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Distinctions between the terms transgender and transsexual are commonly based on distinctions between gender (psychological, social) and sex (physical).Hence, transsexuality may be said to deal more with physical aspects of one's sex, while transgender considerations deal more with one's psychological gender disposition or predisposition, as well as the related social expectations that may accompany a given gender role.However, these assertions are contested by the Transgender Health Program (THP) at Fenway Health in Boston.It notes that there are no universally-accepted definitions, and terminology confusion is common because terms that were popular in at the turn of the 21st century may now be deemed offensive.The THP recommends that clinicians ask clients what terminology they prefer, and avoid the term transsexual unless they are sure that a client is comfortable with it.Harry Benjamin invented a classification system for transsexuals and transvestites, called the Sex Orientation Scale (SOS), in which he assigned transsexuals and transvestites to one of six categories based on their reasons for cross-dressing and the relative urgency of their need (if any) for sex reassignment surgery.Between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, the primary terms used under the transgender umbrella were "female to male" (Ft M) for men who transitioned from female to male, and "male to female" (Mt F) for women who transitioned from male to female.These terms have now been superseded by "trans man" and "trans woman", respectively, and the terms "trans-masculine" or "trans-feminine" are increasingly in use.
In contrast, people whose sense of personal identity corresponds to the sex and gender assigned to them at birth – that is, those who are neither transgender nor non-binary or genderqueer – are called cisgender.
People who cross-dress in public sometimes may have a desire to pass as the opposite gender, so as not to be detected as a cross-dresser.
The term transvestite and the associated outdated term transvestism are conceptually different from the term transvestic fetishism, as transvestic fetishist describes those who intermittently use clothing of the opposite gender for fetishistic purposes.
Being Ft M myself, I've had friends and family in the past make mistakes with my pronouns, and it can take a while for people to adjust. In order to help you remember the pronouns, you could come up with some kind of unique way for your friend to gently remind you (and in a way that is not obvious, in order to protect your friend's person privacy and emotions).
Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.