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Understanding Transgender

It is widely known that gender is assigned at birth and created through the social circles and interactions made throughout our lives and that this process of defining gender identity can be harmful or limiting for many people.
Gender is a social or biological way to describe masculinity and femininity to people. Gender characteristics can change over time and vary differently between cultures.
Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe an individual who does not conform to or follow social understandings of their sexuality and sexual identity.


Image:Scottish Transgender Alliance website:

Transsexual - When a person's gender identity is different to the biological sex they were assigned at birth. Transsexual people may have medical treatment, such as hormone treatment or surgery to bring their physical appearance more into line with their gender.

Trans Man - A transgender person who was assigned female at birth but whose gender identity is that of a man. Trans men should be treated as men and male pronouns should be used.

Trans Woman - A transgender person who was assigned male at birth but whose gender identity is that of a woman. Trans women should be treated as women and female pronouns should be used.

Non-Binary Gender - Gender identities that are not exclusively male or female are identities which are outside of the gender binary. People can be both male and female, neither or their gender may be more fluid (i.e. unfixed and changeable over the course of time).

Cross-dressing - Wearing clothing typical of the opposite sex. People who cross dress identify with their biological sex. This can include both drag performance and transvestitism.

Further Information

Local support for Young People who identify under the Trans umbrella

More information on Transgender

LGBT Plus in Dumfries offer a wide range of support services and social events for all gender diverse adults’ and their families.

‘Mermaids’ is a group which offers online support and information for individuals who are struggling with gender identity issues and their families:

The Scottish Trans Alliance carries out extensive work for Trans rights and wellbeing and provides information on their work and events in Scotland for people under the trans umbrella.

Gender Identity Service at Sandyford Clinic, Glasgow

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