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Transgender umbrella

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In Scotland, it is currently common to use the terms transgender people or trans people as ‘umbrella’ terms to cover the many diverse ways in which people can find their personal experience of their gender differs from the assumptions and expectations of the society they live in.

As transgender people have become more widely known and written about, various terms have developed in an attempt to highlight similarities and differences.  However, individual people will still always view themselves, and experience their lives, in unique ways.  This section of the website provides a general idea of what are currently the most common definitions in use in Scotland.  The terms used in other parts of the world are often very different.  The definitions given in this website are not exhaustive and certainly not infallible.  Please also remember that the terminology is still evolving so definitions may change in the future.

While the Scottish Transgender Alliance shows various more specific terms under the ‘transgender’ or ‘trans’ umbrella, this does NOT mean that we think ALL people who identify with one of these more specific terms will also see themselves as being transgender or trans. It ONLY means that SOME people who identify with those more specific terms may see themselves as part of the ‘transgender’ or ‘trans’ umbrella.

Although some intersex people see themselves as part of the transgender umbrella and the Scottish Transgender Alliance has a small number of intersex people within its membership and active volunteer base, we acknowledge that intersex people are at great risk of non-consensual genital surgery and other medical human rights violations as children and that just having intersex within transgender is not the best long-term way of addressing these very specific intersex equality and human rights issues. It is our temporary attempt to ensure some visibility of intersex issues while work is being done in Scotland to increase the currently very limited capacity of intersex-specific equality work. There are many different ways in which someone can be intersex so we hope that ultimately the term Intersex will become recognised in Scotland as an umbrella term in its own right and that LGBT organisations in Scotland will in due course become LGBTI organisations. The Scottish Transgender Alliance is delighted that this has already happened in other European countries and we are keen to receive suggestions and advice from those who have already helped make this happen in their own countries and organisations.