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Sexual orientation, gender identity & expression (SOGIE) are identities every human has. LGBTQ+ folks are often more aware of these identities, yet we all have the opportunity to embark on a beautiful exploration of them. It’s important that all people understand their own gender identity and sexual orientation on a deeper level, so that we can better understand & support LGBTQ+ folks.
Everyone exists somewhere in the galaxies – explore your identities with these resources!
Gender & sexuality are often seen as binaries in mainstream culture but they have existed outside of the binary in many indigenous cultures throughout time. Restricted views of gender and sexuality only became normalized after socially constructed binaries were spread through European colonization. Since then, queer and trans activists have fought for visibility and justice. Check out Malcom Shanks & khari jackson’s zine Decolonizing Gender.
Click on the image to the left to explore United Nations Free & Equal SOGIE throughout history graphic.
As you may already know, there are many sexualities and people experience them in a multitude of ways. There is no one way to be gay, queer, polyamorous, or bi+ ; you know yourself best! You get to choose how you identify, and it’s helpful to explore our identities with shared language. Here is an introduction to sexuality and many resources for further learning.
If you can imagine it, there are as many genders in the universe as there are people. This is how people experienced their gender before European Colonization, and continue to even today. Below you’ll find a brief exploration of gender identity, and a plethora of additional resources to support your journey. Click on the photo to the left (or here) to complete The Gender Unicorn activity.
A person’s gender identity is often conflated with their sex assigned at birth (often girl, boy, or intersex), which is essentially their biological sex characteristics (genitalia, chromosomes, hormones, etc). Doctors often base their determination of sex based on their external view of these, but gender, or Gender identity, is actually one’s internal sense of being a girl, boy, both, neither, or a combination of all of these. Gender Identity can change over time or remain the same for one’s entire life. Check out these resources for more info:
Transitioning is the process by which a person chooses to pursue their true gender identity.
Transitioning may include gender affirming medical care, amending name and/or pronouns, and hormone replacement therapy (Identity’s Health Clinic provides these services). For some folks, affirming their gender happens internally, with no need to alter their body. Transitioning happens quickly for some and occurs throughout years for others, all this to say, the transition journey is unique for every individual.
Two Spirit is a “[c]ontemporary umbrella term that refers to the historical and current First Nations people whose individual spirits were a blend of female and male spirits. This term has been reclaimed by Native American LGBT communities in order to honor their heritage and provide an alternative to the Western labels of gay, lesbian, or transgender.” Tribal Equity Toolkit
If you know of other resources, please let us know by submitting them through this form.