A person’s gender identity is self-identified. Cisgender people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender people identify with a gender other than the one assigned at birth. The term transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses many gender identities. A person’s gender identity is independent of physical anatomy and/or biology, how one is perceived by others, and gender expression.
Aren't Eton Students Too Young to Self-Identify?
The simple answer to that question is no! In his article, Gender Identity Development in Children," Jason Rafferty MD, MPH, EdM, FAAP notes gender identity typically develops in stages:
Age 2: Children become conscious of the physical differences between boys and girls.
Age 3: Most children can easily label themselves as either a boy or a girl.
Age 4: Most children have a stable sense of their gender identity.
Your Support Matters
The Trevor Project in their 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health reports that 42% of LGBTQ+ youth reported seriously considering suicide. The number one way to validate a person is to use their name and personal pronouns. The Trevor Project also reports:
Transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having pronouns respected by all of the people they lived with attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected by anyone with whom they lived.
Affirming transgender and nonbinary youth by respecting their pronouns and allowing them to change legal documents is associated with lower rates of attempting suicide.
Resources for Taking Action
The Gender Unicorn is a graphic that can help differentiate between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and physical & emotional attraction.
“This collection of Key Concepts and Terms is designed to provide a basic understanding of words, phrases, and ideas related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their experiences. All language is constantly evolving; new terms are introduced, while others fade from use or change their meaning over time.” (GSLEN)
- Gender Diversity
- Gender Identity