Gender Identity Terms in Identity

Our gender identity is how we feel in relation to being male or female - and there are different terms, descriptions and labels for different types of gender identities. We describe some of these terms.

Agendernot having a gender or identifying with a gender. They may describe themselves as being gender neutral or genderless. 

Bigender - a person who fluctuates between traditionally “male” and “female” gender-based behaviours and identities.

Cisgender - a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth are the same. For example they were born biologically as a male, and express their gender as male. 

Gender Expression - the external display of one’s gender, through a combination of how they dress, how they act and other factors, generally measured on scales of masculinity and femininity.

Gender Fluid –  a mix of boy and girl. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more man some days, and more woman other days.

Genderqueer –  a gender identity label often used by people who do not identify with being a man or a woman, or as an umbrella term for many gender non-conforming or non-binary identities.

Intersex –  a person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside.

Gender Variant –  someone who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society 

Mx.– is a title (e.g. Mr., Ms., etc.) that is gender neutral. Pronounced miks, (similar to Ms) it is often the option of choice for folks who do not identify as cisgender.

Third Gender –  a term for a person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognise three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it.

Transgender – A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on sex assigned at birth.

Two-Spirit –  is an umbrella term traditionally used by Native American people to recognise individuals who possess qualities of both genders

Ze / Hir – alternate pronouns that are gender neutral. Pronounced /zee/ and /here/ they replace “he” and “she” and “his” and “hers” respectively. Alternatively some people who are not comfortable/do not embrace he/she use the plural pronoun “they/their” as a gender neutral singular pronoun.

Find out more about what gender identity is.

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