Beginners guide to the gender Spectrum
To put this simply, like I’d explain this as if I was explaining to my grandmother:
Gender identity refers to the internal/psychological sense of self, regardless of what sex a person was assigned at birth.
You might have heard these referred to as “masculine” and “femi- nine” pronouns such as: she/her/hers & he/him/his. Many people do not identify as strictly masculine or feminine and it is best not to assume that you know someone's gender identity.
ℍ𝕖𝕟𝕔𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕟𝕠𝕦𝕟!
Across the globe, in all the different LGBTQ communities there are many varieties of pronouns. It’s like Italian as a language, it has many dialects!
It may be easier to understand the various types of genders before understanding the pronouns attached.
A sexual orientation describes those who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attractions to people of more than one gender.
If you were born with a penis and identify as a man, you’re a cisgender man.
Similarly, if you were born with a vagina and identify as a woman, you’re a cisgender woman.
If you don’t identify with the gender you were assigned at birth, you may find that you’re transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming.
This terms refers to the fact that sexuality, sexual attraction, and sexual behavior can change over time and be dependent on the situation.
A term that describes individuals who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the same or a similar gender.
Some gay-identified women prefer the term lesbian, while others prefer queer or gay. It’s also best to ask which word or term someone uses to describe themselves.
The fields of medicine and psychology previously referred to this sexual orientation as homosexual. Homosexual is now viewed as an outdated and offensive term and shouldn’t be used to refer to LGBTQIA+ individuals.
A term that describes people who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the “opposite” gender (e.g. male vs. female, man vs. woman) or a different gender.
Both cisgender and transgender identified people can be heterosexual. This sexual orientation category is commonly described as straight.
A woman or female-identified person who experiences sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the same or a similar gender.
Some women who are lesbians may also refer to themselves as gay or queer, while others prefer the label lesbian.
The term “nonbinary” can mean different things to different people. At its core, it’s used to describe someone whose gender identity isn’t exclusively male or female.
If someone tells you they’re nonbinary, it’s always important to ask what being nonbinary means to them. Some people who are nonbinary experience their gender as both male and female, and others experience their gender as neither male nor female.
Nonbinary can also be used as an umbrella term, encompassing many gender identities that don’t fit into the male-female binary.
A term that describes individuals who can experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to any person, regardless of that person’s gender, sex, or sexuality.
An umbrella term that describes individuals who aren’t exclusively heterosexual. The term queer (the Q in LBGTQIA+), acknowledges that sexuality is a spectrum as opposed to a collection of independent and mutually exclusive categories.
Use of the word queer opens up options beyond lesbian, gay, and bisexual to individuals who don’t fit neatly into these categories or prefer a category that isn’t dependent on sex and gender.
While this term once had negative and derogatory connotations, queer has resurfaced as a common and socially acceptable way for LGBTQIA+ individuals to refer to themselves and their community.
Well that’s a remarkably small group of descriptions and definitions! There are so many others, it’s complex and thorough. However, as a starting point the above are some basics or fundamentals.
I personally struggle with all the labels and categories and find it difficult to explain my situation to those who need a black and white answer.
I am female, born female, I have been married to a man for many years and we have children. I am now in a relationship with a woman.
Some may say I'm Bisexual, others Pansexual, others Queer. Often I'm asked if I'm Gay now!
I tell people I fell in love with a woman!