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Transcription of Infographic:

What does the asterisk in “trans*” stand for?


In writing, using an asterisk at the end of "trans" is a way to use one shorthand expression to refer to a variety of identities that are incredibly diverse, but share one simple, common denominator: a trans* person is not a cisgender man or woman.

So, what does the * stand for? Transgender, transman, transwoman, genderqueer, agender, transsexual, two-spirit, genderfluid, non-binary, gender non-conforming, bigender, third gender, transmasculine, transfeminiine, androgynous


Transgender or Trans*: An umbrella term referring to people whose gender identity and/or gender expression does not fit their sex assigned at birth. Groups often included under the transgender umbrella are transsexuals; genderqueers; enbies or nbs (nonbinary people); people who are androgynous, and people who identify as more than one gender.

Transsexual: A person who lives and/or idenifes as a different sex from the one assigned at birth.

Cisgender: Refers to people whose gender indentity and presentation fit traditional norms for the sex they were assigned at birth.

Cissexual: A person who lives and identifies with the sex assigned at birth.

Note:Terms are fluid, changing meanings over time, and used differently by different communities. When in doubt, it's best to ask what terms people want used for themselves.

Adapted from "Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation" chapter (p.74-75) in Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2011 ed.


Also, see definitions provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).

For even more terms people use, see The Gender Book.

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