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 Some of these words are outdated terms and others are very new.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

T (aka: on T, being on T, taking T)

A common abbreviation or slang for Testosterone.


Refers to the transphobic slur, “Tr*nny.” The T-slur is an offensive and derogatory slur for a transgender individual.


An abbreviation of “Trans for Trans.” Originated in early 2000’s dating classifieds as a way for trans people to indicate that they were looking to date/hook up with other trans people. T4T may also be used to describe a relationship made up of only trans and/or nonbinary people. T4T is a dating preference that does not imply any particular sexual orientation. Trans people may seek T4T relationships for safety, comfort, understanding, or simply preference.


Acronym for “transgender-exclusionary radical feminist.” TERFs deny the existence of gender identity and subscribe to the unsubstantiated notion that transgender women are co-opting or appropriating womanhood in order to gain access to cisgender women’s spaces. TERFs weaponize biological essentialism disguised as a form of “feminism”. TERFs participate in horizontal oppression, in which people from one targeted group believe, act on, or enforce dominant systems of oppression against members of another targeted group. (Source: Trans Lifeline Glossary of Terms and Definitions)


A hormone responsible for the development of masculine secondary sex characteristics, typically including the growth of body and/or facial hair, increased muscularity, fat redistribution, and thickening of the vocal cords (deepening of voice). Testosterone may cause clitoral growth and cessation of the menstrual cycle in some AFAB individuals. Testosterone hormone therapy can be administered via injection, gel, patch, pellet, or cream. The pill form is rarely used.

Top Surgery

Top surgery is a Gender-Affirming Surgery for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals that changes the appearance of the chest. Some individuals may remove breast tissue for a more masculine appearance while some may increase breast size and alter shape for a more feminine appearance. While “top surgery” can be used to describe any gender-affirming surgery involving chest tissue, it is most often used to refer to a double mastectomy (removal of breasts). (Source: NIH “Terms and Glossary”)

Tracheal Shave (aka: Chondrolaryngoplasty)

A surgical procedure used to reduce the size of one’s Adam's apple.

Trans Chaser

A cis person who seeks sexual relationships with trans people for the sake of fetish fulfillment. Some chasers may develop patterns of stalking, pursuing, or sexually harassing transgender individuals. Chasers are usually seen as a threat to the trans community though some trans people feel validated by engaging with them. Fetishizing trans people is harmful and not a healthy way to show support to the community. (Source: Trans Lifeline Glossary of Terms and Definitions)

Trans* (aka: Trans+)

Used as a shorthand for “trans-adjacent” and refers to trans, nonbinary, and gender-non-conforming individuals who may or may not identify as trans.

Transfeminine (aka: Trans Femme, Transfem)

A term used to describe trans people who were assigned male at birth and have moved away from that gender and towards femininity. Their gender may or may not be binary (woman), but their gender expression might be more feminine than masculine.

Transgender Man (aka: Trans Man)

A man who was assigned female at birth. A person may choose to identify this way to capture their gender identity as well as their lived experience as a transgender person. Some trans men may also use the term FTM (Female to Male) or F2M (Female to Male) to describe their identity.

Transgender Woman (aka: Trans Woman)

A woman who was assigned male at birth. A person may choose to identify this way to capture their gender identity as well as their lived experience as a transgender person. Some trans women may also use MTF (Male to Female) or M2F (Male to Female) to describe their identity.


Speaks to a gendered experience of moving away from the gender associated with one’s sex assigned at birth. Often just shortened to trans and placed before a person’s gender (i.e., trans man, trans woman, trans nonbinary). It is also used as an umbrella term to describe a wide range of identities and experiences of people whose gender and/or expression differs from conventional expectations based on their assigned sex at birth. Transgender is not a noun! Never say “transgenders” or “a transgender,” say “transgender people,” or “trans person,” instead!

Transition (aka: gender transition)

The process of a person taking their internal identity and outwardly expressing it in their life socially, emotionally, or medically. There are multiple forms of transition which may include emotionally exploring one’s identity, changing one’s name, using different pronouns, coming out to peers, changing one’s gender expression, legally changing one’s gender/name, taking hormones, undergoing gender-affirming surgeries, and more. A trans individual may transition using any combination, or none, of these aspects. Transitioning is not mandatory and looks different for every trans person.

Transmasculine (aka: Trans-masc)

A term used to describe trans people who were assigned female at birth and have moved away from that gender and towards masculinity. Their gender may or may not be binary (man), but their gender expression might be more masculine than feminine.


A belief that buys into both biological essentialism and the medicalization of transgender people. Transmedicalists believe that in order to be trans, one has to not only experience dysphoria, but also pursue medical intervention to reduce that dysphoria. Some even go so far as to say that someone who hasn’t had surgery cannot be trans. These gatekeeping tactics are categorically false and harmful both to the transmedicalists themselves and the trans community. There is no one right way to be trans and gatekeeping resources will only further harm people in need. (Source: Trans Language Primer)


Similar to transmisogyny, but with an added identity. Transmisogynoir highlights the intersection between transphobia, misogyny, and anti-Blackness. It stems from the term “misogynoir.” (Source: Transgender Law Center "Black Trans Women and Black Trans Femmes: Leading & Living Fiercely")


The intersecting oppressions and discriminations of transphobia and misogyny that primarily affects trans women, transfeminine people, and folks who may be perceived as transfeminine. Transmisogyny portrays trans women and transfeminine people as less than, questions and devalues their gender identity, and sexualizes their femininity. Transmisogyny exemplifies the intersectionality of oppression. (Source: Carey Sokja "Transmisogyny" | BWSS "Transmisogyny 101")


A term used primarily by trans people to describe their trans status or experience of being trans. There is still debate over whether this term should be used widely, but some communities find it useful to describe the state of being transgender.


The discrimination and oppression of trans people for their gender expression. This includes subtle and overt forms of discrimination which are fueled by the fear, hatred, disbelief, and distrust of trans people. Transphobia primarily affects trans people, but it may also affect individuals who are thought to be transgender, who do not conform to traditional gender roles, or who are under the gender non-conforming umbrella. (Source: Planned Parenthood "What's Transphobia?")


This term refers to (mostly binary) trans people who live full-time in a gender different from their assigned birth sex, often with the use of hormones and/or surgery. Transsexuals may or may not identify as transgender specifically, but categorically are under the transgender umbrella. Not all people who identify as transsexual are transmedicalists, but there is significant overlap due to the term’s focus on the medical aspects of transition. This term is becoming outdated and should not be used for a trans person unless they specifically use the term to describe themselves.


A person who dresses in clothes primarily associated with a gender other than their own. This is an outdated and problematic term due to its historical use as a diagnosis for medical/mental health disorders. This term is still used in other languages but has been replaced with “crossdresser” in english.

Truscum (aka: Transmedicalist, Transfundamentalist)

Pronounced "true scum". Internet slang for trans people who claim that someone can't truly be transgender unless they experience gender dysphoria, specifically body dysphoria. Truscum often place emphasis on medical diagnosis as an essential form of identity validation. Truscum are known to delegitimize the gender of other trans people, especially those with non-binary identities that don’t fit neatly into cis-normative medical definitions of gender dysphoria, in an attempt to confirm or validate their own binary identities. They may use the term Tucute to describe those who disagree with them.


The act of concealing or flattening one’s bulge by sliding the testes upwards into the inguinal canals and tucking the phallus back between the legs. This is often assisted by a gaff, tucking underwear, or tape, or a variety of diy tucking methods. Tucking is most commonly practiced by trans women, AMAB nonbinary people, and drag queens. (Source: Trans Language Primer)


Internet slang for a (usually trans) person who believes that gender dysphoria is not essential to be transgender. Tucute is primarily used by Truscum groups as a derogatory term for people whose gender identities or gender expressions don’t conform to binary, transmedicalist ideals.

Two Spirit (aka: 2S)

A term for American indigenous people who identify as having both a masculine and feminine spirit. As an umbrella term it may encompass same-sex attraction and gender variance, including people who might be described in Western culture as part of  the LGBTQIA+ community. The creation of the term “two-spirit” is attributed to Elder Myra Laramee, who proposed its use during the Third Annual Inter-tribal Native American, First Nations, Gay and Lesbian American Conference, held in Winnipeg in 1990. This term stems from the Ojibwe phrase “niizh manidoowag” and replaces the outdated, oversimplified term “berdache”. There are a variety of definitions and feelings about the term “two spirit” from various Native American communities and this term does not resonate for everyone. (Source: Re:Searching for LGBTQ2S+ Health)