Definitions of Transsexual, transgender, queer, MTF, cicgender
Trans people face many barriers in the dating scene. A big one of them is misinformation. In order to date, in this case, a trans girl, there are some words, terms and expressions you should be familiar with in order to better understand them.
Difference between transgender and transsexual?
Transgender currently works as an umbrella term for transsexual, it describes those who have a gender that is not the one that they were assigned at birth; be it male, female or intersex.
The following word, male or female, indicates their current gender. The one they transitioned into. What you also may see following the word Trans are the letters FTM or MTF, this indicates the transition that the person went through. FTM refers to Female to Male, meaning that they were assigned Female at birth and transitioned to Male, and vice versa with MTF.
What is trans woman or MTF?
Something that is very important to know is that, transitioned or not, a person may identify as trans, or as a gender that was not assigned to them at birth. Lack of surgery or hormonal replacement therapy does not make them less valid, or less "trans'' in any way. Being able to afford and get gender reassignment surgery is a right, but in the current state of the healthcare industry, it is also a privilege, which not many people have access to.
Additionally, a trans person's ability to "pass" as their gender is not also indicative of how "trans" they are. They do not owe it to anyone to "pass" at something they already are. You would never tell a girl that she is a boy because she kind of looks like one. And that is not different for a trans woman.
Difference between gender and sexuality?
According to the BBC, "Sexuality is the word used to describe the sexual feelings we experience towards other people, although it isnt necessarily about who we want to have sex with". Some examples of sexualities are: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual.
Gender, or gender identity, on the other hand, refers to how "many people identify as male or female, and see their sex and gender as the same thing. But for others their gender identity is different from the sex registered on their birth certificate (male or female)". Some people identify as male or female, while many identify as something in between or completely outside the gender binary.
Moreover, it is necessary to take into account that sexuality, as well as gender, is a spectrum. The sexuality or gender which a person identifies with currently may change and mutate over time, and that does not make it less valid, or "a phase".
What does it mean to be queer?
According to an article on Them, called "LGBTQ+ People Explain How They Love, Hate, and Understand the Word "Queer", the following are some of the most common meanings. An important thing to know is that the word Queer, not too many years ago, had a bad connotation. It is one of the many words that LGBTQ+ people have reclaimed as their own and given its own positive meaning to, even though "Its usage, even in LGBTQ spaces, is triggering to some people''.
As one of the interviewed people said, the word queer "carries a sense of undefined abstractness". It is used as an umbrella term, many times, for people who identify with one or more sexualities or gender identities or refers to being part of the LGBTQ+ community.
As a synonym for the word "not-straights", the word Queer "is about non-normativity, creativity, and diversity far beyond homonormative culture". It is also many times used as an umbrella term to refer to being part of the LGBTQ+ community, or simply express that you are not conforming with any sexuality that "exists''.
It is also used by many questioning people, putting it simply, as a way of saying "I am LGBT, but don't know with which sexuality I align, or if I even do".
What is cisgender? The opposite to non-binary?
As defined by the Oxford dictionary, a Cisgender person is "someone whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex".
Non-binary, or NB, relates to people whose identities lie outside the gender binary (female and male). NB and Genderqueer people may identify as a combination of both female and male, as neither of them, or as both.
Terms to know before dating a Trans Woman
As we said in the beginning, many trans people choose to have gender reaffirming therapy and surgery. For a Trans woman (FTM); gender reaffirming surgical procedures may include: bilateral mastectomy, hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO), metoidioplasty (surgical formation of a neophallus with existing genital tissue), or phalloplasty.
For a MTF, the procedures may include: mandible (jaw) contouring, scalp advancement & forehead contouring (brings the hairline forward and lifts the eyebrows), chin contouring, cheek implants to improve cheek volume, lip lift and plumping.
Surgery and Hormone Therapy
Previous to getting surgery, trans people will usually follow the following steps
Attending a Mental health evaluation: done by a professional, it is a way to verify which steps the person in question is ready or capable of going through. It also evaluates if the person has a social network that is going to support them, and otherwise, if they have enough internal strength to manage on their own.
Getting Hormone Therapy: this relates to what doctors refer to as secondary sexual characteristics, such as body hair, muscle mass, and breast size. For Trans Men, hormone replacement therapy will have the following outcomes: deepening of the voice, enhancing of muscle and strength, boosting of facial and body hair and the enlargement of the clitoris. For Trans Women it will redistribute body fat, increase breast tissue, provoke thinning of body and facial hair and lower testosterone levels.
People who like to wear clothes that are usually associated with the other of the two genders recognized by society, but usually do not intend to live full-time like the other gender. In the United States, many people think that the old term "transvestism" is derogatory.
In short: People, who can be straight and/or cisgender, who perform either masculinity or femininity as a form of art.
In longer:Dramatic acts of wearing gendered clothing and/or using gendered behavior as part of the performance (usually clothing and behaviors that are usually not related to your own gender identity. Can be used for entertainment, imitation, or making political statements. Does not indicate the performer’s sexual orientation Or gender identity.
Shemale is a term used exclusively in the porn industry for films featuring preoperative transgender women. Unfortunately, this industry has made it a popular term, and there are far more search results on Google than any other related term. This is a negative and disrespectful term as it is associated with pornography. It's an offensive term, so don't use it when addressing transgender women.
Ladyboy comes from the English translation of Kathoey and whose identity in English is best described as transgender women. The term ladyboy is mainly used, and mostly accepted, in Asian countries such as Thailand and the Philippines. But thanks to the porn industry, the term has acquired a negative name in the western world. Western transgender people can take it as negative and as an insult. However, since many of our transgender members are from Asia, we use it on MyLadyboyCupid. With this site we focus on transgender women from countries such as the Philippines and Thailand.