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What does it mean to be transgender?

November 15, 2021 3 min read

What does it mean to be transgender?

The trans community has been an integral part in the LGBTQ+ space, as many trans members have often been the face of equal rights and social justice for queer folks. This week marks Transgender Awareness Week, a time to honour, celebrate and bring awareness to the trans community and their experiences.

If you want to learn more about trans identities, here’s a quick breakdown: 


What does transgender mean?

Transgender is an umbrella term to describe people who have a gender identity or expression that differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. For some trans folks, this can simply mean transitioning from male to female, or female to male.

However, someone’s gender identity may go beyond the binary of male and female. While there is no concrete way to identify your gender, there are several general terms can help explain people’s gender if they choose to do so. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few other terms:

  • Transgender– A person who was assigned the opposite sex at birth
  • Non-Binary – An umbrella term to describe anyone who may not identify as male or female. 
  • Gender Neutral – A person who does not identify as male or female
  • Agender – A person who does not have a gender
  • Pangender – A person who identifies with all, or multiple gender identities
  • Genderqueer – Someone who may not identify as male or female is somewhere in between or is a combination of the two genders. 
  • Gender fluid – Someone whose gender can vary over time and circumstances
  • Two-spirit – A term used by indigenous groups in the Americas to describe someone who does not identify with male or female. It can also define someone who identifies as both or a gender beyond the binary set by western cultures.
The list of transgender identities is continuing to grow. If you want to learn more about other known identities, The University of Rhode Island has a full list of trans and queer identities right here


Gender identity vs gender expression

It’s essential to understand the distinction between gender identity and gender expression to understand the complexity of the transgender experience. Gender identity describes a person’s internal sense of their gender. Gender expression, describes how a person chooses to present their gender through clothing, mannerism, behaviour etc. While many trans folks opt to transition into their true gender, whether through affirmation surgery or changing the way they dress and act, this isn’t always an option for many worldwide. However, just because a trans person may choose not to transition for whatever reason shouldn’t take away their rights to identify as a transgender person. Just remember, however you identify, just know that you are a valid member of this rainbow family.


What is the transgender flag?

The official transgender flag consists of five horizontal stripes: two light blues, two pinks and one white in the middle. The blue colour represents the traditional colour for baby boys, the pink for baby girls, and the white represents those transitioning or who have yet to identify their gender.


To celebrate trans awareness week, we’re offering up to 25% off on all of our products, including our trans, non-binary, gender fluid and genderqueer signalling bracelets. Just type TRANSAWARE at check out. We’re still adding to our growing collection, so be sure to follow us on social!

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