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Thread: Transgender vs Gender Nonconforming

  1. #26
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    Yes the constant question of labels can be somewhat tiresome at times.

    BUT to everyone who wants to dismiss the OP's question consider this. To the general public you will get maybe 30-60 seconds to explain your presentation verbally, in print perhaps 2 sentences before they make an initial assessment of you. THAT is why labels are USEFUL, because they enable you to relay a reasonably large amount of information in a fairly short time. In addition they help to enable the collation of information about SIMILAR things so that assessments can be made, possible patterns looked for and utilised.

    Back to the OP original question i.e. TG vs Gender nonconforming, I must admit I have difficulty in seeing where there is likely to be significant difference in any useful information on either a past or future predictive sense between the two terms and as such I feel the two terms on a practical level are interchangeable. Certainly I describe myself using either term. As Reine has pointed out there is certainly public confusion between the term "transgender" and "transexual" (two terms which have very distinct meanings that have a dramatic impact particular on future predictive assessment) and as such an argument could be made that perhaps the term gender nonconforming may be a better term to avoid this confusion. A part of me though is concerned that trying to further differentiate like this could further ostracise either the TS community and I am thus reluctant to push this too heavily. If the public confuses TG and TS then they need further education on the difference, by keeping that education going they are forced to confront education on transsexualism and as we know, education encourages tolerance and acceptance.

  2. #27
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  3. #28
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    Hi I'm Beverley,
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    Just waiting for Katey to weigh in on this one now.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacqueline Winona View Post
    Reine, respectfully, you omitted a very important part of that second definition: [It is important to acknowledge that while some people may fit under this definition of transgender, they may not identify as such.B][/B]
    I did say it was your prerogative to identify as you wish.

    But, this does not change the definition of the term. If I'm colorblind, I can say that the color I see is blue, when everyone else sees it as green. It will be blue to me.

    I'm not making a judgment as to how you identify. I'm merely providing the definitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zylia View Post
    or is it somehow important that your gender expression differs from what is normative at any time as opposed to only when you're 'en femme'?
    Gender-nonconformity doesn't refer to someone who is transsexual. WPATH does make a distinction between TSs and gender-nonconforming people. If a person doesn't identify as a TS (doesn't feel incongruent with their primary and secondary sexual characteristics) and they switch presentation back and forth, then their gender identity is not firmly at either end of the gender binary even if they believe themselves to be female or feminine while dressed. Conversely if a person is TS but in the process of transitioning (they still present male to some people), their identity is still firmly on the female side of the binary. The male presentation is only temporary.

    I don't know what to make of people who identify as TS but who aren't or don't foresee transitioning though. This is a huge debate in the TS community.
    Reine

  5. #30
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    Oh I think it's OK to have labels. They are obviously useful in bringing about social change and they are also useful for processing the large amounts of information that we all experience day to day. They don't have to be perfectly individually accurate. I mean I know we are all snowflakes and all different from each other but it's OK to use the shorthand of labels if you don't want to bore someone silly with your entire life history and your many, many opinions about yourself. So using the shorthand I am non binary transgender. I am not cross dressing because I am presenting the gender I am, which is somewhere between male and female. My manner, dress, gestures, outlook, etc., etc., are somewhere between the gender stereotypes of the macho man and the feminine woman. You want to be more specific, go for it. You want to have special pronouns because you actually identify your gender with the droids in Star Wars, go for it. I will do my best to remember the way in which you want to be referred. If it makes you happy to be thought of as the gender of forest faerie, I'm down with that and I will refer to you as fae. What's the big deal? We own our own vocabulary. It's just good manners to use the vocabulary the person I address requests. If a woman requests I call her Ms, but not Miss., OK. If a man says he is actually they, OK. However does this harm me? You can call me anything, btw. I don't care. I know who I am and I don't need you to confirm it. But if you do, let me do you that favor. I am happy to make my mind work just a little bit harder, any time at all.

  6. #31
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    Thank you to everyone for your opinions, information and links on this subject.

    I've continued to look up definitions about Transgender from various sites. The pattern I'm seeing is that some dictionary websites seem to have older definitions, some 10 to 20 years old, or a more condensed definition that lack the details. As Wikipedia put it for transgender, …

    "The precise definition for transgender is changing..."

    So that might be part of the reason. Also in Standards of Care version 7 a statement is made...

    "WPATH also acknowledges that many terms used in relation to this population are not ideal. For example, the terms transsexual and transvestite—and, some would argue, the more recent term transgender—have been applied to people in an objectifying fashion. Yet such terms have been more or less adopted by many people who are making their best effort to make themselves understood. …"
    (pg 101 PDF or pg 95 on the page)

    So this is something to consider when choosing a term to describe yourself. And I do hope that the definition that WPATH is using, for transgender that Reine posted and is in the sticky section, will be more universally accepted in time or a new word will be created, used and accepted by all communities for those who need it.

    Also everyone has the RIGHT to use terms or words that seem to best apply to themselves. I'm not trying to apply a term, word or label to ANY person. But with that said...

    I don't like to modify existing words and muddle or confuse their meaning. I'd rather use an existing word, if possible, to describe myself with it's original meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zylia View Post
    ... or is it somehow important that your gender expression differs from what is normative at any time as opposed to only when you're 'en femme'?
    Yes, that's a big part the point. I don't use 'en femme' because I'm not presenting as a woman. Mine is a mixed presentation, non-binary.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    Gender-nonconformity doesn't refer to someone who is transsexual. WPATH does make a distinction between TSs and gender-nonconforming people.
    Yes. This is another reason why the term Gender-nonconformity works better for myself. I have no plans to modify my body and become a transsexual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adina View Post
    To the general public you will get maybe 30-60 seconds to explain your presentation verbally, in print perhaps 2 sentences before they make an initial assessment of you.
    Well put. KIS, Keep it simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by AllieSF View Post
    ... I try to put myself in that other person's shoes for a minute when they first see me. ...
    An excellent idea. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erica Marie View Post
    Gender non-conforming or gender neutral may refer to outer appearance. What we feel inside cannot be labeled. ...
    Perhaps. But with my presentation, non-binary, I'm making an attempt to show a person what I feel inside as regards to my gender identity. It is however only a starting point and can start a conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Drawer View Post
    Someone on this site once said that definitions are a tool to get us closer to an accurate description of who or what we are.
    Exactly. They are only a starting point to help another person gain some insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by devida View Post
    ... I am non binary transgender. I am not cross dressing because I am presenting the gender I am, which is somewhere between male and female. My manner, dress, gestures, outlook, etc., etc., are somewhere between the gender stereotypes of the macho man and the feminine woman. …
    Thank you for all your words and well said. And I like how you are NOT cross-dressing because they are YOUR clothes for YOU.
    Don't suppress who you are inside your heart. Let the world know how special you really are. Don't forget to smile as you share. It will come through in your beautiful words.

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  7. #32
    Full-Time Duality NathalieX66's Avatar
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    I agree with the last post by devida. It describes who I am.
    Me, I picked a place on the map, and this is where I ended up. I don't see life as penis vs. vagina, male vs. female, it goes way beyond that. We are not so simple.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    Gender-nonconformity doesn't refer to someone who is transsexual. WPATH does make a distinction between TSs and gender-nonconforming people. If a person doesn't identify as a TS (doesn't feel incongruent with their primary and secondary sexual characteristics) and they switch presentation back and forth, then their gender identity is not firmly at either end of the gender binary even if they believe themselves to be female or feminine while dressed. Conversely if a person is TS but in the process of transitioning (they still present male to some people), their identity is still firmly on the female side of the binary. The male presentation is only temporary.

    I don't know what to make of people who identify as TS but who aren't or don't foresee transitioning though. This is a huge debate in the TS community.
    This is how another org see's it..

    What is the difference?
    Gender specialists differentiate transgender from gender nonconforming by noting that a transgender will assert firmly, over time, that their gender identity is the opposite of that which was assigned at birth. They will insist that they are in the wrong body, or that God made a mistake. Gender nonconforming are often less adamant about who they are not, but will stubbornly assert what toys they do and don’t like, clothes they will and won’t wear, or activities they do or don’t prefer irrespective of their assigned gender. One way to think about the difference is that while all transgender are gender nonconforming, not all gender nonconforming are transgender.
    I do not!! Claim to be an expert on any topic, when I post a new thread or reply on any thread my imput is strickly that of a crossdresser. Not to offend Gay people , Transexuals or any other life style, I am only commenting on one of my own.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Jacqueline Winona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    I did say it was your prerogative to identify as you wish.

    But, this does not change the definition of the term. If I'm colorblind, I can say that the color I see is blue, when everyone else sees it as green. It will be blue to me.

    I'm not making a judgment as to how you identify. I'm merely providing the definitions.





    Gender-nonconformity doesn't refer to someone who is transsexual. WPATH does make a distinction between TSs and gender-nonconforming people. If a person doesn't identify as a TS (doesn't feel incongruent with their primary and secondary sexual characteristics) and they switch presentation back and forth, then their gender identity is not firmly at either end of the gender binary even if they believe themselves to be female or feminine while dressed. Conversely if a person is TS but in the process of transitioning (they still present male to some people), their identity is still firmly on the female side of the binary. The male presentation is only temporary.

    I don't know what to make of people who identify as TS but who aren't or don't foresee transitioning though. This is a huge debate in the TS community.
    Never thought you were making any judgments about me, I'm merely poking holes in the theory that there is an accepted definition. Really, this isn't a personal grudge match, I debate this issue with anyone. Much like many of my friends who identify as "Mexican" and not "Latino," terms do matter to many people. I may go to church every week, but I don't want to be called Evangelical because of the connotations that term has. People who live in the country may not all be into country music, not every Californian eats avocado, etc., etc.

  10. #35
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    Personally I don't care to be defined as a "non" anything. My label is Holly. If others care to know more about me, then let's spend some time getting to know one another. Words are so imperfect when trying to describe things or people who, by their very nature are diverse and unique. I would have a much higher confidence in a description of someone given my themself than one found in a textbook, manual, dictionary, etc. The bottome line is please don't call me late to supper.
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy_Bella View Post
    Gender specialists differentiate transgender from gender nonconforming by noting that a transgender will assert firmly, over time, that their gender identity is the opposite of that which was assigned at birth. They will insist that they are in the wrong body,
    No, Lucy ... you're confusing "transgender" with "transsexual". It's not. Have a look at the WPATH definitions (see link in #9) or the definitions on any LGBT site.

    A lot of people in this forum believe that "TG" and "TS" are interchangeable. They are not, even if the media uses the term "TG" when they refer to a transitioning TS.

    "Gender-nonconforming" refers to how an individual might identify. "Transgender" refers to a group of individuals, some of whom refer to themselves as gender-nonconforming, others as CD, or TG, or DQ, or genderqeer, bigender, gender variant, gender fluid, etc. Remember that "transgender" is not a statement that says a person necessarily identifies as a gender different than birth sex (for example a CD who is male identified). "Transgender" simply means that the person is engaging in behavior that goes beyond what is culturally accepted for their birth sex, for example a male who wears women's dresses in our society. We may like to think here that in our culture it is or should be the norm for men to wear dresses or otherwise be feminine in the same ways that women are, but this is not the reality. But, the male who wears dresses (or wears makeup, women's jewelry, wigs, etc) can still identify as a male and fit under the transgender umbrella because of his actions.


    ... if he presents as a male who is not attempting to be feminine (by our current cultural standards), for example if he wears a kilt or one of the newer man-skirts, then IMO he is not crossdressing.
    Reine

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    No, Lucy ... you're confusing "transgender" with "transsexual". .
    Not confusing at all "Transgenderist" is a coined word used in describing a person who is not satisfied living with matching Gender and Bio sex and was formally known as a Transsexual but the sexual upset many Transgenderist people.. A "transgender" or TG is a umbrella term to describe all Trans people including Transexuals ...

    It just comes down to how the labels are being used I guess and that could be why TS is now favored ..
    I do not!! Claim to be an expert on any topic, when I post a new thread or reply on any thread my imput is strickly that of a crossdresser. Not to offend Gay people , Transexuals or any other life style, I am only commenting on one of my own.

  13. #38
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    Lucy,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgini...nd_Controversy

    Specifically, the first sentence of the second paragraph. She didn't want to change her physical sex, so she didn't see herself as a transsexual.

    This is the citation:

    Prince, Virginia. “Seventy Years in the Trenches of the Gender Wars.” Gender Bending. Eds. V. Bullough, B. Bullough, B. and J. Elias. New York: Prometheus Books, 1997.
    Reine

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post

    Specifically, the first sentence of the second paragraph. She didn't want to change her physical sex, so she didn't see herself as a transsexual.

    This is the citation:

    Prince, Virginia. “Seventy Years in the Trenches of the Gender Wars.” Gender Bending. Eds. V. Bullough, B. Bullough, B. and J. Elias. New York: Prometheus Books, 1997.
    Yes very aware of that thank you But please keep in mind that there are pre op TS's that is a transgenderist ..One who lives their life a different gender than bio sex and do not wish to change bio sex..

    Here is how I read it from a site dedicated to Prince..
    The desire to portray the role of a woman is an expression of gender feelings. “Gender” refers to the feelings, roles and behavior our culture considers “masculine” or “feminine.” A person’s sex, on the other hard, is either male or female as determined by anatomy and genetic make-up. Parents, society, the child’s earliest environment tend to reinforce the development of a gender role commensurate with the biological sex a person is born with. However, a person’s gender feelings do not always match his or her biological sex, and these submerged feelings may be expressed through crossdressing.

    The behavior, motives, sexual preference, and lifestyles of people who crossdress vary from individual to individual. When a person functions publicly its either gender role we use the term “transgenderist.” A transgenderist goes beyond crossdressing to convey an image and express feelings we usually associate with femininity. Some of them characteristics are behavioral — the way one walks, sits, crosses one’s legs, carries himself. Some are physical — such as hair removal or hormone injections to develop secondary sexual characteristics. Some transgenderists live most of their lives in their preferred gender role, functioning as women or men socially but not biologically. For others, this is not enough. When a person decides that he or she can no longer live in a physical body that does not match his or her preferred gender, he or she may opt for reassignment surgery. When we we the classification “transsexual.” None of these classifications are absolute.
    Last edited by Lucy_Bella; 04-26-2014 at 02:31 AM.
    I do not!! Claim to be an expert on any topic, when I post a new thread or reply on any thread my imput is strickly that of a crossdresser. Not to offend Gay people , Transexuals or any other life style, I am only commenting on one of my own.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley Sims View Post
    Just waiting for Katey to weigh in on this one now.
    Thought I'd give it an overnight on the off chance it might get deleted or even that someone could come up with an answer everyone would agree with... - oh well...

    Sanderlay's original question was: Transgender, Gender nonconforming or something else...?

    Something else for me, please...

    it strikes me that the professionals don't fully agree, we can't fully agree, but as long as we accept that we're somewhere in that weird gender-mixing, crossdressing, femme-presenting melange of males (here on mtf - not to exclude ftm but just invert everything) who have a need or desire to express or utilise feminine aspects of our being for whatever reason, isn't that enough?

    One wonders if other folk have the same type of discussions on other forums - I can only imagine a 2nd skin forum... "PVC is better.." "No - latex.." "Well, you mustn't call it latex it's actually acrylonitrile butadiene rubber..."

    For the record, I do believe that I - as a not exclusively pleasure dresser - do have aspects that are transgender - how can I explain my avatar and profile pic otherwise? But am I gender-nonconforming? If I were to accept that my gender is not binary but that gender presentation as defined by society always must be, then yes - I'm always gender-nonconforming because there's always a femme or male aspect of me that isn't presented.

    I think the definition of transsexual is much clearer, but I would counsel Lucy's closing statement for all of our semantic debating: None of these classifications are absolute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katey888 View Post
    it strikes me that the professionals don't fully agree, we can't fully agree, but as long as we accept that we're somewhere in that weird gender-mixing, crossdressing, femme-presenting melange of males (here on mtf - not to exclude ftm but just invert everything) who have a need or desire to express or utilise feminine aspects of our being for whatever reason, isn't that enough?
    Yes of course it's enough as these are not my quotes ..These are copied and paste quotes ( my replies) of professionals that are in the field of gender spectrum ...These are examples of how "real labels " get miss represented or do not match the opinions of their respected communities ..I wasn't disagreeing with anyone just another learning experience for me ..
    I do not!! Claim to be an expert on any topic, when I post a new thread or reply on any thread my imput is strickly that of a crossdresser. Not to offend Gay people , Transexuals or any other life style, I am only commenting on one of my own.

  17. #42
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    Hi Debbie, I thought we all agreed that labels were for Soup cans and packages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy_Bella View Post
    biologically
    I know that classifications are not absolute indeed, but this is like a rather quaint way of looking at transsexuality in my opinion. A so-called (MtF) transgenderist can opt for HRT (and hair removal), but only SRS makes her 'transsexual' and – moreover – function as a 'biological woman'?

  19. #44
    Senior Member Jacqueline Winona's Avatar
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    Lucy, if we could just hit like on your post, you would have about 100 by now. Your next to last post sums things up perfectly.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanderlay View Post
    Transgender's purest meaning is...
    1. A person appearing or attempting to be a member of the opposite sex, as a transsexual or habitual cross-dresser.
    I like how you chose the third meaning in the list as the "purest". This is sort of like having your thesis and then working backwards to prove it. Read the first meaning
    1. Appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or having undergone surgery to become a member of the opposite sex.
    .

    I don't understand why at least twice a month someone has to try and start an argument on definitions. Know what? I don't care what you call yourself, you can call yourself whatever you want but in order to have logical discussions you have to have a standard definition and it is in the stickies above.
    Last edited by Lorileah; 04-26-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zylia View Post
    (MtF) transgenderist can opt for HRT (and hair removal), but only SRS makes her 'transsexual' and – moreover – function as a 'biological woman'?
    It's been said that and this is were the problem lays for many "Pre Ops" the right to function as a biological woman with or without SRS.. One should not have to go through SRS to reserve that right ( until they are ready mentally or physically or never) ..

    It's important to know that biological sex does not control gender many " pre ops" ( transgenderist ) Feel they were born in the wrong biological sex or body and already believe themselves to be "bio logical women" and going under a knife should not exclude them ..That'is what "Gender Nonconforming " or .."Gender Variance" is... It could also be why "labels" irk the upper gender spectrum ..
    '
    I do not!! Claim to be an expert on any topic, when I post a new thread or reply on any thread my imput is strickly that of a crossdresser. Not to offend Gay people , Transexuals or any other life style, I am only commenting on one of my own.

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    I do find the labels on restroom doors useful.
    .

  23. #48
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    @ Lorileah,

    I'm sorry you feel that way. It was never my intent to start an argument about two different words. So please, Moderators, close or delete this thread at your discretion if you feel this thread is unproductive or causing too much controversy. My question has been answer.

    FYI: The page I got the definition from has three different dictionary sources, The American Heritage® Dictionary, Collins English Dictionary and Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary.

    Thank you everyone for your answers and your insights.
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy_Bella View Post
    Yes very aware of that thank you But please keep in mind that there are pre op TS's that is a transgenderist ..One who lives their life a different gender than bio sex and do not wish to change bio sex..
    Lucy if they are pre-op, this means pre-operative. They are waiting for SRS surgery. This indicates they DO wish to change their genitals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy_Bella View Post
    The behavior, motives, sexual preference, and lifestyles of people who crossdress vary from individual to individual. When a person functions publicly its either gender role we use the term “transgenderist.” A transgenderist goes beyond crossdressing to convey an image and express feelings we usually associate with femininity. Some of them characteristics are behavioral — the way one walks, sits, crosses one’s legs, carries himself. Some are physical — such as hair removal or hormone injections to develop secondary sexual characteristics. Some transgenderists live most of their lives in their preferred gender role, functioning as women or men socially but not biologically. For others, this is not enough. When a person decides that he or she can no longer live in a physical body that does not match his or her preferred gender, he or she may opt for reassignment surgery. When we we the classification “transsexual.” None of these classifications are absolute.
    This lumps an awful lot of different people under the same term "transgender", which is precisely why it is an umbrella term.

    There are crossdressers who present fully as women (including walking like one ) and who identify as men. You cannot tell these people that they have a feminine gender identity, they'll shoot you! LOL. Other crossdressers identify bigender. But I agree, they do belong under the transgender umbrella due to their actions (and not necessarily their gender identity).

    There are crossdressers who do engage in cosmetic feminization and who still identify as men: such as body shaving (although some male athletes body shave), pierced ears and long hair (although many men pierce their ears and wear their hair long without attempting to look feminine). This is NOT changing any secondary sexual characteristics unless maybe they permanently remove their hair at great cost, through electrolysis.

    When it gets to the point of changing secondary sexual characteristics chemically through HRT (attempting to grow breasts and putting a halt to male sexual functioning), then yes, this goes beyond what most crossdressers do. Still, some people who do this consider themselves between the genders (and they do not want SRS), while others consider themselves TS (re transwomen). The debate in the TS community is whether or not a person can be considered TS (on her way to becoming a physical woman) if she wants to retain male sexual functioning. I don't know enough about HRT to tell you if milder doses can accomplish some body feminization and/or emotional peace (through a psychological lessening of GID) without affecting male sexual functioning or not. So you see, among this group of people there are still some who do not consider themselves fully female, while others do. It's a mixture.

    There are even some TSs who do want to continue to identify as TS and not women! I believe that at least one person who identifies as TS in this forum also believes that she is genderqueer. But, most transitioners that I know do consider themselves women post-op, and not TS.

    All this to say that "transgender" covers an awful lot of different people. We keep getting back to that.
    Reine

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    Lucy if they are pre-op, this means pre-operative. They are waiting for SRS surgery. This indicates they DO wish to change their genitals..


    Reine ,

    Again I do agree.... But let just say that there is more to a females sexual anatomy than the down stairs portion.. Sexuality secondaries without SRS can also be hormones ,breast enhancement, plastic and facial surgery among other surgeries and procedures ... Things known to but don't always go with the females biological sex ..

    Sex or sexuality doesn't only lay between the legs,well for some anyways..
    I do not!! Claim to be an expert on any topic, when I post a new thread or reply on any thread my imput is strickly that of a crossdresser. Not to offend Gay people , Transexuals or any other life style, I am only commenting on one of my own.

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