The other night, some friends and i were in the pub and having a chat about trans labels.This is normally the sort of conversation that can produce quite strong views and opinions.
Certainly if it were a discussion on a web forum then it would probably descend into chaos pretty swiftly, But as we are all friends we managed to have quite a good natured, healthy debate over a few drinks and a bowl of cheesy chips.
This conversation came about after we had all been to a Q&A session at Nottingham University. This session featured a couple of Trans people from Channel 4's My Transsexual Summer. The Q&A was focussed on Trans awareness and there were a lot of questions and opinions in the room. Some ranging from humoured and some borderline offensive. It was a successful event for the LGBT Student Union and everyone enjoyed it i believe.
So back to the pub, One of the girls mentioned that 'Transgendered' was not a term she liked. I think i must have looked a little quizzical because i honestly had not really got an opinion on the label 'Transgendered'.
A conversation ensued where the definition of 'Transgendered' was called into question.
I personally define 'Transgender' as the 'Umbrella term for anyone with gender issues' i.e. Transsexuals, Gender Neutral folks, Transvestites, People who identify as Gender Queer etc
A couple of the other girls defined 'Transgender' as a non-umbrella term, Offering the alternative viewpoint that 'Transgender' fits in-between 'Transvestite and Transsexual' on the 'trans spectrum', That one can either be a Transvestite, a Transsexual or a Transgender.
So we bounced our viewpoints back and forth a few times and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe neither of us were necessarily incorrect. Let me muse...
I have been raised in quite a politically correct age and i think/believe that the term 'Transgender' may be quite a new term.
I wonder if you were from a generation previous to mine you might have your own definition of 'Transgender'?
Is this possibly an age related opinion?
The other girls were a little older than me, So i wonder at what point in time this word came to being used in its present context?
I'm not focussing on who was correct or incorrect. In fact I'm far more intrigued by how our self-definitions might be inspired.
So if you have 2 minutes to reply in a comment, give me your definition of Transgender, I want to know.