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Top Tranny Tips: Names & Labels

CD, TV, TS, DQ, HPW - a hornet's nest!

The Perfect TrannyIf we had a pound for every time an argument had struck up in the Trans-MISSION chat room or any of the various online forums about the difference between cross-dressers, transvestites, transsexuals, she-males and all the other monikers that us t*girls get called, we'd probably be well on the way to buying ourselves a gin and tonic or two by now. The problem is that some people like a label and others don't, some people feel they should be called one thing and others think they should be something else. None of this promotes transgender harmony, which is one of the reasons that we, at Trans-MISSION tend to stick to using the phrase 'T*Girl' or sometimes 'tranny' which are both generally accepted abbreviations for most of the other possible connotations.

By nailing our thoughts to a web-page on what is a controversial and hotly disputed topic, we will inevitably upset some people who disagree with our take on what means what, but we hope the definitions given are sufficiently general that the majority of trannies (whatever they might be) would find them reasonable.

Sort it out!

Boy in Heels and Fishnet TopWhilst the debate over what means what rages on, there are some relatively commonly accepted definitions of what the different names given to trannies generally relate to. So, for your delight and delectation, enlightenment and education, here's the Trans-MISSION guide to typical transgender terminology:
  • Hairy Pant Wearer (HPW) - Unflattering and somewhat negative term used to describe those men who like to wear ladies underwear under their male clothes whilst working, shopping etc.
  • Cross Dresser (CD) - There's some confusion over whether a cross-dresser is actually any different from a transvestite but the term is sometimes applied more to those who like to wear womens' clothes but who aren't quite as fussed about putting on make-up or 'passing' - kind of half-way between an HPW and a TV.
  • Transvestite (TV) - Someone who likes to dress up in womens' clothes with the aim of looking (and feeling) like a woman.
  • Transsexual (TS) (sometimes spelled 'transexual' with just one 's') - A woman who was born inside a man's body, or at least heartily believes they were. Transsexuals are either 'pre-op' meaning that they still have all their male genitalia (though they might have had female bits added such as breast enlargement) or 'post-op' meaning that they have been cosmetically altered to have all female bits and no male ones. The transition from transsexual to full woman can be a long, drawn-out and expensive process and kudos should be given to those who go with their heart and make the change.
  • T-Girl - Short for 'trans-girl' or 'transgender-girl' and sometimes shortened to 'TG'. A catch all term used to cover cross-dressers, transvestites and transsexuals. This is as opposed to 'RG' which is tranny short-hand for real girl (i.e. a woman born as a woman!)
  • She-Male - A term used mostly in the porn industry for any kind of t-girl who is prepared to get her kit off/out for the camera and a few bucks! Not to be used in pleasant company as 'chick with a dick' isn't either.
  • Drag Queens (DQ) - Gay men (note that other definitions say nothing about sexuality) who ape or imitate women. Drag queens normally get tarted up to go and work at a club whereas transvestites get tarted up to go and have fun at a club - you see very few drag queens out partying (unless they're being paid to…) Note also that drag queens tend to have flamboyant names (such as Porsche Turbo or Miss D'Meena), but between themselves refer to each other as 'he', whereas t-girls refer to each other as 'she'.
Thai Ladyboy (Kathoey)In addition to these internationally recognised English terms, there are also some local variations and deviations which you might come across:
  • Ladyboy (กะเทย - pronounced Kathoey or Katoey in Thai) - Usually refers to transvestites and transsexuals from Thailand. The Kathoey culture deserves a page of its own - but if you want to read more about it, we thoroughly recommend The Third Sex by Richard Totman.
  • Hijra - A hindu term for certain male to female (M2F) transsexuals who, whilst being castigated by some parts of Indian society, are regarded as special in others and are often called upon to bless new babies, harvests and other successful events.
  • Metis - A Nepalese term for T*Girls. Sometimes just gay men who are forced to look like women in order that they can go out in public with their male partners.
  • NewHalf (ニューハーフ) or Futanari (ふたなり) - The Japanese for 'T*Girl'! This relates to having two forms, a male and a female half, though why one should be 'new' we have no idea!
  • Damenwäscheträger (abbreviated as DWT) - German word for 'cross-dresser'. Literal translation is 'ladies washing carrier', but less literally translates as 'one who wears womens clothes'.
Language Word that means 'transvestite'
netherlands flagDutch transvestiet or travestie
french flagFrench travesti
german flagGerman transvestit or travestie
italian flagItalian travestito
portuguese flagPortuguese travesti
romanian flagRomanian travestiti
spanish flagSpanish travsetido
Of course, 'transvestite' is an English word. It follows a similar pattern in most other languages some examples of which are shown in the table. Another internationally accepted term is 'transex' which has similar usage to 'tranny'.

As you can see, the situation is very confusing and it's no surprise that there are so many arguments between t*girls. Not only do they argue about what the different terms mean, but even worse tussles break out if one t*girl calls another t*girl by a moniker that she doesn't like. Wo betide that you should call a transsexual a cross-dresser - I can tell you, you won't come out of that discussion with your feathers unruffled!
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