BASIC TIPS FOR HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
FOR WORKING WITH TRANSGENDERED PEOPLE
Outing: Remember that revealing the transgendered status of any transgendered person without his or
her expressed permission is outing that person, and it has the same potential for harm as outing a gay
man, lesbian, or bisexual man or woman. Outing is Invasion of Privacy.
Appearance: Do not assume that someone who appears to be crossdressed is a "transvestite". Someone
who appears to be crossdressed to you may or may not be living full-time in their presenting gender, or
they may intend to do so in the future. The appropriate term for someone who engages in crossdressing
on an occasional basis is crossdresser.
Instead of the stigmatizing "transvestite", use Male Crossdresser or Female Crossdresser if it's
clear that they are not living full-time nor intend to do so.
Living Status: If a transgendered person is living full-time in a gender not associated with their birth
sex (i.e., someone who appears to be a "man living as a woman” or a "woman living as a man”) that
person should be referred to at all times with terms appropriate to their presenting gender, regardless of
their surgical status or body state (see below).
Usage Tips: Transgendered Woman is appropriate for Male-To-Female persons.
Transgendered Man is appropriate for Female-to-Male persons.
Transgendered Person is appropriate for someone of either above types.
Transgendered People is appropriate for mixed groups (both gender vectors).
Surgical Status: Almost all transsexuals – pre-operative, post-operative or non-operative – and many
transgendered people are extremely sensitive about their surgical status and/or their body's physical state.
Accordingly, questions about this should be avoided or, if medically necessary, asked very sensitively.
Moreover, this information should be considered confidential and should not be shared with others unless
it is medically n