Trans Issues

The term “trans” can be used in many different ways. Immediately people think trans-… vestite, trans… sexual, trans.. gendered.. without really understanding what the words themselves mean.

Firstly, we’ll get one thing sorted: sex and gender are two different things. Sex is entirely biological- your bits, essentially. Gender however is entirely different. Gender is a social construct of what behaviours are seen as appropriate for men and appropriate for women. We are “socialised” into behaviour that is seen to be normative (or normal) for our sex, and then this is drilled into us as the correct way to behave.


Trans – the umbrella term used to describe “gender variance”.

Transgender- someone who identifies that their gender may not the one in which they were assigned as their “birth sex”.

Transvestite- someone who may choose to dress and or present in a manner that is of the opposite “gender” in terms of behaviour, however transvestites differ from transsexual people as generally their behaviour does not mean they wish to transition their bodies and change them to permanently present (appear) as a member of the opposite sex.

Genderqueer- someone who not be in the two binaries of male or female. They may also feel that they are part of a binary but not all the time, or only occasionally.

Being trans might be an overwhelming and underlying feeling (or maybe it’s something you’re just getting to grips with) that you’d feel more comfortable being seen as a woman or a man (if this is different to the sex you were defined as at birth) can be a very difficult and emotional struggle. Or it may be easy. It all depends on the person- very much like the definition of trans!

The “T” in LGBTQ!

You may wonder why Transgender issues are included within the remit of sexuality as you have to remember that being “trans” is not a sexuality. You can be a straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, queer trans person. Being trans sets no aspersions on your sexuality and it is very much an individual thing. Anyway, the most obvious reason for us all sticking together in our fight for liberation is because it would be silly not to do. A lot of issues overlap and at the same time whilst both groups may have some individual campaigns to fight, everyone is welcome in the fight for the rights. Being LGBTQ does put us in a minority and there is still the need (fortunately or unfortunately) to stick together!

For more information on trans support visit: