Trans is an umbrella term for those who feel that their assigned sex at birth (male or female) does not match or sit easily with how they feel, or their self identified gender identity. For example, someone might be born male but feels they are actually female.
It encompasses transsexuals, transgendered people and cross dressers, or anyone who challenges gender norms.
It may be that a trans person feels more the ‘opposite’ sex. They might choose to change their bodies hormonally and/or surgically in order to align their body with their mind, their outside appearance with their internal feelings.
Cross dressers may dress to express the more masculine or feminine side of themselves, or simply because they find those clothes more comfortable.
Gender variant or gender queer people may identify as outside of or beyond the gender binary (being either ‘male’ or ‘female’). Expressing gender variance often challenges what we think of as gender norms.
For some young people, coming to terms with the fact that they might be trans or gender variant can be very difficult. If you feel like this, remember that there are plenty of people who can help. They can talk things through with you and help you to explore and come to terms with the way you feel.
You can search for local organisations using the search directory (see above), or the following national organisation below has a very useful website for trans young people including advice for parents.