The Gender Identity Lexicon

The most recent issue of Oasis News shined the spotlight on gender identity and transgender awareness. Our therapists felt it was important to provide readers with useful knowledge, unique perspectives, and helpful resources on transgender and gender identity issues.  Whether a family member is transitioning, you have a friend who has gender identity issues, or you just want more information on the topic, we hope you find this information useful.  

The Gender Identity Lexicon
Nicole Friedman, Psy.D., CEDS

Language is a powerful tool that shapes our perceptions and significantly impacts the lens through which we interpret events in our world. Precise use of language, which is constantly changing, can demystify misperceptions about gender.  While this list is certainly not all inclusive, it begins to provide a basic understanding to facilitate more understanding and dialogue.

Agender: A newer term describing individuals who do not have a gender and/or have a gender that they describe as neutral.

Bigender: Refers to those individuals that identify as having two genders.

Cisgender: People whose sex assignment is congruent with their gender identity and expression.

Gender: Is a term wherein society deems someone as either male or female. Gender is socially constructed and not necessarily the same as one’s biological sex.

Gender Dysphoria: According to the American Psychological Association (APA), gender dysphoria is a “persistent discomfort about one’s assigned sex or a sense of belonging to the other sex.” Not all transgender individuals experience gender dysphoria.

Gender Expression: This refers to the way individuals communicate their gender identity to others in the form of behavior, haircut, clothing, voice, etc. Gender expression should not be interpreted as an expression of sexual orientation.

Gender Fluid: A changing or fluid gender identify.

Gender Identity: Refers to ones innermost self concept as either male or female or both or neither. When you are alone, how do you view yourself?

Transgender: Refers to those who do not identify with their sex assigned at birth.

Trans Man/Woman: Trans woman describes someone assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman. The same concept applies to a trans man.

Sources:

Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools

Trans Student Educational Resources

Photo of a magazine cover

Join the Life Worth Living blog today!

Therapeutic Oasis will deliver 52 weeks of inspiration - straight to your inbox - using DBT Therapy, Mindfulness and so many more tools to help guide you on this journey called life.