Gender is more than just boy or girl. Learn about gender identity and expression, and how gender is evolving around the world.
DeeWho is Dee?
Hi! I’m here to help you learn more about gender. This topic involves the core elements of gender identity (our sense of self) and gender expression (how we show up in the world). For some of us, it’s as easy as male or female, man or woman. But for many others, it’s far more complex. Our gender can involve a mix of masculine and feminine, or be something altogether different — what people refer to as non-binary. Let’s explore…
Learn about the broad spectrum of gender identities and expressions.
Gender identity is distinct from biological sex even though for most people the two correspond.
Gender used to be thought of as an either/or proposition: male or female. But a growing number of people do not identify with those two choices, and America has noticed.
There’s a lot of diversity in gender identities. But life isn’t easy for people who identify “beyond he or she.”
Not everyone identifies as a man or woman. Watch this CBS News video to hear from people who identify "beyond he or she."
Listen as Kiyan Williams, who identifies as gender non-conforming, talks about what it was like coming of age feeling different from everyone else.
Listen as Sissy and Vickie talk about their life together and what it has been like for Sissy, a cross-dressing man.
Around the world
Worldwide, the variety of gender identity and expression is nearly boundless. Unlike the U.S. and other western societies, many cultures have long recognized not just two genders, but 3, 4, 5, or even more.
Check out some of the gender-diverse cultures that have existed throughout the world.
There's nothing new about gender identities beyond male and female--they've been around since ancient times.
Population studies show that around the world, more people identify as non-binary than you might think.
(Verb) To wear clothes typically associated with people of a different gender for fun, self-expression, relaxation, etc. Cross-dressing is a form of gender expression and is not indicative of being transgender; persons who are cross-dressers are usually comfortable with their anatomy and do not wish to change it. Cross-dressing is not necessarily tied to erotic activity, and is not a reflection of sexual orientation. Learn More
Drag / Drag King / Drag Queen
(Noun) The theatrical performance of one or multiple genders via dressing in the clothing of a different gender, or in a manner different form how one would usually dress. For instance, drag queens perform in highly feminine attire. Drag kings perform in highly masculine attire. Drag often presents a stereotyped image. Individuals who dress in “drag” may or may not consider themselves to be transgender. They may also identify as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight or some other sexual orientation. Learn More
(Noun) The ways that a person communicates a gender identity to others such as dress, behavior, hairstyle, voice, and/or mannerisms. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not behave in a way that conforms to traditional expectations for their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. Also known as gender variant. Learn More
(Adj.) Describes a person who does not behave in a way that conforms to traditional expectations for their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category. Also known as gender non-conforming. Learn More
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Citations & Sources
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