Breaking Down the Binary: Transgender

By Shane Stahl • May 14, 2019 • 1:04 pm

Over the next few weeks, we’ll work to break down the many different gender identities that exist, provide context for what each means, and further illustrate how gender identity protections benefit a multitude of different people.  


For someone who is transgender, the gender they were raised as is different from the gender that they now live as every day. It is long-lived and long-known.  

 For example, a transgender woman is generally a person who was given an “M” on their birth certificate and raised as a boy, but knows on the inside that she is a woman and therefore transitions to live her life as the woman she knows herself to be. Transgender women typically use she/her pronouns. 

 Conversely, a transgender man is generally a person who was given an “F” on their birth certificate and raised as a girl, but knows that doesn’t fit, and therefore transitions to live as the man he knows himself to be. Transgender men usually use he/him pronouns.  

 Some transgender people decide to have gender confirmation surgery, but it is neither an expectation nor a requirement to identify as transgender. Some people in the transgender community do not want surgery, and some cannot afford it or face other barriers to accessing this medical care. The important thing to know is that whether someone has had surgery is private information between a patient and their doctor.  

 Notable Transgender People: 

Laverne Cox (Emmy-nominated actress, Orange is the New Black), Chaz Bono (actor/activist), Janet Mock (author/activist), Shane Ortega (former U.S. Marine) 

[fbcomments url=""]