Gender theory is a new realm of study, and more discoveries are being made all the time, especially in the realm of language. This leads to some terminology being relegated to the annals of history for one reason or another. Let’s talk about a few of these today!
There was a time when the words “transgender” and “transexual” were used interchangeably. However, this is no longer the case. The word “transexual” implies that medical transition has taken place (more specifically, “bottom” surgery). Many trans people don’t have dysphoria associated with their genitalia, and still others cannot undergo these surgeries for economic or medical reasons. This makes the term “transexual” exclusive of a large portion of the trans community, so it isn’t really used anymore. We use the term “Transgender” instead, which is much more inclusive.
“Transvestite” may, on its surface, seem similar to “Transgender,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A “transvestite” is a cisgender person who choses to dress up in clothing normally reserved for the opposite gender. It’s proximity to the term “transgender” has led to some transphobic ideas suggesting transgender people aren’t actually the gender they identify with, but rather their assigned gender in a costume. This does incredible harm to the transgender community, and so this term is no longer used. “Transvestite” and “cross-dresser” alike also both imply that clothing has a gender, which we now know simply isn’t the case. Anyone can wear anything!
“NB” as an Abbreviation for “Non-Binary”
You may have noticed most folks use “Enby” as a shortened term for Non-Binary, but why not just use the letters “NB”? NB is used by the black community to refer to “Non-Black” people. Wanting to amplify the voices of our siblings of color, Non-Binary people choose to use “Enby” instead.
There you have it! We’re constantly learning and coming up with more accurate and inclusive terms for things. Feel free to leave these terms in their respective places from here on out!
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