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"Transgender" is an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a transgender person may identify as a woman despite having been born with male genitalia.
Nearly 700,000 adults in the United States identify as transgender, according to 2011 research by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. However, being transgender means different things to different people, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
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"There's no one way to be transgender, and no one way for transgender people to look or feel about themselves," the organization says on its website.
Just give us feathers, already.
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A person's internal sense of being male, female or something else is their gender identity. For cisgender, or non-transgender people, their gender identity matches their sex at birth. For transgender people, the two do not match.
How a person communicates their gender identity — through dress, behavior, voice or body characteristics — is their gender expression. A person's gender expression may or may not line up with society's expectations of masculinity or femininity, according to the HRC. The term "gender non-conforming" refers to people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity or femininity. However, not all gender-non-conforming people identify as transgender, and not all transgender people identify as gender non-conforming.
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The public's understanding of gender identity and expression is evolving as more transgender people share their stories, according to the HRC.
Sex and gender are two different concepts. A person's sex refers to his or her biological status as either male or female. The determination of a person's sex depends primarily on various physical characteristics, including chromosomes, reproductive anatomy and sex hormones, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
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Gender, on the other hand, is a societal construct...
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