Gender identity is a way to describe how someone feels about their gender. Gender identity is different from someone’s biological sex or gender at birth.
In 2020/21 Childline delivered over 5,000 sessions about sexuality and gender identity for children and common themes for children contacting childline with questions about their gender identity are anxiety about their feelings, the fear of not being accepted, the lack of available support and the time that it takes for them to access services.
An individual may change the way they dress, what they would like to be called or their pronouns, where as others may start to transition to the gender that they identify with, this involves hormone therapy and potentially surgery.
There are several different recognised gender identities and some of the most common are:
Cisgender – This describes someone whose gender matches what they were assigned at birth
Transgender – Someone whose gender identity is different from the one they were assigned at birth
Non-Binary – Someone who does not identify as a man or a woman, or solely as one of those two genders.
Gender Fluid – This may refer to gender which varies over time.
Gender Neutral – Someone who feels they are neither male or female
With the use of pronouns it is always best to ask someone what their preferred pronouns are they could include:
He/She — Zie, Sie, Ey, Ve, Tey, E
Him/Her — Zim, Sie, Em, Ver, Ter, Em
His/Her — Zir, Hir, Eir, Vis, Tem, Eir
His/Hers — Zis, Hirs, Eirs, Vers, Ters, Eirs
Himself/Herself — Zieself, Hirself, Eirself, Verself, Terself, Emself
Gender is one of the protected characteristics which means that is illegal to discriminate against someone due to their gender and one of the core British Values is respect and tolerance and this includes people of differing genders.