Category Archives: Gender

Trans Bathroom Access










Bathrooms should be a safe and comfortable place for all. Don’t harass or attacks trans or gender nonconforming people for accessing a basic need. For more on this issue, check out episode 17 of the Sex Law Podcast (also on iTunes here). And take a look at this SexEdPlus post about gender identity!

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Transcript:

This is Dan. He’s a cisgender man and he’s going to the bathroom. He’s going to the men’s bathroom because he’s a man and he has to use the bathroom.

This is William. He’s a transgender man. He’s also going to the men’s bathroom because he’s also a man and he also needs to the use the bathroom.

This is Becka. She’s a cis woman. She’s going to the bathroom to get away from an awkward date and text her friend. It’s a safe place to plan her exit.

This is Emily. She’s a transgender woman. She’s just going to the womens bathroom to fix her makeup. Bathrooms should be a safe place for everyone.

This is Tom. He’s a trans boy. He’s going to the boys bathroom, and that doesn’t give anyone an excuse for asking invasive questions about his genitals.

This is Margaret. She’s a trans girl. She’s going to the girls bathroom, and there’s no reason to assume she’s there trying to invade other people’s privacy.

This is Peter. He’s an androgynous boy. He’s going to the boys bathroom, and he shouldn’t have to prove his sex, his gender, or his right to be there.

This is JB. They’re a nonbinary kid. They’re in the women’s bathroom because they feel comfortable there. Don’t interrogate them about their gender.

This is Chris. Ze’s a bigender person. Ze’s going to the men’s bathroom because ze’s in a hurry today and it’s quicker to use the urinal. Don’t attack zem.

This is Alyx. She’s a genderqueer girl. She’s going to the gender-neutral bathroom because that’s the best fit when the option is there. Don’t harass her.

Identities Narratives Stories









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Transcript: Identities are narratives, stories we tell ourselves about who we are. I am a queer sex educator. I want to go to grad school to study public health or psychology. I’m interested in nonmonogamy. I think that… Identities give us focus, remind us of our goals, and help us find a place in our community. They’re useful and important. But they’re also limiting. They demand borders and boxes, like a resume that can’t go over one page. When everything has to fit neatly, we’re forced to forget the parts of ourselves that don’t make a good story. I’m a queer sex educator, but I also sometimes do lights and sound for sketch comedy shows. And I’m really excited about cooperative living. And… We’re too nuanced and complex for a simple narrative to contain a true picture of who we are. But when we try to maintain multiple identities, it’s easy to feel like we’re just stretched too thin. I wish I had a tidy answer, but I don’t know how to fix it. I only know how to start by acknowledging the problem.

How We Talk About Gender










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Transcript:
I want to talk about how we talk about gender! But first I have to talk about what I’m not talking about.

I’m not talking about sex, the biological distinction between male, female, and intersex. I’m talking about gender, the social distinction between male, female, and non-binary identities. I’m also not talking about gender expression, the presentation of masculine, feminine, and androgynous traits. I’m talking about gender identity, an internal sense of who you are.

One way to think about gender is a binary. A binary divides everyone up into two groups, male and female. The problem is this doesn’t include everyone. Some people don’t feel like they are male or female, but somewhere between the two. These people might call themselves non-binary, genderqueer, transgender, or gender non-conforming.

Another way to think about gender is a spectrum. A spectrum has male at one end, female at the other, and a range of options along the middle. Another way to think about gender is a spectrum. A spectrum has male at one end, female at the other, and a range of options along the middle.

So another way to think about gender is a continuum. A continuum is like a spectrum, but with room to branch off to the sides. But this still isn’t a perfect model for everyone. Some people feel like they are simultaneously male and female. They might call themselves bigender. And some people feel like they are only partially male or female without necessarily being more of something else. They might call themselves a demiboy or demigirl.

So you can also think about gender as more of a circle, sphere, doughnut, or horseshoe. There are still identities that it’s hard to plot on this though. Some people feel like they are another combination of male, female, and other genders. They might call themselves trigender if they feel like they are three genders.

You can also break gender down and think of it as a set of spectrums. One spectrum goes from “not female” to “female” and we have additional spectrums for male and other genders. This is pretty good, though it’s hard to plot multiple identities on the same chart.

We can also combine these spectrums together to make a gender graph.

We can even do it in three dimensions! But it’s still hard to show that some people feel like their gender identity changes day-to-day. They might call themselves genderfluid.

In the end, any model can end up simplifying the vast and varied experiences people have of their gender. And which words people use describe themselves and how they define those words can vary a lot too. The point of all this is to expand the way we think about identities!