This page is for the beginner who may not understand gender issues or terminology. I welcome any additions.

Transsexual - a person who is intending to live as the opposite gender that they were raised as - a person who experiences discomfort living as the gender that they were raised, this discomfort can be extreme - MAY be a good candidate for transition

Cross dresser - a person who dresses as the opposite gender occasionally, they may feel some discomfort living as the gender that they were raised but the discomfort is mild - generally not a good candidate for transition

Drag Queen - a person who dresses as a woman but generally over the top with the use of a lot of make up, big jewelry, and over the top dresses. Some Drag Queens perform on stage. - generally not a good candidate for transition unless they are also a transsexual

Fetishist - a person who dresses partly or fully as the opposite gender they were raised only for the purpose of sexual excitement. - not a good candidate for transition although the desire may be strong

An individual may identify with more than one of these definitions. For instance, some cross dressers eventually realize that they are transsexuals. Some transsexuals and cross dressers find it sexually arousing when dressing in the same way that a woman may find it sexually arousing when she dresses in a sexy manner.

Many behavioral health professionals who specialize in gender issues believe that transsexual is primarily a self diagnosis. Some questions to consider:

When did you first feel, to some extent, that your body was/is the wrong gender? For some, these feelings may start at age 4 or 5, clearly before the person becomes sexually active. For some people these feelings may not present until puberty wherein one must be sure that they are a transsexual and not a fetishist BEFORE they transition.

In your daydreams are you male or female? Always or sometimes?

How do you feel when you are referred to your gender ie: “dude” “miss” “chief” “guy” “handsome” “pretty” “such a good looking man” Do these terms make you feel uneasy or are you fine with them?