Home Encyclopedia Sex & Fetish Intersexual, Trans, Shemale – What’s the difference?

Intersexual, Trans, Shemale – What’s the difference?

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Intersexuell, Transe, Shemale - Wo ist eigentlich der Unterschied?

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Trans* – what is it actually and how do they differ?

The term “intersexual” has been haunting many media and minds ever since it became possible to enter the gender “divers” in the birth register. Those who are not themselves affected, however, do not know exactly what is behind it and may use terms such as “transsexual” or even “transvestite” simultaneously.

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However, there are some big differences here, which are not easy for laymen to see through. On the other hand, there are many similarities and the boundaries are often fluid. In order to avoid confusion in the future, the following overview should help.

Frequently confused terms in the overview

1. Intersexual, Hermaphroditic

An “intersexual” – “inter” means “between” – is a person who has both female and male sexual characteristics. Intersexuality is therefore a disorder of sexual development that can be caused by many different factors. In this context, terms such as “hermaphroditism” or “hermaphrodite” are also used, although these clinical pictures are actually only a small part of the intersexual variations.

Intersexual, Trans, Shemale - What's the difference?

In general, any deviation from the appearance of a man or woman and any genetic anomaly affecting sex development can be referred to as intersexuality. For example, hormonal abnormalities, such as an enlarged breast in men or strong hair growth in women, are already included. Typically, however, people are called intersexual if their sexual organs are ambiguous, for example if the clitoris is greatly enlarged. However, it can also happen that a person has both ovaries and testicles. This is usually caused by an incorrect distribution of the chromosomes or a lack of development of the gonads. As a result, some intersexuals are not in a position to have or conceive children.

The problem here is that intersexuals are often already reoperated on after birth in order to be able to clearly assign them to one sex. However, this can cause serious psychological problems in teenagers and adults.

Intersexuell, Transe, Shemale - Wo ist eigentlich der Unterschied?2. Transsexuals

In transsexuals, on the other hand, there is no physically conditioned, ambiguous gender affiliation. However, the person concerned feels as if he or she is living in the wrong body. For this reason, they would like to have a sex adjustment carried out. This means that transsexuals want to undergo hormone therapy as well as surgical procedures in order to undergo a transformation from man to woman or vice versa. For example, men can have their penis removed, a vagina shaped and breast implants inserted.

Transsexuality is therefore rather psychological. In contrast, intersexuality is a physical anomaly. However, intersexuality can also lead to an identity crisis, so that transsexuality and intersexuality are not mutually exclusive on the psychological level per se. In addition, a genetic disposition for transsexuality is also discussed, so that some scientists regard transsexuality as a special case of intersexuality.

★  Intersex people on Wikipedia

In the context of transsexuals, the terms “transman” and “transfemale” also occur frequently. A biological man who feels like a woman, a “transwoman” or a “man to woman” is transsexual. Accordingly, a woman who would like to be a man is a “transman” or a “woman-to-man” transsexual.

Intersexual, Trans, Shemale - What's the difference?3. Transgender

The distinction between “transsexuals” and “transgender” is often particularly difficult. This is due to the fact that the concept of the transgender is often regarded as very abstract by those who are not affected. In addition, the term can be seen as a generic term for people who identify strongly with the opposite sex. This is also the case with transsexuals.

Both groups feel somehow in the wrong body. In contrast to transsexuals, however, transgender men and women do not normally want to undergo surgery. They rather reject the concept of socially influenced gender roles. Transgender men therefore usually want to remain men. But they also want to be able to show their feminine side or they are completely opposed to an assignment to any gender. For example, you can wear women’s clothing, let your hair grow long, adopt feminine gestures or work in professions that society usually regards as particularly feminine. They can also take on a woman’s name or be addressed gender-neutrally.

The transgender concept thus stands for all those who cross gender-specific borders and do not allow themselves to be pushed into a particular gender image, such as social or religious.

Unterschied bei Transmännern und frauen4. Transvestites

A welcome guest on many television shows is Olivia Jones. She stands out not only for her cheeky mouth, but above all for her bright make-up, tall tower hairstyles, dazzling dresses and daring high heels. Biologically, however, Mrs. Jones is a man. Like the many other transvestites in Germany and around the world, however, he loves to dress up in women’s clothes and thus live out his feminine side. Conversely, there are also female trannies who like to dress up as men.

In the case of transes, there is no physical disorder and they do not want to undergo surgery. But they belong to the group of “transgender”, because they don’t want to identify completely with their actual gender or to break out of the usual role clichés. However, many transvestites don’t feel permanently in the wrong body and for some people wearing the opposite sex clothes is more of an art and pleasure.

In any case, a transvestite has to wear women’s or men’s clothing, so that transsexuals or persons with a gender that cannot be clearly assigned should not be called “transees”; this could even be perceived as an insult.

5. Shemales

Another group of people with a different gender identity is the “Shemales”, mostly known from porn videos. The term “Ladyboys” can be equated here, although it is mostly used for young men from East Asia; here they are also called “Kathoey”.

Ladyboys or Shemales are biological men who identify with the female sex and have often already adopted typical feminine behaviour. They make themselves up strong and wear women’s clothes, their movements are softer and their voices bright.

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Many shemales also take female hormones and have undergone gender-matching surgeries, but most have not yet had their penis removed. Some ladyboys, however, also strive for this.

Ladymen are perfect quick-change artists and often difficult to distinguish from real women at first glance. Depending on how far their desire to transform completely into a woman goes, they also belong to the transsexual group. Since they also wear women’s clothing, they are strictly speaking also transvestites.

Intersexuals, Trannies, Hermaphrodites or Ladyboys – Conclusion

Intersexual refers to biological anomalies. All terms around the prefix trans* are rather psychological deviations from the social norm, so that the person concerned feels in the wrong body. The ladies described above also belong to this group. Ultimately, the different terms are closely related and show that many other variations exist apart from the typically male or female role models.

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