Transsexual people experience a gender identity that is inconsistent with, or not culturally associated with, their assigned sex and desire to permanently transition to the gender with which they identify, usually seeking medical assistance including hormone replacement therapy and other sex reassignment therapies to help them align their body with their identified sex or gender. Transsexual is a subset of transgender ,    but some transsexual people reject the label of transgender. Norman Haire reported that in ,  Dora R of Germany began a surgical transition, under the care of Magnus Hirschfeld , which ended in with a successful genital reassignment surgery. In , Hirschfeld supervised the second genital reassignment surgery to be reported in detail in a peer-reviewed journal, that of Lili Elbe of Denmark. In , Hirschfeld introduced the German term "Transsexualismus",  after which David Oliver Cauldwell introduced "transsexualism" and "transsexual" to English in and Cauldwell appears to be the first to use the term to refer to those who desired a change of physiological sex.
Read on to learn more about the difference between being transgender and being transsexual, why someone might choose one term over the other, and more. The term transgender can mean different things to different people. There are a number of other labels individuals who are transgender use to describe their gender. This can be confusing at first, particularly if you or someone you know think they might be transgender. For example, a person who was assigned a female sex at birth and has a male sense of self could be categorized as transgender. A person who was assigned male at birth and has a female sense of self could also be categorized as transgender. Those who are transgender can identify as a woman, man, a combination of both, or something else altogether. The word transgender can also be used in conjunction with other labels to indicate the gender or sex someone knows themselves to be.
Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation. The term transgender is also distinguished from intersex , a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies". The degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance and accept their genuine identity has been called transgender congruence. Many transgender people face discrimination in the workplace  and in accessing public accommodations  and healthcare. Psychiatrist John F. Oliven of Columbia University coined the term transgender in his reference work Sexual Hygiene and Pathology , writing that the term which had previously been used, transsexualism , "is misleading; actually, 'transgenderism' is meant, because sexuality is not a major factor in primary transvestism. By , the concept of a "transgender community" had developed, in which transgender was used as an umbrella term. Between the mids and the early s, the primary terms used under the transgender umbrella were "female to male" FtM for men who transitioned from female to male, and "male to female" MtF for women who transitioned from male to female. These terms have now been superseded by " trans man " and " trans woman ", respectively, and the terms "trans-masculine" or "trans-feminine" are increasingly in use.
Top definition. A transsexual is a person who was assigned one sex at birth male or female but who identifies their gender in what society considers the "opposite" direction. Social steps changing their clothing, hair, mannerisms, speech, etc. Legal steps include changing name and sex on identification, etc. Medical steps include hormone therapy.