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The Different Types of Gender & Why You Really Need to Know Them

types of gender

We live in a world without rules, meaning you can be anyone you want to be. With that in mind, it’s important to know the different types of gender.

Once upon a time, everything in the world was in categories. The only types of gender were either male or female, and there was no in-between, no changing, no differences. Thankfully, the world has progressed to the point where any single person can choose to be whoever and whatever they want to be, in a way which makes them feel comfortable with their own identity.

A few decades ago, we would never have been having a conversation about different types of gender. We should take it as a sign of how far we have come as a society that we now have the power to be able to say “this is me.”

The problem is, with progressive change also comes confusion for some. Educating yourself on the different types of gender will allow you to understand those around you more easily, and it helps everyone accept everyone as they are, and for what they choose to be.

If you’re feeling a little confused about the different types of gender that we see in the modern day, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Nobody is born knowing everything! The fact that you want to learn and educate yourself is a good thing. To help you out, let’s explore the different types of gender.

[Read: Are gender swaps funny or offensive in a gender sensitive world]

Different types of gender explained

There are terms you might have heard of, but you’re not sure what they mean. There might be terms you’re more familiar with. It doesn’t matter either way, let’s list them and explain in turn.

– Agender – If you are agender, it basically means that you don’t associate with any type of gender. You don’t class yourself as male or female. You’re simply neutral. You might also hear the word ‘genderless’ which also means agender.

– Bigender – A bigender person is someone who might move between different traditional male or female genders in how they act and behave. Of course, nobody can really put a firm ‘female behavior’ or ‘male behavior’ term on any type of action. But, we tend to have certain social identities. For instance, a man might be macho, and a woman might be gentle. Someone who is bigender moves between the two.

– Cisgender – A person who is cisgender is someone who was born a particular sex and identifies that as sex also. So, if a baby is born as a boy and that person remains a boy and identifies as male throughout their life, they’re also cisgender.

– Gender fluid – Someone who identifies as gender fluid moves between male and female according to how they feel. It is a little like bigender. A gender fluid person isn’t only about how they behave, but also about how they dress too. A gender fluid person might feel like a woman for three days, but then wake up and feel like a man afterwards. [Read: What does being sexually fluid even mean in the dating scene]

– Non-binary – A non-binary person doesn’t want to put a label on their gender. They simply ‘are’. They don’t recognize themselves as male or female or anything in-between. You will see the term ‘non-binary’ appearing more often on surveys and forms where you’re asked to identify your gender. [Read: What it means to live as a non-binary person]

– Intersex – An intersex person is born with reproductive organs that are neither male or female. In this case, an intersex person might appear to have a female reproductive anatomy but if you were to do a scan of the inside of their pelvis, you would see a picture of male reproductive organs internally. In terms of what gender an intersex person identifies themselves as, it’s a personal choice.

– Transgender – Most people have heard of ‘transgender.’ There might be some confusion over what it actually means. Put simply, a transgender person is born one sex, i.e. male or female, but they identify as the opposite and decide to live as the opposite throughout their lives. So, a baby may be born as male. As that baby grows into an adult, they identify and feel female. As a result, that person lives as a female. Dressing and acting female, and may even undergo surgery to change their gender, although not always. Of course, it can be the opposite away around, with a female choosing to live as a male.

Of course, nothing is cut and dry. You might find someone who identifies with several different types of gender outlined above.

Gender is a personal decision

You see, gender is a personal thing. There is no black and white answer to this question. It all comes down to the way an individual identifies and feels. You can’t explain to someone how it feels to be born in a male body but feel female on the inside, just as you can’t explain how a female might identify more as a male. It’s not something anyone should explain or need to explain. As a society, we simply need to accept everyone as they are, for whatever they choose to identify as.

At the end of the day, does it matter whether someone identifies as male, female, non-binary or anything else? A person is a person. They should only ever be judged on the things they do in their life.

Personally, I couldn’t care less if someone chooses to identify as a cat. I care about how they treat me and those around me. That is what I judge a person on. As a society, we should err more towards that way of thinking and spend less time thinking about types of gender and the labels we put on people. [Read: What it means to be sexually fluid in the dating world]

Why does gender really matter?

You could also ask yourself what the entire gender issue is really about. Whether someone is male, female, or non-binary doesn’t define who they are as a person. You could say that gender only really becomes an issue when thinking about reproduction.

Obviously, to birth a child, you must have female reproductive organs. That’s the only real sticking point in terms of gender, but even that has alternatives! Surrogacy has opened up a world of opportunities for same sex couples, allowing everyone to experience the joy of welcoming a child into the world.

So, when you look at the world in that way, does gender even matter at all? Of course, gender is an identity. Not everyone needs to have a label to feel like they belong.

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter. Many people recognize their sexuality as straight or gay. There are also people who simply fall in love with a person and don’t put a label on their sexuality, just as many people don’t put a label on their gender. We choose who we want to be, who we want to love, and what we want our future to be. In my opinion, that can only be a good thing.

Instead of trying to label people and understand what different gender types really mean, simply focus on a person and what they bring to the world. Surely, looking at how someone treats others is far more important than deciding on a gender label!

[Read: Why we all need to get on board with being sex positive]

The different types of gender can cause confusion. It really comes down to allowing a person to live their life in the way they feel most comfortable. Gender is both a label and an identity.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...

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