Everyone today is familiar with LGBTQ, but how many of us know more letters are added to it every passing year? Many people must be aware, but it still needs more introduction and reach.
Fortunately, we are a part of a society that’s open and acceptable to changes that are way beyond standard or normal.
One such concept is gender and sexual identity. We are slowly and gradually accepting gender expression that’s not limited to ‘male’ or ‘female.’ It’s more than just terms.
It’s an inbuilt element in our society that’s overlooked by people confused about gender identity or gender fluidity meaning.
The concept might be complicated for many to understand and support, but it’s needed and the right thing to do.
Allow us to make it a bit easy for you!
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Gender Fluidity Meaning
You have an inner sense from the beginning, whether you are male or female. Did you know some people struggle to find who they express themselves best with? Well, that’s gender fluidity for you in a nutshell. Proceeding further…
Gender fluidity, in the simplest terms, means fluctuating with the identity over a period of time.
Many people misconceive that gender fluidity is closely related to sexual orientation, and the rest is secondary. It’s not the case. It’s more about gender identity and expression than ONLY sexuality.
The term fluid specifically means how the person identifies internally and how they showcase to the world.
It can be male one day or female the other that affects their gender expression that can be masculine, feminine, both, or none.
Unlike the concept we are familiar with, fixed identities for them are a hard thing to describe. How they feel internally at a particular point in time is what they identify themselves with, mostly.
Non Binary And Gender Fluid Difference
Firstly, what does non binary mean? It’s nothing but a standardized term used to describe people who do not describe themselves as male or female and use other terms like agender, bigender, queer, and more.
People often treat non binary and gender fluid to be the same. They are not!
A group of gender fluid individuals can fall under the umbrella of nonbinary gender identities, but it would be wrong to say that every nonbinary person is gender fluid.
Some people’s identities are fixed and do not change over time, but gender fluid people might keep discovering themselves in terms of identities throughout their life, or they might not.
Gender Spectrum: It’s Not Just Male Or Female!
Understanding that there are more identities other than male or female is not at all limited to understanding LGBTQ. Before we get into gender fluidity, identification, and expression, it’s vital to have a wider view of the gender spectrum. LGBTQQIAAP… Long list, right? Let’s understand it!
- L For Lesbian: Refers to a woman attracted to another woman. Quite familiar now, haina?
- G For Gay: Refers to a man attracted to another man, also known as homosexuals.
- B For Bisexual: Bisexual means men or women attracted to both genders.
- T For Transgender: Our gender identities are unveiled at the time of our birth that remains the same. In the case of transgenders, their identities change from what it was during their birth.
- Q For Queer: It’s an umbrella term that is used to describe gender identities other than straight like gay, trans, lesbian, bisexual, and so on.
- Q For Questioning: Used for people still trying to answer the question of their real identity.
- I For Intersex: The term is used for people who do not have sex organs that are popularly called “standard.” They are neither male nor female.
- A For Allies: As the name says, this term is used for straight people who support LGBTQIA+community and similar communities.
- A For Asexual: Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or desire for sexual activity.
- P For Pansexual: These are the people who are not attracted to one specific gender.
We can say that gender-fluid people can fall under any of the above categories who do not conform to one particular label.
For more clarity, understand it in this way. All gender-fluid people fit under the umbrella of LGBTQ+, but not all LGBTQ+ people would fit under what we call gender-fluid people.
Understanding Gender Fluidity, Expression, Sexuality & Identity
- Sexual identity
- Gender identity
All the terms are closely knit to each other, but have different meanings.
Many people even fail to understand the basic difference between gender and sexuality. Sexuality means getting a biological label of a man or a woman depending on the reproductive parts.
In contrast, gender means roles and behaviors associated with a particular sex. Let’s get into details for more clarity.
Gender Identity: One of the biggest gender identity issues in society is that people think it is a synonym of sex. The truth is, gender identity has nothing to do with the sex of an individual. Rather it’s the internalization of identifying themselves as a man, woman, none, or even both. For example:
- A man is born with male genitals and expected to behave manly. However, internally, he connects more with being a female and not a male.
- Same for girls born with female reproductive organs but connects more with being a male.
- There’s also a third face to it where individuals switch between feeling both feminine and masculine at different points in time.
Often the idea of gender fluidity takes a shameful or conflicting turn because people not sticking to one gender identity can confuse people around them. A gender fluid society is one where acceptance is for all.
Gender Expression: Once a person internalizes their gender, gender expression comes into play, an outward display of gender they identify with. It includes the dressing style, the way they talk, attitude, and behavior. If the person is still figuring it out, they might express it differently.
Sexuality Or Sexual Identity: It means the attraction, sexual involvement, or romantic feelings of a person towards a gender.
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How To Address A Gender-Fluid Person?
Let’s be honest about it. How many of us are still confused about what pronouns to use for a gender-fluid person? Most of us, right?
The simplest solution is never to assume because there’s no fixed set of pronouns associated with it. Instead, ask for the pronouns the person is comfortable with rather than simply assuming and sounding an insensitive person.
Also, never stick to one pronoun a gender-fluid person asked you to identify them with as they might ask you to change it depending on how they feel about their gender at the particular moment.
Remember to practice it and never shy away from feeling sorry if you mess it up, which is OKAY.
It’s not enough to get familiar with the terms and call yourself an open-minded citizen unless you accept people for who they are.
Not accepting people’s real gender identity can lead to a psychological disturbance that can stay with them for long.
Therefore, despite all the confusion and types of gender fluidity that further complicates it, we must develop an attitude that believes in equality in every way possible.
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