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Gender Identity Guide

Gender Binary

A system in which gender is constructed into two strict categories of
male or female. Gender identity is historically expected to align with the sex assigned at birth, and that gender expressions and roles fit into that traditional expectation.


The feeling of discomfort or distress caused when a person’s
assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify


A person with a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and /or
expression than typically associated with the binary gender system. Often used as an umbrella term when referring to young people still exploring the possibilities of their gender expression and / or gender identity.


External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed
through behavior, mannerisms, interests, clothing and body characteristics. These may or may not conform to socially defined behaviours and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.


Someone who does not identify with a singled fixed gender or has a fluid or unfixed gender identity.


Ones innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or
neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. Ones gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.


Gender expression by a person that does not behave in a
way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. While many also identity as transgender, not all gender non conforming people do.


Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of
gender and embrace a fluidity of gender. People who identify as “genderqueer” may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside of these categories.


Someone who does not identify exclusively as man or a woman. Non binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or as falling completely outside of these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all non binary people do. Non binary can also be used as an umbrella terms encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer or gender fluid.


A person who identifies as having no gender or being without a gender identity. Examples are genderless, gender-free, nongendered, ungendered.


Intersex people are born with a variety of differences in their sex traits and reproductive anatomy. There is a wide variety of differences among intersex variations,

including differences in genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, internal sex organs, hormone production, hormone response and/or secondary sex traits.


An umbrella term for people who’s gender identity and/or expression is
different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. In other words transgender people my identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual etc.


Transgender and nonconforming


Someone who was assigned male at birth but identifies on the feminine spectrum


Someone who was assigned female at birth but identifies on the
masculine spectrum


A person who’s sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with the sex assigned to them at birth (based on their genitalia)


A person who’s gender expression is a combo of masculine and femine


Someone who identifies with two or more


A series of processes that some transgender people may undergo to live more fully as their true gender. This typically includes:
social transition, such as changing name and pronouns

Medical transition – which may include hormone therapy or gender affirming surgeries
Legal transition – which may include changing legal name and sex on government identity documents

Transgender people may choose to undergo some, all or none of these processes.

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