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Gender Identity: Just the Facts

Your gender identity is the way that you describe your own gender.

It’s to do with your internal sense of self and how you choose to express yourself.

Being Transgender

Transgender people are those whose assigned gender and gender identity is different. For example, someone might be born male, but identifies as female.

Others may have a gender that is neither male nor female, and some may not identify with any gender.

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’, ‘they’, ‘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 school nurse.

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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.

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