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gender identity vs gender expression?


such
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Hello, I have a question... 

I have been questioning my gender a little bit lately (as you do in a global pandemic) but I can't get over the difference between gender expression and gender identity. Like, all I keep asking myself is, how I feel presenting as fem or masc, what clothes I prefer - and I feel like these all have to do with expression. But how am I supposed to know my gender identity? Are they supposed to be separate?

I have never experienced dysphoria/euphoria and I'm quite happy with my body because it's kind of naturally gender ambiguous. 

Apologies if this is a dumb question 😳 But I would be very interested to hear about other people's experiences of gender identity. How did you figure out your gender in relation to identity/expression?

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Expression as I seen it defined, as how you express yourself to the wider society, and some people dress a certain way to fit in.

Gender identity is a inner sense of gender, but I don't think everyone has one or in the same way.

I guess I seen both things being mixed up a bit. But yeah they are seperate as a Woman can dress stereotypically masculine and a Man stereotypically feminine that would just be their "expression".

I feel like no clothes is inherently masculine and feminine tbh a lot of that is culturally assigned more than anything, probably differs also depending in where you live (and ofc which part of history you are in if ur a time traveller ha)

Honestly I just dress what is comfortable really, it's only annoyin when a certain few ppl complain and don't like that. My gender is more just what other people see me as and that I don't think it matters in a lot of ways until the situation makes it matter. At the end of the day I just do what I want (unless I really have to) much simpler. 

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I don't know for gender identity vs gender expression, I haven't studied this question, but what I can say is :

 

12 hours ago, such said:

Like, all I keep asking myself is, how I feel presenting as fem or masc, what clothes I prefer - and I feel like these all have to do with expression. But how am I supposed to know my gender identity? Are they supposed to be separate?

If the way you dress was your gender, then people like "tomboy" women would not exist, or liking androgynous style would make you non-binary... Which is not the case. For instance, I hate make-up (on me) and I like ties. It is just in my style. I am still a woman.

 

What I mean is : it is true that a trans person will often reject the clothes of their gender assigned at birth and get clothes that are associated with their real gender. However, it doesn't mean that a person that liking clothes associated with another gender is not cis.

 

Personally, I knew thanks to how I want to be refer to. I don't have a strong sense of gender, this is true. However, I can say that being refered to as a woman is comfortable, that I feel like I belong to this group, even if I am not feminine. However, trying to refer to myself as a man, or using non-binary pronouns for myself... It doesn't work and doesn't sound like me. Conclusion : I am a ciswoman. I can't really tell why, but I know.

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14 hours ago, mewix said:

At the end of the day I just do what I want

Yeah I guess I'm learning to do that a lot more now. And I think accepting that I am aro/ace has shifted a lot of those attitudes to gender.

Thanks for your input!

1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

Personally, I knew thanks to how I want to be refer to. I don't have a strong sense of gender, this is true. However, I can say that being refered to as a woman is comfortable, that I feel like I belong to this group, even if I am not feminine. However, trying to refer to myself as a man, or using non-binary pronouns for myself... It doesn't work and doesn't sound like me. Conclusion : I am a ciswoman. I can't really tell why, but I know.

Thanks for sharing, that kinda helped! I guess it is a matter of looking within yourself, which is harder than it sounds 😅

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  • 1 month later...

It's okay if it takes you some time to figure out your gender.  Introspection and figuring out what you want in life can be complicated.

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I think for many people, a big component of gender expression is gender perception, i.e. how others see them. A woman may prefer to dress in a feminine manner because it outwardly expresses "I'm a woman!" to others, and that makes her happy. A woman who dresses masculinely might not connect clothes to gender in the same way, and might have other ways to express her womanhood. Or maybe dressing like that makes her feel connected to her own sense of womanhood in a "fuck gender roles, I can wear what I want" sort of way.

For myself, I dress pretty femininely but I don't really connect it to my gender- I'm not trying to "look like a woman" when I wear skirts and eye shadow. I'm just trying to look like me :p

So, identity and expression are different but there can be a strong association between them, and that association or lack thereof depends on the person.

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@Karst Thanks! Yeah I think it makes sense to take my time on this. I think time can have a huge impact on shifting how you understand yourself.

 

@Apex Thank you, that is a really helpful way of thinking about gender for me! 

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On 9/25/2021 at 9:49 AM, such said:

I have been questioning my gender a little bit lately (as you do in a global pandemic) but I can't get over the difference between gender expression and gender identity. Like, all I keep asking myself is, how I feel presenting as fem or masc, what clothes I prefer - and I feel like these all have to do with expression. But how am I supposed to know my gender identity? Are they supposed to be separate?

Yes, they are supposed to be separate. But honestly I find it too confusing… Gender itself is ??? Perhaps it is just symbolic. Or the emotions people attach to gender-terms like woman, man, enby, …?

Gender expression is “expression” (dress, language, behavior, mannerisms, body language, …) related to gender. But what does “related” mean? It does not have to be stereotypical. And obviously not all personal expression is regarded as related to gender.

 

Edited by DeltaV
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On 9/25/2021 at 12:49 AM, such said:

Hello, I have a question... 

I have been questioning my gender a little bit lately (as you do in a global pandemic) but I can't get over the difference between gender expression and gender identity. Like, all I keep asking myself is, how I feel presenting as fem or masc, what clothes I prefer - and I feel like these all have to do with expression. But how am I supposed to know my gender identity? Are they supposed to be separate?

I have never experienced dysphoria/euphoria and I'm quite happy with my body because it's kind of naturally gender ambiguous. 

Apologies if this is a dumb question 😳 But I would be very interested to hear about other people's experiences of gender identity. How did you figure out your gender in relation to identity/expression?

IMO, gender identity is who you "are", and expression is how you "present" that. HTH 😉 As for what "gender" is....I myself am a bit hazy on it. In the old days, gender and sex were used interchangeably. Now they aren't. But regardless, I identify as female - which applies to both gender and sex. I once heard that gender is the expression, sex is the identity (which made sense to me). But if we split gender into 2 categories....I have no idea. lol

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