Gender is a multifaceted topic that comprises of several components. Although the dominant society only recognizes man and women as the two defined genders and assign these genders to infants, many individuals identify with a gender or genders that are different than the one that was assigned to them at birth.
These are individuals who may fall under the Trans umbrella. Trans individuals extend across all communities, backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and abilities.
Gender Identity & Expression
Trans individuals are people whose gender identity and expression are not what is perceived or does not match the stereotypical gender norms associated with the assigned gender at birth. Gender identity is how we view ourselves. While gender identity is not visible, it is the internal sense of being woman, man, both, or neither, or any other genders.
However, gender expression in visible, meaning an individual can express their gender through clothing, hair, mannerisms, and other methods of expression. Though gender expression is outward, it is not always an indication of an individual’s identity. The only way to be sure of a person’s gender is if they tell you.
Diversity within the Trans Community
The trans community is very diverse. The community embraces many identities and experiences. It is important to know that trans identities are not defined by a particular physical experience or transition. Individuals who fall under the trans umbrella may or may not change their bodies, undergo hormone therapy, or surgeries.
Some choose a variety of physical options, however regardless of personal transition, gender identities must be respected.
It is important to treat trans individuals with equality. These individuals face discrimination, violence, and overwhelming levels of poverty. Being an ally for trans individuals cannot only change the culture of society and make it safer to live in, but help create respect for individuals who do not conform to conventional gender expectations.