Gender Identities Explained: Everything You Need To Know
Due to the wide variety of identities we represent with our apparel, we're often asked for explanations of different terms and expressions that people may be unfamiliar with.
To help, we've put together this handy glossary of common gender identities to be used as a resource by the LGBTQ+ community and our allies.
The Difference between Sex & Gender
Sex refers to the classification of a person as male or female, most commonly at birth, and is usually determined by a person's external anatomy, otherwise known as their primary sex characteristics.
In contrast, gender, or gender identity, relates to how a person perceives and identifies themself. A person's gender can match the sex assigned to them at birth but can also differ.
An intersex person is someone who is born with a variation of sex characteristics which do not fit the typical male and female. These variations can be: chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones or genitals.
Some people may be identified as intersex from birth, others may find out later in life, and some people may never learn that they are intersex.
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Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity fits with the sex they were assigned at birth. Cisgender can therefore be used to describe people who are not transgender.
Transgender refers to someone whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.
Some trans people transition and change their name, are prescribed hormones, and have surgery to align their bodies with their gender identity. Some trans people may only do some of those things, whereas other trans people may not transition at all. A trans person's identity is not determined by how, or if, they transition.
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A Non-Binary person is someone who does not identify with the binary genders of male and female.
Non-binary is often used as an umbrella term for someone who does not fit the gender binary. Other terms such as ‘agender’ and ‘genderqueer’ may come under the non-binary umbrella, but are also terms in their own right.
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A genderfluid person is someone whose gender is not fixed but can move fluidly along the spectrum from masculinity to femininity. Their gender may fluctuate throughout the day, over weeks or months, or depending on their environment.
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A term used by those who identify outside of the binary genders of male and female. Genderqueer can be used as an umbrella term for people whose gender expression and/or identity rejects the gender binary.
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Greygender refers to someone who is ambivalent about their gender and who usually identifies outside of the gender binary. Greygender people are not entirely without a gender identity, they may just not be invested in the concept of gender and therefore feel less of an inclination to express it.
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A genderflux person is someone whose gender varies in intensity over time. Genderflux can be seen as a form of gender fluidity and genderflux people may also identify as transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary.
A boyflux person is someone who mostly identifies as male but also experiences fluctuation in their gender identity. For example, sometimes they may feel strongly masculine and other times less so. Other terms for boyflux include guyflux and manflux.
A girlflux person is someone who mostly identifies as female but whose gender intensity fluctuates. Sometimes they may feel strongly feminine and other times less so. Girlflux can also be referred to as womanflux.
Demigender refers to someone who experiences only a partial connection to a specific gender identity. Many demigender people also consider themselves to be non-binary.
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Demigirl (Demiwoman or Demifemale)
Following on from demigender, a demigirl is someone who partially identifies as a woman or girl, but not wholly.
They may also identify as non-binary, genderqueer or transgender.
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Demiboy (Demiman or Demimale)
Similarly, a demiboy is someone who partially, but not wholly, identifies as a man or boy.
Again, they may identify as non-binary, genderqueer or transgender.
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Demiandrogyne refers to someone whose gender identity partially connects to being androgynous.
A demi-androgynous person may also identify as non-binary, genderqueer or transgender.
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Someone who identifies as two distinct genders.They may identify as both genders at once, or they may switch between the two.
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A person who identifies as not having a gender identity.
Some agender people may identify as non-binary, whereas others may identify as gender lacking, gender neutral, or as not having a gender at all.
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A non-binary gender identity that is associated with having a neutral or null gender. It is an umbrella term, with each person experiencing neutrois differently.
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A person who identifies as simultaneously male and female or in between male and female. Androgyne is an identity under the non-binary umbrella.
A trigender person is someone who experiences three distinct gender identities, either simultaneously, or moving fluidly between them. The three genders can be both binary or non binary and trigender people can also identify as transgender, non binary, or multigender.
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The term metagender has had many varying definitions and was initially used as a technical term for something being outside of or transcending the gender binary. It is currently used to refer to someone who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth but who also does not identify as transgender.
For a more in depth look at the history and use of metagender, visit the metagender wiki here.
We've tried to cover as many gender identities as possible to reflect the wide spectrum found in our community however if we've missed something out, be sure to let us know by emailing us on email@example.com or messaging us via our Facebook page.
This article was written by Oliver, a trans, queer, and disabled person who lives in Manchester with his partner and dog.