Storify: Transgender Terminology

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

A brief thread on transgender terminology for 2017.

• "Trans" is short for "transgender". Both words are adjectives, not nouns or verbs.

• I am a trans person. (Adjective, good.) I am not "a trans". (Noun, bad.) I did not "trans myself". (Verb, bad.)

• "Transgender" is one word, no hyphen. "Trans-gender" is wrong. Do not use.

• Common mistakes to avoid: "Transgenders" "Transgendered" "Trans-gender" "Trans gender" "Transgendering"

• Place a space between an adjective and its modifying noun. Trans woman, not transwoman. Brunette woman, not brunettewoman.

• The umbrella of trans people includes trans people of "binary" genders (trans women and trans men) and trans people of "nonbinary" genders.

• "Nonbinary" in an umbrella term for a variety of genders (and lack thereof) which are not the usual binary "man" and "woman" choices.

• "Nonbinary" is NOT the same as "genderfluid" or "androgynous" or really almost any other word you might be tempted to substitute in. I have recently seen a cis person use "genderfluid" to mean "nonbinary". Those words are not synonyms.

• "[Noun] is [adjective]" is a valid construction in English. "Ana is trans" is a correct statement.

• Transgender is not a thing that is separate from men and women. "Men, women, and trans people welcome!" is wrong. "Men" is a set that includes cis men and trans men. "Women" is a set that includes cis women and trans women.

• If you want to use that basic construction then "men, women, and nonbinary people welcome!" would be accurate, but be sure to make very clear that you are trans-inclusive of trans men and trans women and aren't lumping them into nonbinary.

Lastly: It is always okay to ask me these things. I give permission. You aren't born knowing these words (no one is!) and while you shouldn't dump questions on the nearest trans person, I do field questions. If you prefer to DM me because of privacy concerns or just fear of looking silly/wrong, I understand and it's fine. I'll answer when I can.


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