Graphics are the best. They take complicated concepts, like verb conjugations in an elementary Spanish class, and consolidate them into a colorful picture that you can refer back to as many times as you need until you’ve learned how “to eat” in every conceivable tense, gender, and point of view possible.
When learning about what it means to be transgender and gender non-conforming, graphics, videos, and other multi-media sources are crucial. Until now, helpful information has been scattered across the web, like an exploded treasure chest from an old pirate cartoon. Kaboom!
Out of Yer Shell offers a number of resources and insights into what it means to be trans and GNC, how a person can help support trans and GNC kids, and a hodgepodge of other important stuff—none of which is useful if you don’t understand the basics of what it means to be transgender or gender non-conforming.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite friend, the Gender Unicorn:
Is This a “Gay” Thing?
No. The LGBTQIA+ community includes a diverse spectrum of intersectional identities, some of which pertain to an individual’s sexuality and others that don’t. A person’s gender identity is how they perceive their gender. Many folx—known as cisgender people—have gender identities that align with the “sex” they were assigned at birth. For example, people who were born with uteruses and identify as womxn, are most likely cisgender. It has nothing to do with who they’re sexually attracted to, and everything to do with how they understand their essence of self. Transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) folx do not have gender identities that align with the “sex” they were assigned at birth. Because of this inconsistency, and the anxiety, depression, and self-loathing that result from feeling your gender is out of sync with your body, many transgender and GNC folx opt to transition. We’ll talk about transitioning more soon, but for now, let’s move on to intersex folx.
Intersex folx (formerly referred to as hermaphrodites—DON’T USE THIS WORD, it’s very offensive) are born with genitalia that do not fall within the traditional binary of what we consider as “male” or “female.” Intersex folx can also identify as transgender or GNC, but are not automatically characterized as such.
If you refer back to our friendly neighborhood Gender Unicorn, you can see that gender expression, gender identity, physical attraction, and emotional attraction all take place on a variety of different spectrums. This means that even though somebody expresses their gender in a certain way, it may not necessarily be how they identify.
This is a lot of information folx, so let’s break it into different pages so nobody gets confused or bored. Continue to page 2 to keep reading!