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Drag is a term applied to clothing and makeup worn on special occasions for performing or entertaining, unlike those who are transgender or who cross-dress for other reasons.

Drag performance includes overall presentation and behavior in addition to clothing and makeup. Drag queens have been considered caricatures of women by second-wave feminism.

Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer/non-binary, e.g. transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or may decline to label their sexual orientation.However, these assertions are contested by the Transgender Health Program (THP) at Fenway Health in Boston.It notes that there are no universally-accepted definitions, and terminology confusion is common because terms that were popular in at the turn of the 21st century may now be deemed offensive.Androgyne is also sometimes used as a medical synonym for an intersex person.The term cross-dresser is not exactly defined in the relevant literature. Gilbert, professor at the Department of Philosophy, York University, Toronto, offers this definition: "[A cross-dresser] is a person who has an apparent gender identification with one sex, and who has and certainly has been birth-designated as belonging to [that] sex, but who wears the clothing of the opposite sex because it is that of the opposite sex." This definition excludes people "who wear opposite sex clothing for other reasons," such as "those female impersonators who look upon dressing as solely connected to their livelihood, actors undertaking roles, individual males and females enjoying a masquerade, and so on.

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The THP recommends that clinicians ask clients what terminology they prefer, and avoid the term transsexual unless they are sure that a client is comfortable with it.

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