.The masculine traits may be in the way she dresses, for example wearing menís jeans and shirts. Some of her mannerisms may also be on the masculine side. However, a soft butch also shows some of her feminine side, and when people look at her they can tell she is a woman. For example, she may have longer hair than a harder butch, and some of her mannerisms or other aspects of her personality may be slightly softer and more feminine.

SRS Sex Reassignment Surgery. This is the generally preferred term for what is colloquially referred to as a 'sex change operation'.

Stone Butch See Hard Butch

Stud A dominant lesbian, usually butch, often African American. A "stud" typically dresses more masculine, and enjoys "masculine" activities. A "stud" is stereotypically used to describe a black masculine lesbian, as most white masculine lesbians are considered "butch".

Tiresias In Greek mythology, a blind seer of Thebes who is changed into a woman for several years, then changed back to a man. In one story, Zeus and Hera ask Tiresias to settle a wager as to whether men or women get more pleasure from sex. This myth predates Geraldo by some two thousand years.

Transgendered Transgendered was a term put into general usage by Virginia Price. It originally meant a pre- operative transsexual who has no desire to have the SRS. It later became a catchword for Transvestites, transsexuals, female and male impersonators, drag queens/kings, Intersexuals, gender dysphorics, and those that do not fit any gender label (or all people that cross the gender line).

(Also)Transgenderists live as members of the other sex, but without the extreme need or desire to modify their bodies shown by transsexuals. Some live as members of the other sex, while others stake out 'third gender' status. Transgenderists may take hormones, but do not have genital sex reassignment surgery.

Transphobia The groundless fear and hatred of cross-dressers, transsexuals and gender benders and what they do, resulting in denial of rights and needs, and violence.

Transsexual - Pre, Post, Non-Op

These are all transsexuals in various stages of the procedure. A pre-op transsexual is someone who has begun the procedure to reassign the sex, but has not had the surgery. This covers people who have just begun the procedure to those who are very close to the actual surgery.

A post operative transsexual is someone who has had the actual genital surgery done. It is very difficult to tell a MTF post op transsexual from a genetic female. Up to very recently, female-male transsexuals had no effective surgical technique to create a penis. There are penile implants and grafts, but these are often easy to spot.

'Non-op' transsexual is a word that is floating around. Originally from a computer language, it means a person who has had all the hormonal/surgical treatments, except the genital surgery, and who either has no desire to proceed with the surgery, or who cannot proceed due to financial constraints. GIDAANT is another term for this (Gender Identity Disorder, adolescent or Adult onset, Non transsexual).

Transsexuals are extremely unhappy in the gender to which they are assigned and change their gender roles and bodies in order to live as members of the 'other' sex. Modern medical technology (synthesized sex hormones, electrolysis, plastic surgery) make this much easier than it was in the past. About 50% of transsexuals are male to female and 50% are female to male (FTM). Many have sex reassignment surgery, in which their genitals are modified. MTF transsexuals have been accused of being 'froo froo' (characitures of femininity), but in actuality their presentations range (as do those of nontranssexual women) from extreme butch to extreme femme.

Transpeople Can be Straight, Gay, Asexual, or Bisexual

Revised: 08/06/12