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The Trans Generation

Unspoiled Places
August 23, 2018
Homophobia
March 3, 2018

Difference between Transsexual and Transgender


Transsexual is used to describing any person that is born with certain sexual parts but decide to change it using hormones or surgeries. Now, transgender has to do with the way society sees the person. A transgender would be born with certain sexual parts but will choose to act as the opposite.

Transgender and transsexual people are typical men and women who think that they were born into the wrong bodies. In simple words, a person who has a female anatomy feeling like men is identified as transgender or transsexual. Well, the similarity ends here. Though these two groups have such a similarity, they cannot be thought of as belonging to the same genre.

Transsexual and transgender are terms that are often interchanged when referring to people that decide to change their genders and sex or do not agree with the gender/sex they were born with. The major difference between these words is the difference between gender and sex in general.

The term gender refers to the norms of the society, while sex is more related to the physical anatomy of the body. Many people just add the transsexual under the transgender and use it as an umbrella term. However, it isn’t accurate. The appropriate umbrella term that should be used for these two terms are ‘Trans

Transgender is a state which the apparent gender (determined at birth) of a person do not match the subjective gender. Even though the transgender persons may have distinct female or male genitalia, these persons know that they are in a wrong body. The transgender persons only feel that their gender do no match their physical attitude. But these people do not go for changing their sex.

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Coming to transsexual, a person is identified as a transsexual if that person was born with the congenital neurological intersex condition, which is also called as Benjamin’s syndrome. Transsexuals in a sense can be called as transgenders but the main difference is that transsexuals love to change their sex at some point in time to match their gender.

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While transsexuals believe that if one has to be a true transsexual then one should have to go for surgery and change sex, transgender persons do not think it a necessary.

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Transsexualism is a condition in which a person identifies himself as opposite to his birth gender. On the other hand, transgender is pertained to be the behavior of a person to think different from his or her own gender.

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While a transgender person does not think of changing their sex but only like to be dressed like his desired sex, transsexuals want complete physical change and want to be closer to the sex in which they have identified themselves.

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Transsexual can be called as a medical condition and transsexual persons are not gender variant. As the transsexual persons believe in a binary gender, they cannot be gender variant. While transsexual persons think that their bodies are wrong and not their gender, the transgender persons think that their gender is totally wrong.

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1. Transgender is a state which the apparent gender (determined at birth) of a person do not match the subjective gender.

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2. A person is identified as a transsexual if that person was born with the congenital neurological intersex condition.

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3. Transsexuals believe that if one has to be a true transsexual then one should have to go for surgery and change sex. Transgender persons do not think it to be necessary.

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In the scientific meaning of the word gender and sex, Sex is more commonly used to refer to the biological anatomy of a person. It is how the person was born. The World Health Organization defines ‘sex’ as “the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.” According to this definition, the sex of a person is determined when the child is conceived.

Gender is the role or differentiation that is created by the society. WHO defines ‘gender’ as “the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.” Gender is influenced by the culture and the society that a person is born in. Gender differs depending on the country, state, culture, religion, etc. Genders are categorized using ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.

Transsexual is used to describe any person that is born with certain sexual parts but decide to change it using hormones or surgeries. For example John was born as a male with male sexual parts; however, he never associated himself as a male. He always wanted to be a female. So, he starts taking hormones such as estrogen to try and adjust his body sexually to the feeling of being a woman

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He can also use reassignment surgery that would give him sexual anatomy resembling a woman. John, or now Joanna would be considered as a Transsexual person. Transsexual has to do mainly with the sexual parts of the body.

Now, transgender has to do with the way society sees the person. A transgender would be born with certain sexual parts but will choose to act as the opposite. He/she may not change their body parts and may not even require hormones, but would just dress and act like the opposite sex.

For example Mary was born a female. However, she never liked wearing dresses, playing with Barbie dolls, or even thinking of herself as a female. She would dress like a male, act like a male and even associate herself as a male. She would be known as a transgender.

Transgender people can identify themselves as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. These two terms often become confusing with various other gender expressions such as cross-dressers, drag queens, drag kings, transvestites, genderqueer, etc. The term ‘transsexual’ was defined by Harry Benjamin in his book ‘The Transsexual Phenomenon’ into three levels of intensity

"Transsexual (nonsurgical)", "True Transsexual (moderate intensity)", and "True Transsexual (high intensity)" According to this definition. The Transexual (nonsurgical) is a person that did not rely on any forms of sexual changing methods such as hormones or surgeries. The person in the True Transsexual (moderate intensity) would depend on taking hormones as a substitute for operation. The final level ‘True Transsexual (high intensity) were people that would opt for the surgery along with hormones. However, the levels have become blurred in today’s society.

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