Understanding Gender

FAQ 1

Is it OK for a girl to feel that she is actually a boy trapped in a girl's body? Is it OK for a boy to feel that he is actually a girl trapped in a boy's body?

Answer

Yes, it is absolutely OK if you feel this way. Take some time to understand what you are feeling and be sure that it is not a disease.

FAQ 2

Is it OK for a boy to be attracted to a boy and for a girl to be attracted to a girl?

Answer

Yes, it is absolutely OK for a boy to be attracted to a boy and for a girl to be attracted to a girl. It is also OK if you are not feeling attracted to anyone. It is not a disease but a natural part of human behaviour.

Basic Definitions

Sex: Sex does mean “doing it” but it also means sexual organs like penis, vagina, breasts etc.
Gender: Attributes that the society expects a person to display. These expectations are connected to a person’s sex. For example, boys are expected to love sports and girls are expected to help in the household work.
Sexual Orientation: Who one is physically attracted to, with possible sexual feelings.
Gay: A boy who is attracted to another boy.
Lesbian: A girl who is attracted to another girl.
Bisexual: A boy or a girl who is attracted to both boys and girls.
L.G.B.T: Lesbian. Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.
Gender Identity: The gender a person feels they belong to–deep within. The gender a person “identifies” with.

Transgender: A person who identifies with another gender. They may take on a different name to represent this or change their pronoun. They may start wearing the clothes that people of the other gender usually wear or they may start wearing their hair in the way that people of the other gender usually do. Careful! Just because a person wears clothes or their hair like a person of another gender does not necessarily mean that they are transgender. Maybe they just like their clothes and their hair a certain way.

Intersex: A name given to a variety of conditions in which a person is born with sexual and reproductive parts which are different from what is medically understood as male and female parts. Sometimes, however, these conditions are internal and not external- for example, the chromosomes may be different from XX and XY. Therefore, it is possible for someone to be intersex and not even know it. It is a biological condition. It does not automatically mean that you are either L.G.B or T.
Hijra: Some transgender persons join a particular religious and cultural community called the Hijra community. They have their own rites and rituals. The hijras are called by different names in different parts of the country. For example, they are called Aravani or Thirunangis in Tamil Nadu and Jogti Hijras in Maharashtra & Karnataka.This population prefers the term Kinnar in Chattisgarh and the term Aradhi in Maharashtra.
Queer: Queer means different. When used in connection with sexuality, it refers to those whose sexual orientation or gender identity is different from what the society considers normal.

Asexuality is the sexual orientation where a person could admire the beauty of another but doesn’t find the person ‘hot’ – as in there is no desire to make out or have intimate sexual relations. There is simply no physical desire, which doesn’t mean that there is no desire to have an emotional connection. Wait! You may not be feeling any attraction to anyone right now- that does not necessarily mean that you are asexual.

FAQ 3

Is it a crime to be L.G.B.T. or Queer?

Answer

No, it is not a crime to be L.G.B.T. or queer. The highest court in India, the Supreme Court of India has said that one does not become a criminal just because they are L.G.B. or T.

FAQ 4

What are the experiences of queer students in Indian Schools?

Answer

In schools, students who are perceived to be queer may be subjected to bullying - physical, emotional and sexual by other students or staff members. Find out more at the link here

Common Myths & Misconceptions

No, being queer is not a choice. The Indian Psychiatric Society has said that homosexuality is just another variant of human sexuality. The Supreme Court of India has said that one’s gender identity is as innate as whether one is left-handed or right- handed.

That is not true. Just because somebody is queer does not mean that there is something wrong with their sexual organs. Anthropologist Serena Nanda has found tha most Hijras are born biologically male—with all functioning male organs.

One’s sexual orientation or gender identity does not dictate promiscuity.
HIV/AIDS is only spread when certain body fluids of a HIV/AIDS infected person come in contact with another person. For example: 1. By engaging in unprotected sex with a HIV/AIDS infected person; 2. By sharing needles with a HIV/AIDS infected person; 3. From a HIV/AIDS infected mother to child during childbirth or breast feeding; 4. By blood transfusion. For more information, click here.
Society teaches us that all men must be manly and all women, womanly. However, one may not be so. That does not necessarily mean that they are queer.

Famous Queer People

  • Connector.

    Vikram Seth, Author

  • Connector.

    Ellen DeGeneres, TV Show Host

  • Connector.

    Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

  • Connector.

    Ellen Page, Actress