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Transgender is a complex topic, where consensual and precise definitions have not yet been reached. Usually, the only way to find out how exactly people identify themselves is to ask them, and sometimes, transgender people either cannot or will not define themselves any more specifically than transgender, queer, or genderqueer.

Books and articles written about transgender people or culture are often outdated by the time they are published, if not already outdated at the time of composition, due to inappropriate and/or outdated questions or premises. Not only psychology and medicine, but also social sciences deal with transgender people, and each starts from a very different point of view, offers very different perspectives, and uses a different nomenclature. The difference is mirrored by the attitude of transgender people towards transgender issues, as can be seen in the articles listed below.

People and behavior

In non-Western cultures

Basic terms



  • Sexual characteristics
    • Sex organ or primary sexual characteristics
    • Secondary sex characteristics
  • Sex-determination system


  • 5-alpha-reductase deficiency
  • Androgen insensitivity syndrome
  • Chimerism
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Hermaphrodite
  • History of intersex surgery
  • Hypospadias
  • Klinefelter's syndrome
  • Swyer syndrome
  • Turner's syndrome


Topics related to transitioning


Relating to medical treatment

Legal aspects



  • Lannie! My Journey from Man to Woman (SterlingHouse Publisher) by Lannie Rose
  • Transgender Warriors (ISBN 0-8070-7941-3) by Leslie Feinberg
  • The Transsexual Empire (ISBN 0-8077-6272-5) by Janice Raymond
  • Masculinities Without Men? (ISBN 0-7748-0997-3) by Jean Bobby Noble
  • Transgenderism and Intersexuality in Childhood and Adolescence: Making Choices (ISBN 0-7619-1711-X) by Peggy Cohen-Kettenis and Friedemann Pfäfflin
  • Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" includes a transgendered person as a central character.
  • "Boy Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities" by Will Roscoe
  • "Latin American Male Homosexualities" by Stephen O. Murray
  • "Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature" by Stephen O. Murray
  • "Pacific Homosexualities" by Stephen O. Murray
  • "Transgender Good News" by Pat Conover. New Wineskins Press.
  • Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity, edited by Matt Bernstein Sycamore


Film and television

Queer studies


Gender-variant people or behavior

Many other terms describe gender-variant people or behavior, without the people being described necessarily being transgender.


  • Ardhanari, the androgynous aspect of Shiva in Hinduism
  • The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of (mostly) gay male nuns who take vows to promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.

Sexual orientation and behavior

Sexual orientation and behavior are independent from gender identity; since both are often mentioned together or even confused, some relevant topics are mentioned here. The first article elaborates on this question.

External links