Are gender-specific and not binary
5 important points about gender identity:
1. What does gender identity mean?
Gender identity: For many, this is a new term.
Why? Most of the time, gender identities are only talked about when they deviate from what we expect. Actually, all people have a gender identity: It is the inner knowledge of what gender you are.
Gender identity is not the same as gender roles: gender roles are what others expect of us because we are, or should be, male or female.
Gender identity - in English gender - is what we ourselves know about our gender, regardless of what others tell us. Nobody knows for sure how this inner knowledge arises. However, it cannot be easily influenced or changed. Gender identity cannot and should not be imposed on anyone.
2. How many genders are there?
There are a lot more than just two gender identities! Not all people are men or women. These people describe themselves as non-binary or genderqueer, for example.
Even on a physical level, people cannot be divided into two gender drawers (more information can be found here).
People who are neither male nor female have always existed. But their names and were not always the same at different times and in different regions of the world.
In Germany, “non-binary” is currently used as a kind of collective term for all people who are neither male nor female. “Binary” means “two” in Latin and means here that exactly two genders are recognized in our society. So non-binary people don't fit into this two-part system.
If there are more than two genders, how many?
This question cannot be answered with a number. We can't say: it's not two, but three, or ten, or 60. Gender is a spectrum, with many possibilities between the two poles male and female. Or you imagine gender like a whole solar system, we find that even more beautiful.
Your own gender feels different for everyone. For some, this feeling changes over the course of life, and for some people it's not a relevant part of their identity at all. Many can place themselves in existing categories, others cannot or do not want to. Therefore, when asked how many genders there are, there is no easy answer.
There are different terms that people use to describe their gender identity. In addition to the two that we have already mentioned above, these include:
- Gender fluid: For gender fluid people, gender feels fluid and flexible, for example sometimes more male, sometimes more female.
- Bigender: A bigender person has two gender identities, which alternate or both can be there at the same time.
- Demigirl & Demiboy: “demi” means “half” in French. A demigirl is half female, a demiboy half male.
- Agender: Agender people do not feel they belong to any gender, i.e. they have no gender identity, or do not perceive gender as a relevant part of their identity.
- Neutrois: Neutrois people have a neutral gender identity.
In the video, JJ and Najee share their experiences as non-binary people:
3. Cis and trans *: How are gender and body related?
For many people, their gender identity is the same as the gender they were assigned at birth - they are cissexual, short c sharp. But not all people can or want to live in the gender to which they were assigned at birth based on physical characteristics. These people are transgender or trans *.
Trans * people, like cis people, know best what gender identity they have. Trans * men are men and trans * women are women - just like cis men and cis women. For this it is not important what their sexual organs look like and whether they decide for or against gender reassignment medical measures.
4. What do trans * people ask for?
Trans * people - i.e. people who do not identify with the gender that was assigned to them at birth - still have anything but easy in our society: For example, they can still use their civil status (the gender entry in all official documents) don't just choose yourself. This is still the case in the outdated Transsexual Act (TSG). Non-binary gender identities are not recognized at all.
Trans * people were and are at the forefront of the struggle for equality and the recognition of gender and sexual diversity - not only in Germany. For example, you have achieved that transsexuality is no longer classified internationally as a mental illness (World Health Organization resolution). That has to be implemented now!
The discrimination against trans * people must stop. Legally, in institutions (e.g. when looking for a job) and also socially. The constant struggle for respect and recognition of one's own gender identity takes a lot of strength and energy. That needs to change!
5. This fight concerns us all!
It is for us all It is important that our gender identity is recognized without being ridiculed or declared sick. That we are heard and respected when we say who we are, how we want to be addressed and what is important to us. Whether cis or trans *, man or woman, or neither nor - we ourselves know best who we are!
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