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When it comes to the complexities of gender and culture, it's inevitable that no two people are the same. Language changes over time, and many labels hold different meanings depending on an individual's experience and social context. This list is not exhaustive.

Transgender Person.

Someone whose gender identity differs to what they were assigned at birth. A transgender person may affirm themselves through medical treatments (hormones, surgery, etc), but not necessarily.

Transsexual Person.

Someone who has transitioned into another sex, which differs from their assigned sex at birth. I consider myself a female-to-male transsexual because the core of my journey has been about altering my sex to reflect my gender and alleviate my dysphoria. Where labels like "homosexual" refer to sexual orientation, "transsexual" instead refers to the transitioning of a person's sex characteristics. Not all transsexual people transition to the same extent. Some transsexual men have bottom surgery, for example, but not all.


A shorthand for transgender, and sometimes transsexual.

Trans Man.

A man who was assigned female at birth, but who experiences a male gender. All kinds of trans men exist, including those who (like me) identify as FTM transsexuals. Others medically transition but prefer the term "transgender" regardless. Some do not take testosterone or undergo any surgeries.


Someone whose gender identity matches what they were assigned at birth. Basically, the majority of the human population.

Gender Dysphoria.

A sense of distress, ranging from mild to severe, caused by a misalignment between a person's true gender and their assigned gender.


An acronym for "assigned female at birth".


An umbrella term for experiences that are outside of the male/female gender binary. Non-binary can also function as a distinct identity, if someone does not wish to label their gender any further than that.


A Brotherboy is a First Nations person (from the land now called Australia) who was assigned female at birth, but who lives their life through their "boy spirit". Brotherboys can be trans men and transmasculine non-binary people, and can have unique genders not experienced by individuals disconnected from First Nations culture. Not all Brotherboys identify with concepts like "binary" and "non-binary". You can read more about Brotherboys here, and watch gender-diverse First Nations videos here, including Two Spirit videos.


An umbrella term for trans men and other AFAB people who identify with the label. Some butches consider themselves transmasc. Not all AFAB gender-diverse people identify as transmasculine, because the centre of their identities may not be masculine, or because the term doesn't really describe their journey. I'm one such man. That's why I clarify that this site focusses on FTM, transmasculine, and AFAB non-binary representation. Transmasculinity isn't a term we're all personally comfortable with, in terms of our own identities, but it is a unifying label for many in our community, and it is important.

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