Transgender 101

Story by Emmy Gyori


Gender identity is NOT sexual orientation. Sexual orientation refers to whom you are attracted, so trans people can be gay, bisexual, straight, asexual, pansexual, etc., just like Cisgender (people whose gender identities match their sex assigned at birth) individuals.
Gender identity is your own, internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or as someone outside of that gender binary)
Gender identity is thought to be solidified by age 6, meaning that there really can be transgender children.

The Gender Binary + Daily Life:

From The Huffington Post- “The gender binary exists for easy categorization and labeling purposes. For most people, it is something that is taken for granted. Females who identify as women use the women’s restroom. Males who identify as men dress in suits and ties or tuxedos for formal events. But for trans people living in a culture where the gender binary rules all, it’s a daily battle.”

Varying identifications and use of pronouns:

  • Trans man: A man who was assigned female at birth.
  • Trans woman: A woman who was assigned male at birth.
  • Gender nonconforming (GNC): Not fully conforming to gendered social expectations, whether that be in terms of expression, roles, or performance.
  • Genderqueer: This term can be used as an umbrella term for all people who queer gender, as a somewhat similar term to gender nonconforming, or as a specific non-binary gender identity. As an umbrella term is can include gender nonconforming people, non-binary people, and much more. As a specific identity it can generally be understood as a gender that is neither man nor woman, possible in between the two or seen as a totally separate gender altogether. 
  • Gender neutral pronouns: Pronouns other than the usually gendered he or she. Some examples are ze/hir/hirs, and they/them/their but there are many others.

  • Preferred pronouns: The pronouns one prefers to be called, whether they be he, she, they, it, ze, ey, or any other. It is preferable to always ask someone their preferred pronouns if possible, and to not make assumptions about a person’s pronouns. Always be sure to respect a person’s preferred pronouns, use them, and apologize if you slip up

Trans Inequality

  • 90% of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job.
  • 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.
  • Transgender people still cannot serve in the US Military.


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