What Does Trans Mean?
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What does trans mean?

Trans is an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth.

Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgendernon-binary, or genderqueer.

It is important to remember:

  • Trans identities are diverse. Trans people may identify in lots of different ways.
  • Not everyone identifies as ‘male’ or ‘female’. Sometimes, people assume that being trans is about feeling you are the ‘opposite’ gender. This is true for some trans people, but not for others. This assumption makes things difficult for those who identify outside of ‘male’ or ‘female’, for example non-binary people. A non-binary person may need some different things to feel comfortable to, for example, a trans person who identifies as ‘male’.
  • Not every trans person will want to transition but may still like, or benefit from, ongoing support of some kind.
  • Language is important. People sometimes worry about using the correct language when talking about gender identity and are often concerned about ‘getting it wrong’. Our glossary includes a list of common terms and can be used to build confidence around trans terminology. A person may change the term they use to describe their identity, or use a new term which is unfamiliar. It’s important to make sure that the words a person uses to describe their identity are respected by others.

Read the Truth about Trans.

View our guidance for schools and colleges on supporting trans children and young people

View our Introduction to Supporting LGBTQ+ Children and Young People.