The transgender, who secured 75 per cent in B.A. through distance education programme, said she had applied for the examination soon after the publication of the notification.

On reading that sentence in a newspaper, I had a question about the usage of "she" for a "transgender" here. Is this usage correct or is there a better way?

  • 2
    The choice is probably made in line with the person's preference. However, we may be into tricky scientific and / or legal considerations here, rather than purely linguistic ones. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 2 '13 at 8:53
  • Incidentally, the very expression "The transgender" is deprecated -- it should properly have been "The transgender person/ woman". – Kris Dec 2 '13 at 9:38
  • "the transgender" doesn't even sound grammatical to me -- I've never seen the word used that way. (edit: per Kris's answer, it's apparently a set term in some jargon.) – herisson Aug 30 '15 at 17:54

To be the most politically correct, use whichever pronoun the individual prefers. If the preference is unknown, one may assume that it corresponds to whichever gender they present; for example, if the person is biologically male but identifies as female, use she. It is impossible to tell from the context you have given us which is which in this case.

For what it's worth, referring to someone as "the transgender" is not really politically correct either; it would be better to rephrase so the transgender is understood to be only one aspect of the person's identity. The transgendered applicant would do, and then subsequent references could be made to the applicant.

There have been occasional efforts to introduce alternatives, or to use the singular they, but I would not say that there is any consensus on the matter.

  • I just now found a similar answer here which seems to be in terms with your answer. – Suresh Dec 2 '13 at 9:07

Apparently, the person in reference is currently so identified.

Transgender identities: While people self-identify as transgender, the transgender identity umbrella includes sometimes-overlapping categories. These include transsexual; …

Transgender Law and Employment Policy defined transgender as an expansive umbrella term including "transsexuals, transgenderists, cross dressers" and anyone transitioning. …
Transsexual: Transsexual people identify as a member of the sex opposite to that assigned at birth, and desire to live and be accepted as such. [emphasis added]

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