It’s a question that most people, at some point in there life, find themselves asking. Whether you’re questioning your own gender or you’re trying to understand your transgender friend, you’ve likely come to a point where you’ve had to learn the difference. Funnily enough, the two are essentially unrelated.
Most people are acquainted with the terms ‘cisgender’ and ‘transgender’, whether from media or first-hand experience. Both terms are used to describe the relationship between someone’s biological sex and their gender. To put it simply, cisgender is the term used to describe someone who’s biological sex (aka assigned sex at birth) is in alignment with their gender. This can be someone who is born biologically female and identifies as female or someone who is born biologically male and identifies as male.
Transgender, on the other hand, is a term used to describe someone who doesn’t identify as cisgender – where their biological sex does not align with their gender identity. This can be someone who is born biologically male, but identifies as non-binary or someone who is born biologically female, but identifies as male.
If someone is born ‘in the wrong body’, this means that they are likely transgender. There are numerous options for people who are trans, including medical treatment, puberty blockers, chest surgery, binders, and packers. These options can reduce any gender dysphoria transgender people may have.
The terms amab and afab are also used quite frequently. Amab means assigned male at birth and describes anyone who was born biologically male. Afab means assigned female at birth and describes anyone who was born biologically female.
Some things to note about the differences between biological sex and gender is that gender can change over time, whereas biological sex cannot. Also, gender is complex and diverse and has absolutely nothing to with someone’s physical appearance.