Gender has always been a confusing topic for me. It’s not so much that one could be male or female. I understand the biological forces behind being treated a certain gender. It’s when someone isn’t mentally that gender. I want to use the right words, treat them the right way, relate to them in the way they want to be related to. The terms confuse me the most, and I’m not afraid of admitting that sometimes I just don’t get it. So, for those who are confused with me, allow me to learn along with you.
Transgender: Okay, so this is the first word I learned about not identifying with one’s original gender. You feel you are the other gender, and are trapped inside your body. It has to be a frightening experience. Why can’t people understand that we don’t have to fit into certain gender roles? And I know a lot of the times it isn’t just that. It’s… feeling like your skin doesn’t fit. Like someone stole the body you were meant to have, and the only way to get it is through expensive surgery. It has to suck.
This has nothing to do with sex. If a women feels she should have been a man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she is attracted to other women.
Transgender according to the internet (Wikipedia, if that’s okay with you guys):
- “Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these.”
- “People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves.”
- “Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth.”
Cisgender: I don’t know. I really don’t. I’ve tried to understand, and I wish someone could explain it to me. As far as I know, it’s being satisfied with the gender that you were assigned at birth and all the baggage that comes with it. Are you the epitome of the girly girl and the manly man? Is it being irritated with being slightly like the other gender? I know I’m not cisgender, because I love being a boyish girl, even if sometimes I also like to be girly.
Cisgender according to the internet (Wiktionary!):
- (LGBT, of a person) Identifying with or experiencing a gender the same as one’s biological sex or that is affirmed by society, e.g. being both male-gendered & male-sexed.
Pangender/Bigender: This I hadn’t heard of until tonight. The general idea is that you don’t identify as either male or female, but a conglomeration of both. I like the idea behind it. I don’t see why we have to conform to gender roles, or even need to feel male or female on any particular day. Just be and let be!
Pangender/Bigender according to the internet (Wikipedia): a term used to describe people who feel that they cannot be labeled as male or female in gender. As such it has a great deal of overlap with genderqueer. Pangender people feel that they do not fit into binary genders, instead identifying as mixed gender (both male and female) or as a third gender.
Third gender: This is clearly a recognized gender in other areas of the world. The western world is rather limited in its view of gender, and it’s probably part of the reason that I can’t understand other genders. I think maybe this is about the same as pangender. I know it doesn’t have anything to do with being a hermaphrodite.
Third gender according to the internet (Wikipedia): The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are categorized (by their will or by social consensus) as neither man nor woman, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders.
Androgynous: As I understand it, being androgynous is having both female and male characteristics. It’s difficult to know if they are male and female, especially when they dress in a way that doesn’t define their gender, such as in dresses. I also know there is a lot of discrimination that comes from this, because you are constantly degraded for not fitting into one form. Of course, that could happen with any gender type, but I’ve seen it happen with this. I think that’s ridiculous. Why do we always have to fit into forms and roles?
I know. I’ve said it several times. I don’t mean to repeat myself, but it is bothering me that we don’t distinguish in our culture.
Androgynous according to the internet (Bing dictionary):
blending masculine and feminine: neither male nor female in appearance but having both conventional masculine and feminine traits and giving an impression of ambiguous sexual identity
physiology hermaphrodite: having both male and female physical characteristics
Well, anyway, I hope I haven’t insulted anybody. I really just want to understand. I hate when I’m insensitive to someone anytime, but especially out of ignorance. Discrimination should be diminished, and we have to start by learning the terms.