Gender identity is the personal sense of your own gender. It can match the sex you were assigned at birth or it can be different. Cisgender is a gender identity that means your gender identity and the sex you were assigned at birth are the same (i.e. you are born with male genitalia and feel that you are a male).
Transgender is a gender identity meaning a person’s gender at birth does not match the way they feel about themselves on the inside (i.e. you are born with male genitalia but feel that you are a female). People with female genitalia who transition to become males are transgender males, and people with male genitalia who transition to become females are transgender females. There are also transgender people who feel that they are not either gender, which can be called gender non-conforming or gender non-binary.
Youth who are transgender feel very strongly that they wish to be or are a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth. They may feel uncomfortable in their body and wish that it looked like the gender they are on the inside. Through hormone therapy or surgery, these youth can change their bodies to align with their gender identity.
Transgender youth are at a higher risk for bullying, rejection from family and friends, anxiety, depression, and suicide. Consider how you can make your school or community feel safer and more welcoming to people who are transgender! I’ve attached an infographic with some great ideas.
Tags: ally, gender identity, support, transgender
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