Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Sex and gender are two concepts that are often conflated in popular culture. However, those who experience dissonance between their assigned sex and gender identity intimately understand the difference between sex, a biologicallybased distinction, and gender, a confluence of social and behavioral factors that contribute to understanding who one is as well as how one is seen by others. The gendered self-understanding and self-expression of 170 North Americans who selfidentified as gender nonconforming and who were assigned female at birth were explored using a transpersonal lens and thematic analysis. Data suggested a range and variety of gendered self-concepts that aligned across two broad themes: binary (female/woman; male/man) and non-binary (gender nonbinary; trans masculine) gender core identities. Themes of gendered self-concept, expression in behavior, dress style and appearance, and surgical body modification are discussed. These data support the application of transpersonal theory to transgender identity development, and they underscore the need for more research to test the validity of a new theoretical model of gender transcendence discussed herein.

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