you. For example, girl’s bathroom signs will almost always show someone wearing a skirt. Women’s deodorant commercials will market fruity, floral, or delicate scents. And for boys, they do the opposite—placing emphasis on strength, ruggedness, and other “manly” things. Gendered Behavior It’s important to know that these identities—boy and girl, man and woman—aren’t really the biological fact that you’ve been taught they are. In fact, they’re socially constructed; that is, they are created and enforced by the society you live in. You don’t have to have a penis to be a man, and you don’t have to have a vagina, ovaries, or breasts to be a woman. Most people will decide that they feel comfortable and happy with the gender they were assigned at birth, the one that corresponds to their genitalia and hormones. When a person’s sense of self matches their assigned sex at birth, we call them cisgender . However, it’s more than possible (and more common than you might think) for a person to feel that the gender assigned to them at birth is wrong. It might feel like a mistake, or like they’re living in the wrong body. If someone does not identify with the gender they’re assigned at birth, they are transgender . It’s hard to tell, but a 2015 study by the National Center for Transgender Equality (the US Transgender Survey) estimated that about 4 percent of the US population identifies as transgender. The Gender Spectrum Not everybody who identifies as trans fits into the gender binary. Someone who is AMAB (assigned male at birth) could know they’re not a man without wanting to be a woman. Gender is a spectrum, with male and female at either end, and a whole world of experiences in between.


Male-to-Female Transgender and Transfeminine Identities

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