I am writing an article and need to select between "transfeminine" and "trans feminine", in reference to a gender identity descriptor. Both terminology choices are seen in scholarly literature, but "transfeminine" appears to be more common. I am familiar with the fact that "trans women" is considered an accepted term, whereas "transwomen" is not, because "trans women" treats "trans" as an adjective/modifier of "women," indicating that trans women are within the category of women, vs. a distinct category requiring a separate and unique term.

However, I have not seen this articulated for / generalized to "trans feminine" vs. "transfeminine" and I could imagine culturally current and informed justifications for using either term. I could also foresee near-future culture and language evolving to favor one term, or not, and while I know that such changes can't be known in advance, they may be predictable. So, if you have any thoughts / input on the pros and cons of using either term in a publication, I appreciate it.

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    This is a good question, but probably not a good fit for this site. EL&U, like most Stack Exchange sites, likes questions with a single right answer. As you've noted, there are probably good arguments for using either form. You could probably make this question conform better to EL&U expectations by changing it from "which is better" to "what are the pros and cons of either choice".
    – Juhasz
    Nov 30 '21 at 0:14
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    I agree SE isn't the best place (for various reasons). The best I can suggest is to check out sites that are sympathetic to trans issues. Stonewall uses "trans feminine" in their glossary but not consistently elsewhere. Nonbinary Wiki uses different versions but says transfeminine is oldest. RationalWiki uses "transfeminine" without any explanation. So it's not very clear which is preferred.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 30 '21 at 0:17
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    In fact, Nonbinary Wiki has '[t]ransfeminine (also written trans-feminine or trans feminine, and sometimes abbreviated to transfem or transfemme)'. New compounds often have two (or three) of the possible formats, open / hyphenated / closed forms, in use. Where there are no reasons not to, the open and then the hyphenated forms are often discontinued, usually faster in the States than in the UK. //// But editors / institutions often make pronouncements on their preferred style choice. Nov 30 '21 at 16:44

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