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Gender refers to what a society or culture says is masculine or male, and feminine or female. Gender is often confused with biological sex.

Society has a set of expectations about behaviours and characteristics that go along with different genders. Gender identity is someone’s internal sense of being male, female, both of these, or neither. Gender is often confused with biological sex.

Gender identity can include, but is not limited to:

  • cisgender is someone whose gender identity matches their assigned sex;
  • transgender is an umbrella term used to describe someone whose gender identity or expression does not align with their sex or gender assigned at birth;
  • agender is someone who does not identify with a gender; and
  • non-binary individuals who do not identify on the gender binary (man or women).

Gender expression is the external reflection of one’s gender identity, through clothing, appearance and behaviour.

Other terms:

  • Two-spirit is a term from North American First Nations culture that identifies people who have both the spirit of a man and a woman in one body. Traditionally, two-spirit people were regarded as having received a special gift.
  • Questioning refers to those who may be unsure, still exploring, concerned or uncomfortable with using socially-constructed labels about sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • Emotional attraction is the attraction to others emotionally.
  • Sexual attraction is the attraction to others sexually.
  • Queer is an individual who typically embraces a fluidity of gender expression, identity, and/or sexual orientation.

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If you have any questions about the Better to Know program, please email [email protected],

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