I acknowledge that the term ‘trans’ is widely contested. Who ‘counts’ as trans? Are some people wrongly classified as ‘trans’? Is it appropriate to use such language within research?
I have chosen to use trans for the purposes of this study because it is possibly the most appropriate term to use in a UK context in reference to a wide range of gender-diverse identities, behaviours and philosophies. I intend to reflect the widespread adoption of ‘trans’ by numerous web forums, activist/lobbying groups, support groups and other community organisations. I do not intend to imply that everyone involved in these groups necessarily identifies (or identifies straightforwardly) as ‘trans’.
For the purposes of this study, and the contents of this website, trans people may refer to themselves and/or be referred to using a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to): transgender, transsexual, transvestite, cross-dresser, genderqueer, androgyne, polygender, bi-gender, genderfluid, gender questioning, third gender, transsexed, trans man, trans woman, woman of transsexual history, man of transsexual history.
This research is not looking at intersex communities and/or experiences, except insofar as some intersex individuals identify as trans. I draw this distinction out of respect for the quite different challenges and issues that intersex people face.