PSA: Gender and Sexuality Are Not Synonymous

Hello, friends. I have decided to create a blog segment called PSAs (public service announcements) which will explore some common misconceptions about the queer community, intuitive eating, and other humans in general.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people fuck up this distinction recently. I have studied this in great detail, worked with LGBTIQA+ youth for the past almost seven years, and have consumed many, many articles, books, podcasts, etc. in my personal life about gender and sexuality. I am qualified to teach this subject matter material to you. Keep in mind that these definitions and examples of genders and sexualities have come to fruition through my personal experience and work.

So let me break this down for those who do not know:

Gender and sexuality are not synonymous. They are, however, related. They both have their own spectrums as sexuality and gender are fluid. To move forward, we must accept this as a constant truth.

Someone’s sexual orientation and gender identity/expression changes through seasons of life — it is not a fixed point on the spectrum. Many times in my life, I have been told to pick one. Sexuality: gay/straight; gender expression: male/female. I do not have to pick to give others clarity. And neither does anyone else.

Sexuality:

My definition of sexuality: one’s attraction to someone else. There are many forms of attraction. One can be attracted to many things about a person, not just one’s sexuality. Spirituality, emotionally, cognitively, culturally, energetically, politically to name a few. (I recently realized that my political attraction to someone is often strong. Bob Mueller is my future husband. So much political know-how. No nonsense, like strong black coffee. Swoon!) Some examples of sexuality include gay, straight, lesbian, bi, pan, demi, allo, a, and many more of which I am not currently aware but still want to honor.

Gender Identity/Gender Expression:

My definition of gender identity/gender expression: one’s internal identity, how they feel on the inside/one’s expression of their internal identities through attire, hair style, makeup. Most people know the masculine and feminine gender identity and traditional presentation, for example, if I feel masculine on the inside, I will dress masculine on the outside, ditto for feminine. While that is true for some, others may feel that their gender identity, how they feel inside, does not match how society tells them they have to present according to the sex they were assigned at birth. And others may feel both masculine and feminine on the inside. Still others may not feel either of those energies inside of them. Some examples of gender identity include cisgender (identifying with the sex you were assigned at birth), transgender, non-binary, gender fluid, genderqueer, gender neutral, gender creative. Examples of gender expression include masculine, feminine, androgynous.

It is incorrect to say that a trans person is gay or straight, according to their sex assigned at birth. My partner identifies as a trans guy who is bi though his sex assigned at birth was female. He defines his sexual orientation by his current gender identity, not his sex assigned at birth. The following statement is a common misconception: Because I am a cisgender man, I cannot date a trans woman because I’m not gay. Honey, the girl may or may not be gay too. For a lot of us, our attraction to one another extends far beyond what parts someone has.

Stay tuned for more PSAs. I have so much more to learn, which is so exciting to me. The more I learn, the more I will teach others who are open to intentional learning and evolution.

I invite you to come along with me on this journey.

Maegan

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