A beginner’s guide to sexual orientation

June is Pride Month and I thought we could start off with a breakdown of what the definitions are for the different Sexual Orientations and Gender Terminology. The following info is courtesy of sexinfo.online


​Gender: A complex interrelationship between an individual’s biological gender, gender identity, and gender expression.

  • Biological sex: Refers to the biological anatomy that is assigned at birth and determines whether an individual is male (has a penis), female (has a vagina), or intersex.
  • Cisgender: an individual who’s sexual orientation, gender orientation/expression matches their biological sex assigned at birth.
  • Gender Identity:  The sense of “being” a specific gender such as man, woman, genderqueer, agender, etc.
  • Gender Expression: The many ways in which an individual manifests femininity, masculinity, neither or both such as behavior speech, sexual preferences, clothing, etc.
  • Gender Fluid: A person who is able to manifest and adapt to various genders.
  • Gender Binary: The belief that there are only two genders: male and female.
  • Gender Non-Conforming (GNC): A person whose presentation of their gender does not match the expectations associated with that gender.5
  • Gender Normative/ Gender Straight: An individual whose biological sex matches their genderidentity and expression. Also known as cisgender.
  • Gender Role: Expectations, rules, behaviors, and roles given to males and females by society, such as masculine traits for males and feminine traits for females. 
  • Gender Queer: An individual whose identity is outside what is generally accepted as part of the gender binary. They tend to view the dominant beliefs about sex, gender, and desire determined by society as problematic.
  • Gender Variant: A person who does not conform to the gender expectations of society by either choice or nature (e.g. transgender, transsexual, intersex, gender-queer, cross-dresser, etc.).
  • Third Gender: An individual who identifies with any other gender that is not either man or woman.
  • Transsexual: An individual who psychologically identifies with a gender or sex that does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Transgender: An individual who presents themself and lives as a gender that does not corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth.

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