If you thought they were just two genders, think again. There are many more genders beyond just male and female. Here are 10 gender identities beyond male and female.
10: Gender Fluid
Those who identify as gender fluid have shifting gender identities. They do not see themselves as male or female. A gender fluid individual may identify as one or the other sex at any given time through their interests or clothing. But rather than gender identities, this is gender expression. This involves behavior and physical characteristics typically linked to femininity or masculinity. Their sexual identity can be constantly in flux and tends to remain so throughout their lives.
In contrast to gender fluid, a bigender person identifies as either male or female at any given time. They have two sexual identities and will feel and behave like one gender or the other depending on the circumstances at the time. The shifts between genders vary and could last from hours to years. People born with male genitalia and female genitalia both identify as bigender.
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8: Gender Non-Conforming
A gender non-conforming person does not conform to the typical gender-based stereotypes in society. For example, women like pink sparkly things and men like sports and have big muscles. Either by choice or by nature people who identify as gender non-conforming don’t go along with cultural expectations of gender roles. This can also be called gender variance. In the case of transgender individuals, they might identify as gender non-conforming before transitioning.
7: Third Gender
Third gender or third sex is when society or the individuals themselves categorize the person as neither woman nor man. This applies to the transwoman of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan who are known as “Hijras.” And the Fa’afafine of Somoa, who are born male but embody feminine traits as well as masculine. The indigenous Mahu of Hawaii considers it an intermediate state between man and woman. There can also be a fourth or fifth gender, like the Dineh of Southwestern US who acknowledge feminine woman, masculine woman, feminine man and masculine man.
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The two-spirit identity amongst Native Americans is also considered to be under the third gender umbrella term. As everything is thought to come from the spirit world, crossdressers, effeminate males, masculine females, transgender or androgynous individuals are seen as having two-spirits – a man and a woman. They’re seen as doubly blessed and are honored being considered more spiritually gifted than a feminine female or masculine male. There are often religious leaders.
All of the previous identities come under the umbrella term genderqueer. This refers to identities that are outside of gender binary so those who do not exclusively identify with either male or female. Another term for this is non-binary. Genderqueer individuals may identify with having two or more genders or having no gender or being beyond gender or moving between genders. In terms of sexual orientation. they may not identify as either heterosexual or homosexual.
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Most people who are cisgender probably don’t even know the term exists. Let alone identify as cisgender but the term refers to very common gender identities which are that the individual feels they are their biological sex. So, the gender the person was given at birth matches how they perceive themselves. Their gender identities are same as their biological sex.
An individual who doesn’t have a gender is identified as agender. These individual’s bodies might not match their identity as being genderless. They’re often not concerned with their physical sex, but they consider themselves a non-gendered. Other terms for this are genderfree and neutrois. They may seek to look androgynous and appear neither male nor female.
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Individuals who are transgender have gender identities that doesn’t match the one assigned to their physical sex. This umbrella term includes transwomen, transmen, crossdressers, drag kings and queens and genderqueer. It can refer to anyone outside stereotypical gender expectations. Individuals might not see themselves as transgender but rather the gender they identify with.
1: Intersex Gender Identities
According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for human rights, intersex individuals do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies. They’re born with variations in chromosomes, hormones or genitalia that aren’t consistent with typical gender characteristics. The previous term hermaphrodite is no longer considered appropriate. Controversially, some intersex children are hormonally or surgically altered to fit more socially acceptable identities.
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So, that’s a wrap on our list of 10 gender identities beyond male and female. Which genders have you heard of before and which were new to you? Let us know in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and learning.