Sexual orientation and gender identity describe two different dimensions of human experience. Sexual orientation encompasses individuals’ sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and sexual identity. Gender identity describes individuals’ internal sense of being male, female, or another gender. While lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender are often seen as separate communities represented in the ubiquitous abbreviation LGBT, surveys suggest the vast majority of transgender people also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or another nonheterosexual identity. This entry describes the various identities that transgender people use to describe their sexual orientation, how these identities map on to individuals’ gender identity and sexual attractions, and how sexual orientation and gender identity can overlap in individuals’ experiences.

In The Lives of Transgender People, Genny Beemyn and Sue Rankin describe findings from their ...

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