Hijra, The Third Gender of India

Hijra are the third gender recognized predominantly in India, as well as some areas in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. It is an encompassing term that includes eunuchs, intersex, and transgender people. Hijra, once seen as valued religious and spiritual healers, are now socially “untouchable” and marginalized people. Today they live in rundown areas called Gharanas.1 This group faces social, emotional, and…

Transition and Sex Reassignment

Transition is the process for trans individuals to express their internal gender identity outwardly through emotional, social, or medical means. Gender dysphoria is defined as strong negative feelings such as distress an individual experiences when their sex assigned at birth does not match their social and psychological identity.1 Keep in mind that there is a…

Gender Binary

The gender binary is a system that pairs together sex (which is based on an individual’s reproductive anatomy) and gender (which refers to the socially constructed ideas and expectations that a culture has for certain sex). More specifically, it classifies two distinguishable, distinct, and oftentimes contrasting genders: males who identify as men and females who…

Cissexism and Cisnormativity

With the increased amount of media attention towards transgender community, along with wider access to information regarding trans people across the globe, many people in North America and Europe have seen a dramatic cultural shift towards recognizing the struggles of trans people. However, as transgender people continue to gain affirmation of their individual and bodily…

Gender Dysphoria

Although traditionally, the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ have been used interchangeably, it is important to note that there is a significant difference between the meanings of the two. The term sex is used to describe a person’s biology. It can include gonads, sex chromosomes, sex hormones, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia.3 Gender refers to a society’s…

Gender Identity

Gender can be complicated! Many people experience gender in a way that is entirely unique to them. Learn more about the diversity of gender identities and pronouns so we can begin to break down the gender binary together!

The Third Gender in Native American Tribes

History of the Third Gender in Native American Culture Before Christianization mangled their culture, numerous Native American tribes accepted a third gender. The third gender (also known as “two spirits” or “llamana”) were biological males that were culturally identified as belonging to a gender that is separate from male and female.² The population of a…

Teaching Comprehensive Sex Education

Welcome, sexual health educators! We would first like to thank you for your contribution towards a happier and healthier future for each of your students. Comprehensive sex education is critical, and as an educator you directly affect the lives of all those you teach and all of their future sexual partners. Whether you are just…

Pansexuality

What is Pansexuality? Pansexuality is a sexual orientation describing a person who is attracted to all types of people, regardless of their sex or gender.1 The term “pansexuality,” sometimes referred to as omnisexuality, has its roots in the Greek prefix pan-, meaning “all” or “every” coming together as one.2 When combined with the suffix, –sexual, describing one’s…