Skip to main content

Transgender Couples and Families


As an umbrella term, “transgender” can have different meaning to different individuals. It is used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth and/or whose gender expression differs from cultural masculine and feminine stereotypes. It is also used by people to describe a gender identity and/or expression that is not binary (man/male/masculinity vs. woman/female/femininity). Cisgender describes individuals whose gender identity is comfortably congruent with the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender identity is a person’s internal sense of gender (GLAAD 2017).

The term “transgender” was coined and popularized in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s by cisgender-headed academic research and community-based publications (Transgender 2017). The term is based on the following premises. First, it assumes the differentiation of one’s gender identity (boy/girl/other, woman/man/other) from one’s assigned sex at birth. Second, it is based on the...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jean Malpas .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2017 Springer International Publishing AG

About this entry

Cite this entry

Malpas, J., Glaeser, E. (2017). Transgender Couples and Families. In: Lebow, J., Chambers, A., Breunlin, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-15877-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-15877-8

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences