What is Trans and why do I need to know?
Transgender or transsexual describes people who change their sex or how they present their gender. Sex and gender are separate but connected. For example, at birth your genitals (penis or vagina) are used to decide your sex (male or female). Your gender is your understanding of yourself as a man or woman.
Transsexual is a medical term for those of us who choose to take hormones and have surgeries to have our bodies match our gender. It is used when we feel that we are men rather than women or women rather than men. Transgender describes anyone who does not fit commonly accepted gender roles and expressions such as drag queens, transsexuals, and drag kings. Some transgendered people take hormones or have surgeries. Not everyone who expresses their gender differently accepts transgender as a label. Trans people use different words to describe themselves such as transman, FTM, transwoman, and MTF. When in doubt, ask.
For some guys who are new to Canada, it is safer to explore their gender expression by cross-dressing or doing drag. Others choose to change from female to male (FTM) or from male to female (MTF). As you cruise in the scene, you might meet FTMs. If you do, try not to ask questions about body parts. Don’t assume that he is a top or bottom. He will tell you what you need to know.
www.sherbourne.on.ca/programs/programs.html - Sherbourne Health Centre - Gender Journeys - Thinking About Transition. Ten weeks of reliable information and friendly connections for anyone thinking about their own gender.
Primed: The Back Pocket Guide For Transmen & The Men Who Dig Them
www.camh.net - A resource outlining approved surgeries funded by the government.