As a sex educator, I’m constantly having this conversation about the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. Some people really don’t understand the difference — which is totally OK because we all have a learning curve. What matters is that people are willing to show up for the conversation and expand their knowledge on the topic.
Gender identity is how you identify your gender; i.e. woman, man, genderfluid, agender, genderqueer, trans.It’s important to note here (and I love how this video covers this topic) that genitalia does not equal gender. There are men without a penis and women without vulva’s. There are intersex people who are sometimes born with both “male” and “female” genitalia and hormones. Sexual orientation on the other hand is who someone loves and dates — like if you’re straight, bisexual, lesbian or gay. Trans and gender-nonconforming people also have sexual orientations that vary depending on the person, just like cis people. Trans woman can be lesbians. Trans men sometimes are straight, and date women.
In the video, a trans activist says: “If you’re a guy who only likes girl, and I’m one of those girls, you’re still straight.”
This is the perfect video to share with a family member or friend who you’ve been trying to explain all of this to but they just don’t seem to get it yet.