Gender Identity… Gender Aspiration?

Copied from a reddit post I did.


I’ve noticed that a common way for trans people to use the word “gender identity” could better be described as “gender aspiration”. For example, consider the recent thread asking what gender identity means. Here’s some responses:

In my opinion, “identifying as a woman” means that one has a need to transition.

I would guess that “gender identity” is generally less about identifying as/with something, and more a statement of what you want your body to be.

Having a positive relationship — whether as weakly as near-ambivalence, or strongly — with one’s body’s femaleness. I’ll note that this is not just including the physical state, but also the future or potential or ideal state. I.e. a male’s body has no femaleness in a physical sense, but it’s female in the realm of possibilities/ideas.

This seems more like a declaration of intent or desire than a belief, and I’ve started calling it “gender aspiration” instead as a result.

Do you think it makes sense to make a distinction between gender identity as a belief, and gender aspiration as an intent or desire?


In the reddit post, I phrased this as a question, but really it’s the way I’ve conceptualized it for a long time.

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