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In addition to trans men and trans women whose binary gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex, and who form the core of the transgender umbrella, being included in even the narrowest definitions of it, several other groups are included in broader definitions of the term.These include people whose gender identities are not exclusively masculine or feminine but may, for example, be androgynous, bigender, pangender, or agender—often grouped under the alternative umbrella term genderqueer they are usually excluded, as are transvestic fetishists (because they are considered to be expressing a paraphilia rather than a gender identification) and drag kings and drag queens (who are performers and cross-dress for the purpose of entertaining).
Hence, transsexuality may be said to deal more with physical aspects of one's sex, while transgender considerations deal more with one's psychological gender disposition or predisposition, as well as the related social expectations that may accompany a given gender role.These individuals are cross dressing but are not cross dressers." Cross-dressers may not identify with, want to be, or adopt the behaviors or practices of the opposite gender and generally do not want to change their bodies medically.The majority of cross-dressers identify as heterosexual.However, these assertions are contested by the Transgender Health Program (THP) at Fenway Health in Boston.It notes that there are no universally-accepted definitions, and terminology confusion is common because terms that were popular in at the turn of the 21st century may now be deemed offensive.The term trans man refers to a man who has transitioned from female to male, and trans woman refers to a woman who has transitioned from male to female.
Health-practitioner manuals, professional journalistic style guides, and LGBT advocacy groups advise the adoption by others of the name and pronouns identified by the person in question, including present references to the transgender person's past; many also note that transgender should be used as an adjective, not a noun (for example, "Max is transgender" or "Max is a transgender man", not "Max is a transgender"), and that transgender should be used, not transgendered.
The degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance and accept their genuine identity has been called transgender congruence. Oliven of Columbia University coined the term transgender in his 1965 reference work Sexual Hygiene and Pathology, writing that the term which had previously been used, transsexualism, "is misleading; actually, 'transgenderism' is meant, because sexuality is not a major factor in primary transvestism." By 1992, the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy defined transgender as an expansive umbrella term including "transsexuals, transgenderists, cross dressers", and anyone transitioning.
Leslie Feinberg's pamphlet, "Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time has Come", circulated in 1992, identified transgender as a term to unify all forms of gender nonconformity; in this way transgender has become synonymous with queer.
The term transgender can also be distinguished from intersex, a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies".
The counterpart of transgender is cisgender, which describes persons whose gender identity or expression matches their assigned sex.
Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.