So, Facebook just did an awesome thing: they added a “Custom” option to the Gender options for your profile. To change yours, go to About, then click Edit under Basic Information and select Custom, then type in one of the below choices (or anything else under the sun)!
I’ve compiled a list of all the options that pop up when you start typing a letter and will give an explanation of each one. Keep up the good work, you creepily invasive social network you!
Many definitions derived or directly lifted from Wikipedia or the Gender Wiki.
Agender – Without gender.
Androgyne – Noun referring to people with a non-binary gender identity.
Androgynous – Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ (anér, meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman) that can refer to either of two related concepts about gender: the mixing of masculine and feminine characteristics, as in fashion statements; or the balance of “anima and animus” in psychoanalytic theory. Androgyny is also the state of being an androgyne.
Bigender – Identifying with male and female genders simultaneously, or fluidly switching between the two, or identifying different facets of one’s identity with either. (Note: There is probably room for a term like “trigender” or “multigender” here.)
Cis – A prefix, shortened form of, or non-gendered version of a term referring to someone whose gender identity matches the behavior or role considered appropriate for one’s sex.
Cisgender – Comfortable with the gender one was assigned at birth.
Cis Female/Cis Woman – Comfortably identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth. (Shortened)
Cis Male/Cis Man – Comfortably identifies as a man and was assigned male at birth. (Shortened)
Cisgender Female/Woman – Comfortably identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth.
Cisgender Male/Man – Comfortably identifies as a man and was assigned male at birth.
Female to Male – A trans man is assigned female at birth, but identifies as male. The label of transgender male is not interchangeable with that of transsexual male although the two are often combined or mistaken for the same thing. The difference is that while transgender males identify with the male gender identity, transsexual males may intend to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity. A transgender male is someone whose gender identity is male, but who does not necessarily change himself physically.
FTM – Short for “Female to Male” (see above).
Gender Fluid – A dynamic mix of male and female identity, separate from sexual orientation.
Gender Nonconforming – A nonspecific identity in which one’s behavior and/or appearance is atypical from social expectations (related to gender variant).
Gender Questioning – A state of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, and/or are concerned about applying a social label to themselves.
Gender Variant – Behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female (related to gender nonconforming).
Genderqueer – A catch-all category for gender identities other than cis man and cis woman, thus outside of the gender binary and cis normativity.
Intersex – A variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. Such variation may involve genital ambiguity and/or combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.
Male to Female – A trans woman is assigned male at birth, but identifies as female. The label of transgender female is not interchangeable with that of transsexual female although the two are often combined or mistaken for the same thing. The difference is that while transgender females identify with the female gender identity, transsexual females may intend to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity. A transgender female is someone whose gender identity is female, but who does not necessarily change herself physically.
MTF – Short for “Male to Female” (see above).
Neither – Not one nor the other.
Neutrois – Pronounced as it would be in French. A non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer or transgender umbrellas. Neutrois typically experience a sense of gender dysphoria, and often have a strong desire to reflect their internal gender. Dysphoria can be physical, such as feeling in the “wrong” body; or social, from being seen, categorized, labeled and treated as a man or woman when neither of these fit. Go down the rabbit hole of this purposefully ambiguous, relatively new and fascinating term at Neutrois.com.
Non-binary – Any identity that doesn’t fit within the accepted binary of male and female. People can feel they are both, neither, or some mixture thereof.
Other – A person or thing that is different or distinct from one or a group already mentioned or known about.
Pangender – A term for people who feel that they cannot be labeled as male or female in gender. Pangendered people feel that they do not fit into binary genders, instead identifying as mixed gender (both male and female) or as a third gender. The term is sometimes used by some in the LGBTQ community to be one that is inclusive, meaning “all genders”.
Trans – Short for transgender. The state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) or gender expression not matching one’s assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). Transgender is independent of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them.
Trans Female/Trans Woman – Male to Female (MtF) transgendered person.
Trans Male/Trans Man – Female to Male (FtM) transgendered person.
Trans Person – Gender neutral term for transitioning person or non-binary transgendered person.
Trans* – An umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum. Trans (sans asterisk) is best applied to transgendered men and women, while the asterisk is taken to include all non-cisgender identities, including but not limited to: transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, intersex, cross-dresser, transvestite, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, trans man and trans woman.
Trans* Female/Trans* Woman – All inclusive term for non-cisgender person identifying as female.
Trans* Male/Trans* Man – All inclusive term for non-cisgender person identifying as male.
Trans* Person – All inclusive non-binary term for non-cisgender person.
Transgender Female/Transgender Woman – Male to Female (MtF) transgendered person.
Transgender Male/Transgender Man – Female to Male (FtM) transgendered person.
Transgender Person – Gender neutral term for transitioning person or non-binary transgendered person.
Transfeminine – Having a feminine-of-center identity, especially those not assigned female at birth. Those who identify as transfeminine, as opposed to simply as MtF or a woman, trans or otherwise, identify more closely with femaleness than maleness, and generally desire a physical appearance that reflects this identification, but do not identify as wholly female or as a woman.
Transmasculine – Having a masculine-of-center identity, especially those not assigned male at birth. Those who identify as transmasculine, as opposed to simply as FtM or a man, trans or otherwise, identify more closely with maleness than femaleness, and generally desire a physical appearance that reflects this identification, but do not identify as wholly male or as a man.
Transsexual – The condition in which an individual identifies with a gender inconsistent or not culturally associated with their assigned sex, i.e. in which a person’s assigned sex at birth conflicts with their psychological gender. All transsexuals are transgender, but not all transgender are transsexuals. A good rule of thumb is that transsexuals are far more likely to have undergone or strongly desire sexual reassignment surgery. Here’s a handy comparison chart between Transgender and Transsexual.
Transsexual Female/Transexual Woman – Male to Female transgendered person with gender dysphoria.
Transsexual Male/Transsexual Man – Female to Male transgendered person with gender dysphoria.
Transsexual Person – Non-binary term for a transgendered person with gender dysphoria.
Two-spirit – The history of two-spirits among Indigenous American culture dates back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and has been documented in 150 North American tribes. Throughout history, a person who was recognized as two-spirit was someone who identified with both male and female gender roles, and so two-spirit is essentially a third gender recognized in Indigenous cultures. The perspective among Indigenous Americans was that having this third gender was a strength their society benefited from. In the Zuni culture a person’s gender was not assigned at birth, but was grown into at 3 or 4 years of age.
- Genderqueer Identities
- Gender Spectrum
- The Gender Book
- Students and Gender Identity Guide for Schools (USC Rossier’s, online MSC program)
- Inter/Act – A youth group for young people with intersex conditions or DSD
- OII Intersex Network
- American Psychological Association – What does intersex mean?
- Trans Student Equality Resources
- Advocates for Youth – I think I might be transgender
- TransYouth Family Allies
- WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health)
- TransWhat? A guide towards allyship
- Resources for Transgender College Students
For further resources, please visit TheTrevorProject.org.