Guide to words related to gender identity and sexual orientation


gender transition refers to the multi-layered process of aligning one’s life with one’s gender identity. While much of the news focuses on the medical transition process (largely due to states that have proposed or enacted bills that restrict these treatments), transition can and does happen at many other levels.

“There’s a wide range of things that involve transitioning, and they’re not the same for everyone,” Jones said.

Social transition includes actions like going out with family and friends, and changing the way you dress or talk, the name you have and the pronouns you use. The legal transition involves updating documents such as birth certificates and identity cards to reflect one’s name and gender. The medical transition includes hormone replacement therapy and could also include additional surgeries.

Transition is a highly individualized personal process. A person in transition might use all – or none – of these methods.

gender dysphoria is the medical term for the psychological and physical distress that occurs when the sex assigned at birth does not match the gender. How people experience gender dysphoria — and how severe it is — varies from person to person, Jones noted.

In a clinical setting, a psychiatric diagnosis of gender dysphoria is often required to access medical treatment. The practice is controversial on several fronts: some say it inappropriately pathologizes gender incongruity, and some also criticize it as a form of medical control.

According to the Trans Journalists Association, gender dysphoria can also arise in a social context and can refer to the discomfort many trans people feel when their correct gender is not recognized by others.

gender euphoria refers to the satisfaction and happiness people feel when their gender is affirmed. A trans person can experience this kind of euphoria when their correct names and pronouns are recognized or when their physical appearance matches their gender identity.

Branstetter adds that this kind of feeling is something that cis people also feel: “Cis women will often appreciate feeling feminine, whatever that may mean to them, in the same way that cis men will often appreciate feeling masculine. in any way. .”

gender-affirming care describes medical care that affirms or recognizes the gender identity of the person receiving medical care. Also known as “gender affirming” or “gender confirming” care, this medical care for minors may include puberty or hormone blockers and is closely monitored by their doctors. For adults, this could mean hormone therapy and various surgeries, such as breast reconstruction (also called “top surgery”), speech therapy, genital reconstruction, and facial plastic surgery.

These treatments have been linked to better health outcomes for transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people who seek them, and can help protect them from discrimination and violence.

But gender-affirming care goes beyond medical treatments that help people transition, Jones said. She views gender-affirming care as care that recognizes and values ​​the patient’s gender identity, regardless of the reason for seeking treatment.

Jason Rafferty, a child psychiatrist and pediatrician at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI, described it similarly to the American Medical Association: it’s “a model of care and an approach to patients and families that we work with “, did he declare.

“It’s not necessarily a protocol. These are not guided steps,” Rafferty added.

misgender refers to an action in which someone addresses or refers to another person by the wrong gender – accidentally or intentionally. This can include referring to someone by the wrong pronouns or honorifics or using a trans person’s name. dead name (the name they used before the transition).

To understand and avoid gender errors, it’s important to recognize how often we sex the world around us, Branstetter said: we project gender onto animals, objects, and even weather events.

“It’s something people do and they don’t realize they’re doing it. It happens very quickly,” Branstetter said.

For many transgender people, sex error can feel like a form of violence, Jones added, “It’s violent because it’s a form of erasure.”

marginalized gender is an umbrella term, most frequently used in academic and activist circles, to describe anyone who is not a cis man. The term points to how cisgender women and LGBTQ people, historically and currently, have experienced systemic inequalities and greater regulation of their rights.

“It’s not just that their bodies are regulated,” Branstetter said, “but their bodies are regulated as a way of regulating their life path.”


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