Gender Identity

Lisa Gray, Staff Writer

Gender Identity is a personal conception of one’s self as male, female, both, or neither. It depends on how the person decides to identify themselves. A person who identifies with the gender they are born with would be cisgender. Someone who does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth and are not heterosexual would be queer. 

Growing up I always considered myself to be cisgender. I don’t think I ever questioned my gender until I got older. It was never much of an issue. During this quarantine is when I started to ask myself. Why do I feel like I’m missing something? Could I be a different gender than the one I was born with? For some time I was denying it and just brushed it off but then it just kept bothering me. I would fill out applications about it [gender identity] and couldn’t decide whether to check male or female in the boxes. I started looking into it and realized I could possibly be something other than cisgender. In the past I didn’t think that I’d ever identify as anything else. I was so confused and felt like something wasn’t right. 

Luckily I was able to have a support group to help me on this journey, both from friends and an organization. The organization that really helped me was the LGBTQ Center, in Long Beach. I did, however, have some who weren’t so supportive. It’s unfortunate, but it wasn’t going to stop me from finding myself. I looked more into gender and the different identities that there are trying to find which one best fit me. I’ll admit that it was a scary experience and most of the time I was alone, but in the end I was able to find a label that was comfortable for me which is queer. How you decide to identify yourself is up to you. 

Regardless of the gender you were born with, you shouldn’t have to feel bad or try to hide who you are to make someone happy or comfortable because there are people out there who will accept you for you. There’s no shame in being who you are. The way you choose to express your gender is again up to you. To anyone questioning their gender or sexuality, you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. Though it may feel like it, you are valid and you matter. Don’t feel pressured to come out decide what’s best for you. This is your life and it’s 2021, do the things that make you happy.