Dimensions of Gender
A category of characteristics involving societal expectations for people’s behavior, thoughts, and roles that go along with a person’s assigned sex.
Ideas and standards about how people are expected to behave, dress, and communicate based on conditioned beliefs.
Gender Identity: A person’s internal, deeply held sense of one’s own gender.
- Cisgender: A term for people whose gender identity aligns with their assigned sex at birth
- Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from those associated with their assigned sex at birth
- Nonbinary: Someone whose gender identity isn’t exclusively male or female, may include both, or neither
- More identities!
- Genderfluid: A gender identity that varies overtime. Sometimes it is consistent and other times it is not. A person who is genderfluid may present the same gender for months, while other time it changes daily. Gender fluidity is when a person’s gender changes, in big or small amounts, in response to different circumstances, people, or environments.
- Agender: A term meaning “without gender.” It can be seen either as a non-binary gender identity or as a statement of not having a gender identity. People who are agender can present in any way – masculine, feminine, both or something completely beyond the binary. They can (but don’t have to) experience gender dysphoria if they are unable to express their identity in a way they are comfortable with.
- Two Spirit: This identity refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and is used by some Indigenous and First Nation people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity. Two-spirit people may also use terms from their Indigenous language to describe same-sex attraction or gender variance, such as winkt (Lakota) or nàdleehé (Dinéh).
- For more information on Two Spirit identities, visit the Two-Spirit Program from the Native Justice Coalition.
Gender is a spectrum. Every person has:
- Gender Identity: How we feel internally
- Gender Expression: How we demonstrate our gender
- Biological Sex: Sex assigned at birth
- Sexual Orientation: Who we are physically, spiritually, emotionally, and sexually attracted to
Gender expression is how to express yourself externally. These are influenced by a person’s culture, societal norms, fashion, clothes, and gestures. Your gender expression is unique and different and it does not have to align with societal norms.