It's easy to be confused by how many gender identities are out there. Gender fluidity has only recently garnered attention outside of the LGBTQ community and academia, and even now, many people may be unfamiliar with its nuances. Fortunately, the educational YouTube channel Curious Jack has created a primer of sorts for people who want to learn more about gender identities, but might not know where to start.
It's far from a comprehensive list — as people continue to question the meaning of gender, terms change frequently — but it does speak volumes about something researchers have known for decades: Society heavily influences and shapes gender from birth. Most people in Western culture are familiar with the male-female gender dichotomy — it's hard not to be, considering the way it informs virtually every aspect of culture. Thanks to the rise in trans visibility seen in shows like Orange Is the New Black and celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner, many are at least aware of trans identities as well. However, the spectrum of gender goes far beyond these identities; as Curious Jack's video points out, there are all kinds of other ways to identify, from agender to Two-Spirit.
The full video is definitely worth watching, but let's look at a few of the terms covered in it below.
Most people already knows this one, but it's worth going over: Cisgender men are are both assigned male at birth and also identify as men. The same goes for cisgender women.
You can probably figure this one out from the name: Agender people don't identify as having any gender. As the video explains, agender falls under the "neutrois" umbrella, which also includes people who are neither-gender or gender-less.
Bigender is exactly what it sounds like: Someone who identifies as a man and a woman.
4. Gender Fluid
Gender fluid people identify with different genders at different times; rather than identifying as one thing all the time, gender fluidity is more dynamic.
As if you needed more evidence that gender isn't a dichotomy, intersex people don't fit the usual biological profiles of men or women. As the video explains, the "chromosomes, gonads, hormonal profiles, and anatomy [of someone who is intersex] don't conform to either male or female-typical bodies."
Finally, there are people who identify as "other." Maybe they're choosing to reject gender norms, or there simply isn't a word for their identity yet, but no matter the reason, they don't label their gender.
These are just a few of the terms worth knowing; be sure to check out the video above. Although it's impossible to be comprehensive, and some people may identify in ways that aren't covered, the video is an excellent resource for people looking to learn more about the different ways gender can be expressed.