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The term transgender is also distinguished from intersex, a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies".

The counterpart of transgender is cisgender, which describes persons whose gender identity or expression matches their assigned sex.

In addition, they may want or undergo surgery to change their physical appearance.

Thus trans women fall under the umbrella of being transgender because their gender was assigned male at birth but they identify as a woman.

Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including 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 genderqueer or non-binary, including bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).

transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or may decline to label their sexual orientation.

This, along with sex reassignment surgery can bring immense relief, and in most cases, rids the person of gender dysphoria.

In the same manner, a trans man is someone who was assigned female at birth, but whose gender identity is that of a man.

Leslie Feinberg's pamphlet, "Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time has Come", circulated in 1992, identified transgender as a term to unify all forms of gender nonconformity; in this way transgender has become synonymous with queer.

This may be different from the sex and gender that the person was assigned at birth.

"Transition" refers to the process of adopting a social and personal identity that corresponds to one's own sense of the gendered self, and may or may not include medical intervention (hormone replacement therapy, surgery, etc.), changes in legal documents (name or sex indicated on identification, birth certificate, etc.), and personal expression (clothing, accessories, voice, body language).

For this reason, many see it as an important and appropriate distinction to include a space in the term, as in trans woman, thus using trans as merely an adjective describing a particular type of woman; this is in contrast to the usage of transwoman as one word, implying a "third gender".

Many studies on this issue have suffered from reporting bias, since many transsexual people feel they must give the "correct" answers to such questions to increase their chances of obtaining hormone replacement therapy.

The term trans woman originates from the use of the Latin prefix trans- meaning "across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond" According to the Oxford English Dictionary, transgender is a term which refers to "a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these; transgendered." This means someone who is transgender was born a certain sex but presents themselves as another.

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