Portal:Transgender

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Hidras of Panscheel Park-New Delhi-1994 (cropped).jpg
Hijras in Panchsheel Park-New Delhi. circa 1994.

Transgender is an umbrella term applied to people and behaviors which diverge from those of normative two-gender roles (male and female), usually assigned at birth. Transgender refers to the state of one's gender identity (male, female, or various other identities) and not to sexual identities; a common, sometimes offensive, misunderstanding.

Transgender identities and expression have been a fixture of culture since antiquity. One example is South Asian, where Hijras (pictured at right) are considered members of a third gender.

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The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are considered to be neither women nor men, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders.

The state of being neither male nor female may be understood in relation to the individual's biological sex, gender role, gender identity, or sexual orientation. To different cultures or individuals, a third sex or gender may represent an intermediate state between men and women, a state of being both (such as "the spirit of a man in the body of a woman"), the state of being neither (neuter), the ability to cross or swap genders, or another category altogether independent of male and female. This last definition is favored by those who argue for a strict interpretation of the "third gender" concept.

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Commemoration of Comptom's Cafeteria Riot
Credit: Bill Wilson
On hand to commemorate the Compton's Cafeteria Riot, Chief Heather Fong (left), the first San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) female chief of police; Theresa Sparks (center), first ever transgender police commissioner; and Sgt. Stephan Thorne, the first transgender SFPD police officer.

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Some people say that trans men are just trying to escape sexism by turning into men. Let me tell you, when you're a transexual, you do not escape sexism, you are pushed right into an enormous swamp of sexism. When you experience both sides and more, you begin to see the sexism, you notice it when other people don't, when you play with gender you're witnessing the flow of power.

—Jamrat Mason

Selected biography

Harisu (Hangul: 하리수) is the stage name of Lee Kyung-eun (born Lee Kyung-yup, February 17, 1975), a transsexual pop singer, model and actress from South Korea. Born male, she identified as female from early childhood, and underwent sex reassignment surgery in the 1990s. She is noted for being South Korea's first transgender entertainer, and in 2002 became only the second person in Korea to legally change their gender. Her stage name is an adaptation of the English phrase "hot issue".

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