The term transvestite and the associated outdated term transvestism are conceptually different from the term transvestic fetishism, as transvestic fetishist describes those who intermittently use clothing of the opposite gender for fetishistic purposes.
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.
However, the concerns of the two groups are sometimes different; for example, transsexual men and women who can pay for medical treatments (or who have institutional coverage for their treatment) are likely to be concerned with medical privacy and establishing a durable legal status as their gender later in life.
Distinctions between the terms transgender and transsexual are commonly based on distinctions between gender (psychological, social) and sex (physical).
Transgender and intersex issues often overlap, however, because they may both challenge rigid definitions of sex and gender.
The term trans man refers to a man who has transitioned from female to male, and trans woman refers to a woman who has transitioned from male to female.
Harry Benjamin invented a classification system for transsexuals and transvestites, called the Sex Orientation Scale (SOS), in which he assigned transsexuals and transvestites to one of six categories based on their reasons for cross-dressing and the relative urgency of their need (if any) for sex reassignment surgery.
people who meet Benjamin's definition of a "true transsexual" but do not desire SRS include Miriam Rivera.
Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another.
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 or non-binary, including bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).