LGBTQIA+ Community: Understanding Gender Identity

people walking on road
people walking on road
Pride Parade, Geneva, 2019. Picture by: Delia Giandeini/Unsplash.

Gender identity is something that is slowly becoming bigger and commonplace in the world. It’s evolving and more people are coming out. But what does it mean?

Gender identity is the sense of one’s own gender, this can correlate with your assigned sex at birth, or be something completely different. It’s not restrictive of binary sex.

It’s important to remember gender and sex are different. A person’s sex is biological, what they are born with. Whereas gender is based on socially constructed features. There are variations of how people express themselves in terms of their gender.  

Some people whose gender identity doesn’t correlate with their assigned sex at birth may use different pronouns, to understand pronouns read our article Understanding Pronouns. 

Do you understand what these gender identities mean?

AFAB: Assigned female at birth.

Agender: Someone who doesn’t identify with a specific gender. 

AMAB: Assigned male at birth.

Bigender: Someone who identifies with two genders.

Cisgender: A person whose gender identity matches up with the sex they were assigned to at birth. 

Demi-boy: This identity is for those who partially identify as a man or masculine. 

Demi-girl: This identity is for those who partially identify as a woman or feminine. 

Gender fluid: The person’s gender identity changes, they don’t have a fixed gender.

Gender non-conforming: People who don’t conform to the ‘traditional’ expectations of their birth sex. 

Genderqueer: This is often used by people who don’t identify with the binary gender of man or woman. 

Gender Questioning: Someone who is questioning their gender identity or expression.

Intersex: People who have sex characteristics that aren’t easily categorised into the binary sexes. 

Non-binary: Also known as enby, Non-binary is a umbrella term for gender identities that aren’t exclusively male or female. It can mean a combination of male and female, neither male nor female or something else completely. 

Third gender: A person who identifies with neither man or woman, but with a third gender.

Transgender: A person who identifies with a different gender to their assigned gender at birth. 

Two-Spirit: An umbrella term traditionally used within Native American communities to recognise people who possess qualities or fulfil roles of both ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ genders.

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