Gender identity consists of how the individual identifies with his or her gender . In short, it represents how the person recognizes himself: man, woman, both or neither gender.
What determines gender identity is the way a person feels and perceives himself, as well as the way he wishes to be recognized by other people.
Gender identity can be measured in different degrees of masculinity or femininity, and these can change over the course of life, according to some psychologists.
Types of gender identities
There are three main types of gender identity: transgender, cisgender and non-binary.
The transgender is the individual who identifies with a different gender than the one who was assigned at birth. For example: a person who is born with masculine characteristics (from a biological point of view), but who feels of the feminine gender; or the individual who has feminine physical characteristics, but who identifies himself as a man.
Contrary to what was erroneously thought in the past, transgenderity is not a mental disorder and any attempt to pathologize the transgender can represent a violation of the individual’s human rights.
Learn more about Transgender .
The cisgender consists of the individual who identifies with his “birth gender”. For example: an individual who has biological characteristics typical of the male gender and who identifies himself (socially and psychologically) as a man. Thus, it can be said that he is a cisgender man.
Learn more about Cisgender .
But the non-binary is the sort that characterizes the mix of masculine and feminine, or total indifference between them. Non-binary individuals go beyond the social roles that are assigned to genders, creating a third identity that deviates from the “male-female” pattern.
See also the meaning of Homosexuality and discover 10 important moments in the fight against homophobia.
Gender identity and sexual orientation
Many people confuse the two concepts, however gender identity is not related to sexual orientation.
A transgender woman (an individual who was born with a male sexual organ, but who identifies with the female gender), for example, can have any type of sexual orientation – homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, asexual, etc.
The term “gender” is used to represent the social and psychological difference between men and women . Thus, gender identity, as said, refers to the identification that the person has for a given gender – man, woman, both or neither. On the other hand, sexual orientation depends on the gender that the person feels sexual attraction to.
There is still the expression of gender , which represents the way in which the individual expresses his gender to society, whether through clothes, language, attitudes, gestures, etc.