Your gender identity is whether you see yourself as a man, woman, boy or girl.
It’s to do with your internal sense of self and how you choose to express yourself.
Transgender people are those whose physical and psychological gender is conflicted. For example, someone might be born physically male, but feels female.
This can be hard, and most transgender people struggle with questions about whether to live as their biological sex or their preferred sex.
For some young people, coming to terms with the fact that they might be transgender can be very difficult. If you feel like this, remember that there are plenty of people who can help. They can talk things through with you and help you to explore and come to terms with the way you feel.
How to describe someone’s gender respectfully
Pro-nouns are words like ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘his’ and ‘hers’ and describe other people’s gender.
Using the right pro-noun is the best way to show respect for someone’s gender identity, but if you’re not sure which one is appropriate, here are some tips.
1. Use a person’s name instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’
2. Use ‘they’ or ‘their’- for example “Sam’s left already because they were late for basketball”
3. If you use the wrong pro-noun, correct your mistake, apologise and move on. There’s no need to be embarrassed and don’t make a big deal out of it.
How to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
Find help in your local area
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.