A title is everything

Dirk Schnoes, Staff Writer

“Transgender” is often used interchangeably with “transsexual,” though it’s important to know that there’s a difference between the two terms. “Transsexual” has the same technical definition, but many trans people dislike it because it tends to limit us to our sex/genitals, which is usually the opposite of what we want.

While adding “ed” to the end of a word may not seem like a big deal, it follows the same concept as when people of color were known as “colored people.” It’s impolite to say “transgendered.” The phrasing implies that something happened to make them that way, not that they were born that way. This concept also applies to being transgender—we are born this way, not made. We are transgender people, not transgendered.

“Transgendered” and “a trans” are also both incorrect in a grammatical be put into past tense, nor is it a noun, and it should not be used as such.

As for “tranny” – it’s a slur, and is just plain rude and offensive.

What options are available for transgender people? For those who wish to transition, there are plenty of options. Transitioning involves many options and methods for transgender people to choose from.

Hormones are often a huge part of the physical transition process and are step one. Female-to-Male (FM) transgender individuals take Testosterone or “T” by patch, cream, or, most commonly, injection. Male-to-Female (MtF) individuals often take Estrogen, which can be administered by injection or, most commonly, orally in pill form.

After hormones, transgender people have the option to undergo surgery. For FM individuals, there are two types of surgery, commonly referred to as “top surgery” and “bottom surgery.” Top surgery mastectomy refers to the removal of breasts, the shaping of a male chest, and re-sizing the nipples, while bottom surgery can refer to a metoidioplasty and/or a “phalloplasty.”

For MF individuals, facial feminization is a common surgery pursued by Reassignment Surgery (SRS) or Genital Reconstruction Surgery (GRS), many transgender women opt to undergo a vaginoplasty.

Lastly, it’s important to point out that all of the above treatments and surgeries are only options, and that not all transgender individuals will feel the need to pursue any of them.

Regardless of whether they do or not, always remember to respect someone’s preferred pronouns, and, unless they make it clear that they don’t mind, don’t ask about their plans for transitioning. That information is private and on a need-to-know basis, and no one else needs to know.