Sex, Gender, Sexuality And Sexual Orientation

Sex refers to the chromosomal, hormonal and anatomical characteristics that are used to classify an individual as male, female or intersex.

Gender refers to a culturally defined set of roles, responsibilities, rights, entitlements and obligations associated with being a woman or a man, as well as the power relations between and among women and men, and boys and girls.

Sexuality is about attraction, behavior and how we identify.  Attraction is the emotional or romantic interest we have towards others. Behaviour is who we sleep with like men who sleep with men(MSM). How your identity is based on our gender identity. For example, heterosexual, homosexual,lesbian,gay, bisexual, and queer.


Refers to a person’s enduring  romantic, sexual or emotional attraction to people of a particular gender. One can be gay, heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, queer, asexual etc.

Sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to  while gender identity is about who you are. Just as cisgender individuals can be heterosexual, gay, bisexual, so do trans-persons.

Each trans-person has their own sexual orientation. Trans-people have diverse  backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and abilities.

Trans Diverse Identities

1.0 Terms Used

This is the idea that gender only exists in two forms and that people can either be male or female. However, this is not true, since there are gender identities that are diverse and exist out of these binaries.

Refers to the initial assignment as female or male that occurs at birth based on the external genitalia. In some cases, the doctors may check the gonadal tissue or chromosomes to help “determine” the infant’s gender, but the infant is assigned male or female based on genitalia. 

Describes how an individual internalises and identifies as male, female, or any other gender other than the binary. It can correspond to an individual’s assigned sex at birth or it can differ from it.

A sense of distress that may arise when a person’s physical sex and/or sex characteristics is inconsistent with the person’s sense of who they really are or with their experienced gender.

Refers to any combination of social, medical, and legal changes a trans person makes in order to align with their gender identity. Usually, this involves transitioning from one gender role to another. 

Describes how an individual externally presents their gender by how they dress, behave, and their personal appearance.

Occurs when a trans person is referred to using pronouns and names that do not align with who they are

when one is perceived and seen as the gender they identify as.

The feeling of joy and comfort that one experiences when they present and are perceived as their gender identity.

This is the fear or dislike of trans people, including the denial or refusal to accept someone’s gender identity. It is based on prejudice and misunderstanding and can involve verbal abuse, physical violence, and other forms of harassment and discrimination.

The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion founded on the belief that there are, and should be, only two genders and that one’s gender, or most aspects of it, are inevitably tied to one’s assigned sex. This system oppresses people whose gender and/or gender expression fall outside of cis-normative constructs. Cissexism perpetuates the idea that cisgender people are the dominant group and causes trans or gender diverse people to experience oppression.

Occurs when a person judges themselves through society’s anti-trans bias. People with internalized sexism may feel ashamed of their gender identity or expression, feel judgment from others, or remain closeted. This may result in negative health outcomes among trans and gender diverse people.

The fear and self-hate of one or more of a person’s own identities that occurs for many individuals who have learned negative ideas about their identities throughout childhood. One form of internalized oppression is the acceptance of the myths and stereotypes applied to the oppressed group. 

A term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s to describe the way that multiple systems of oppression interact in the lives of those with multiple marginalized identities. Intersectionality looks at the relationships between multiple marginalized identities and allows us to analyze social problems more fully, shape more effective interventions, and promote more inclusive advocacy amongst communities.

The cultural, institutional, and individual set of beliefs and practices that privilege men, subordinate women, and devalue ways of being that are associated with women.

Is steeped in the assumption that femaleness and femininity are inferior to, and exist primarily for the benefit of, maleness and masculinity. Thus, the marginalization of trans female/feminine spectrum people is not merely a result of transphobia but is better described as transmisogyny.