Gender Identity | Gender Expression
Gender identity is used to describe a person’s own, internal sense of being a man or being a woman. Gender expression is the external communication of a person’s gender identity through “masculine” or “feminine” behavior, clothing, and other external personal characteristics.
A person’s gender identity and/or gender expression may or may not align with a person’s assigned (genetic or anatomical) sex at birth.
A transgender person’s gender identity does not match his or her birth-assigned sex. For example, a transgender person may have been assigned male at birth due to anatomy, but may have an internal sense of gender identity as a woman. This transgender person may live her life as a woman, despite the fact that she was assigned ‘male’ at birth.
A cisgender person’s gender identity is aligned with their birth assigned sex. For example, a cisgender person whose assigned sex at birth was male also identifies as male in gender.
Gender and Sex
In everyday conversation, the words “sex” and “gender” are often used without much distinction. However, there is a difference between these words. Generally, “gender” is usually accepted within scientific circles as a word to describe a person’s identity and social role related to gender. However, sex refers to a person’s physical anatomy and/or genetics, specifically a person’s genitalia. Therefore, there can be a difference between a person’s sex assigned at birth, and a person’s gender identity.
Common Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality