Since most of the few articles in this section (and that of transexual - a common misspelling) are either false or downright offensive, I've decided to shed a little more light on the subject. . .
A transsexual is a person who feels they should have been born with the reproductive organs, social role, and so forth, of the 'opposite' gender. There is a tremendous difference between a transsexual and someone such as a transvestite, boi, or drag queen/king.
Contrary to popular belief, born-women (also known as FTMs) can also be transsexuals and not all transsexuals are attracted to people of their birth gender. For example, a man who wants to be a woman, and loves men would be considered a homosexual transsexual. If she loves women, she would be nonhomosexual. The terminology is difficult, especially if you're in the mindset of considering them to be who they really are.
They often undergo surgical and hormonal treatment such as mastectomy (removal of breast tissue and forming a more masculine chest) and phalloplasty (sculpting a phallus) for FTMs. At this time I don't have enough information on MTFs to name their surgeries.
There is a somewhat specific path to becoming the opposite gender that I believe most doctors follow; in the beginning, you begin dressing as your chosen gender and do so for the next two years or until your doctor gives the thumbs-up. Then, you start to take Testosterone or Estrogen (this cannot be reversed, hence the two years crossdressing) for the next couple of years. Then, generally, surgical measures will be taken.
Bob: HEY, DID YOU KNOW THAT JIM'S A TRANSSEXUAL?
Jim: . . .Yeah, pretty much.
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