Introduction to Gender Identity

Good morning lovely Jumbos!

I hope the first day of classes is treating you all well! This post is a follow up to last week’s post on sexuality, and is an introduction to gender identity terminology.  This post comes with the same disclaimer as the last one, which I will reiterate: first, this post is not comprehensive; second, gender is fluid so these terms are merely some ways of describing gender identity; and third, it is not necessary to label yourself.  With that said, let’s get to it.

Agender: not identifying with any gender identity.

Androgyny: a gender expression that is a combination of male and female elements.

Bigender: a person who identifies sometimes as traditionally male, and sometimes as traditionally female.

Biological Sex: the word “sex” is used to refer to the biological anatomy an individual was born with, ie. a vagina/uterus/etc being female and a penis/testicles/etc. being male.  Sex is separate from gender and gender identity.

Cisgender: a person whose gender identity is the same as their biological sex.

Feminine/Masculine Presenting: referring to the way in which a person expresses their gender identity.

Gender Fluid: a fluctuating, dynamic combination of male and female.  

Gender Non-Conforming: a person whose gender identity and expression does not conform with traditional, societal expectations about gender.

Gender Queer: used to mean both a person who does not identify with the gender binary of male and female, and/or an umbrella term for someone who identifies as gender non-conforming, bigender, agender, etc.

Intersex: an individual who biologically was born with a combination of male and female traits, either anatomically, chromosomally, or both.

Third Gender: a person who identifies with a third gender, separate from man or woman.

Transgender: a person whose gender identity does not match their biological sex.

Again, this is not comprehensive but I hope it useful nonetheless.  Stay safe, happy, and healthy Jumbos!


“It’s my view that gender is culturally formed, but it’s also a domain of agency or freedom and that it is most important to resist the violence that is imposed by ideal gender norms, especially against those who are gender different, who are nonconforming in their gender presentation.” –Judith Butler


**Thanks to this website for its incredible information and definitions.

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