What is Transgender?
What does transgender mean?
Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses many different forms of gender identity. Transsexual, androgynous, intersex, transvestite, crossdressers, and drag queen/king are all different types of gender expression.
Some transgender individuals may experience gender dysphoria, feelings of discontent with their sex assigned at birth or with social gender roles associated with their physical sex. It’s important to distinguish that not all transgender individuals are transsexuals. In fact, there are multiple types of transgender identity that are not connected to the desire to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
What are the types of transgender identity?
Transgender (TG) – is an “umbrella” term for all sorts of identifications: transsexual, androgynous, intersex, transvestite, crossdressers, and drag queen/king.
Transsexual – A transsexual is generally identified as a person who prefers to live, act, and be perceived by society as the opposite gender of their birth. Note: not all transsexuals wish to she-male porn transition.
Androgynous - Someone who is androgynous in dress or behavior has neither masculine nor feminine characteristics that can lead one to perceive a definite physical sex. Many people who are hermaphroditic are also androgynous.
Intersex - having both male and female physical characteristics. This includes reproductive organs, sexual behavior, and sexual characteristics usually caused by hormonal imbalance when they were in the womb, or chromosomal abnormalities. Also, one does not have to be born intersex to actually be intersex, therefore, a transsexual may not completely transition to fully male or fully female, leaving them in a divided state between the sexes, and as so, intersex.
Transvestite - books that define transvestite often consider a transvestite to be one who dresses or acts as the opposite sex (see Cross-dresser), but the TG community has narrowed the definition of transvestite down to purely sexual terms, that is, one who dresses as the opposite sex for purely sexual reasons (aka sexual arousal, etc.).
Cross-dresser – One who acts/behaves/dresses as the opposite sex. Unlike a transsexual, a cross-dresser does not cross dress all day, every day and, while it is part of who they are, it does not encompass who they are.
Drag Queen/King – Performers who dress as the opposite sex. Generally men or women in drag exaggerate the characteristics of the male or the female on or off stage. To be transgender does not mean that you have to stick to solely one category. For instance, a Drag Queen/King and a cross-dresser share similar boundaries; what divides them is that the drag Queen/King is exaggerating the features of the opposite sex and they allow their real physical sex to show through their costume, yet not all Drag Queens (DQ) or Kings (DK) are CD (though it is not unheard if for some to be both). Furthermore, someone who is transsexual may have been born intersex or may wish to become intersex but not all people born intersex are transsexuals, just as not all transsexuals are intersex. The combinations and exact definition of individuals that are transgender are unique to each person and they can not be put into a single stereotypical box.
Classification of Sexuality and Gender by the American Psychiatric Association
There has been considerable debate regarding gender identity, particularly in light of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) classification system in the DSM-IV. Current efforts are underway to release a revision of the DSM-IV; the DSM-V revision re-classifies gender identity disorder with the term gender dysphoria. 
In December 2012, the American Psychiatric Association announced that the DSM-V will no longer include the term “gender identity disorder.” The DSM-V will use the term “gender dysphoria.” This is an important shift from “gender identity disorder” because dysphoria applies only to individuals who are distressed over their assigned gender identity. Individuals who identify differently from the gender assigned at birth are thus no longer considered to be mentally ill by the APA’s categorization. 
Many individuals who experience gender non-conformity, that is, the degree of difference between their biological sex, the cultural norms, and their personal gender identity do not believe themselves to be suffering from a disorder. 
In contrast to the APA, the Standards of Care (SOC) uses the term “gender dysphoria” to describe discomfort or distress caused by the difference between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. However, the SOC provides that not all gender-nonconforming persons suffer from gender dysphoria.
DSM-IV Classifications & Diagnostic Criteria:
The Link between Transsexualism and Gender Reassignment
Transitioning for the FTM consists of several forms of passing. The pre-T (pre-testosterone) FTM has a relatively difficult time passing not only because of their feminine structure, but because of their high voices and built in feminine mannerisms–this is not to say that all FTMs are inherently female mannered (but some are). Obviously, one of the hardest things to overcome when passing is the gender norms that society has placed on all people and many do not understand that just because you look female, does not make you feel female. Transitioning consists of:
1. Preparing for Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
- In the US, recommendation for hormones through a letter by a licensed therapist
- Searching for a physician to supervise hormones
- Mental preparedness
2. Beginning testosterone HRT
- Financial stability
- Testing out mediums of Testosterone delivery (topical, a-topical)
- Discovering the correct testosterone dosage
- Physical changes (voice drop, hair, loss of menstruation, and mainly, looking and completely passing as male)
3. Surgery (in a common order)
- Preparing to find a top surgeon (research)
- Financial ability (US is approximately $6,500 +)
- Surgery and Recovery
- Preparing to find an endocrinologist for full hysterectomy
- Financial ability or insurance claim for necessary procedure
- Preparing to find a bottom surgeon
- Choice of surgery (metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, both)
- Financial ability
4. Petition for a Court-ordered Name Change and Gender change
- Petitioning the court for a name and/or gender change
- Obtaining the final court order granting a name and/or gender change
- Notifying the appropriate state and federal agencies
- Notifying institutions that provide personal and business accounts
- How to obtain a Court-ordered Name Change or Court-ordered Gender Change.
 Details of DSM-V revisions. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org
 Transgender no longer a medical disorder. http://www.salon.com/2012/12/27/transgender_no_longer_a_medical_disorder/ (12/27/2012)
 Debates surrounding the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria of gender identity disorder. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disorder