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Common Terms

General Terms

AFAB: Assigned Female At Birth

AMAB: Assigned Male At Birth

Assigned sex at birth: Binary sex (male or female) assigned to a child at birth, most often based on the child’s external anatomy. Also referred to as birth sex, natal sex, biological sex or sex.

Gender affirming: this is an adjective used to refer to behaviors or interventions that affirm a transgender person’s gender identity

Transition: An process in which transgender people move to realign the sex assigned at birth to match their gender identity.

There are three general elements to transitioning:

  • Social (e.g., presentation, relationships, employment, names/pronouns);

  • Medical (e.g., hormones, Surgery, mental health)

  • Legal (e.g., changing gender marker and name on legal documents and identification).

Each person’s transition is unique and may include one or more of the three aspects.

Note: if a person does not decide to transition, this does not negate their identity.


Cisgender: A term for people whose gender identity generally matches the gender assigned for their physical sex. In other words, someone who does not identify as transgender. The word is derived from the Latin root “cis” meaning “on this side.”

FTM: Female-to-male transgender person. Sometimes identifies as a transgender man. Someone assigned the female gender at birth who identifies on the male spectrum.

MTF: Male-to-female transgender person. Also known as a transgender woman or trans woman. Someone assigned the male gender at birth who identifies on the female spectrum.

Non-binary(enby): People whose gender identity and/or gender expression fall outside binary categories.

Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not match the sex

assigned at birth.

Gender Affirming Procedures

Bottom Surgery: a general term to refer to gender-affirming genital Surgery. This term applies to all genders.

  • Metoidioplasty: A surgical procedure that utilizes existing genital tissue to form a phallus or new penis.

  • Phalloplasty: a surgical procedure where a penis is crafted. Phalloplasty is a multi-staged procedure that may include a variety of procedures. The procedures can include: The creation of the penis, lengthening the urethra, creating the tip (glans) of the penis, creating the scrotum, removing the vagina, and placing erectile and testicular implants.

    • Each person’s surgical plan is unique to them.

  • Vaginoplasty: A procedure in which surgeons may remove the penis and testes, if still present, and use tissues from the penis to construct the vagina, clitoris, and labia.

  • Please note there multiple different Vaginoplasty procedures; if you are considering this research, all your options.

Top Surgery: a general term to refer to gender-affirming Surgery of the chest. This term applies to all genders.

  • Breast augmentation: Enlarging the breasts using breast implants.

  • Chest masculinization: the process of completing a bilateral mastectomy to remove most of the breast tissue, contour and shape the male chest, and refines the nipples and areolas.

Facial Feminization Surgery(FFS): Includes such procedures as reshaping the nose, and brow or forehead lift; reshaping of the chin, cheek and jaw; Adam’s apple reduction; lip augmentation; hairline restoration and earlobe reduction. A person may choose one, none, or any combination of procedures.

Facial Masculinization Surgery: Includes forehead lengthening and augmentation; cheek augmentation, reshaping the nose and chin; jaw augmentation; thyroid cartilage enhancement to construct Adam’s apple. A person may choose one, none, or any combination of procedures.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): The process of taking a prescription of synthetic hormones. For transgender women, that may include estrogen as well as testosterone blockers. For transgender men: testosterone (T).

Definitions: Text
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