Gender Identity Basics

Gender Identity: The Basics - Introduction

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Understand key terminology around gender identity, including the term ‘transgender'
  2. Distinguish between gender identity and sexual orientation
  3. Identify how many people in society may be trangender
  4. Understand why it is important to use appropriate language when talking to, with, or about your transgender family member

Part 1A. Gender identity introduction

Part 1B. Gender diversity

We will be using the terms ‘trans’ or ‘transgender’ throughout this education programme as umbrella terms to represent all children and young people who identify as a sex other than the sex assigned to them at birth. This includes diverse identities, including those who may identify as gender variant, gender non-conforming, gender non-binary or transgender.

Part 1B. Gender diversity

Part 1C. Gender history and prevalence

Part 1D. Gender identity and sexual orientation

Part 2. Why is the language around gender identity important?

Activity

Ask your family member if you can speak to them for a few minutes about their gender identity. Ask how they identify their gender (transgender, gender fluid, gender non-binary etc.). Use this as an opportunity to ask them to explain what that identity means to them.

If your family member is a young child, you might consider starting a conversation by asking them: “Some of your friends, like [name friends] say they are boys and some of your friends, like [name friends] say they are girls. What do you say you are?” You can then explore the topic depending upon what they say and if they seem happy enough to talk.

Key messages summary

Upon completing this module, you should know that:

  • Transgender people are people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.
  • Gender identity and sexual orientation are different. Sexual orientation describes a person’s attraction to another person.
  • Approximately 1% of the Irish population may be transgender.
  • Appropriate language is important when talking to, with, or about your trans family member.

Further resources related to this module

Glossary of terms.

Killermann, S. (2013). The Genderbread Person, v.3.3. Available at: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com

Teich, N.M. (2012). Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press. [Book available to buy from Amazon.co.uk or other booksellers]

Brill, S. and Pepper, R. (2008). Chapter 1: Is my child transgender? in ‘The transgender child: A handbook for families and professional’ by Brill, S. and Pepper, R. [Book available to buy from Amazon.co.uk or other booksellers]

Brill, S. and Pepper, R. (2008). Chapter 3: Development stages and the transgender child in ‘The transgender child: A handbook for families and professional’ by Brill, S. and Pepper, R. [Book available to buy from Amazon.co.uk or other booksellers]

Sources used in developing this module:

American Psychological Association (APA). (2013) Gender Dysphoria. Washington, DC, USA: American Psychological Association (APA). http://www.dsm5.org

Gender Identity Research and Education Society website. Gires.org.uk.

Hidalgo, M. A., Ehrensaft, D., Tishelman, A. C., Clark, L. F., Garofalo, R., Rosenthal, S. M., Spack, N.P. & Olson, J. (2013). The gender affirmative model: What we know and what we aim to learn. Human Development, 56(5) , 285–290.

McNeil et al. (2013) ‘Speaking from the Margins’. Dublin, Ireland: Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI).

Ryan, C., Huebner, D., Diaz, R. M., & Sanchez, J. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics, 123(1): 346-352

Subject Matters Experts (SMEs) in Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI).

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). ‘Trans Terms’. Accessed on 16 Nov 2016: http://www.teni.ie.