Some people find they do not feel comfortable thinking of themselves as simply either male or female. Instead they feel that their gender identity is more complicated to describe. Some may identify their gender as right in the middle between male and female, while others may feel mainly male but not 100% male (or vice-versa not feel 100% female). Alternatively, they may entirely reject defining their gender in terms of male and female in any way. As their gender does not conform to traditional ideas of gender as binary, they have created new words to describe themselves, the most common are androgyne, polygender, genderqueer or third-gender, although other terms are also occasionally used. However, some people will prefer not to define themselves using anything more specific than just transgender or trans.
There is no set definition as to whether someone is androgyne, polygender, genderqueer or third-gender, but it is commonly agreed within these communities that self-definition is the most important criteria. Due to society’s expectation that all people, including transgender people, will identify as just either male or female, it can be very difficult to work out how to express a gender identity which is neither simply male nor female. Some people may therefore experience a long period of uncertainty about how they relate to the highly gender-stereotyped world around them.
People who call themselves androgyne, polygender, genderqueer or third-gender also span a very wide range of desire to transition. Some have no interest at all in physically changing their body. Others may wish to partially physically transition (for example taking hormones but not having any surgery or, alternatively, having some surgery without taking hormones). Some others will follow the same transition route as transsexual people do but reject identifying simply as the gender they transition to. Occasionally, the desire to transition might fluctuate over time.