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Trans and intersex umbrellas

trans and intersex umbrellas. Under the trans umbrella are: trans women, trans men, trans non-binary people, and cross-dressing people. Under the intersex umbrella are intersex women, intersex men, and intersex non-binary people.

In Scotland, it is currently common to use the terms transgender people or trans people as an ‘umbrella’ 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 a small number of intersex people also 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 recognise that intersex status is distinct from trans status and that intersex people experience some very specific human rights violations, such as non-consensual infant genital surgeries. Over the past few years in Scotland, what little intersex equality and human rights work there was tended to be carried out under the trans umbrella. However that was a pragmatic temporary step agreed with some Scottish and UK intersex activists in order to increase visibility of intersex issues while work was being done in Scotland to improve the very limited capacity of intersex-specific equality work.

In April 2014, the hard work of Scottish intersex activists and the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance succeeded in getting the Scottish Government to move from a framework of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality work to a framework of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality work. We are committed to working in alliance with intersex activists and organisations as part of an LGBTI equality network.  We are pushing for the Scottish Government to begin funding some intersex-specific equality work.