The history of the term transgender

The History of the Term “Transgender”

The term “transgender” has only been used since the 1990s, yet its roots can be traced further back in history. Here is an overview of the term transgender, as well as its usage and origin.

Definition and Usage

Transgender is an umbrella term used to refer to individuals whose gender identity or expression is different from the gender they were assigned at birth. It is also used to describe people who do not conform to gender roles or binary gender categories. This can include people who may identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, and so on.

Transgender people use a variety of terms to describe themselves, such as “trans,” “transgender,” “genderqueer,” and “gender non-conforming.” These terms are used to affirm a person’s gender identity and to refer to one’s gender in a way that is respectful and empowering.

Origin and History of the Term

The term transgender is believed to have first been used by John Oliveira in 1965. In 1987, it was popularized by Dr. Virginia Prince when she used it to refer to people who do not identify with their assigned gender. Since then, the term has been widely adopted and used by the transgender community to identify and describe people who are gender non-conforming.

The term “transgender” has been used throughout history in various forms. In the early 1900s, the term “transvestite” was used to describe people who identified as a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth. During the 1970s and 1980s, the term “transsexual” was used to describe people who wanted to transition to the gender they identified as. The Transgender Flag, designed by Monica Helms in 1999, is another example of the term’s use.


The term “transgender” is an umbrella term used to describe the many diverse genders that exist. It was first used in 1965 and has since been embraced by the transgender community as an empowering description of their gender identity. Throughout history, the term has been used in different ways, from “transvestite” to “transsexual,” and today it is a powerful source of identification and pride for transgender people all over the world.

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