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A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth. The label of transgender woman is not always interchangeable with that of transsexual woman, although the two labels are often used in this manner. Transgender is an umbrella term that includes different types of gender variant people (including transsexual people).
Sex assignment refers to the male or female category that a newborn baby is placed in, usually based upon the appearance of external genitalia.
Gender identity refers to a person's private sense of, and subjective experience of, their own gender. This may be different from the sex and gender that the person was assigned at birth.
"Transition" refers to the process of adopting a social and personal identity that corresponds to one's own sense of the gendered self, and may or may not include medical intervention (hormone replacement therapy, surgery, etc.), changes in legal documents (name and/or sex indicated on identification, birth certificate, etc.), and personal expression (clothing, accessories, voice, body language).
Both transsexual and transgender women may experience gender dysphoria, distress brought upon by the discrepancy between their gender identity and the sex that was assigned to them at birth (and the associated gender role and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics).
Both transsexual and transgender women may transition, though only transsexual women would medically transition. A major component of medical transition for trans women is estrogen hormone replacement therapy, which causes the development of female Secondary sex characteristics (breasts, redistribution of body fat, lower waist–hip ratio, etc.). This, along with sex reassignment surgery can bring immense relief, and in most cases, rids the person of gender dysphoria.
In the same manner, a trans man is someone who was assigned female at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a man.
Some trans women who feel that their gender transition is complete prefer to be called simply "women," considering "trans woman" or "male-to-female transsexual" to be terms that should only be used for people who are not fully transitioned. Likewise, many may not want to be seen as a "trans woman," owing to society's tendency to "other" individuals who do not fit into the sex/gender binary, or have personal reasons beyond that not to wish to identify as transgender post-transition. For this reason, many see it as an important and appropriate distinction to include a space in the term, as in trans woman, thus using trans as merely an adjective describing a particular type of woman; this is in contrast to the usage of transwoman as one word, implying a "third gender".
The stereotype of the effeminate boy who grows up to live as a woman has a very long history. It is a common misconception and stereotype that all transgender and transsexual women are heterosexual (attracted to males). However, research on the sexual orientation of trans women in the past has been dubious at best. Many studies on this issue have suffered from reporting bias, since many transsexual people feel they must give the "correct" answers to such questions to increase their chances of obtaining hormone replacement therapy. Patrick Califia, author of Sex Changes and Public Sex, has indicated that this group has a clear awareness of what answers to give to survey questions to be considered eligible for hormone replacement therapy and/or sex reassignment surgery:
None of the gender scientists seem to realize that they, themselves, are responsible for creating a situation where transsexual people must describe a fixed set of symptoms and recite a history that has been edited in clearly prescribed ways to get a doctor's approval for what should be their inalienable right.
A survey of roughly 3000 trans women showed that only 23% of them identified as heterosexual, with 31% as bisexual, 29% as lesbian, 7% as asexual, 7% as queer and 2% as "other".
In a 2008 study, trans women had a higher incidence of decreased libido (34%) than cisgender females (23%), but the difference was not statistically significant and may have been due to chance. As in males, female libido is thought to correlate with serum testosterone levels (with some controversy) but the 2008 study found no such correlation in trans women.
Trans women, like all gender variant people, face a vast amount of discrimination and transphobia. A 2014 survey from The Williams Institute found that, of 6,546 respondents (self-identified transgender, as well as gender nonconforming), 57% whose families had rejected them have attempted suicide, with some suicide attempt rates as high as 78% likelihood.
To commemorate those who have been murdered in hate crimes, an annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in various locations across Europe, America, Australia, and New Zealand, with details and sources for each murder provided at their website.
A survey of roughly 3000 trans women living in the United States, as summarized in the report "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey", found that trans women reported that:
- 36% have lost their job due to their gender.
- 55% have been discriminated against in hiring.
- 29% have been denied a promotion.
- 25% have been refused medical care.
- 60% of the trans women that have visited a homeless shelter reported incidents of harassment there.
- When displaying identity documents incongruent with their gender identity/expression, 33% have been harassed and 3% have been physically assaulted.
- 20% reported harassment by police, with 6% reporting physical assaulted and 3% reporting sexual assault by an officer. 25% have been treated generally with disrespect by police officers.
- Among jailed trans women, 40% have been harassed by inmates, 38% have been harassed by staff, 21% have been physically assaulted, and 20% have been sexually assaulted.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs' report of 2010 anti-LGBTQ violence found that of the 27 people who were murdered because of their LGBTQ identity, 44% were trans women.
Discrimination is particularly severe towards trans women of color, who experience the intersection of racism and transphobia. Multiracial, Latina, Black and American Indian trans women are twice to more than three times as likely as White trans women to be sexually assaulted in prison.
List of trans women
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- Marja-Sisko Aalto, Finnish former Evangelical-Lutheran priest
- Calpernia Addams, American actress, author, autobiographer, entrepreneur, activist, fiddle player
- Aderet, Israeli pop singer
- Rebecca Allison, American cardiologist and past President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA)
- Nadia Almada, Portuguese-British Big Brother UK 2004 winner
- Barbra Amesbury, Canadian singer-songwriter
- Charlie Jane Anders, writer and co-editor of the blog io9
- Enza Anderson, Canadian media personality and political activist
- Nahshon Dion Anderson, American activist, actress, award-winning writer and model
- Erica Andrews aka Erica Salazar, Mexican-born American international and national beauty pageant title winner, drag performer, actor and entrepreneur
- Anna Anthropy, American video-game designer and critic
- Gwen Araujo, American teenage murder victim
- Patrícia Araújo, Brazilian actress and model
- Alexis Arquette, American actress, musician, member of the Arquette family of actors
- Nina Arsenault, Canadian writer, actress, columnist and sex-trade worker
- April Ashley, British model
- Estelle Asmodelle, Australian actress, author, dancer, and transgender activist
- Mianne Bagger, Danish-Australian professional golfer
- Jenny Bailey, British politician and mayor
- Christine Beatty, American writer, musician and transgender activist
- Danielle Bunten Berry, American computer programmer and game designer
- Georgina Beyer, New Zealand politician, first transgender person globally to become a mayor (1995) and a member of Parliament (1999)
- Alexandra Billings, American actress
- Maddie Blaustein, American voice actress
- Alejandra Bogue, Mexican actress and TV host
- Marci Bowers, American gynaecologist and sex-reassignment surgeon
- Carmen Carrera, American reality television personality, model, actress, and burlesque performer
- Candis Cayne, American actress and entertainer
- The Lady Chablis, American actress, drag performer and writer
- Parinya Charoenphol, Thai muay thai boxer, actress and model
- Jamie Clayton, American model and actress
- Roberta Close, Brazilian model
- Coccinelle, French actress, entertainer and transgender activist
- Canary Conn, American musician and author
- Raewyn Connell, Australian sociologist
- Joanne Conte, American politician and activist
- Lynn Conway, American computer scientist, electrical engineer and transgender activist
- Caroline Cossey (a.k.a. Tula), English model
- Jayne County, American rock singer
- Roberta Cowell, First legally recognised male to female transgender person in the UK (1951), memoirist
- Laverne Cox, American actress
- Katelynn Cusanelli, cast member on MTV's The Real World: Brooklyn, and the first transgender individual to star on the show.
- Florencia De La V, Argentine actress
- Michelle Duff, Canadian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer
- Michelle Dumaresq, Canadian downhill mountain bike racer
- Lili Elbe, Danish artist, society figure and early recipient of sex reassignment surgery (1930)
- Eli Erlick, American trans activist
- Bülent Ersoy, Turkish singer of Ottoman classical music
- Bibiana Fernández, Spanish presenter and actress
- Ina Fried, American journalist and senior writer for CNET Networks
- Chiya Fujino, Japanese fiction author
- BB Gandanghari, a Filipina actress and commercial model
- Francis García, Mexican performer and actress
- Gigi Gorgeous, Canadian YouTube personality, model, and actress
- Laura Jane Grace, lead singer and guitarist for punk rock band Against Me!
- Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, African-American activist
- Anna Grodzka, Polish politician
- Harisu, South Korean entertainer, actress, and singer
- Choi Han-bit, South Korean model
- Ai Haruna, Japanese singer and television personality
- Lauren Harries, British media personality
- Rebecca Heineman, One of the founders of Interplay and long time video game programmer.
- Adela Hernandez, first transgender person elected to political office in Cuba
- Rita Hester, African American murder victim
- Jenny Hiloudaki, Greek model
- Stephanie Hirst, British radio DJ
- Dana International, Israeli pop singer
- Kim Coco Iwamoto, American politician
- Juliet Jacques, British journalist
- Andrea James, American filmmaker and activist
- Caitlyn Jenner, American Olympic athlete, reality television actor on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, stepparent to the Kardashian family
- Christine Jorgensen, first person to become widely known in the United States for having sex reassignment surgery (1953)
- Aya Kamikawa, Japanese politician
- Isis King, American designer and finalist on America's Next Top Model
- Victoria Kolakowski, American lawyer and judge
- Eden Lane, American broadcaster
- Loiza Lamers, Dutch model and winner of Holland's Next Top Model
- Jennifer Leitham, American double-bass musician
- Amanda Lepore, American model and performer.
- Chen Lili, Chinese singer, model and actress
- Alicia Liu, Taiwanese model and television personality
- Ts Madison, pornographic actress, producer, director, recording artist, entrepreneur, and adult entertainment executive
- Kellie Maloney, British boxing manager and politician
- Rachel Mann, British Anglican priest and writer
- Chelsea Manning, United States Army soldier, convicted for leaking classified documents through Wikileaks
- Deirdre McCloskey, American economist
- Janet Mock, American transgender activist and writer
- Micheline Montreuil, Canadian lawyer, teacher, writer, radio host, trade unionist and politician
- Jan Morris, British writer
- Ataru Nakamura, Japanese singer
- Judiel Nieva, Filipina alleged witness of a Marian apparition
- Bell Nuntita, a Thai freelance singer, entertainer and radio D.J
- Jessica Orsini, American politician
- Dee Palmer, English musician (Jethro Tull)
- Kim Petras, German singer
- Veronique Renard, Dutch author and Free-Tibet activist
- Renée Richards, American tennis player
- Miriam Rivera, reality television, Mexican television personality and model
- Sylvia Rivera, American activist and founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, and co-founder of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is named in her memory.
- Martine Rothblatt, American lawyer, technological theorist, author and entrepreneur
- Joan Roughgarden, American biologist
- Carmen Rupe, New Zealand/Australian entertainer, politician, activist and cultural identity
- Jessica Amanda Salmonson, American fantasy author
- Kayo Satoh, Japanese model and television personality
- Julia Serano, American writer, trans activist, and biologist
- Vanessa Show, Argentine performer
- Amanda Simpson, Executive Director of the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, United States Department of Defense
- Dana Simpson, American cartoonist (Ozy and Millie, Phoebe and Her Unicorn)
- Theresa Sparks, executive director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission
- Allanah Starr, pornographic actress and party hostess
- Abby Stein, American trans activist, writer, speaker, and educator.
- Sandy Stone, American academic theorist, media theorist, author, and performance artist
- Margaret Stumpp, American executive
- Lea T, Brazilian fashion model
- Audrey Tang, Taiwanese free software programmer
- Manuela Trasobares, Spanish artist, opera singer and politician
- Ayana Tsubaki, Japanese television personality and fashion model
- Kelly van der Veer, Dutch celebrity and singer
- Lana Wachowski, American film director, screenwriter, and producer
- Lilly Wachowski, American film director, screenwriter, and producer
- Bali White, Researcher and Activist
- Sophie Wilson, British computer scientist
- Narcissa Wright, American speedrunner
- Marie-Pier Ysser, French entertainer and academic
- "Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (version 7)" (PDF). The World Professional Association for Transgender Health. p. 96.[dead link]
- Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping girl: a transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity. Emeryville, California: Seal Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 1-58005-154-5.
- Julia, Dudek (April 20, 2003), Playing with Barbies:The Role of Female Stereotypes in the Male-to-Female Transition, Transgender Tapestry, retrieved 5 February 2008
- From Donald to Deirdre - Donald N. McCloskey sex change to Deirdre N. McCloskey[dead link]
- "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey" (PDF). National Center for Transgender Equality & National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. p. 29.
- Elaut E, De Cuypere G, De Sutter P, Gijs L, Van Trotsenburg M, Heylens G, Kaufman JM, Rubens R, T'Sjoen G (Mar 2008). "Hypoactive sexual desire in transsexual women: prevalence and association with testosterone levels". European Journal of Endocrinology. Bioscientifica. 158 (3): 393–9. doi:10.1530/EJE-07-0511. PMID 18299474.
- Turna B, Apaydin E, Semerci B, Altay B, Cikili N, Nazli O (2005). "Women with low libido: correlation of decreased androgen levels with female sexual function index". International Journal of Impotence Research. 17 (2): 148–153. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901294. PMID 15592425.
- Santoro N, Torrens J, Crawford S, Allsworth JE, Finkelstein JS, Gold EB, Korenman S, Lasley WL, Luborsky JL, McConnell D, Sowers MF, Weiss G (2005). "Correlates of circulating androgens in mid-life women: the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation". Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 90 (8): 4836–4845. doi:10.1210/jc.2004-2063. PMID 15840738.
- Sherwin BB, Gelfand MM, Brender W (1985). "Androgen enhances sexual motivation in females: a prospective, crossover study of sex steroid administration in the surgical menopause". Psychosomatic Medicine. 47 (4): 339–351. doi:10.1097/00006842-198507000-00004. PMID 4023162.
- Sherwin, B (1985). "Changes in sexual behavior as a function of plasma sex steroid levels in post-menopausal women". Maturitas. 7 (3): 225–233. doi:10.1016/0378-5122(85)90044-1. PMID 4079822.
- Davis SR, Davison SL, Donath S, Bell RJ (2005). "Circulating androgen levels and self-reported sexual function in women". Journal of the American Medical Association. 294 (1): 91–96. doi:10.1001/jama.294.1.91. PMID 15998895.
- DeCuypere G, T'Sjoen G, Beerten R, Selvaggi G, DeSutter P, Hoebeke P, Monstrey S, Vansteenwegen A, Rubens R (2005). "Sexual and physical health after sex reassignment surgery". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 34 (6): 679–690. doi:10.1007/s10508-005-7926-5. PMID 16362252.
- Haas, Ann; Rodgers, Philip; Herman, Jody. "Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-12-10.
- "70 Percent of Anti-LGBT Murder Victims Are People of Color".
- "NTDS Report" (PDF).
- Barker-Plummer, Bernadette (2013). "Fixing Gwen". Feminist Media Studies. 13 (4): 710–724. doi:10.1080/14680777.2012.679289.
- Stryker, Susan (2008). Transgender history. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press. p. 56. ISBN 0786741368.
- "Transgender Woman 1st to Win Office in Cuba". ABC News, November 16, 2012.
- "Bruce Jenner: 'I'm a Woman'". ABC News. Retrieved 26 April 2015.