What’s Gender Identity? Transgender?


What’s Gender Identity? Transgender?

Gender identity is a person’s sense of their gender. They can be a woman, man, combinations of these, or another gender! Some people feel like no gender identity fits for them, and that’s ok too. Somebody’s identity can change too! As time goes by, they can identify more or less with man-ness, woman-ness, and with other genders. Transgender people identify as a gender other than what people said they were when they were born.

What does transgender mean?

If someone is transgender, or trans, they identify as a gender that’s different from the one a doctor assigned them at birth. So, if someone was born with certain private parts, a doctor might have said “it’s a girl.” But that person might realize that he’s a boy. People are cisgender, or cis, when they’re happy with what the doctor said they were when they were born.

Some people are assigned female at birth, or AFAB. Some are assigned male, or AMAB. Some are intersex or assigned another sex.

If someone tells you they’re trans, that just means they’re trans. There are as many ways of being trans as being cisgender! Assuming you know other things because someone’s trans could hurt them. Trans people can choose whether to have surgery or take hormones. They can also be attracted to any gender or genders!

What does non-binary mean?

People who aren’t a man or a woman can identify as non-binary.  There’s a big range of non-binary people. Some identify as trans and others don’t!

Some people are agender, not identifying with any gender. Other people may identify between a man or woman. Many identify as another gender.

Hormones and surgery

Some transgender people choose to take hormonal replacement therapy. These can change their bodies to help them look more non-binary, masculine, or feminine.

Some people also choose to get gender affirming surgeries. These can change someone’s chest, privates, or other parts.

Some trans people take hormones or have surgeries to feel more comfortable in their bodies. A lot of trans and non-binary people choose not to. Everyone deserves to have their identity respected. That’s true no matter what choices they make or don’t make around their body! It’s also true no matter how they dress or act.

What’s gender nonconforming?

Gender nonconforming people express their gender in ways that aren’t as common in their culture. They might look or act in ways their society doesn’t connect with their gender.

Being gender nonconforming is part of someone’s gender expression. Gender identity is who someone is. Gender expression is how they show their gender. People can express their gender through hair, clothes, voice, body language, and a lot of other things!

Some people see going against “typical” gender expression as part of their identity. They can embrace being a gender nonconforming person as an important part of themselves.

Anyone can be gender nonconforming! A transgender man might like wearing earrings he sees as feminine. A cisgender woman might love her buzz cut! Trans and non-binary people might be gender nonconforming. But a lot of them aren’t.

Everyone deserves to have their identity and pronouns respected. That’s true no matter how they express their gender!

More info

Project 10

BEAUDRY METRO A Montreal organisation that works to promote the personal, social, sexual and mental well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning youth…

Gender Unicorn – TSER

This great diagram explains the difference between gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth and more!

Transgender Glossary of Terms

GLAAD’s reference guide of general and transgender-specific terminology. Also describes commonly used derogatory terms and what terms should be used instead.–

A Sex & Gender Primer

Discusses the concept of gender, defines some terms for people who do not identify as traditional gender roles, and offers tips for being trans-friendly. –


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