In general, the use of ‘Trans’ differs in the US to the rest of the world.
In the US its used most often to identify someone who wishes to transition, with crossdresser being someone who dresses in the clothes of the opposite gender. But on the whole, Transgender (Trans) is an umbrella term to cover all who have gender non-conformity.
Psychologists and psychiatrists first used to use the terms ‘transvestite’ and ‘Transexual’ as definitions since the 1920’s and 1930’s, however we have moved away from ‘medicalisation’ or ‘defiened illness’ of our identity with more relaxed usage. There are over 30 variations in gender identity which I know of, with Trans being the main umbrella term.
According to a long-detailed definition by the WHO, ”Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth. (WHO, 2016)
Also in another reference, the term ‘Transgender’, often shortened as ’Trans’, is also an umbrella term that covers a range of gender identities – such as – (Oliven, 1974)
- Trans includes people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (Trans men and Trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are non-binary genderqueer, or including bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender etc.).
- Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or categorise transgender people as a third gender. (WHO, 2016)
- The term transgender may be defined to include transvestites, cross-dressers, drag queens and drag kings, and other forms of gender nonconformity.
- Not all Transgender people wish to undergo surgery or take medication to develop secondary sexual characteristics, but may live in their preferred gender role.
- Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as ‘Transsexual’(Wikipedia, 2012)
- Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation (Anon., 2013)
- The term transgender is also distinguished from intersex, (OHCHR, 2015)
Ive been writing some research up for a medial publication this month so have this to hand..
Hope that helps