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It’s transgender awareness week

Today’s post may be elementary to some but nonetheless important!

How is gender different from sexuality? How does gender exist outside the binary of male & female? 

The Gender Unicorn is a brilliant resource developed by Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) that shows the differences between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and physical & emotional attraction. 

It’s all a Continuum

Notice that gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and physical & emotional attraction exist on a continuum, not a binary, i.e. a person will fall along the length of a single arrow, rather than fall into a single checkbox or category. Also note that, for some, these qualities can can shift and move on that continuum: for example- I may express myself and dress super feminine today, and less feminine tomorrow. 

Gender Unicorn

Glossary

  • Gender Identity: An internal sense of gender, which may or may not match their biological sex. One can identify as being male, female, neither of these, both, or another gender(s). Everyone’s gender identity is unique.
  • Gender Expression: Outward manifestation of gender expressed through a person’s pronoun (they/ze/she/he), clothing, haircut, voice, and physical characteristics.
  • Sex Assigned at Birth: The assignment and classification of people as male, female, intersex, or another sex based on a combination of anatomy, hormones, chromosomes.
  • Sexually Attracted to: An individual’s physical attraction to another. Gender expression and sexual orientation are not dependent; for example, a trans person can be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual, pan sexual, or another orientation.
  • Romantically/Emotionally Attracted To: An individual’s romantic/emotional attraction to others. Just as gender expression and sexual/romantic orientation are not dependent; sexual attraction and romantic attraction are not necessarily tied either; for example, someone could be bisexual but romantically attracted to people of the opposite sex.
  • Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.  Many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to change their bodies; some undergo surgery. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and a transgender identity is not dependent upon medical procedures.

Let's talk about pronouns.

Pronouns are the words that take place of a person’s name. Some people feel more comfortable with certain pronouns than others. Not everyone identifies with, nor uses, binary pronouns (she/her/hers, he/him/his), but prefer gender neutral pronouns (they/them/theirs). 

Don’t assume!

When addressing someone whose pronouns you don't know, it's always good practice to default to gender-neutral language (they/them/theirs). Or if you know their name-- use it until you know more about their pronouns.

Some example pronoun usage:

"This is Nancy, I don’t believe you’ve met them before.”

They are an occupational therapist and work for themself. Their clients love them.

Practice!

The staff at Fusion Wellness and PT are always striving to create an inclusive environment, with that learning we know that we must constantly be learning to stay informed, as well as doing self-inventory to identify our own biases and practicing inclusivity.

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    • Testimonial by Mary L.

      I started seeing Heather to treat my Interstitial Cystitis in November 2016. At this time, I was extremely miserable, in constant pain, and felt as though no one was listening or understood what was going on with my body. I have just finished my last appointment and I can honestly say that my life has completely changed for the better because of Heather and her team of PTs! I live almost completely pain free, and when I do have flare ups, I am able to treat them at home on my own. I am so...

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      After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has...

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