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Gender Identity is Who You Think You Are: Gender identity is all about how you, in your head, think about yourself. It’s about how you internally interpret the chemistry that composes you (e.g., hormone levels). As you know it, do you think you fit better into the societal role of “woman,” or “man,” or do neither ring particularly true for you? That is, are you somewhere in-between the two? Or do you consider your gender to fall outside of the spectrum completely?
Gender Expression is How You Demonstrate Who You Are: Gender expression is all about how you demonstrate your gender through the ways you act, dress, behave, and interact–whether that is intentional or unintended. Gender expression is interpreted by others perceiving your gender based on traditional gender roles (e.g., men wear pants, women wear dresses). Gender expression is something that often changes from day to day, outfit to outfit, event or setting to event or setting. It’s about how the way you express yourself aligns or doesn’t with traditional ways of gendered expression.
Biological Sex, Equipment Under the Hood - Biological sex refers to the objectively measurable organs, hormones, and chromosomes you possess. Being female means having a vagina, ovaries, two X chromosomes, predominant estrogen, and you can grow a baby in your stomach area. Being male means having testes, a penis, an XY chromosome configuration, predominant testosterone, and you can put a baby in a female’s stomach area.
Sexual Orientation is Who You Are Attracted To - Sexual orientation is all about who you are physically, spiritually, and emotionally attracted to. If you are male and you’re attracted to females, you’re straight. If you’re a male who is attracted to males and females, you’re bisexual. And if you’re a male who is attracted to males, you’re gay. This is the one most of us know the most about. We hear the most about it, it’s salient in our lives, and we understand where we stand best.
Courtesy of Its Pronounced Metrosexual