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Welcome to the Transgender portal

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 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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Transitioning is the process of changing genders - the idea of what it means to be female or male. Transitioning may happen where a person's gender identity is different to their assigned sex. Cross-dressers and drag queens and drag kings tend not to transition permanently. Though they have a lot in common, transitioning is unique to each person.

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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

Georgina Beyer

Georgina Beyer (b 1957) was the world's first openly transsexual Member of Parliament, and from 27 November 1999 until 14 February 2007 was an MP for the Labour Party in New Zealand.

Born George Bertrand in 1957 in Wellington, Māori of Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Raukawa, and Ngāti Porou descent, Beyer spent her early childhood on her grandparents' farm in Taranaki. Later she shifted to Wellington to live with her mother, who had subsequently married Colin Beyer, a prominent lawyer and businessman. Shortly after leaving school at Wellington's Onslow College, Beyer discovered Wellington's gay scene, and at the age of 17 realised she was transgender.

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