Is Transgender an Umbrella Term?

At Monday nights' cross dresser - transgender meeting, an interesting topic was brought a cross dresser in reality no different than a transgender woman. Or, as the old joke goes, what's the difference between a cross dresser and trans woman ? Normally, about two to three years.

The point at the meeting was a good one. If you are dressing as the opposite gender, aren't you crossing gender lines and being transgender anyhow?

As I see it, the difference for a transgender woman is how she thinks. A cross dresser is likely to be more gender fluid and still enjoy her time being a guy. A transgender brain tells the person it's a "no brainer" (no pun intended). The trans person suffers a constant conflict between what their senses are telling them versus the body they were born with.

Thus, I still use the term transsexual to describe most of the people who are able to go the distance and get a sex realignment surgery. From the beginning, these trans people just know to feel complete, they just need the surgery.

Then there are transgender women such as me, who go against many lines of thought and see no need for surgery. If I was much younger though, I am the first to admit, my thinking could be different.

So, I have no problem with combining the cross dressers with the trans group and then leaving them out at surgery time.


  1. Since my early days of suffering from gender dysphoria, I have never heard a word that could describe who I am. What I apparently WAS, though, before the term "transgender" had ever been coined, was a transvestite. Still, I could not accept that term as one that defined who I was. I feel the same way about how the term "transgender" does not describe well enough who I am now. If others need the term to have something with which to define me, so be it; I do not use it for myself. Now that just "trans" seems to be the more popular word, I prefer to say that, for me, it is short for "transcend", as I feel I have done more than simply crossed a gender line.

    I like the other joke: The difference between a trans woman and a cross dresser is that a cross dresser can't wait to get home to put her bra on, and a trans woman can't wait to get home so she can take her bra off. If only it were so simple, however. There is also a difference between a cross dresser and cross dressing, even if that is what a cross dresser does. When one determines that she will, henceforth, live the rest of her life as a woman, I don't think she cross dresses at all. I was never a cross dresser, but I cross dressed for many years as a means of survival until I could transcend. Transcending coincided with transition, but the first is the spiritual part, while the latter is more physical in nature.

    Whatever "trans" word one wants to use, we all have the same seed that prompts us to want to express our feminine side. In that sense, "transgender" could be as good an umbrella term as any. We're not all the same, in gender or otherwise. I have long since given up wondering if I should be the one holding the umbrella or just be one out on the fringe with one foot in and one out. There was a time, for a short while, when I was happy to have the protection of that umbrella, and it was instrumental in getting me out of the closet. It wasn't long, though, before I realized that just expressing my feminine side on Thursday nights was exactly seven days and six nights short of what I needed.

    Another thing I have had to endure in my life is whether I am a real musician or not. I am a drummer, even considered to be a percussionist by some, but have been told that drummers are not real musicians (How do you know the drummer is knocking at the door? Pizza is being delivered). I sing, as well, which can be just a problematic. My point is that, with many things in life, there will always be some people who will try to diminish others in order to bolster their own egos. But let's not let that get us into presidential politics now...... :-)


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