Welcoming Transgender Singers: Key Terms

In creating a chorus culture that is welcoming to transgender singers, terminology can be something that some choral leaders may need catching up on. This list of key terms below supplements our article in the Winter 2017-18 Voice on making choruses welcoming for transgender singers.

Key Terms When Working With Transgender Singers

AFAB—Assigned Female at Birth, based on physical anatomy
AMAB—Assigned Male at Birth, based on physical anatomy
Cisgender (cis)—A person whose gender identity fits the sex assigned at birth.
Dysphoria (gender dysphoria)—Discomfort or distress caused by a mismatch between gender and sex assigned at birth
Gender (gender identity)—A person’s deeply held sense of being a woman, man, both, neither, or something else. Gender may or may not correspond to sex assigned at birth.Gender Expression—The physical manifestation of a person’s gender identity, usually expressed through clothing, mannerisms, and chosen names. Your gender expression may or may not conform to masculine or feminine socially defined behaviors and characteristics.
Genderqueer—An identity used by people who do not identify or express their gender within the gender binary, for example neither male nor female, or outside of or in between binary gender boxes.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)—Administration of sex hormones for the purpose of more closely aligning secondary sexual characteristics with gender identity.
LGBTQ+—An initialism representing three types of sexual orientation: lesbian, gay, and bisexual, as well as the terms transgender (see below) and queer (see below).
Nonbinary—Umbrella term for all genders other than woman/man. Not all nonbinary people identify as trans and not all trans people identify as nonbinary.
Queer—A term for people of marginalized gender identities and sexual orientations who are not cisgender and/or heterosexual. This term has a complicated history as a reclaimed slur.
Sexual Orientation—A person’s physical, romantic, or emotional attraction to others. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Trans people can be straight, bisexual, lesbian, gay, etc.
Transgender (Trans)—An umbrella term referring to people whose gender does not fit their sex assigned at birth.
Trans Man—A person who was assigned female at birth and identifies as a man.
Trans Woman—A person who was assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman.  




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