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Hence, transsexuality may be said to deal more with physical aspects of one's sex, while transgender considerations deal more with one's psychological gender disposition or predisposition, as well as the related social expectations that may accompany a given gender role.

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Leslie Feinberg's pamphlet, "Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time has Come", circulated in 1992, identified transgender as a term to unify all forms of gender nonconformity; in this way transgender has become synonymous with queer.

Between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, the primary terms used under the transgender umbrella were "female to male" (Ft M) for men who transitioned from female to male, and "male to female" (Mt F) for women who transitioned from male to female.

The majority of cross-dressers identify as heterosexual.

People who cross-dress in public sometimes may have a desire to pass as the opposite gender, so as not to be detected as a cross-dresser.

In his 2007 book Transgender, an Ethnography of a Category, anthropologist David Valentine asserts that transgender was coined and used by activists to include many people who do not necessarily identify with the term and states that people who do not identify with the term transgender should not be included in the transgender spectrum.

However, these assertions are contested by the Transgender Health Program (THP) at Fenway Health in Boston.

These terms have now been superseded by "trans man" and "trans woman", respectively, and the terms "trans-masculine" or "trans-feminine" are increasingly in use.

This shift in preference from terms highlighting biological sex ("transsexual", "Ft M") to terms highlighting gender identity and expression ("transgender", "trans woman") reflects a broader shift in the understanding of transgender people's sense of self and the increasing recognition of those who decline medical reassignment as part of the transgender community.

Limited forms of androgyny are common (women wearing pants, men wearing earrings) and are not seen as transgender behavior.

Androgyne is also sometimes used as a medical synonym for an intersex person.

Drag performance includes overall presentation and behavior in addition to clothing and makeup. Drag queens have been considered caricatures of women by second-wave feminism.