This glossary covers a wide range of terms and abbreviations used by or when talking about folks in the Trans* community. Some of these words are outdated terms and others are very new. We are constantly creating new language to describe our life experiences and as such, there may be some terms missing from this glossary. If you would like to add a word to our glossary, please email

Glossary of Terms

Masculine (aka: Masc)

Characteristics or behaviors associated with men in a culture.

Masculine of Center

A term, coined by B. Cole of the Brown Boi Project, that recognizes the breadth and depth of identity for lesbian/queer womxn who tilt toward the masculine side of the gender scale and includes a wide range of identities such as butch, stud, aggressive/AG, dom, macha, tomboi, trans-masculine, etc.


Adapting mannerisms or a phenotype deemed masculine in a culture.


A procedure involving the removal of breast tissue from one or both sides of the chest. Mastectomies are commonly performed on breast cancer patients, AFAB trans people, and people with gynecomastia. For trans folks, double mastectomies are more often referred to as “top surgery.”

Medical Tattooing (aka: Cosmetic Tattooing, Medical Pigmentation)

A form of tattooing that uses natural tones to create permanent cosmetic adjustments to one’s appearance, including appearances that may affirm one’s gender. Medical tattooing may be used for color correction on one’s surgery scars, to create or correct the appearance of one’s nipples post top surgery, to add veins or color correction on someone’s genital region post gender-affirming surgery, to fill in one’s hairline, to add permanent makeup to someone’s face (eyebrows, etc.), and more. Medical tattooing is not as common as other gender-affirming procedures and is rarely covered by insurance, but those that pursue it may find that it helps to reduce dysphoria and increase confidence.

Medical Transition/Physical Transition

The process of a person changing their body to better reflect their gender. Common forms of medical transition include Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and a variety of gender-affirming surgeries. Not all trans people are interested in pursuing medical transition, and those that are might not be able to afford or access medical care.


Medicalization is when we take things that are a natural part of the human condition and begin defining them as medical conditions. Many modern cultures have taken things like being trans, intersex, or queer, and turned them into medical problems to be solved. The act of medicalization separates and sets up an antagonistic relationship between the person and whatever has been medicalized. For example, the medicalization of transgender identities in the U.S. has resulted in diagnosis requirements for people seeking gender-affirming care. (Source: Trans Language Primer)

Metoidioplasty (aka: Meta)

A surgery that involves ‘releasing’ the clitoris/bottom growth (often enlarged from testosterone) from surrounding skin to create a neophallus. The average length of a phallus after metoidioplasty ranges from 4 to 8 centimeters. Options that can be included in this surgery are urethroplasty, where the urethra is moved and lengthened to reach the tip of the phallus; vaginectomy, which is the removal/closing of the vagina, and scrotoplasty, which is the creation of a scrotum from the labia. (Source:Trans Language Primer)


Brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults about one’s marginalized identity/identities. Ex: “Can’t you just be a lesbian” said to a trans man.


Microdosing is an approach to medical transition involving taking smaller than average doses of hormones in order to achieve slower, more controllable effects. While microdosing is primarily used by the non-binary community, anyone undergoing medical transition can choose to microdose for a variety of reasons. It’s important that hormone therapy, including microdosing hormones, be overseen by a medical professional. (Source: Trans language Primer)



A label for a gender identity or sexual orientation that falls under, or otherwise overlaps with, a broader term. Microlabels tend to be described as "hyper specific," meaning that they describe a very specific experience of a gender/sexuality/etc. Ex: Agender is a microlabel that falls under the nonbinary umbrella, but more specifically refers to the absence of gender feelings. (Source: LGBTQIA+ Wiki)


Referring to someone using a word, pronoun, or form of address, that is not accurate to their gender identity. Misgendering people can be harmful, especially when done repeatedly and/or intentionally. If you misgender someone, quickly apologize, correct yourself, and move on.


The hatred of or prejudice against women. Misogyny can be expressed in different ways, such as demeaning comments. Misogyny primarily affects women and individuals perceived as feminine. (Source: Medium “What is Misogyny” | Merriam-Webster “Misogyny”)


An acronym that stands for “Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments, and Intersex.” It is used by some in a similar way to the umbrella acronym: LGBTQIA+. It is also used to refer to a subset of the LGBTQIA+ community that is vocal against gatekeeping and advocates for the use of microlabels. (Source: UW Milwaukee “Glossary of Terms”)


Stands for “Male to Female”. Used to describe an individual assigned male at birth (AMAB) whose gender identity is Female, woman, or transfeminine. This term is most often used to describe binary transgender women in medical contexts but may be considered outdated due to its reliance on sex assigned at birth. (Source: Trans Lifeline Glossary of Terms and Definitions)


Mx. (pronounced "Mix") is a gender inclusive salutation. Alternative to Mr. or Ms.