The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as a person’s struggle between their birth-assigned gender and the gender that they most identify with. Understanding gender today has become a lot more fluid and a bit difficult to follow, but definitely not impossible.
If you’re wondering how to navigate the waters so that you can better support your genderfluid friends, you’ve come to the right place. This guide is here to help you be in the know!
First of all, it’s helpful to maintain a solid foundation of what gender identity means. Gender identity is a person’s inhibition to identify or find common ground with a certain gender.
People experiencing gender dysphoria, as mentioned earlier, are trying to understand what their gender identity is. Biologically built men may identify as women and vice versa.
Some may feel as if they don’t relate to any gender in particular. This is where the nonbinary flag and identity comes from.
It’s also important to remember that there’s a difference between gender (someone’s presentation of themselves) and sexuality (someone’s sexual preferences in a partner/relationship).
Now, gender identity and gender dysphoria is a place where people can experience a struggle because of gender politics. Gender politics are the assumptions that come with gender, like how people assume women mature faster and are more empathetic.
Gender politics can make people feel confined to one image of themselves. Whether that’s a man growing up to believe he can never express emotion or a woman believing she can never be a CEO, gender politics lies beneath it all.
We’ve come a long way since then, but still have some work to do. Gender politics do not account for nonbinary or genderfluid people.
Gender Pride & Acceptance
Finally, gender pride and acceptance are large elements of supporting others.
It can take a lot for people to feel secure and proud of the gender that they identify with. That’s why voicing your support and empowering others whenever possible is such a key element to the physical, mental, and emotional success of trans and non-cis people.
Acceptance also goes two ways.
You accept the identity your friends choose for themselves, but they also need to accept who they are, too. Being there to accept and empower and also to stand up for others is the key to flourishing when it comes to gender identity.
Be a Better Ally By Understanding Gender Better
If you are cis-gendered, hopefully, you’re understanding gender better and learning more about the details of identity, politics, pride, and acceptance! Look at this as the starting point for the rest of your journey.
There’s a ton more work you can do to educate yourself. When you do, you’ll be even better equipped as an ally to support and empower others, so what are you waiting for?
Buy that book, read that article, or watch that documentary today!
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