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What does it mean to be genderfluid?

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Genderfluid is when someone’s sense of gender shifts in a fluid way. It covers a huge range of different gender experiences. There are countless ways for a person to be genderfluid. Some genderfluid people shift from female to male and back again within the span of a week. Others shift between being completely genderless (agender) and being a combination of male and female (androgyne), and...

Trigger warnings: what they are and how to use them

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Trigger warnings get a lot of flack. I started seeing them show up around the internet before I had any clue about what they were or why they existed. They’re often used on social media with the abbreviation “TW” to designate that what follows may include triggering content. More on how they’re used later. I’ve never seen them explained, though I have seen them...

Gender lexicon: a reference page of vocab and concepts

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This is a reference page explaining terms that are used in conversations around gender. I’ll be adding to it over time as I learn more. Things covered on this page: Things to know about genderTransgender vocabularyAlphabetical list of gender identities Things to know about gender Before we dive into the vocab list, here are some general concepts to understand about gender. Gender...

Gender dysphoria: what is it, and what does it feel like?

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Gender dysphoria is a nightmarish state that’s really difficult to describe, but in this post, I’m going to do my best to describe it. It has to do with the sense that who you really are is being distorted into something different and wrong. Many (but not all) transgender folks experience profound gender dysphoria. There’s a scene from a movie that sticks in my mind more powerfully than almost...

LGBTQIA+: the reason for each letter

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It wasn’t too long ago that the pride movement was just using four letters: LGBT. Then it was LGBTQ. Then it was LGBTQ+. Then we added the I. And now we’re around to LGBTQIA+. That’s a lot of letters. So why do we have all these letters, and what do they all stand for? First, why we have them: For a long time, our society has defined a cisgender and straight person to be the...

The difference between gender, sex, and orientation

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Every person you meet has a sex, an orientation, and a gender identity. But what do these things mean? And what’s the difference between them? In this post, I break each one down and explain how it’s different from the other two. What is a person’s sex? A person’s sex is about their physical body. Typically in our society, we all start with our body getting labeled by...

What it means to misgender someone (and how to avoid it)

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Misgendering is the act of labelling someone with the wrong gender. It can happen in many different ways. However it happens, being misgendered feels terrible. Most people have probably experienced being misgendered at least once in their lives—even if they aren’t transgender (the word for people who aren’t trans is cisgender). If you line up with gender norms, maybe it hasn’t...

What does it mean to be nonbinary?

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In the recent past, it was even more common than it is now for people to hold to the false idea that there are only two genders: male and female. These are known as “binary genders,” and this two-gender view is called “binarism.” People who misunderstand gender this way assume that everyone they meet is one of those two binary genders—regardless of whether or not...

How to ask someone about their pronouns

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The more you learn about gender, the more you learn that the things you’ve taken for granted as true are very likely wrong. Your sense of the dimensionality of other people’s gender identities becomes more nuanced and heightened. Where in the past, you might have just assumed someone you met was either a man or a woman, you might start to recognize there are more complex aspects of...

Hurtful terms to trans people: an ally’s guide

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Our words have power to create and perpetuate ways of perceiving the world, whether for good or for bad. Transgender folks deal with a lot of complex forms of discrimination, and the language we use can play a big role in either lessening that or promoting it. If you’re reading this page, it’s probably because you’ve come to recognize some of that discrimination, and you care...

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