Trans vs gay 

You might have heard the terms “transgender” and “gay” used together, or even interchangeably. While they’re both part of many LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersexual and Asexual) discussions, there’s quite a big difference between “transgender” and “gay” and it’s important to know what it is. Here’s more Choma. 


“Gay” is a popular word, and most people use it to refer to someone who is attracted to members of the same sex. For example, a gay man would be attracted to other men, and so on. Although “gay” can sometimes be used to refer to other members of the LGBTQIA community, it most commonly refers to homosexual people.

Even though you may have heard it used this way in the past, “gay” should not be used as an insult or a dirty word. It simply refers to someone whose sexuality is not heterosexual.

It’s also important to know that “gay” doesn’t mean transgender. A gay person may express themselves in a way closer to a gender different from their own, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re transgender. 


The “T” in LGBTQIA stands for Transgender. However, transgenderism is different from being gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer.

Transgender (or “trans” for short) refers to someone whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a transgender female may have been born into a “male” body, however their gender identity is female. You may hear some transgender people describe this feeling to be almost like being “born in the wrong body”, and some transgender people experience what’s known as gender dysphoria.

Transgender individuals are some of the most vulnerable in our society, and many are at a higher risk for abuse, discrimination and even suicide. To learn more about why protecting transgender rights is so important, check out this article.

Remember Choma, all members of the LGBTQIA community have the right to be who they are, and should not feel shamed, judged or threatened for who they are. If you feel misunderstood, or you don’t fit into the standard in your community or society, it’s ok and there are many people out there who understand and support you.

On the other hand, if a friend has shared with you that they think they may be transgender or gay, remember to be supportive and listen. Even though you may not understand their experience, you can still be a good friend by learning about their experience and having their back. Here are more tips on how to support a friend who has shared with you that they are gay, read this article

Are you questioning your sexuality, gender or need someone to talk to? Remember that you can always send me a private message via Ask Choma. I am also here for you on Facebook and via WhatsApp on 071 172 3657.