From Mefi Wiki
Transgender topics come up from time to time on Metafilter. This page is currently being created as a community reference.
Definitions and Etiquette
From GLAAD's Resource Page regarding Transgender Men and Women:
What does 'transgender' mean? 'Transgender' is an umbrella term often used to refer to people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth. However, people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth may not self-identify as transgender; some may identify as transsexual, trans, genderqueer, a person of transgender experience, etc. Transgender people may or may not use a different name or pronoun than the one they were assigned at birth, and they may or may not pursue hormone therapy or surgery. When in doubt, always defer to the way a person self-identifies.
How is sexual orientation different from gender identity? Sexual orientation describes an individual's enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction to another person (for example: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual). Gender identity is someone's personal sense of their own gender (for example: male, female). Like people who are not transgender, transgender people may identify their sexual orientation as straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
What words are offensive to transgender people? These words should not be used: 'she-male,' 'he-she,' 'it,' 'trannie,' 'tranny,' and 'shim.' These words are dehumanizing, and using them to refer to any person is similar to using an anti-gay epithet.
Also, please do not call transgender people 'transvestites,' or 'cross-dressers,' as this is a different phenomenon and does not accurately describe transgender people.
- When James Becomes Janice: What Not to Ask a Transgender Friend
- Wikipedia: Gender-neutral pronouns
- The National Center for Transgender Equality: Understanding Transgender: FAQ on Transgender People (pdf)