Transsexual is a term used to describe transgender people. The terminology "Transsexual" predates the term "transgender" but has since fallen into relative disuse among the community as it may imply that sex characteristics are more important than gender identity.
In some cases, the term "transsexual" is used to refer to a subset of the transgender community. This may be only those who medically transition through surgery, or plan to do so, by changing their sex characteristics. Alternately, it sometimes refers only to transgender people within the gender binary, i.e. trans men and trans women, or only to those who experience dysphoria.
Although it is no longer widely used as an umbrella term, transsexual is sometimes used as an identity by individuals as a matter of personal preference.
In summary, there are two main (or potentially more) definitions of transsexual/transgender:
- Binary "trans" people, who are assigned female gender at birth but identify as male, or vice versa
- Any transgender person who decides to transition (via any pathway) to change their biological sex