Gender Adventure

WELCOME TO THE GREAT GENDER ADVENTURE!

We’ve scoured the internet to bring together some of the best stuff we can find about gender, whether you’re exploring your own, looking for some info or just want hear from others who understand your experiences.

There’s videos to watch, people to follow (on social media, not in real life… don’t go all stalkery now…), guides and clinic info to read, but most important of all we have YOUR ADVENTURES!

Whether you’re cis, trans, agender, non-binary, fluid or any other identity we hope you find some interesting stuff here!

If you’ve found something online that’s helped you, or you’d like to share your thoughts or stories let us know! Comment below or e-mail hello@q42.org.uk

HEAR OUR HISTORY

If you’re interested in the history of trans rights check out our podcast with special guest Christine Burns MBE, who was instrumental in building the UK’s gender recognition act.

UNDERSTANDING GENDER

So, this is the “genderbread person” – this is a great introduction to gender. It shows how gender is not the same as your biological sex and explains a bit about “expression” and “identity”. It ALSO show they’re all on a scale and you’re not really just “one or the other” (in other words, not “binary”)

It’s a free download from www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com and you can watch its creator Sam Killermann talk about it in this TED Talk here too. It’s great in highlighting the difference between gender and sexuality.

LIFE-PRO-TIPS

FOR BEING A GREAT FRIEND

– Remember that expression, gender, sex and sexuality are all completely different things – try not to get them muddled up!

– Get the right pronoun! Make that effort, especially if someone’ pronouns have recently changed – it makes a huge difference

– If you get the wrong pronoun, just apologise and move on, there’s no need to make a big hairy deal about it

– If you’re really not sure, then just ask! Assuming you actually know them… Asking random people in the street is a tad weird…

– Don’t ask if someone’s had “the surgery”. For starters, there isn’t just one surgery trans people might be interested in. And then asking what’s going on under someone’s clothes isn’t really on either

– Try not to treat that one trans or non-binary person you know as your own personal Gender Wiki – look stuff up for yourself too

– Don’t “out” someone without their permission – at best it’s rude and at worst it might be dangerous for that person

IF YOU’RE TRANS / NON-BINARY

– Do what you can to meet other people your age and just talk. In Greater Manchester there’s a lot of youth groups you can find on our “stuff near me” page and there’s online forums you can join (anonymously) too (they’re in our “links” section)

– Come out in your own time – don’t let anyone rush you before you’re ready

– Don’t feel like you have to be a fountain of knowledge for every gender related issue or suddenly be a representative for the whole community – it’s your journey, no one else’s and there’s plenty of resources you can direct people to if you need to.

– Remember it’s a learning curve for other people. If someone’s being unpleasant then by all means get mad (!) but be patient if people make honest mistakes about your gender too.

– If your school, college, uni or workplace aren’t changing their records to reflect your gender identity or name then you can read about your rights on Gendered Intelligence’s “Knowledge is Power” pages www.genderedintelligence.co.uk. There is no lawful reason they can’t change their records!

VIDEOS VIDEOS VIDEOS

YOUR ADVENTURES

GOT A STORY TO SHARE?

If you’d like to share your story about gender we’d love to hear from you!

Send your stories to hello@q42.org.uk 🙂

ADVENTURE 1 - CLICK TO READ!

I started questioning my gender from a young age, I was 4 years old when I first asked people to call me by a different name. I got my mum to shave my head, would often run around topless, “pretending” to be a boy. My parents put this down to my older brother being my role model and my best friend.

As I got older I was pushed more into a female identity, especially by my mother, and I was being told that I couldn’t do certain things because it was “for boys” this never made sense to me as these were activities I’d always taken part in as a younger child. When I was about 14 I went to a new school and met someone who was nonbinary, I spoke to them about their identity and their experiences and came out to my close friends as nonbinary a few months after school had started.

I mostly got responses of support and positivity, I took this as the norm and came out to teachers, a few of which started calling me by my chosen name and using they/them pronouns. Many teachers brushed it off as a phase and ignored it. Despite the mixed messages from the adults in my life I decided to come out to my parents and my older siblings. Whilst my siblings (my brother especially) were supportive and spoke to my younger sister about my name, they even started calling me their sibler instead of sister, my parents were less understanding.

My dad would make jokes about trans and nonbinary people and celebrities around me constantly, asked me to call him parent instead of dad, and my mum just straight up told me I was lying for attention. This discouraged me from coming out in college when I eventually left high school, and in my current place of work. It also convinced me to ask a few friends not to tell their parents as I didn’t want them to talk to my parents about it.

In my life now I am more comfortable with my body despite having heavy dysphoria from about 11, when I started puberty. I have found people who support me and try to understand what I’m going through. I would like to tell anybody and everybody who may be going through a hard time understanding their own gender, coming out or experiencing social/gender dysphoria that it does get easier. It doesn’t matter if you change your label, name or pronouns a dozen times. The most important thing is to find words that you feel most comfortable with and to surround yourself with people who will support you and listen to you.

If you live in a situation where you can’t come out or experiment with your identity just know that that time will come, one day you will leave school, move out and you can be yourself. It’s never too late to change your name, it’s never too late to transistion. It’s never too late to be yourself. *dabs*

ADVENTURE 2 - CLICK TO READ!

When I was about 13 I had friends who were trans and genderfluid, I hadn’t really met anyone or heard a lot about transgender people at this point and found out quite a lot of information from them both as we all talked about experiences and they both explained a lot of questions I had around gender. I found that whenever I was talking to my genderfluid friend I felt a lot of similarity between how they felt and I felt, so I began to look up different genders and different sexualities as I wanted to find out exactly how I identified. I didn’t come out or do anything with this information at the time because I was scared of how people around me would react and I also didn’t like the idea of change.

When I was about 14 I went to college and became best friends with a ftm guy and we talked a LOT about gender and societies views and everything LGBT+, at this time I was openly Bisexual and had absolutely no problem telling anyone who asked.

I mentioned to my best friend that I felt like I wasn’t a girl, that I wanted to be neither and kind of neutral – but I didn’t think genderfluid fit me, however this wasn’t met with good feedback and my friend told me no such thing existed so I didn’t mention it again for a while because I didn’t want even more negative feedback.

When I was 15 I finally mentioned it to the same best friend and this time he apologised and said that he did a lot of research to better understand how I was feeling and told me that he thought I sounded like I identified as Nonbinary, we both looked into it together and I 100% agreed with what I was reading and I felt so relieved that others knew what it was like to feel like it too.

After that a few of my friends helped me pick a gender-neutral name, I settled on Nico as it was a nickname I had before I came out and it just felt right to me. It wasn’t anything particularly special just a book characters name.

I was then openly out to everyone – my friends, family, and college.

To me being out means a lot, it means I can express how I feel and feel safe within my own skin because I FINALLY have something to say that describes how I feel. And yeah it took me a couple of years to figure out what was going on but I would never want to change who I am, even though I do still get a lot of negative feedback. As long as I know who I am and my friends know, it makes the fight worth it.

THE GENDER JARGON-BUSTER

PRONOUNS

PRONOUNS Click to Flip
Those things you learnt about in English lessons like “he”, “she” and “they”. You knew that right? They’re important because getting them right goes a long way for people’s wellbeing!

CISGENDER

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Someone who identifies as the same gender they were assigned as birth.

TRANS

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Someone who identifies as a different gender to the one assigned at birth. Sometimes trans gets used as an “umbrella word” for anyone who isn’t cisgender as well

TRANSITION

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The period when someone changes their outward appearance to match their gender identity, which may involve surgery or hormone treatment

F2M / M2F

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An abbreviation meaning either “female to male” or “male to female”. Used by some trans people to indicate the direction of transition

ENBY / NON-BINARY

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Someone who doesn’t identify as either male or female. Often “they” or “ze” are used instead of “he” or “she”. Can also be an umbrella-term for any gender not male or female

GENDER FLUID

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Someone who doesn’t identify as a fixed gender. Their gender may change over time or may be different from day to day and may or may not involve binary genders. (Sometimes called pangender too)

AGENDER

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Someone who doesn’t identify with any gender at all. (Sometimes called genderfree or non-gendered)

GENDER DYSPHORIA

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A medical word for the discomfort or distress felt when someone’s gender identity doesn’t match up with their biological sex. If this is something you’re worried about your GP is the best person to talk to and if you’d like more info go to www.genderedintelligence.co.uk

PASSING

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When a trans person “passes” as cisgender to others. Don’t assume it is a goal for all trans people as it’s often not!

INTERSEX

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Someone who’s biology doesn’t fit with medical definitions of male or female sexes when they’re born. This usually means aspects of both male and female genitalia or reproductive organs, but not always. Intersex people might identify as any gender

TRANSVESTITE

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Someone who enjoys dressing in clothing that society associates with the opposite biological sex. It’s not used too much these days and it’s nothing really to do with gender identity, just something that person enjoys doing

DRAG QUEEN / KING

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Someone who does an exaggerated “performance” of gender. It can take a lot of forms, but it has nothing to do with the person’s actual identity, it’s always a performance or form of artistic expression

“THE SURGERY”

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Isn’t a thing! There’s not one “surgery” available to people AND not everyone wants surgical options when it comes to gender either. Most people probably mean genital reconstruction but there's loads of other treatments. There’s no “one size fits all” trans surgery

“TOP SURGERY”

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Usually refers to mastectomy for trans males or chest contouring for trans females. In the UK you must be over 18 for this and will need to be referred to a Gender Identity Clinic beforehand. For more go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/treatment

“BOTTOM SURGERY”

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Could refer to a few things but mostly gential reconstructive surgeries. In the UK you must be over 18 for this and will need to go to to a Gender Identity Clinic beforehand. There's more at www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/treatment

HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)

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Generally means giving someone Oestrogen or Testosterone to alter their body. It changes things like body hair, breast development and muscle tone. It's also prescribed for conditions that have nothing to do with gender. Only ever take HRT that has been prescribed to you!

HORMONE BLOCKERS

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This is the thing people under 18 are most likely to be prescribed. Your GP can prescribe them – you don’t need a referral to a G.I.C., although they might suggest getting one. They do exactly what they say, and simply stop the production of hormones.

G.I.C. / GENDER IDENTITY CLINIC

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If you’re under 17.5 yrs you can be referred to the child C.I.C. by CAMHS or any health professional. If you’re older than 17.5 yrs only your GP can do that. There are centres in Leeds and London called the Tavistock & Portman

DEAD NAMING

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Is when someone goes by a new name that reflects their gender identity but people still call them the old name. Sometimes it happens by accident but sometimes it’s done maliciously – either way it sucks and just don’t do it…!

Spread the word : )
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