Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Transsexual Definition:

An individual who, by surgery, has undergone a sex change operation (transsexual surgery).

Related Terms: Gender

In the English version of the Quebec statute, the Act Respecting the Change of Name and of Other Particulars of Civil Status, these words in regards to the statute's "Application to Transsexuals" (§16), an individual who has:

"... undergone medical treatments as well as surgical treatments involving a structural modification of the sexual organs intended to change the secondary sexual characteristics of the person..."

The surgery, transsexual surgery, is also known as sex-reassignment surgical procedures. "The transexual (sic)," ventured Doctor John Hampson of the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle, Washington in an article published in the Canadian Journal of Corrections, "is a person whose psychosexual identity ... has, for one reason or another, become inverted during the process of growing up." Dr. Hampson's article, though, is dated 1969.

transsexual legal definitionIn an article he titled If I Follow the Rules, Will You Make Me a Man: Patterns in Transsexual Validation, Jamison Green wrote:

"Transsexual people are those who change or wish to change their birth-assigned sex and/or gender through medical means, such as hormone replacement therapy and/or surgery of the genitalia and/or secondary sex traits."

In her 2012 article published in the Probate and Property journal of the American Bar Association, Joann Prinzivalli and others proposed:

"A transsexual is an individual who does not identify with the biological sex assigned to him or her at birth because the sex-related structures of the  transsexual's brain are in congruent with his or her physical genitalia.

"Although the latest science points to a genetic component, transsexuals have traditionally been described as persons whose 'mind is trapped in the body of the opposite sex'.

"A transsexual is not a cross-dresser or transvestite - a person who gains sexual satisfaction from appearing as the opposite sex - because a cross-dresser or a transvestite has no need to redress a physical incongruity.

"Both transsexuals and transvestites may be transgender - a general label used to categorize any individual who does not conform to accepted social rules of gender expression."

Transsexualism is sometimes stated to be synonymous with a disorder known as GID (Gender Identity Disorder). But note this expert evidence repeated by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in Forrester v. Peel Police Services Board:

"The terms transsexual and GID are often used interchangeably, however, Dr. Steele explained that a person could identify as being transsexual and not have GID, because being transsexual does not cause him or her significant distress or impairment. As she put it, everyone with GID is transsexual, but not all transsexuals have GID."


  • An Act respecting the change of name and of other particulars of civil status, RSQ, c C-10. In French, la Loi sur le changement de nom et d'autres qualités de l'état civil, LRQ, c C-10
  • Brodeur v. Ontario, 2013 HRTO 1229 (NOTE 1)
  • Forrester v. Peel Police Services Board, 2006 HRTO 13 (Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario)
  • Greene, Jamison, If I Follow the Rules, Will You Make Me a Man: Patterns in Transsexual Validation, 34 U. La Verne L. Rev. 23 (2012-2013)
  • Hampson, John, Transsexualism (sic), 12 Canadian Journal of Corrections 549 (1969-1970)
  • Triangle image is courtesy Fotolia.com and is to be indicated as "© vector_master - Fotolia.com"
  • Prinzivalli, Joann and others, When It Comes to Gender... Estate Planning Considerations for the Transsexual Client, 26 Prob. & Prop. 18 (2012)

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