Understanding Gender-Related Terminology

Learn More About Experiences of Transgender

One of the best way to gather experiences that are not immediately available to you personally is to read. Here is an eclectic mix of writing on non-binary sex and gender experiences. Consider what these might mean for your workplace colleagues.

Gender-Related Terminology

  • Sex – a biological construct, sex is designated at birth, e.g. female, male, intersex. (Typically only female and male are available to choose.) Intersex means born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit with definitions of male or female.
    •  AFAB, abbreviates, assigned female at birth
    •  AMAB, abbreviates, assigned male at birth
  • Gendera social construct of cultural expectations based on sex. Expectations differ across time and culture. Examples of gender include transgender, feminine, masculine, androgynous, and non-binary. Not everyone is ‘gender conforming’.
Gender is better thought of as a spectrum rather than a binary construct.

I’ve always felt as masculine as I do feminine. I can’t really choose a gender. The world doesn’t know what gender I am.

Sara Kelly Keenan
  • Gender Identity – innermost self-concept of gender, as male, female, a blend of both or neither. Gender identity cannot be seen.
  • Gender Expression – external presentation of gender identity, including mannerisms and clothing.
  • Androgynous – a person whose gender expression appear (to you!) of indeterminate, blended or ambiguous sex.
  • Cisgender a human whose gender identity is the same as sex (assigned) at birth.

  • Transgender a person whose gender identity differs from their sex (assigned) at birth. e.g. trans man (assigned female at birth).
    • Trans man  a person who was assigned female at birth and whose gender identity is male.
    • Trans woman a person who was assigned male at birth whose gender identity is female.

Not Gender-related But Often Confused with Gender

  • Sexual Orientation –  inherent pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attraction towards another person. For example homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual.