Welcome to the first of a series of blogs dealing with Gender and Sexuality! I see a lot of confusion surrounding terms, definitions and identities and I feel it’s as great a time as any other to try and navigate together the awesome world that is queerness!
I will be keeping it simple and easy for this first blog, starting with the definitions of what we will be talking about in the next few weeks. Let’s dig into it!
What is Gender Identity?
Gender identity is an individual's personal sense of having a particular gender. Gender is a term that defines the way we experience our inner, felt sense of who we are in the world as a man, woman, both or neither. It is important to remember that gender is socially constructed.Meaning, we are influenced by the messages we receive from our socialsurroundings about what is acceptable and permissible for us to do, be andperform based on the gender with which we identify.
Example: In my case, I identify as a woman and therefore this is my gender identity.
What is Sexual Orientation?
Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of attraction, behavior, and identity, related to one's erotic desires and drives and the inclination to develop intimate emotional and sexual relationships with other people. In short, the term sexual orientation describes who (if anyone) you are into romantically and sexually and how you then define yourself according to that attraction.
Example: In my case, since gender plays no role in my attraction to others, I consider myself pansexual.
What is Sex Identity?
Sex Identity refers instead to how one identifies their sex. Their bodily characteristics that pertain to sex. Physical gender is not always just a matter of XX or XY, girl or boy. In approximately 2 out of every 100 births, variations occur during the various stages of fetal sex differentiation, causing a baby's body to develop mixed or ambiguous external genitalia, internal genitalia, and/or hormone production levels.
Example: In my case, I was born and assigned female with no apparent variations. This is also how I identify my sex and therefore my sex identity is female.
Did you like my first blog? Leave a comment to let me know what you think and what you’d like me to talk about in my next blogs!
Sexual attraction is not something that every human experiences, and people can have perfectly happy lives AND romantic relationships without it. Today I will be talking about what asexuality is, and all the mistakes I made when I found myself dating an asexual partner, in the hope you can avoid them.
Moral of the story, although my apparent adherence to heterosexuality has been providing me with extreme privilege my entire life (which I do not take for granted), it has also been damaging my relationship with my own sexual identity. I still feel guilty calling myself queer, as if that meant watering down the LGBTQIA community, or as if by doing so I was taking up someone else’s space, someone who is more worthy of the rainbow flag and that has struggled because of it.
Intersex the only letter within the LGBTQIA acronym that refers to someone’ssex identity (or biological sex, which means someone’s sex traits and reproductive anatomy), and not to someone’s gender identity (the gender we identify with), nor to their sexuality (who we are attracted to).