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Sex, gender and sexuality

Your gender

Your gender is how you feel about yourself:

  • Your internal and personal sense of being a boy or man, or a girl or woman
  • The way you communicate, behave and identify with others
  • The acceptance or non-acceptance of your 'membership' to society and attitudes and behaviours it expects of you

It's not about whether you were born with a penis or a vagina.

Gender or gender identity is generally accepted to be a social invention and hundreds if not thousands of years old, depending on whether you want to look at more recent times or go back to the year dot. This means it does not exist naturally but rather is a series of ideas, rules, conventions, expectations which have evolved to enable society to work, and work better (if usually for the majority).

However, this may not reflect how you truly feel, behave, or define yourself so society’s categories or pigeon holes for what is masculine and feminine have always been acceptable for some while less so for others. If you haven't already guessed, gay men are the 'less so for others.'


Illustrating Gender | Gerard Coll-Planas and Maria Vidal.

Non-binary genders and gender variants

Terms primarily used by the LGBT+ communities, male and female genders are also referred to as gender binary, binary meaning composed of or involving two things (male and female). Non-binary genders refer to any gender that does not fit within the binary of male and female, genderqueer, being an example. 

The term is also used by individuals wishing to identify as falling outside of the gender binary without being any more specific about the nature of their gender. For example, a person might say “I’m not sure if there is a term for my gender but I know it’s non-binary” or "I consider myself as gender variant."

What it means to identify as non-binary | HuffPost | 8 Dec 2018
Non-binary people aren't a new phenomenon: we've been here as long as humans have existed | HuffPost | 5 Dec 2018
  Genderqueer | Wikipedia

Things not to say to non-binary people | BBC 3 | 7m

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