The Trans Language Primer

A guide to the language of gender, attraction, and acceptance.

Gender is complicated, and no one has it completely figured out. Acknowledging this complexity was once the norm. Many cultures – before colonization – had terms and expressions far beyond what we have available today. Vocabulary, especially in and around the transgender community, has exploded. There’s now a variety of words to express a countless number of genders and facets of gender experience. This explosion is a combination of reclamation and creation. But we have to be wary of creation under colonization so we do not replicate the gender norms, ideas, and systems that oppress each other.

That’s part of why this Primer was created. It is an attempt to document the movement to express and identify the complexity of gender while acknowledging its history and intersections. Over the years, we have expanded significantly. We now include some terms in this Primer that are not immediately recognizable as being related to gender in the hopes of helping to explain the context within which the rest of the Primer operates.  

Gender is extremely personal. Trying to express our understanding of gender is personal and complicated. We hope the Primer will help people express these things in ways that will help them understand each other and themselves.

  • Check out the full index to view all 200-some terms in alphabetical order. Each entry includes part(s) of speech, definition(s), and example sentences. Many contain links to further reading for more context.

  • Check out our Guided Tours Index to view our curated lists of terms to help contextualize different aspects of the trans+ community.

Connect with us!

Read updates and support the Primer on Patreon. This is the best place to get up-to-date news on Primer happenings. This is also where you can learn about new projects and opportunities.

  • For as little as $2 a month, you can help support the Primer and move us towards future expansions!

  • For $5 a month, you can have your name and a link of your choosing acknowledged on the about page!

  • At $10 a month, you can get backstage access to our workspaces to make your voice heard!

  • At $15 a month, you can retain 30 minutes per month of consultation services from a member of the TLP staff, equivalent to a question or two about a relevant topic of your choice, redeemable via email or Discord.

All Patrons get a special role and recognition in our Discord server.


Follow us elsewhere!

Discord is a great place to give us immediate feedback. Found a typo? Need clarification on a certain term? Want to know what other keywords to search for or if we know of a good article around a certain term? Join us on Discord and ask! This is the space where we are most immediately responsive.

Bringing you Daily Shouts about the Transgender Language Primer and other assorted relevant content. We’re fairly responsive if you @ us, but otherwise are not heavily active. This is largely due to how many trolls love using Twitter to harass trans people and otherwise spread disinfo and hate.

We abhor the way Facebook treats trans people (banning folks for using chosen names, not removing anti-trans hate speech, catering to bigots around trans pride), but we do maintain a presence there. Facebook does not make managing a page simple so we may have some lag in responding on this platform due to the byzantine nature of their management tools.

Employment can be a very difficult subject for the trans+ community, which is why we maintain a small presence on LinkedIn to help boost relevant content as well as our own educational posts. This is also a good place to look to see if we have any job opportunities available, such as for our Translation Projects.


Where is the TLP being used?

The majority of these resources are not affiliated with the Transgender Language Primer and do not necessarily endorse the TLP institutionally. We can’t guarantee accuracy, services, or products. Community accountability is important, so if there’s something we should know about a resource listed here or if you’d like to recommend a resource, please let us know.


EXCELLENT
11 reviews on
Jonas Kage
Jonas Kage
2022-04-13
recommends
So helpful and so concise. Sent to friends several times for more education. ❤️
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Dean Black
Dean Black
2022-04-12
recommends
Simply awesome. Concise and through primer for the community. Amazing resource!
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Jes Welch
Jes Welch
2022-04-12
recommends
This is an absolutely incredible resource. It has definitions, context, perspectives, and an endless amount of additional information/resources to explore. It all beautifully, yet simply laid out.
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Jamie Lee
Jamie Lee
2022-04-12
recommends
I am an inclusion trainer and the TLP is my favorite resource to add to my toolbox. Whether I’m training physicians, teachers, foster parents, counselors, or just an interested community member, I point them in the direction of the Trans Language Primer. It’s got all the definitions of things that I get asked about, it’s easy to understand, and it was made by the trans folks so I can be sure that the proper due diligence has been done and people are getting the most accurate and up to date info that’s available. It’s already helped a handful of people I know realize the description that fits them best and reassure them that they’re not the only one who feels that way. It’s perfect for parents of trans kids who are trying to wrap their head around their child’s new community and for anyone who wants to support trans people and needs to get a handle on the right language. This is an invaluable source and I’m repeatedly thankful that it’s something I can utilize with confidence.
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Julie Slowinski
Julie Slowinski
2019-02-22
recommends
The best trans dictionary I’ve seen. Very balanced and inclusive of all members of community. Thank you for putting this together.
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Brynnifer Âû Dennis
Brynnifer Âû Dennis
2018-07-05
recommends
Great knowledge and platform!
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Nicole van Klaveren
Nicole van Klaveren
2018-06-21
recommends
Really useful
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Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
2017-11-18
recommends
Maddi Tayler
Maddi Tayler
2017-11-18
recommends
Jill Taylor
Jill Taylor
2017-11-18
recommends

Send us an email at TransLanguagePrimer@protonmail.com

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