How to Talk about Gender Expression
A gorgeous woman with long wavy brown hair graces the cover of the forthcoming July issue of glossy magazine Vanity Fair. Meet Caitlyn Jenner, 65, a US Olympic athlete and TV personality formerly known as Bruce Jenner. Jenner, US reality television star Kim Kardashian’s stepmother and former stepfather, is one of the stars in reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But this was the first time she has been photographed as a woman since she came out as transgender in April.
Jenner’s coming-out is a big moment in US pop culture history. As Western countries like the US have become more socially liberal, transgender people have become less marginalized. So how can you talk about transgender people and related issues without being offensive? GLAAD, a US organization aiming to improve representation of those who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) in the media, offers guidelines.
One’s deeply held sense of one’s gender. For transgender people, their own gender identity does not match their sex. Most people have a gender identity of male or female. For some people, gender identity does not fit neatly into these two choices.
External manifestations of gender expressed through one’s name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, or body characteristics. Society identifies these cues as masculine and feminine. Typically, transgender people seek to make their gender expression align with their gender identity, rather than the sex they were born as.
Describes a person’s enduring physical and romantic attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a person who transits from male to female and is attracted solely to men would identify as a straight woman.