Many people – whether gay, straight or anywhere in between – feel aligned to a single gender – either male or female in accordance with the body they were born into. Some people however have different gender identities or like to exhibit different forms of gender expression and in some cases, do not feel aligned to either form of gender expression and hence are fluid between the two – it is all these people who fall into the trans* umbrella term that encompasses all forms of gender identity and gender expression.
Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most people don’t. Like Inception. Gender isn’t binary. It’s not either/or. In many cases it’s both/and. A bit of this, a dash of that. This tasty little guide is meant to be an appetizer for understanding. It’s okay if you’re hungry for more.
What is the ‘Gender-Bread Person’?
The Gender-Bread Person, along with the four indicators shown below, can be used to explain the different ways trans* people identify – also known as the trans* spectrum. Why is this important? It is estimated that approximately 5% of people in the UK experience a significant degree of gender variance and therefore fall into the trans* category. This figure has increased over the past 10 years and continues to grow as a result of society becoming more inclusive, leading to more trans* individuals being open as opposed to being closeted trans*.
What’s happening with trans* in Aon?
Aon wants to create an environment in which everyone is free to be themselves at work – regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation – or where they might identify on the trans* spectrum.
Gender identity is how you, in your head, think about yourself. It’s the chemistry that composes you (eg, hormone levels) and how you interpret what that means.
Gender expression is how you demonstrate your gender (based on traditional gender roles) through the ways you act, dress, behave and interact.
Biological sex refers to organs, hormones and chromosomes.
Female: female reproductive organs; XX chromosomes.
Male: male reproductive organs; XY chromosomes.
Intersex: a combination
Sexual orientation is about who you are physically, spiritually and emotionally attracted to, based on their sex/gender in relation to your own.