The language surrounding transgender issues is quickly evolving (Enke, 2012a). To avoid confusion, the definitions below delineate how some terms are used in this e-book.

  1. Community: Community is defined as a collective of people able to act as a unit, with shared identities or interests (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CIHR, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, NSERC, & Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, SSHRC, 2014). I use this word tentatively in this e-book, and I do not assume that trans collectives always identify as communities or share common factors across different regions (Cameron, 2012).
  2. Trans/Transgender: The word transgender, as an identity label, describes those who do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth (Enke, 2012b).
  3. Cis/Cisgender: Cisgender is the word used in transgender movements to describe those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (Enke, 2012a; 2012b).
  4. Cisnormativity: Cisnormativity reflects the dominant cultural assumption that there are two genders and that every person’s gender and sex will always align (Bauer et al., 2009). In other words, it is the assumption that all people are cisgender.
  5. LGBT+: This acronym is used because it was the one brought up in direct quotes from trans community members in the coming chapters. It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. The “+” represents acknowledgement that more identities fall under the sexual and gender minority spectrum than these four letters.