Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression

What is transgender?

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. The American Psychological Association’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity are undertaking a systematic review of its use along with other terms related to transgender. In this document, “transgender” is used to replace the outdated term “transsexual.”

The terms “transgender” and “trans” are sometimes used as shorthand for “transgender people.” Still, transgender encompasses many different categories of people, including agender and bigender. Nonbinary people—and awareness, knowledge, and openness about transgender people and their experiences are increasing.

Difference between sex and gender

Sex is assigned at birth and is based on physical characteristics such as chromosomes, hormones, and anatomy. Gender refers to the roles, activities, behaviors, and attributes that societies consider appropriate for either males or females. Many conditions may cause a baby’s physical characteristics not to develop normally. These are referred to as intersex conditions.

What are the signs that someone is transgender?

People who feel that their gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth (and especially those who feel uncomfortable with their genitals or secondary sex characteristics) may experience similar feelings that can lead to dissatisfaction with their gender.

Is transgender identity a mental illness?

It becomes a disorder only when a psychological state is distressing and impairs function. Transgender people have not been considered to have a mental disorders due to their high rates of anxiety and depressive disorders related to the societal discrimination they face.