Gender and discrimination: Insights to make a positive difference


People who identify as trans and gender queer are in the special position of having insight into the pros and cons of being “male” and “female”. These insights can be used to help shape gender and discrimination in a positive way.

What is gender orientation?

Gender orientation is everything that relates to the way you feel about your gender. You may identify as masculine, feminine, neither or a bit of both. Gender orientation is particularly relevant to those who identify as trans. Because when you identify as transgender there is usually a mismatch between the sex you have been assigned at birth and your gender identity.

What is gender queer?

When you identify as gender queer you approach gender in a way that is different from the majority perspective in society. You may not identify as a male or a female. You may identify as both genders instead, for example. Or you may feel that you move between genders. This means that you may identify as gender fluid. You may not wish to label your gender. You may identify as a third gender.

Trans and gender queer insight

When you identify as trans and or gender queer you may have special insights into gender and discrimination. You may be aware of differences in the ways that people interact with you when they think you are a man or a woman.

When people treat you as a woman you may experience gender discrimination, for example. This might mean you unfairly miss out on a promotion to your male colleague just because you are female. However, when people see you as a man you may experience gender privilege or advantages. For example, this might mean you get invited to events that only men get invited to.

When people see you as a man you may also have certain restrictions placed on your behavior by others. When they see you as a woman you may be able to be more expressive in your behavior, for example. These types of experiences provide you with a unique opportunity to develop special insights into gender and discrimination.

Use these insights to fight discrimination

Trans and gender queer individuals have the potential to hold and share special insights into what it means to be treated as a man or a woman within society. These insights can help us all understand the links between gender and discrimination. The insights can also be used to help fight gender discrimination. Importantly, you can also help inform and shape gender and discrimination in a positive way. Society may benefit from your special insights.

The cool video below shows some great work done by One Billion Rising, an initiative led from New York (US) to end violence against women and girls.

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