7 Genders Beyond Male and Female

By Jessica Mahmoud on May 30, 2015

If you read my last article, I mentioned that there are more genders than just male and female. Last year on Facebook, users became able to choose from 58 different gender identities for their profile. It’s great that it’s becoming more visibile within social media, but we still have a ways to go.

While I won’t go through 58 of them, here’s a little crash course on genders besides male and female.

1. Agender

Agender Pride Flag (http://upload.wikimedia.org)

Agender is a person without a gender. An agender individual’s body does not necessarily correspond with their lack of gender identity. Often they are not concerned with their physical sex, but may seek to look androgynous. An androgyne is a person who identifies and/or physically appears as neither man nor woman.

2. Cisgender

male and female symbols (http://upload.wikimedia.org)

While many people do not clarify if they identify as cisgender, this means you feel your biological sex, or the one you were assigned at birth, matches your gender identity, or how you perceive yourself. It is a gender that is common among society, but should not be assumed.

3. Genderfluid

Gender is a spectrum (image via tumblr.com)

A genderfluid individual does not see themselves as male or female, but may identify as one or the other depending on the day. This is referring to being fluid with their gender expression, which is different than one’s gender identity. Gender expression is a person’s physical characteristics, behaviors, and presentation that are linked to either masculinity or femininity.

Genderfluid individuals may express one gender through clothing or interests one day and then identify as another the next.

4. Genderqueer

Gender Checkbox (http://static1.squarespace.com)

This identity is a variety. This person may identify as male or female, between or beyond genders, or a combination of genders. These individuals often challenge gender stereotypes and the gender binary system of male and female. They often are fluid in their gender expression.

Genderqueer is also a term that gives respect to one’s sexual orientation. They may not identify as either heterosexual or same-gender loving. This term is gaining popularity in society. (Alternative is nonbinary.)

5. Intersex

Lauren Cooper from MTV’s “Faking It” (http://40.media.tumblr.com)

Intersex is the term used for a variety of medical conditions in which a person is born with chromosomes, genitalia, and/or secondary sexual characteristics that are inconsistent with the typical definition of a male or female body. Individuals are not always aware that they have this condition, but it is an identity that some choose to share. Lauren from MTV’s Faking it is intersex in the show.

6. Gender Non-conforming

Gender Non-conforming (https://hessianwithteeth.files.wordpress.com)

Gender Non-conforming is a person who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society. This identity goes along with a lot of the ones above.

Basically, think of all the gender stereotypes out there, like pink for girls or guys having muscles. This person chooses to not conform to these, or may identify as the opposite sex, such as transgender individuals.

7. Transgender (Trans Male or man, Trans Women or female, Trans Person)

Trans gif (http://31.media.tumblr.com)

Transgender is an umbrella term for those individuals whose gender identity does not match with the one assigned for their physical sex. It includes, among others, transmen, transwomen, genderqueer people, crossdressers, and drag queens/kings. Generally, it refers to anyone whose behavior or identity falls outside of stereotypical expectations of gender.

Transgender people may identify as straight, gay, bisexual, or some other sexual orientation. It is sometimes shortened as trans. Not everyone may identify as transgender, but rather just the gender they identify with, and it should never be assumed.

nictranstastic:PLEASE REMEMBER

Gender is not your genitalia (http://40.media.tumblr.com)

As you can see, there are many genders besides male and female, and this is just the beginning. We may have a ways to go before all of society accepts it, but I hope I’ve educated you on them if you weren’t aware.

Here’s a link to the list of the 58 gender options for Facebook users. It’s amazing how free we are to create our own identities, and I hope this helps you recognize that.

Hey I'm Jess, a student at Montclair State University studying Journalism with a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies. My pronouns are she, her, hers, and herself. I enjoy smashing the patriarchy, questioning the gender binary, and making new friends. With hopes to be an activist for the LGBTQ Community, I educate people on my Wordpress blog, https://coloritqueer.com/

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