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Trans women are transsexual or transgender people who were assigned as the male sex at birth but believe that it is not an accurate or complete description of their identity and therefore usually identify and live as female.

The term "trans woman" is often interchangeable with "woman", as trans women identify as women. However, this usage of women is centered on their gender identity and not biological sex: generally speaking, most transgender women are chromosomally male, although women does not necessarily refer to biological sex - it can also refer to cultural gender role distinctions and several theories and/or concepts of gender and transgender identity. Many members of the community dislike the term transsexual for associations with certain exclusionary groups and communities and prefer to call themselves transgender or trans women.

Not all trans women decide to have or desire to have sex reassignment surgery, in which case they may describe themselves as non-op. Most trans women feel that surgery is only a small part of a complete transition - or not even a necessary component of transition - and that trans women should not be defined by their surgical status. Those who do desire sex reassignment surgery tend to fall into two categories: post-op, trans women who have had sex reassignment surgery, and pre-op, who haven't.

People of conservative cultural backgrounds or beliefs tend to confuse straight trans women as effeminate gay men who took their effeminacy to an extreme level. They may be thus perceived by the culturally conservative people as drag queens, even when they don't identify as such. If attracted to women, they are perceived by socially conservative people as otherwise straight men with an abnormal fetish. This view is contested, as part of the debate on the associations and distinctions between homosexuality and transgender and Ray Blanchard's theory of autogynephilia.

Sexual orientation

For more details on this topic, see Sexual orientation of transwomen.

Most recent scientific studies and reports by support groups, help lines, etc. indicate that the percentage of trans women who consider themselves lesbian, bisexual or asexual is higher than in the general female population. The details, however, differ; with scientific papers usually reporting a higher number of heterosexual-identified trans women than support groups report, perhaps influenced by demographic factors: what kind of people have access to support groups, as well as methodologies used for individual studies.

See also


General transgendered topics


  • Transamerica (film)

References & Bibliography

Key texts



Additional material



External links

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