Did You Know Transgender Is An Umbrella Term?

Here’s Why.

If you read the actual definition of transgender (look up) you’ll notice that it doesn’t state a strict adherence to any sort of binary. A FTM Trans-Masc guy could easily still fall into our societies gender binary, and he may want that, he may enjoy and want nothing more than to pass in public, and in the eyes of complete strangers. However, someone’s level of transness is not constituted by whether he or she “passes” as what societies perception of what that gender should visually be. An FTM Trans-Masc and an MTF Trans-femme are two types of trans identities that fall under that umbrella I mentioned earlier. These are often the identities that are associated with being transgender because this is the most common identity we have seen represented to us thus far. However, if we were to accept that those two identities alone define the word transgender, then we are no better than our cisgender counterparts in wanting to adhere to a strict binary system. That is why it is important to understand all the nuances of the trans identity because as frustrating as it can sometimes be, dealing with others peoples ignorance, in order to put a stop to that, we must educate those who don’t know. So, what’s another identity blanketed under the term transgender?

Non-Binary Trans

The word binary literally means it consists of two “things”, no more, no less. That’s why when we call it a gender binary we’re referring to it with two clear cut sides, male and female. A non-binary person is literally saying they reject the binary, they admit, that in them, they contain masculine and feminine.

“On a spiritual side note, I believe that too. The masculine and the feminine exists in all of us, the level at which we manifest these characteristics is up to us to decide. “

Back to non-binary, although they may not identify with one gender over another, they may tend to a exude higher levels of traditionally masculine/feminine characteristics which could then be called Non-binary trans-masc or trans-femme. Some people choose not to even identify themselves using the words masculine and feminine, they are simply non-binary trans

I hope I’m not sounding like it’s necessary for everyone to figure out there “label” and go with it. Some people are more satisfied never giving themselves a label, and we should all respect that just the same. I only use it to show yet another example of the many facets of the transgender identity. If you want to learn even more about key-words associated with the term transgender I highly recommend checking out GLAAD’s website. Use the link below to educate yourself and help educate others!


Camden is a 27 year old trans person and visual artist. After serving in the US Navy he moved to NYC and is currently pursuing a degree in visual arts with a concentration in photography. Right now his focus is in LGBTQ+ portraiture and exploring, through photography, the many facets of sexual and gender identity. He hopes his work continues to not only challenge societies obsession with gender, but also to provide a source of education, showing that identity goes far beyond the binary.