Theory Description and Key Terms Gender identity is one’s personal sense of identity within their own gender, which in most societies consists of membership in two groups: males and females (Carlson & Heth, 2009). In Western societies, gender binary exists, classifying gender and sex into the opposite, disconnected structures of masculinity and femininity (Garber, 1997; Rosenblum, 2000). This division of genders creates a barrier, discouraging individuals from crossing society’s idea of normal gender roles. All societies have individuals who do not personally identify with all aspects of their biological sex, and in 1965 these individuals were first classified as transgender (Oliven & A, 1965). Transgender individuals are those who…show more content… Though many changes have occurred for the LGB groups, modifications for transgendered students are rare (Schneider, 2010). Even the LGBT groups established on college campuses fully accommodate transgendered students, and each group has vastly differing experiences. What might be accommodating for one group is not necessarily accommodating for another. Even the transgender term serves as an umbrella, covering a vast number of gender identities (Schneider, 2010). Literature focuses on the following four subgroups for the transgender identity (Jourian, 2014):
1. Transsexual and Female-to-male (F-T-M) Men- This subgroup includes those whose biological sex is female but identify as men.
2. Transsexual and Male-to-female (M-T-F) Women- This subgroup includes those whose biological sex is male but identify as women.
3. Cross-dressers- These individuals are biologically male but present themselves in feminine clothing or vice versa.
4. Gender Queer- These individuals are fluid or non-binary regardless of biological sex.
Most higher education institutions lack faculty, staff, or professionals who understand transgender experiences (Beemyn, 2005a). With so many identities falling under the transgender term, many transgendered students in higher education may go without proper education and support, making their understanding of their identity much more difficult. Transgender students