Sexual orientation, gender identity, and more

Sexual orientation is a person’s sexuality, or who they are attracted to. Examples include bisexual, lesbian, gay, and more. Gender identity is a person’s internal sense or feeling — it can be described in both binary and non-binary terms and is not limited to male and female. Biological sex is the sex that people are assigned to at birth — typically male or female, except in the case of intersex individuals.

Sexual orientation should not be confused with romantic attraction and/or preferences. For example, someone can identify as bisexual but homoromantic, meaning that they are sexually attracted to two or more genders but only romantically attracted to the same gender.

Sexual attraction has to do with sexual experiences and encounters, while romantic attraction is an emotional feeling or bond to another person.

People who identify as the same gender they were born as are known as cisgender, while those who choose to transition to another are transgender.

Gender identity can often correlate to gender expression, which is how someone chooses to express themselves. It can be more feminine or masculine and is often influenced by someone’s clothes, hair, or makeup choices.

However, sometimes someone can identify as a woman but choose to dress in more masculine ways, or identify as non-binary and incorporate both masculine and feminine aspects into their experience.

Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression do not have to be directly related, and it is important to always respect people regardless of these aspects. Everyone is valid regardless of who they are sexually or romantically attracted to, and everyone is free to express themselves and identify as however they feel fit.

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