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The Gender Dictionary: Him, her, they, we help you understand the difference Education 

The Gender Dictionary: Him, her, they, we help you understand the difference

(LiveSA) – Do you feel lost when people say things like heteronormative or gender dichotomy? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. That is why we have put together the Gender Dictionary where we explore the varying aspects of gender and sexuality

While some people may not know, there is actually a difference between gender and sex. It important to understand the difference before we go into the details of sexuality.

Sex refers to the physical parts that you are born with that make you a male or female. Gender on the other hand is what you choose to identify as (i.e man, woman or neither). You can be born male but choose to identify as woman and you can be born female and choose to identify as man.

Androgyny/ous: This refers to a person who is both masculine and feminine traits, think musician Prince. His music and dress sense androgyny.

Asexual: When one has no interest in sex, sexual relationships/behaviour. It’s not a choice. Asexual people are interested in romance but not having sex.

Bigender: A person who moves between being traditionally woman and man gender-based behavior and identities, someone who identifies with both genders. Sometimes referred to as third gender because the person doesn’t identify as man or woman, they are in a category of their own making.

Bicurious: Sexually fluid, and being bicurious is all about exploring your sexuality. This is a person who is interested in people of the same sex/gender but doesn’t have enough experience to know if you’re straight or bisexual.

Biological sex: Often refers to the sex you are assigned at birth. Your biological sex is usually informed by the anatomy you have when born.

Bisexual: A person who is attracted to men and women physically, emotionally and/or sexually. The level of attraction does not have to be equal or the same across genders or sexes.

Cisgender: A person whose sex at birth and gender identity line up. For example, a person who is born male and identifies as a man.

Cross-dresser: Someone who wears clothes of another gender/sex. Cross-dressers can be straight. People who cross-dress do it because they find it fun, some find it arousing and/or relaxing.

Drag king: Someone who theatrically performs masculinity.

Drag queen: Someone who theatrically performs femininity, think American actor and television personlaity RuPaul and the contestants on the reality show RuPauls Drag Race.

 

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Femme: A person who identifies as feminine physically, mentally or emotionally.
Fluid(ity): Like gender-fluid or fluid-sexuality, fluid(ity) describes an identity that may change or shift over time.

Gay: Used to describe people who are attracted to members of the same sex and/or gender. It’s commonly used in reference to men who are attracted to other men, but can also be used to describe women who are attracted to other women. In the country, dancer and Idols judge Somizi and 702 radio personality Eusebius McKaiser identify as gay.

Gender binary: Is the idea that there are only two genders, only man and woman.

Gender identity: Is about how you see your gender, how you choose to label yourself. It may align with your biological sex or not. Common labels are woman, man, trans, genderqueer, etc. If someone ever asks you what your pronoun is, you’ll be able to answer without having to ask them what a gender pronoun is

 

This report prepared by Cole Ndelu for Live SA

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