People are talking more about gender these days than ever before. With the rise of transgender superstars like Laverne Cox leading the way for national conversations about trans justice, to Miley’s open identification as gender fluid, we appear to be at a cultural peak about our understanding that gender is not binary. At this point, we urge you to read the blog post “Drawing the Line” before continuing, as it would allow you proceed with a better understanding of the topic and our blog in general.
Gender Identity is a person’s inherent sense of being a male, female, or an alternative gender. It is a way how a one perceives and expresses themselves in the world. It is a different issue from sex, biological makeup or sexual orientation, whom we are attracted to. We have dedicated a separate blog post to discussing gender identity in more detail, considering that is indeed our core topic.
There are numerous of dynamic and evolving terms relating to how people identify. This is our attempt to help the general public make sense of the world of gender and gender identity. Because unless everyone is on the same page with their understanding, meaningful discussions are a distant dream. The following ” lexicon” cannot cover every possible identity a person might have, but it provides a brief understanding (hopefully!) for some of the most common vocabulary necessary to begin one’s journey into this fascinating adventure of a subject.
Some Key Terms Related To Gender Identity:
- Agender: It is a gender identity which comes under the non-binary and transgender umbrella terms. The term is used by someone that is gender neutral. The person’s expression does not match with a male, female or any other gender.
- Bigender: A person who fluctuates between traditionally “woman” and “man” gender-based behavior and identities, identifying with both genders (and sometimes a third gender).
- Binary: It is a way of viewing gender as consisting solely of two identities and sexes. Male or female.
- Bisexual: A person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people of their gender and another gender. This attraction does not have to be equally split or indicate a level of interest that is the same across the genders or sexes an individual may be attracted to.
- Cisgender: A person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth align (e.g., man and assigned male at birth)
- Gender Expression: It is used to describe an individual’s presentation, including physical appearance, clothing choice and accessories, and behavior that communicates aspects of gender or gender role.
- Gender Fluid: A person who does not identify with a single fixed gender, and expresses a fluid or unfixed gender identity. One’s expression of identity is likely to shift and change depending on context.
- Gender Non-Conforming : is an umbrella term to describe
individuals whose gender expression, gender identity, or gender role differs
from gender norms associated with their assigned birth sex.
- Gender Questioning: Someone who may be processing, questioning, or exploring how they want to express their gender identity.
- Gender queer: refers to a person whose gender identity falls outside of the gender binary. Gender queers may also use the term “gender fluid” as an identifier but typically reject the term “transgender” because it implies a change from one gender to another.
- Intersex: Term for a combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs, and genitals that differs from the two expected patterns of male or female. Formerly known as a hermaphrodite (or hermaphroditic), but these terms are now outdated and derogatory.
- Metrosexual: A usually urban heterosexual male inclined to enhance his personal appearance by painstaking grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes
- Sexual Orientation: The sexual, romantic, emotional/spiritual attraction one has the capacity to feel for some others, generally labeled based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are attracted to.
- Transgender: A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that assigned at birth based on anatomical sex.
- Transsexual: A person who identifies psychologically as a gender/sex other than the one to which they were assigned at birth. Transsexuals often wish to transform their bodies hormonal and surgically to match their inner sense of gender/sex.
We would like to remind the readers that these “definitions” are themselves fluid; they change over time as well as the person you are speaking to (as it should. Only you can decide what you are.). We just looked at what norm usually refers to, along with introducing a few words that a typical person would be unaware of. We don’t mean to hurt anyone’s sensitivities who may perceive this post as an attempt categorization.
https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/programs/safe-supportive/lgbt/key-terms.pdf (American Psychological Association. (2015). APA dictionary of psychology (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.)