When an individual identifies as genderfluid, this means that they may feel more masculine or feminine at certain times. Their identity does not align with the concept of a gender binary, which divides gender into distinctly male and female parts.
Genderfluid individuals have been a crucial part of history and were found in many indigenous tribes, many of whose members identified as two, three, or even more genders. This was known as being two-spirit, or genderfluid, as it is referred to today.
The idea of multiple genders is not a new one, but it can be confusing for many individuals. Although some may believe that sex determines gender, and that there are only two options — XX, male, or XY, female, there are many other possible variations in sex chromosomes. For example, intersex individuals are born with a mixture of both male and female parts, implying that the idea of a strict gender binary and gender roles is unsupported even by science and medicine.
Being genderfluid doesn’t mean that individuals simply enjoy cross-dressing or wearing both masculine and feminine clothing. Gender fluidity is a real identity and form of expression in which individuals feel a variety of genders throughout time. Genderfluid individuals may prefer they/them/theirs pronouns, but it is important to ask them what feels comfortable and best for them.
Genderfluid individuals may also experience gender dysphoria, which means that they feel uncomfortable and distressed with the gender they were assigned to at birth.
Navigating a world dictated by a gender binary can be overwhelming for genderfluid individuals, which is why it’s always important to approach these individuals with an open mind and heart. Gender fluidity isn’t a trend — it’s a real identity that deserves just as much respect and understanding as any other.