Updated: Apr 19
Gender is a social construct, and has not always been binary as modern western culture has us believe. In fact multiple genders have long been revered and celebrated, with some cultures having up to 5 different expression of gender!
In the Navajo culture, a person who feels that they are both boy and girl are recognized and revered as nádleehí.
Meanwhile, in Hawaiian culture, those who embody both male and female spirit are known as mahu, and are also highly respected.
There are countless examples of many different variations of expression of gender across the globe that you can learn more about here if you feel resistance or judgement to this expression of life to gain a better understanding.
A culture that only recognises two genders is so harmful for the human family as a whole, though especially for those who do not fit into these binary norms.
Where in other cultures and throughout history we were much more free to express different aspects of our masculine and femininity, our modern western culture has oppressed this expression of self heavily, in some areas more so than others (that’s another topic).
That being said I feel that 5 genders may even be limiting in our self expression! I dream of a world where gender doesn’t need to exist, and we can all just act, dress and be whoever we are, safely, with no judgement, but rather celebration of all that is possible in this life 🌹
If you meet someone who is not cic-gender (cis-gender meaning that a person feel comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth) you can say things like "my pronouns are she/her/hers, what are yours?"
If you get it wrong simply apologise and correct yourself.
You may find that some people do not use he or she pronouns, which are a part of the binary model, and instead use they/them pronouns, which out outside the binary model and can therefore mean a variety of gender expressions. It can be confusing at first (just like anything that is new to us) however, if we put the effort in to use these terms correctly it becomes much easier.
If you feel confused about terms regarding the sex of a person you can use the term AFAB (assigned female at birth) and AMAB (assigned male at birth. I will go deeper into this topic when I speak into intersexuality.