In the United States, gender is often presented to us as the mutually unchangeable opposites of either male or female. The truth is that gender is a rich, broad spectrum that comes in as many forms as there are people.
For many, expressing gender is unconscious. It’s as simple as styling their hair or choosing their outfit, and causes no angst or uncertainty.
But for those of us whose gender identity or innate sense of our own gender doesn’t match with what was assigned to us at birth, unraveling and expressing gender can be complex and difficult.
Many of these individuals identify as “transgender,” an umbrella term that describes a wide range of people who experience or express their gender in a way that does not necessarily align with what they were assigned at birth. The term “transgender” covers many different gender identities, such as non-binary, gender fluid, agender, genderqueer, trans man, trans woman, or simply just trans.
Coming Out: Living Authentically as Transgender or Non-Binary will use the phrase “transgender and non-binary” to try to best capture this broad array of identities. That being said, it is important to recognize that not all people in these groups may identify as transgender or non-binary. In addition, there may be transgender or nonbinary people whose gender does not fit in any of the terms described above. This resource is meant for anyone and everyone whose gender does not fit what they were assigned at birth. No matter who you are, we affirm you, and your gender is valid.
The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ community.