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Genders and Gender Identity

If you are older than 30, chances are that you are confused by or not aware of the huge variety of genders and gender identities that have been defined and appear in everyday society during the last decades. 

So here is a little summary that we have put together from various sources. 

It is important to note that ‘Gender‘ is defined by the LGBTQIA Resource Center as:

A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity. Fundamentally different from the sex one is assigned at birth. 

Couldn’t We Simplify This?

Before we get to the list if gender identities, a little aside from us. There are now so many terms for gender identities that over 99% of the world’s population have no idea what anything more than one or two terms mean. They ask questions like:

  • What sex were they identified as at birth?
  • Did they have a sex change?
  • Do they feel male of female inside?
  • Do they dress male or female?
  • etc

We get it that people who identify as non-binary or somewhere on one of the LGBTQIA spectrums that have been declared during the last years want to feel accepted and equal… but it’s hard for people to do this if they don’t understand what you are talking about or who you claim to be.

Wouldn’t it be easier to give all of these genders a simple abbreviation based on traditional M and F signifiers along with additional letters if there have been changes made to identified gender, sexual organs, presentation choice, etc? Markers could be introduced in the following order: Birth, identity, organs, presentation/clothing, sexual interest

Our suggestion would be something like this:

  • M or F – for anyone who was assigned male or female at birth and identifies as this now still
  • MF, FM, MB, FB, MN, FN, MX – add a second marker for identifying gender (male, female, bi, none, etc) X for not disclosed
  • MFM, MFF, MFX, FMF, FMM, etc – add a third marker to identify organs that have now, X for not disclosed
  • MFMM, MFMF, FMFF, etc – add a 4th marker for gender presenting as
  • MFMMF, MFMMM, MFMMB, etc – add a 5th marker to show with which gender you are sexually interested, X for not disclosed

Anyone who is not on a LQBTQIA scale or has a different gender identity… or who doesn’t know about the new gender identities, simply continues to use M or F as they have always done and no-one needs to feel oppressed or offended in any way. 

Gender Identities

GenderSub-CategoryLGBTQIA Resource CenterNotes
Cisgendera gender identity, or performance in a gender role, that society deems to match the person’s assigned sex at birth.  The prefix cis- means “on this side of” or “not across.” A term used to highlight the privilege of people who are not transgender.Suggesting that cisgender is a term used to highlight privilege is bullshit. This is victim-card playing by a few extremists in the LGBTQIA community.
Cis MaleSee Male, above. Cis Male, Cis Female and Cisgender are often used as a slur by LGBTQIA+ people to refer to what has been known of and called male/female without any confusion for centuries.
Cis FemaleSee Female, above. Cis Male, Cis Female and Cisgender are often used as a slur by LGBTQIA+ people to refer to what has been known of and called male/female without any confusion for centuries.
An adjective used most often as an umbrella term and frequently abbreviated to “trans.” Identifying as transgender, or trans, means that one’s internal knowledge of gender is different from conventional or cultural expectations based on the sex that person was assigned at birth. While transgender may refer to a woman who was assigned male at birth or a man who was assigned female at birth, transgender is an umbrella term that can also describe someone who identifies as a gender other than woman or man, such as non binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, no gender or multiple genders, or some other gender identity.

The term trans acts as a more inclusive term than transgender for gender non-conforming and non-binary folks.
Trans manA person may choose to identify this way to capture their gender identity as well as their lived experience as a transgender person.
Trans womanA person may choose to identify this way to capture their gender identity as well as their lived experience as a transgender person.
Cross Dresser (CD)
A word to describe a person who dresses, at least partially, as a member of a gender other than their assigned sex; carries no implications of sexual orientation. Has replaced “Transvestite.”
Drag KingA person (often a woman) who appears as a man. Generally in reference to an act or performance.  This has no implications regarding gender identity.
Drag QueenA person (often a man) who appears as a woman. Generally in reference to an act or performance. This has no implications regarding gender identity.
An umbrella term to describe a wide range of natural body variations that do not fit neatly into conventional definitions of male or female. Intersex variations may include, but are not limited to, variations in chromosome compositions, hormone concentrations, and external and internal characteristics. Many visibly intersex people are mutilated in infancy and early childhood by doctors to make the individual’s sex characteristics conform to society’s idea of what normal bodies should look like. Intersex people are relatively common, although society’s denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Hermaphrodite is an outdated and inaccurate term that has been used to describe intersex people in the past.
NeutroisA non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer or transgender umbrellas. There is no one definition of Neutrois, since each person that self-identifies as such experiences their gender differently. The most common ones are: Neutral-gender, Null-gender, Neither male nor female, Genderless and/or Agender.
Non-BinaryA gender identity and experience that embraces a full universe of expressions and ways of being that resonate for an individual, moving beyond the male/female gender binary. It may be an active resistance to binary gender expectations and/or an intentional creation of new unbounded ideas of self within the world. For some people who identify as non binary there may be overlap with other concepts and identities like gender expansive and gender non-conforming.
Exhibiting characteristics of multiple genders, deliberately refuting the concept of only two genders.

Some Important Definitions

To understand more about gender identity, we have added these definitions from the LGBTQIA Resource Center.

Gender Expression: How one expresses oneself, in terms of dress and/or behaviors.  Society, and people that make up society characterize these expressions as “masculine,” “feminine,” or “androgynous.”  Individuals may embody their gender in a multitude of ways and have terms beyond these to name their gender expression(s).

Gender Identity: A sense of one’s self as trans, genderqueer, woman, man, or some other identity, which may or may not correspond with the sex and gender one is assigned at birth.

Gender Non conforming (GNC): Adjective for people who do not subscribe to societal expectations of typical gender expressions or roles. The term is more commonly used to refer to gender expression (how one behaves, acts, and presents themselves to others) as opposed to gender identity (one’s internal sense of self).

Gender Queer: A person whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant societal norm for their assigned sex, is beyond genders, or is some combination of them.

Pronouns: Linguistic tools used to refer to someone in the third person.  Examples are they/them/theirs, ze/hir/hirs, she/her/hers, he/him/his.  In English and some other languages, pronouns have been tied to gender and are a common site of misgendering (attributing a gender to someone that is incorrect.)

Queer:  One definition of queer is abnormal or strange. Historically, queer has been used as an epithet/slur against people whose gender, gender expression and/or sexuality do not conform to dominant expectations. Some people have reclaimed the word queer and self identify in opposition to assimilation (adapted from “Queering the Field”). For some, this reclamation is a celebration of not fitting into social norms. Not all people who identify as LGBTQIA use “queer” to describe themselves. The term is often considered hateful when used by those who do not identify as LGBTQIA.

Sex: a medically constructed categorization. Sex is often assigned based on the appearance of the genitalia, either in ultrasound or at birth.

Transition: Transitioning is the process of taking steps to live as one’s true gender identity. Transitioning is different for each individual and may or may not involve medical interventions like taking hormones or having surgery. Some people may not choose to transition in certain ways for a variety of reasons. The extent of someone’s transition does not make that person’s gender identity any less or more valid. 

Transitioning may include socially transitioning, such as going by certain pronouns or going by the Lived Name that affirms one’s gender identity. Transitioning may involve making changes to one’s physical appearance, such as wearing certain clothing, wearing one’s hair in a different style or length, or more complex changes such as medically transitioning through hormones or surgery. Transitioning can also involve changing legal documents to match one’s authentic sense of self.

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