This is a page of 101 level resources for people who want to learn more about gender. Perhaps you are an ally that wants to better educate themselves, or maybe you have a friend, family, or colleague that has come out to you and you want to know more. Or, perhaps, you might even be questioning your own gender identity and aren't sure where to start.
There are lots of additional resources that are worth exploring, but to try to avoid this being overwhelming (because it can be!), this 101 resource page is limited to just a few key resources to check out. For additional information, please explore the rest of the they.wtf site.
Definitions, labels, and identities vary widely. Not everyone will agree with these definitions or will use these terms or labels in the same way. Please respect people's terminology and definitions that they use for themselves.
transgender / cisgender
If you are transgender, it means you do not identify with the gender you were assigned at birth. If you are cisgender, it means you do identify with the gender you were assigned at birth. These terms may sometimes be shortened to trans and cis (their Latin prefixes).
Transgender is a adjective. You should never use transgender in a sentence such as "that's a transgender", or say transgendered or transgenders -- it is not only incorrect, but it is also rude and transphobic. You should never use the term transsexual for someone unless they use it for themselves.
Transphobia is the irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against transgender people. It encompasses a range of negative attitudes, feelings, and/or actions toward transgender people. Transphobia can include fear, aversion, hatred, violence, anger, or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who do not conform to society's gender expectation.
Transphobia can range from physical violence to discrimination in jobs & housing to verbal harassment, such as jokes, refusing to use someone's correct pronouns and chosen name, or outing someone.
Pronouns are words used to refer to people, such as he/him/his, she/her/her, they/them/their, or any of the variety of neo pronouns. Yes, singular they is a thing and has a long history in the English language - in fact, you've no doubt used it before. Check out Pronoun Island for examples of a variety of different pronouns and how to use them in context.
It's important to note that just because someone identifies as genderqueer and/or non-binary, it does not mean that they have to use they/them pronouns. They may use neo pronouns, or perhaps binary pronouns such as he/him or she/her. It is important to always use the pronouns someone wants you to use for them.
genderqueer / non-binary
The terms genderqueer and non-binary can be both umbrella terms and gender identities, and are often considered to fall under the transgender umbrella. They can be interchageable for some individuals, while other people do not consider them interchangeable and may identify with one term but not the other. The terms can mean a lot of different things, including not identifying as exclusively male or female, not having a gender at all, or having a gender outside of the gender binary spectrum. Folks who are genderqueer and/or non-binary may or may not identify as transgender. They may also use other terms for their gender (or lack of gender).
Pidgeon Pagonis, an intersex activist & filmmaker, has this definition on their website:
Even though there are about as many intersex people as there are people with red hair, the term is not well understood. According to the Free & Equal Intersex Fact Sheet: Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty or may not be physically apparent at all.
While some intersex people may be transgender, genderqueer, and/or non-binary, not all intersex people are.
Gender dysphoria is the distress felt due to a mistmatch between someone's gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. It may be easier to think of gender dyphoria in two broad categories - physical dysphoria and social dysphoria.
Physical dysphoria may include discomfort with specific gendered features of one's own body, such as one's chest, genitals, body hair, and/or physical build. Social dysphoria may include the pronouns used for someone, their name, and/or being treated as a gender they are not.
Some people choose to take steps to physically transition, while some people may only socially transition. People may also choose to take steps to transition in only some specific ways, or not take any steps at all - there is no one-size-fits-all way to transition or be transgender, genderqueer, and/or non-binary. The comfort or discomfort with any part of someone's body or the way they are treated in society is unique to that individual.
What is Non-Binary Gender by Vera Papisova
First thing's first: consider gender a language that you have to learn to be fluent in. Like with any language, the older you get, the harder it is to understand, which is why some adults find it too daunting to learn. The truth is, it's really not so complicated, and we should really all be fluent in gender, because it helps all of us understand our own identities better.
9 Things People Get Wrong About Being Non-Binary by Suzannah Weiss
When people see me or hear my name, they usually assume I’m a woman and go by she/her pronouns. But they’d only be partially right. I do identify as a woman, but I also identify as non-binary (yes, you can be both — more on that later) and go by they/them as well. Unfortunately, this is an identity that many people still misunderstand.
As a trans, non-binary advocate and educator, I’m continually asked: how do I be a good ally? Compiled via my experiences as a non-binary person and crowdsourced insights from my awesome friends on social media, here is a list of 100 ways to make the world better for non-binary folks.
Gender: Your Guide by Lee Airton
The days of two genders—male, female; boy, girl; blue, pink—are over, if they ever existed at all. Gender is now a global conversation, and one that is constantly evolving. More people than ever before are openly living their lives as transgender men or women, and many transgender people are coming out as neither men or women, instead living outside of the binary. Gender is changing, and this change is gaining momentum. We all want to do and say the right things in relation to gender diversity — whether at a job interview, at parent/teacher night, and around the table at family dinners. But where do we begin?
The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell
Hello and welcome to the ABC’s of LGBT. Ash Hardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+. Along with in-depth written definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, links to online videos, and more, Hardell aims to provide a friendly voice to a community looking for information.
A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson
Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, is tired of people not understanding gender neutral pronouns. Tristan, a cisgender dude, is looking for an easy way to introduce gender neutral pronouns to his increasingly diverse workplace. The longtime best friends team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them.
Nancy: You've Told Me This Before by Tobin Low & Kathy Tu
Asia Kate Dillon’s role on 'Billions' helped them understand a non-binary gender identity. Tina Healy comes out as trans over and over again. Her daughter Jessica Walton's book is called 'Introducing Teddy.'
Transmission: Ash Hardell - Not Trans Enough by Jackson Bird
YouTube creator Ash Hardell joined me at VidCon to chat about nonbinary genders, sharing their gender exploration on a public platform, not feeling trans enough, and more.
The World in Words: Introducing myself as 'they/them/their' at my workplace by Paulus van Horne
As the school year ended, I was faced with the reality of entering the workforce with this set of pronouns. Outside the academic bubble of college life, how would I be received? Would I have to explain my gender identity with every nuance of language and its history and meaning every time someone referred to me as 'he' or 'Mr.' or 'man' based on how I look?
NB by Caitlin Benedict & Amrou Al-Kadhi
You might have heard the term non-binary. This is how it feels. Join Caitlin Benedict & Amrou Al-Kadhi as they ask the big questions about gender & identity.
Trans 101: Non-Binary Identities by Chase Ross
Trans educator and activist Chase Ross discusses non-binary identities as a part of his Trans 101 series.
Non-binary, genderqueer, and non gendered people talk about their gender journeys and what the words and experience means to them.
All About PRONOUNS! by Ash Hardell
Trans educator Ash Hardell discusses what pronouns are and why they matter in this companion piece to their book The ABC's of LGBT+.