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Gender Identity Confusion

Something that really gets to me is when people use incorrect terminology when discussing gender and sexuality. What may seem like a harmless mistake could potentially hurt someone and to me that's not right. I accept that people sometimes get terminology wrong because it's not really discussed at length, when it really should be. With this post i'm going to break it down, so if anyone does find my blog when searching for gender terminology, it's easy to understand. Here it goes!


Transgender is a term for whose who's gender identity from the sex they were assigned at birth. To put it simply, a person who is assigned with a male gender, but identifies as a female is a transgender individual. Many go through a state of transition to better reflect the internal sense of who they are.

Trans Man / Trans Woman

A Trans Man / Trans Woman is simply what it says on the tin. A trans man is a man and the same applies for a woman.

How to Address Someone

If someone uses a feminine pronoun when talking about themselves, you should address them in the same way; use feminine words like she, her etc.. Same for a male. 

FtM / MtF

Female-to-male transgender people often refer to themselves using this abbreviation. This person was assigned the female gender, but is now transitioning into a male.

Male-to-female transgender people often refer to themselves using this abbreviation. This person was assigned the male gender, but is now transitioning into a female.


CisGender is someone whose gender matches that given to them at birth. For example, i’m a gay male, who identifies as a CisGender Male. The word “normal” is usually used.

Gender Queer

This is to describe those who identify as a gender besides man or woman.


Often people misidentify drag as being transgender, but this isn’t always the case, but transgender people can perform in drag.

Can We Change Our Minds About Gender?

Not long before Christmas myself and a friend attended a discussion group and lecture by Dr Kevin Hilton, who spoke about Aether & Hemera's 'Fludidity' challenging perceptions go gender and it quite possibly may have been one of the most interesting and educating talks i’ve heard in the past year.

There was discussion of typical assumptions towards gender, sub categories and the confusion that comes with them and a powerful demonstration showing how fashion and people’s preferred way of showing their gender can be misconstrued by others. It was fantastic.
The discussion was quite a theatrical art piece too, when you think about it. As the lecture went on he slowly broke down his outfit, which at the start, appeared to be a rather dominant male drag, but over time as the outfit was dismantled it showed the audience that it was always clothing typically associated with the female gender; it was a very powerful visual to go with his very strong discussion.