07 October 2007

The Differences

When we talk about the "third" sex, as most of us always seem to do, the terms transgender, transition, drag queens, transvestites and transsexuals always seems to come up. So here are some definitions which are general:

A transgender person is one who dresses as, desires to be, transitions toward or identifies as a person of the opposite sex
. They can be drag queens, transvestites or transsexuals.

Transition - The process of living in another gender. Undertaken by people considering sex reassignment surgery. During transition, reassignment candidates undergo hormone therapy, a name change, voice therapy, psychological therapy and other therapies and lessons that will aid them in living as another gender. Most doctors that perform sex reassignment surgery require that patients live in transition for at least a year.

Drag queens - Men who assume the character or appearance of women. Drag queens, or "queens" for short, are mostly entertainers who dance, sing, lip sync and perform in costume (often extravagantly presented female attire) at drag shows. The origin of the word "drag" is unclear; however, female illusionists can be dated back to Ancient Rome and Shakespearean theatre. Today, many drag queens perform in drag shows, which became popular after the First World War.

Cross dressers - Similar to drag queens but some are "closet" cross dressers who get a sense of satisfaction when using women's clothing in private. The next stage would be to go out in public at a quiet hour. Some would say the initial stage of being a transvestite. (Almost forgot this, thanks for the reminder)

Transvestites - Transvestites are men who adopt the identity of women through dress and behaviour
. Transvestic individuals exhibit sexual pleasure from assuming the identity of the opposite sex. You will often hear a transvestite referred to as a "full time woman" whereas drag queens are usually identified as men who impersonate women only during drag shows.

Transsexuals - a person who identifies as a member of the opposite sex. Transsexuals usually desire physical alteration of their bodies to bring them closer to the sex in which they identify.

Pre-op transsexuals still have the genitalia of their birth sex, but live life as the opposite sex
. Post-op transsexuals have undergone surgery to alter their genitalia.

References from: http://gaylife.about.com/od/transgender/a/trannies.htm


Anonymous said...

Don't forget the cross-dresser or(X-dresser). Same same but different.

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