What is Transgender?


Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses people whose gender identity does not match the sex assigned to them at birth. People can realize they are transgender at any age.

Some transgender people take steps to medically transition into the gender they identify as. This may include changing their name and pronouns, as well as undergoing hormone therapy.

How do I know I’m transgender?

It’s very common for trans people to doubt being transgender, and that can happen even after a person has started hormone therapy or surgery. But when a person has been affirming their gender identity for some time, the doubt is usually less frequent or goes away altogether.

Think about how you feel in groups of people who are the same sex as your assigned sex at birth, or in other situations where you interact with men and women. Notice whether your name feels like a girls’ or boys’ name, or if you imagine yourself in the opposite gender when playing games.

You may find it helpful to talk with a counselor who specializes in Gender Dysphoria or LGBT issues, or with someone who has experience supporting transgender people. You might also try joining a group for gender variant or nonbinary people, or finding a community LGBTQ center in your area. If you want to change your gender marker on official documents, look for a counselor who can help you navigate that process.

How do I know I’m non-binary?

If you or someone you know doesn’t fit into the gender categories of male or female, they might be non-binary. They may feel somewhere in-between a man and a woman, or outside of those categories altogether. Non-binary people can identify with one or more gender identities, which may change over time.

Some transgender people choose to present as cisgender (as the sex they were assigned at birth) in alignment with societal norms, while others use interventions like chest binders or voice therapy and surgery to modify their body. Non-binary people may also choose to have a more fluid presentation, which can vary from day to day or hour to hour and is often called genderfluid.

If you know a non-binary person, it’s important to treat them with respect. This means using the name they ask you to call them, calling them by the pronouns they prefer, and avoiding questions about their past gender identity. You don’t have to understand someone’s gender to respect them, but it’s helpful if you take the time to learn more about non-binary identities.

How do I know I’m transgender at a young age?

During their adolescence, many transgender people realize that the gender assigned to them at birth doesn’t match their gender identity. This feeling is called gender dysphoria.

For example, if your child cries when they can’t get clothes in the boy section at the mall or says that they feel like a girl and not a boy, these could be signs of transgender identification. They might also start admiring people of the gender they are not assigned at birth or begin to change their hairstyle, clothing, or voice.

It’s important to remember that transgender or non-binary identification is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it can be harmful during a critical time in their life. Children and teens can have a long transition process before they are fully aware of their gender. They may go through a number of phases, such as only wearing black or asking to be called by a different name. However, the majority of them will become fully aware of their transgender identity by adulthood.

How do I know I’m transgender in the workplace?

The word transgender describes an individual’s internal sense of gender — whether they feel like a woman, man, nonbinary, or another gender. Gender identity can look different for people based on their own culture, community, or experiences. It can also change over time.

Transgender people have existed across cultures throughout history. But the transgender experience has gained more awareness in recent years, and many companies are working to become more inclusive.

But there’s more to do, particularly in the workplace. For example, our research shows that employees who identify as transgender report significantly higher rates of workplace discrimination. And those experiences can have serious consequences for a company’s bottom line.

Our research finds that when people feel stigmatized at work, they’re less likely to stay engaged. And they’re more likely to avoid talking to coworkers or skip meetings. These behaviors lead to lower productivity and a host of other negative effects for organizations. The moral case for addressing discrimination against transgender people in the workplace is clear, too.