Gender Identity : An Unfamiliar And Confusing Concept

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Gender identity is an unfamiliar and confusing concept to many people. Until recently, Americans have been taught and conditioned to believe that one’s anatomy and genetics are what determines one’s gender. Acting or dressing like the other gender was considered disgusting and taboo, and people who claimed to be transgender were thought of as severely mentally ill. Some would even confuse gender identity with sexual orientation; like believing that all transgender people are gay. However, now that the LGBT community is gaining more popularity and momentum than ever before, these individuals are slowly but surely becoming more understood and treated equally, as the idea of gender identity uncertainty and exploration is becoming more widely accepted. Americans are finally opening their eyes and ears so to be educated about these misunderstood and mistreated people. Has this been effective? Before that question can be answered, one must understand the terminology behind the discussion.
To begin, one must understand gender identity. It’s the gender one feels himself to be, and thus, the one he identifies as. According to Barbara A. Kerr and Karen D. Multon’s article, “The Development of Gender Identity, Gender Roles, and Gender Relations in Gifted Students” for the Journal of Counseling & Development, one discovers his own gender identity by determining where he believes himself to be on a spectrum of maleness and femaleness, regardless of biological sex—meaning that he could

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