Gender identity refers to a person's understanding of their gender; that is, the gender with which they identify. Transgender is the term used to describe someone who identifies with a gender that is different from their biological sex. While people are born with male or female chromosomes, this does not necessarily dictate gender. Though they are commonly misunderstood, gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same.
People confuse or link gender and sexual orientation but they are, in fact, two separate things. Gender is who you are. It is the internal feelings of being a man, woman, or something outside of this traditional, binary understanding. Someone who is transgender does not feel that who they are on the inside matches their assigned gender on the outside. Sexual orientation, on the other hand, defines who you are attracted to. People identify as gay, straight, lesbian, queer, or another orientation regardless of whether they identify as male, female, or another gender.
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