Video: understanding gender identity

Posted on November 25, 2013
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If you are a ladyboy, transgender woman, transwoman, whatever label you like… or if, like me, you are a man with a trans girlfriend or interesting in getting a trans girlfriend, this is a topic that’s good knowing 🙂

I apologise in advance because we have for habit to make videos that are not longer than 3 or 4 minutes, and gender identity is a topic that requires way more time for being covered in its entirety. But in this short video, we are presenting you a short overview of what’s gender identity, applied to transgender women (which is, after all, our core topic on this blog!)

Gender identity… To explain to you gender identity, I will first explain other notions that are closely related to it, which are: biological sex, gender role and finally gender identity.

Let’s start with the easiest: sex! This one is easy to figure out and accept, because it’s universal. It doesn’t matter if you’re Asian or Western, Muslim or Catholic, etc… everybody on this planet is born with either a penis or a vagina. You could say also that everybody on this planet is born either male or female. Chromosomes XY or chromosomes XX.

So far so good!

But, we live in a western society where gender is believed to be binary. And this is totally society dependent (you would be surprised to know that some societies naturally consider a third gender, that’s the case of Polynesia, India, or even the Ancestral North American tribes…). But let’s stick to our western society. Here, you are expected to play a role. People born with a penis are expected to be men. People born with a vagina are expected to be woman. That’s the gender role that society expects of you.

You are EXPECTED to play this role because you are born with one biological sex or the other. Yes BUT, maybe not everybody wants to play the role that’s been given to them?

Let’s take an example. Let’s consider Maki, our wonderful admin, who is a transgender woman herself. She was born as male (with a penis and chromosomes XY), so her parents raised her as man. Society said that babies born with a penis shall be raised as man, so that’s what her parents did. And how could they know otherwise? But, Maki doesn’t identify herself as a man. In her heart, in her mind and in her soul, she is woman. And that’s exactly what gender identity is all about. That’s the gender that she KNOWS she belongs to. And that’s independently from her biological sex, and the gender role that is expected of her.

So let’s summarise the case of transgender women. They are people born in a male body (penis, chromosomes XY), society expects them to be men (that’s the gender role expected from them), but they identify themselves as women. As simple as it 🙂

Note that sexual orientation is totally out of the equation. Transgender people can be straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual… or any other possible orientation, it doesn’t matter. For example, this is fundamentally wrong to think that transgender women and gay men are the same thing. This is like comparing apples and oranges.

Wow that was a big load of information all at once, I hope you found it useful and easy to understand, and that it somehow opened you to better understand transgender women.

Don’t hesitate to leave your questions in the comments if you have any!

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About the author

French man living in the Philippines, founder of myladyboydate.com and mytranssexualdate.com