Our gender and gender identity are something that is uniquely personal to each individual and one that can play a huge part in how we live our lives and how we wish to present to the world.
In more recent times, gender has been seen more broadly as a spectrum rather than something that is a binary male and female. Additionally, as gender is a construct that is created and upheld by our societies it may not express how we feel inside.
This can sometimes be difficult as our biological sex that we were assigned at birth may not align with who we feel we are as a person. As a result, people who feel this way may want to change their outward expression to better match how they feel inside.
People who feel this way can identify as transgender, not identifying with their assigned sex from birth and instead identifying with their gender identity, one’s own psychological sense of gender. Ways in which transgender people sometimes express this gender identity is by changing the way they look maybe through hair or makeup and what clothing they wear. Additionally, people who are transgender may look to surgical or medical treatment to further affirm their gender identity.
In a sense transitioning from their assigned sex at birth to their identified gender. Not all transgender people go through these processes, but it is something that can help with the dissonance between their assigned sex and their gender identity also known as Gender Dysphoria.
Non-binary, genderqueer and gender fluid individuals then may not feel the same way about gender, they can feel like they are a mixture or maybe outside of the notion of gender altogether. The root of this idea is not being a part of the binary of male or female. They too may also dress differently from their assigned sex and can also undergo procedures or use hormones to better align with their gender identity, but this does not necessarily mean they want to transition or identify as trans.
These ideas that gender identity is not fixed or that one can transition from one gender to another is not something that is fully accepted in our heteronormative world. Grasping the concept that biological sex and gender are distinct can be difficult for some. Additionally, people may see these expressions of gender identity as weird or wrong and can have a negative impact on these groups. Even in some cases causing them to actively oppose these queer groups. This can lead to individuals hiding their gender identity and cause psychological issues for trans and gender queer people.
Due to this trans and non-binary individuals may need help feeling comfortable with their gender identities and expression. Trying to overcome the difficulties that can come about from outside forces not accepting these gender expressions. That is where therapy can provide comfort, support, and affirm these identities. By having someone to talk to and work through what feels comfortable and right for them. Whether this be their thoughts and feelings or through helping plan out the next steps in their personal journey. Therapy can allow for these individuals to tackle an issue like gender dysphoria, helping them to feel more at ease in their body and provide systems to help overcome the negative emotions that can occur with dysphoria. In seeking help you are allowing yourself the opportunity to fully realise what your gender means to you.