A trans woman (sometimes spelled as trans-woman or transwoman) is a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual or transgender person. Many people in this group like the name trans woman over the many medical terms that are out there. Other non-medical names are t-girl, tg-girl, and ts-girl. Transgender woman, though, is the more common name.
Some people who are assigned male at birth later identify as women. They feel that the gender they were assigned and the gender they actually are do not match. Some trans women want to simply be called "women" rather than being called a "trans" woman, but this does not apply to all trans women.
"Transitioning" refers to the act of changing a person's social and personal gender identity to the gender identity that they feel is their real self, and may or may not include having medical treatments done, or surgery, and the changing of their legal papers to show their new identity (such as their birth certificate) and changing the way that they dress.
Like trans men, trans women have many choices that they can make, depending on what culture they are in and what gender roles they, and the people who support them feel like they should have. No case is the same, and the options that are there for trans women depend very much on if they have easy access to medical care and money. Some trans women choose to have hair removed on their face, armpits and other parts of their body as well as train their voice so that it sounds more like a woman. There are surgeries that can make trans women's faces look more female, but may not always be necessary, as some trans women have faces that do not look very male. They are mainly to provide emotional benefits to patients so that they can see themselves changing or as a step in sexual reassignment surgery.
Some trans women who feel that their gender change is done, meaning that they have all the same physical characteristics of women who were assigned female at birth, want to just be called "women". They think that the names "transwoman" or "male-to-female" should only be used for people who have not finished their change. Some others do not feel that their gender ever changed and that they were always girls who were forced to live as boys. Because of this many see it as important to include a space in the name, as in "trans woman", using "trans" as a word to talk about a particular type of woman, not a "third gender" as "transwoman" might imply.
The story of the young boy who is very much like a young girl and grows up to live life as a woman has a very long history. It is commonly, but wrongly, thought that all transgender and transsexual women are straight (attracted to males). Many studies on this issue have been thought to be hurt by bias, since many transsexuals feel they must give the "right" answers to such questions to help their chances of being able to get hormone therapy. 35% of trans women are lesbians.
Some do not pay attention to trans women identifying as women and continue to view them as men, calling trans women who feel attracted to men "homosexual" and trans women that are attracted to women as "nonhomosexual". This is sometimes seen as rude to the trans women that they are studying.
Disputes over sports eligibilityEdit
Some governing bodies for sports allow trans women to compete in female-only sports and some do not.Opponents believe that growing up with a male body (usually larger and stronger) gives trans women unfair advantages.Trans women have set women's records for sports that some biological women believe should not count.High school athletes who have routinely lost to trans athletes have sued to have trans competitors excluded as unfair competition for scholarships designated for women. The American Civil Liberties Union sides with the trans athletes.
Disputes over prisonsEdit
Trans women convicted of crimes often believe they are not safe in men's prisons.Some women believe they are not safe in women's prisons if trans women are allowed there. Transition has been used as grounds for releasing prisoners for crimes committed as men.
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- CBS News,"3 Connecticut high schoolers sue to prevent transgender athletes from competing in girls' sports"
- KOIN.com,"Transgender inmate demands move to women's prison"
- The Guardian,"Transgender prisoner who sexually assaulted inmates jailed for life"
- Des Moines Register,"Convicted of sex crimes as a man,felon no longer deemed threat because of gender change"