Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – An option for transgender individuals where hormones are taken to replace the natural hormones of the body and help develop sex characteristics more aligned with a person’s gender identity.

A transmasculine person may take testosterone to develop traditionally masculine characteristics, such as a deeper voice, thicker body hair, and increased muscle mass. A transfeminine person may take estrogen to develop traditionally feminine characteristics, such as increased breast tissue, softer skin, and thinner body hair. Transfeminine individuals may also take testosterone blockers (anti-androgens) to help suppress naturally produced testosterone.

Gender Affirming Surgeries – Also called gender confirming surgeries; medical options for transgender individuals to alter the physical appearance of the body to align more with their gender identity. This can include surgeries on the genitals, chest, facial structure, or other body parts.

Top Surgery – An option for transgender individuals to reshape the chest. This can include removing breast tissue (mastectomy) and repositioning/reshaping the nipples, or inserting implants (breast augmentation) to increase chest size.

Bottom Surgery – An option for transgender individuals to alter the appearance of genitals. This can include removing the testicles (oriechtomy) and using skin and tissue from the penis to create a vagina (vaginoplasty) or vulva (vulvoplasty), or creating a penis using existing genital tissue (metoidioplasty) or skin from the forearm or thigh (phalloplasty).

*NOTE: Not all trans folks take hormones or go the surgical route. This can be for many reasons, including but not limited to financial barriers. Transness is not, and should not be, defined by the ways one alters or does not alter their body to align with their gender identity.

Thank you to our awesome intern, Peter LaChance, for compiling these terms!