What Is Gender Identity?

Do you have questions relating to gender, sex and sexual orientation? You may be asking, "What is gender identity? Is it different from sex or sexual orientation?"  The answer is yes! 

Let's find out answers to some common questions about gender identity. 

Is gender identity different from sex?

Definitions for terms relating to sex and gender can be found on the Human Rights Campaign website in their Glossary of Terms, opens a new window.

Gender identity is "One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth."

Sex assigned at birth is "The sex, male, female or intersex, that a doctor or midwife uses to describe a child at birth based on their external anatomy." 

What about sexual orientation?

And sexual orientation is different from one's gender identity. It is defined by plannedparenthood.org, opens a new window as: "Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and want to have relationships with. Sexual orientations include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual."  

How do pronouns relate to this?

Pronouns come in many forms. People may refer to themselves as they/them, he/him, she/her or a combination of these pronouns.

For more information on pronouns and how best to use them, read this article on Why We Ask Each Other Our Pronouns, opens a new window.

Further Resources For Gender

Gender Unicorn

Language of Gender

Human Rights Campaign

My Pronouns

One Colorado

Colorado Anti-Discrimination Law

American Civil Liberties Union

UUA Resources about Gender Identity

The Trevor Project

American Psychological Association

Library Resources

Explore library resources on gender.

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