What is a transgender person, the classification the president referenced, and what is the difference between transgender and transsexual?
What is transgender?
First, the difference between sex and gender is important to note. Gender is an internal sense of being male or female and is based on societal or cultural definitions of masculine or feminine. Sex refers to differences in chromosomes, hormones and external and internal sex organs.
A person whose sense of identity does not correspond with their birth sex – for instance, a man who, despite having male genitalia, feels he is a woman – is considered transgender. Often, transgender people say they feel they were born in the wrong body.
What is transsexual?
A transsexual is a person who feels he or she belongs to the oppopposite sex, and has a desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex. The transsexual person may use hormones or other medications to suppress or enhance characteristics of the opposite sex – such as facial hair, or more developed breasts.
Some transsexuals choose to have gender reassignment surgery – or surgery where a person's physical sexual characteristics are changed by surgery or hormone treatment.
Sources: American Psychological Association; The Associated Press; The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery
FILE - This undated photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Pfc. Chelsea Manning. For most Americans, Manning has been a hero or villain based on how they view her decision to leak classified material. For transgender people, she has another dimension _ serving as a potent symbol of their struggles for acceptance. With the commutation of her prison sentence by President Barack Obama, now set for release in May 2017, she and will re-enter a society bitterly divided over many aspects of transgender rights. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)