Terminology & Gender Diversity
Here are a few terms that you may see me use or may have heard other places and not understood.
Sex assigned at birth - often called sex, biological sex, birth sex. When a baby is born the doctor might say "its a bot" or its a girl" this is sex assigned at birth.
Gender expression - External appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
Gender Identity – someone's internal sense of self as a man, woman, both or neither.
Cisgender - a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.
Transgender - An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth.
Gender diversity in sport is a highly controversial issue. The increase in visibility of transgender and gender non conforming (TGNC) people in society has brought to light the challenging dilemma of how to integrate TGNC athletes into sports where men and women compete separately. In equestrian sports men and women compete against each other and so this particular issue doesn't arise. However this is a rarity.
Personally, I try to always use inclusive language and you'll see this throughout my website. I'd like to see cycling become a sport where everyone feels safe, affirmed and able to compete.
Gender is not as simple as the binary male and female, most of us have never had to think about this because our gender fits the cultural norm. Thats not the case for everyone. I encourage you to develop your understanding of what is is to be TGNC and how to be an ally to those people.
How to talk (and listen) to transgender people
- Jackson Bird
How I help transgender teens become who they want to be
- Dr Norman Spack