Gender identification and sexual orientations; or how we identify ourselves socially and individually are important parts in satisfying our souls and understanding where we belong. It’s natural that we all want clear definitions on how we should identify ourselves. Hence, understanding gender identity has become a significant but biased and prejudiced global phenomenon.
Gender identity is normally classified as understanding our personal and spiritual experiences with our own gender. For example; born as a female and feeling feminine and womanly, allows us to identify ourselves as a woman. Same goes the man. Since the existence of humankind, we have established there are only two genders or sex; female and male. It has been a taboo to think beyond this point.
However, gender identity today no longer correlates with the sex of your birth, it has gone beyond the socially acceptable boundary and requires set of categories that serve as the baseline for one to identify their gender, correlating to social identities and where they belong in the society. The global world accepts there is more to gender than being born with distinct sex organs, the world where one can become a transgender woman, transgender man or can even adopt no-gender identities. Transgender identities are when a person feels the sex they are born with, does not match or correlate with how they feel about themselves.
The first thing to understand is gender identity is not absolute. It is a relative feeling unconditional on how we want to be perceived or be accepted. While there are many dimensions or factors that allows one to identify themselves, it usually drops down to three general factors. First, the physical and emotional relationship within our body that teaches us how our body and sex organs work. Our experiences of how we feel and interact with our sex. Second, is our identity, when we are confused on how we are supposed to feel versus how we actually feel. For example; born as a man, but no sense of masculinity and feeling more attracted to feminine aspects through the inter-relationship of physical and emotional body connection. Third, through expression, how we accept that we should represent ourselves to our culture and society. In which social groups we belong, which community and friends. This third stage comes through by identifying how acceptable our communities are towards gender roles and the degree to which our basic rights won’t be undermined and challenged. Though these three are the common dimensions, there are many ways people identify themselves with their gender identity (attitude, behavior, vocal, dressing, surgery) and sexual orientations, and has often faced challenges in social equality and their basic human rights.
At the same time, we are observing more people accepting this global concept and stipulating the space for people to freely identify themselves on social media, working environments, families, culture, and traditions. The metropolitan lifestyle has allowed the minority sexual orientation people to come out and diversify gender identity norms and taboos. The concept has opened doors to purge the cultural and traditional aspects that existed throughout history and has rehabilitated influential aspects for the inclusion of various gender identities and celebrate people as they want to be celebrated – with freedom and love.