The neutrality of this article is disputed. (June 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
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).
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 or primary and secondary sex characteristics).
Both transsexual and transgender women may transition, though only transsexual women 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.
The term trans woman originates from the use of the Latin prefix trans- meaning "across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond" and woman. However, this word was first used in Leslie Feinbergs’s book, Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman in 1996. The book describes a trans woman as "a male-to-female transgender or transsexual person." This definition is widely accepted and used in the Oxford English Dictionary. However, she elaborates on it by saying that being a trans woman often has a negative connotation. She explains that people refer to trans woman as "freaks" and that her gender expression has made her a "target." Heidi M. Levitt provides a simpler description of trans woman. She defines trans woman as "the sex of those who transition from one sex to the other." Levitt mentions how the abbreviation "MTF" is commonly used, meaning male-to-female. A final perspective by Rachel McKinnon explains how the term is complicated. While some trans women have undergone surgery and may have female genitalia, many struggle in society to "pass" and be accepted. This ability to "pass" can cause one who was considered a trans woman to be seen as just a real woman. She explains that this is controversial since trans women do not have the biological ability to reproduce and are missing a uterus and ovaries. However, she concludes that "trans women are women" who challenge socially constructed norms of what it means to be a woman.
Trans woman is commonly interchanged with other terms such as transgender woman and transsexual woman. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a person is transgender if their "identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these." This means someone who is transgender was born a certain sex but presents themselves as another. However, Heidi M Levitt describes transgender as "different ways in which people transgress the gender boundaries that are constituted within a society." She then describes how one must understand the difference between sex and gender in order to fully understand transgender. She argues that sex is biological whereas "gender is a social construct." Thus people who are transgender express themselves differently than their biological sex. In contrast, Levitt explains that "transsexual people have a sexual identity that does not match their physical sex" and that some desire sex-reassignment surgery. In addition, the Oxford English Dictionary refers to transsexual as "having physical characteristics of one sex and psychological characteristics of the other" and "one whose sex has been changed by surgery." These definitions show that someone who is transsexual expresses their gender differently than assigned at birth. In addition, they may want or undergo surgery to change their physical appearance. Thus trans women fall under the umbrella of being transgender because their gender was assigned male at birth but they identify as a woman. However, not all trans women are transsexual since they may or may not choose to undergo sex-reassignment surgery.
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.
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%)[clarification needed] 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.
Violence towards trans women
Trans women face a form of violence known as trans bashing. The Washington Blade reported that Global Rights, an international NGO, tracked the mistreatment of trans women in Brazil, including at the hands of the police. 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.
One cause of the violence towards trans women is the perpetrator feels “tricked” upon learning their sexual partner is transgender. (See Trans panic defense.) Approximately 56% of violent crimes towards trans people between 1990-2005 occurred because of this perceived deception. Almost 95% of these crimes were committed by cisgender men towards trans women. According to a 2005 paper looking at HIV needs analysis in Houston, Texas, "50% of transgender people surveyed had been hit by a primary partner after coming out as transgender".
According to a 2009 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, quoted by the Office for Victims of Crime, 11% of all hate crimes towards members of the LGBTQ community were directed towards trans women.
In 2015 a trope took hold in the United States media to the effect that the life expectancy of a trans woman of color is only 35 years, a number both "terrifying and ludicrous". This appears to be based on a report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which compiled data for all of the Americas (North, South, and Central), and does not disaggregate by race.
In 2016, 23 transgender people suffered fatal attacks in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign report found some of these deaths to be direct results of an anti-transgenderism bias, and some due to related factors such as homelessness. (For context, the FBI reported that 17,250 people were murdered that year.) See Homicide statistics by gender.
Trans women, like all gender variant people, face a vast amount of discrimination and transphobia.:8 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 attempted suicide, as did 63%–78% of those who suffered physical or sexual violence at school (any level).
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:[specify]
- 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.
Notable trans women
This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- 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
- Wendy Carlos, American electronic music pioneer
- 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, 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, co-founder of Interplay; 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 actress 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, Thai freelance singer, entertainer and radio D.J
- Jessica Orsini, American politician
- Dee Palmer, English musician (Jethro Tull)
- Andreja Pejić, Australian model
- 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-24.
- Beidel, Deborah C; Frueh, B. Christopher; Hersen, Michel (30 June 2014). Adult Psychopathology and Diagnosis (7th ed.). New York: [[Wiley]]. p. 618. ISBN 978-1-118-92791-5. OCLC 956674391. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Köllen, Thomas (25 April 2016). Sexual Orientation and Transgender Issues in Organizations: Global Perspectives on LGBT Workforce Diversity. Springer. p. 138. ISBN 978-3-319-29623-4. OCLC 933722553. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Hoogland, Renée C. (2016). Gender: Sources, Perspectives, and Methodologies. Macmillan Reference USA, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. pp. 377 – 392. ISBN 9780028662824.
- "Oxford English Dictionary".
- Feinberg, Leslie. Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Boston, MA: Beacon, 2005. 1996. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
- Levitt, Heidi M. "Transgender." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, edited by William A. Darity, Jr., 2nd ed., vol. 8, Macmillan Reference USA, 2008, pp. 431-432. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Apr. 2017
- McKinnon, Rachel. "Gender, Identity, and Society." Philosophy: Sex and Love, edited by James Petrik and Arthur Zucker, Macmillan Reference USA, 2016, pp. 175-198. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
- 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
- "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.
- Lavers, Michael K. (25 November 2013). "Report documents anti-transgender violence, discrimination in Brazil". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Transgender Day of Remembrance". Transgender Day of Remembrance.
- Schilt, Kristen, and Laurel Westbrook. “Doing Gender, Doing Heteronormativity: ‘Gender Normals," Transgender People, and the Social Maintenance of Heterosexuality.” Gender and Society, vol. 23, no. 4, 2009, pp. 440–464., www.jstor.org/stable/20676798.
- "Sexual Assault: The Numbers - Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault". Office for Victims of Crime. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- Pittman, Trav (24 November 2015). "Four Years to Live: On Violence Against Trans Women of Color". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. "IACHR: Forms and contexts of violence against LGBTI persons in the Americas". IACHR: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- Lavers, Michael K. (20 December 2014). "Nearly 600 LGBT people murdered in Americas in 15 months". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017 | Human Rights Campaign". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- Williams, Timothy (25 September 2017). "Violent Crime in U.S. Rises for Second Consecutive Year". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- 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.