Succinctly stated: transgender is the manifestation of a person’s need to identify with the opposite gender from which they were physically born.
In other words?
Transgender people are compelled - usually from an early age - to live and represent the gender opposite from the one they were born.
What causes Transgenderism?
There's not enough research to definitively determine what causes our need to express an alternative gender but most present thinking reveals its instigated by varied degrees of masculinzation to the brain during our evolution in the womb.
How’s that occur?
Every mammal is first conceived female: it's the default gender. Every once and awhile the most complex organ on the body - the human brain - doesn’t successfully compete the light speed trek to its final gender. Thus, you end up with a male body being born with a female brain.
What we deal with is an inborn medical condition. It’s real. It’s also very challenging.
“Transgenderism” is an all-encompassing term to describe all forms of alternative gender expression.
It’s used to broadly describe all forms of transgender expression or thoughts. You could liken it to the term “automobile” - when describing cars. Then, based upon the particulars of each transgender person - you could include the vehicle’s make and model.
Most commonly, transgender women are considered distinctive & different based upon:
Who describes us
How far we intend to go in our transformation
Where we are in the transformation process
How we identify in our sexual orientation
Proper Transgender Terminology
The proper terminology for various forms of transgender expression is often considered important to trans-people. Some gals consider the other labels insulting.
For instance: if you call a transsexual woman a cross dresser, transvestite, TV or shemale? She will most likely be offended. Using improper terms can cause lots of unneeded frustration.
The simplest solution?
You can’t go wrong calling any such person “a transgender woman”.
Gender Identity versus Sexual Orientation
There's an endless number of transgender permutations based upon the degree of transgenderism that’s inborn. Thus, some people satisfy this need with an occasional donning of a wig, makeup and a dress while others are only happy living full-time as women and completing gender reassignment surgery.
Unique “labels” are associated with most common forms of transgender expression including: crossdressers, transvestites, DRAG queens, and transsexual women. There’s even trans-men: born-women who are compelled to represent and perhaps someday become male.
Transgenderism is often classified as a subset of the gay community – hence “GLBT”. However, it’s there that the similarity ends.
First off: it doesn’t cost $50,000 - $100,000 just to be gay. Also, transgenderism is about gender identity whereas our GLBT brethren are rooted in sexual orientation.
What’s the difference between sexual orientation vs. gender identity?
Sexual orientation is about who you want to go to bed with.
Gender identity is about who you want to go to bed as.
Sound like only a subtle difference? It’s not. No gay man wants to be intimate while dressed like a woman and the majority of transgender women have no sexual interest in men. It’s estimated that over 80% of transgenders are not even bisexual - let alone homosexual. Most are completely heterosexual males - who have an alternative gender identity they feel compelled to occasionally express.