A transwoman (sometimes spelled as trans-woman or trans woman) is a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual or transgendered person. Many people in this group like the name transwoman over the many medical terms that are out there. Other non-medical names are t-girl, tg-girl and ts-girl. Transgender, though, is the more common name.
Some people who are born as males feel that this is not who they really are. They feel that the gender they are on the outside and the gender that they are on the inside do not match. They may want to move towards a new gender role as a woman. In keeping with their new gender role, many transwomen want to simply be called "women", as they feel that being called a transwoman may mean that their new identity is false or not true.
"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 transmen, transwomen 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 transwomen depend very much on if they have easy access to medical care and money. Some transwomen choose to have hair removed on their face, armpits and other parts of their body as well as having their voice changed so that it sounds more like a woman. There are surgeries that can make transwomen's faces look more like female, but may not always necessary, as some transwomen had faces that looked like women's faces when they were men. 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 transwomen who feel that their gender change is done, meaning that they have all the same physical characteristics of those who are born women, 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. 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 his life as a woman has a very long history. It is a commonly, but wrongly, thought that all transgendered 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.
Some do not pay attention to transwomen identifying as women and continue to view them as men, calling transwomen who feel attracted to men "homosexual" and transwomen that are attracted to women as "nonhomosexual". This is seen as rude to the women that they are supposed to be studying.
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- The Beaumont Society - The Beaumont Society, a group that helps transwomen in the United Kingdom
- Lynn Conway
- Mom, I Need to Be a Girl - a book by the mother of a young trans woman.
- Transsexual Women's Successes
- TS Road Map - a guide for those who are trying to change.
- The Gender Centre Sydney Australia based support organisation