The Genderbread Person
Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don't. Like Inception. Gender isn't binary. It's not either/or. In many cases it's both/and. A bit of this, a dash of that. This tasty little guide is meant to be an appetizer for gender understanding. It's okay if you're hungry for more. In fact, that's the idea.
This guide uses a "Genderbread Person" to help you understand all of the "ingredients" related to gender. It takes into account Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Biological Sex, and Romantic as well as Sexual Attraction. Each of these ingredients has two continua. You can plot a point on both continua for each of these and label the combination to help you understand where you fit. There is an infinite number of combinations.
Please follow this link to view the entire Genderbread Person v3.3 flyer and to see the various gender ingredients and their related continua. You can download and print this out so you can plot points on the continua and combine all the ingredients to form your Genderbread Person.
Gender Identity is mostly a function of the brain. Basically, it is how you, in your head, define your gender based on how much you align (or don't align) with what you understand to be the options for gender. The continua involved here are "Woman-ness" and "Man-ness". An example of labels for some of the possible combinations are "woman", "man", "two-spirit", and "gender queer".
Gender Expression involves your entire body. It encompasses all the ways you present gender, through your actions, dress, and demeanor, and how those presentations are interpreted based on gender norms. The continua involved here are "Feminine" and "Masculine". An example of labels for some of the possible combinations are "butch", "femme", "androgynous", and "gender neutral".
Biological Sex is also related to your entire body. It includes the physical charactistics you're born with and develop, including genitalia, body shape, voice pitch, body hair, hormones, chromosomes, etc. The continua involved here are "Female-ness" and "Male-ness". An example of labels for some of the possible combinations are "male", "female", "intersex", and "MtF Female".
Sexual and Romantic Attraction
Sexual and Romantic Attraction can be thought of as functions of the heart. Are you sexually attracted to Women/Females/Femininity? To Men/Males/Masculinity? Are you romantically attracted to Women/Females/Femininity? To Men/Males/Masculinity? In each grouping you can select all that apply and plot a point on the continuum depicting the aspects of gender toward which you experience attraction.