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.