UN­DER­STAND­ING THE TERMS

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - IDENTITY -

TRANS­GEN­DER: An um­brella term en­cap­su­lat­ing gen­der iden­ti­ties where an in­di­vid­ual’s self-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion does not match the one as­so­ci­ated with their as­signed sex at birth. A trans­gen­der per­son may iden­tify with any gen­der iden­tity (not only male or fe­male), and may or may not have un­der­gone gen­der re­as­sign­ment surgery or hor­monal treat­ment.

TRANSSEXUAL: Of­ten mis­taken or merged with ‘trans­gen­der’, transsexual also refers to a per­son who does not iden­tify with the sex they were as­signed at birth. But the term is of­ten more closely as­so­ci­ated with the wish to re­align one’s sex and iden­tity through med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion.

CULTURALLY SPE­CIFIC GEN­DER IDEN­TI­TIES:

Whakawahine, tan­gata ira tane and takatāpui (Māori), fa’afafine (Samoan), fakaleiti (Ton­gan), ‘akava’ine (Cook Is­lands), vaka sa lewa lewa (Fi­jian), and fi­afifine (Ni­uean).

TRANS­FEM­I­NINE: A term for those who iden­tify as be­ing more at the fem­i­nine end of gen­der iden­tity – es­pe­cially those not as­signed fe­male at birth.

TRANS­MAS­CU­LINE: A term for those who iden­tify as be­ing nearer the mas­cu­line end of gen­der iden­tity – es­pe­cially those who were not as­signed male at birth.

GEN­DER QUEER: Usu­ally an um­brella term to de­scribe those whose iden­tity is nei­ther male nor fe­male. It can also be used as a stand-alone gen­der iden­tity it­self – per­tain­ing to feel­ings of be­ing nei­ther male nor fe­male, both, or some­where in be­tween. Gen­der queer is also a term used to re­fer to a po­lit­i­cal stand­ing of re­ject­ing bi­nary gen­der la­bels.

IN­TER­SEX: In­ter­sex peo­ple are born with sex char­ac­ter­is­tics that do not fit typ­i­cal no­tions of male or fe­male bodies. There are many dif­fer­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions that can cause am­bigu­ous or atyp­i­cal gen­i­talia. At least one in 2000 ba­bies is in­ter­sex. Around 30 in­ter­sex chil­dren are born each year in New Zealand. Be­ing in­ter­sex re­lates to bi­o­log­i­cal sex char­ac­ter­is­tics dis­tinct from a per­son’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or gen­der iden­tity.

GEN­DER IDEN­TITY VER­SUS SEX­UAL ORI­EN­TA­TION (put sim­ply):

Gen­der is be­tween your ears, and sex is be­tween your legs. It’s not who you go to bed with… it’s who you go to bed as.

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