Gender Nonconformity: Beyond Stereotypes & Struggles

Today in our society, gendered stereotypes are around every corner. To have better explanation, it would best be construed as gender expression; women are to be seen to act as the ‘damsel in distress’, seen in dresses, speak highly and feminine, and move in definite ways simply because they are female, men are conventional to act like the ‘defender’, dress in suit and ties, speak low and hard, and move in specific ways simply because they are male (“Gender Variance”). Women are generally expected to be fertile and carry children, cook and clean the household as their husband goes and works the day’s pay, cross their legs, smile wide, and have long full hair.

Men are generally expected to be strongly built, breadwinners, have no emotions, and have the appearance of facial hair and groomed, gelled manes. Although those are the stereotypical gender norms, there are more out there to discover. Ones, where males wears blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick and females, wears snapbacks, button-ups, and ties.

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Ones that escape the cisgender cage and out into a world full of identity and comfort. I give credence to those who identify as gender nonconforming and non-binary that are just as welcome and valid in the LGBTQ+ commonality as any transgender individual, facing mental health predicaments, discrimination, abuse, bigotry, and suppositions.

Gender nonconforming is an identifying term used in mostly two ways. The first way can be used as an umbrella term. Frequently, people say “trans and gender nonconforming” as a way to describe people who, regardless of their gender identity do not adhere to society’s gender expectations.

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The second way is that people can use these terms as a label for their own sex. People who use these as their gender identity roles, do not fit in the traditional categories of “men” or “women”, “masculine” or “feminine” as to assigned at birth, so on and so forth. Nonetheless, this does not particularly propose that gender nonconforming and non-binary people cannot be men or women. For exemplification, some non-conforming people identify as “gender nonconforming men” or “gender nonconforming women.” As others walk amongst these people without even noticing, it should be taken into consideration that gendered categories are not mutually restrictive. By way of explanation, a person doesn’t always have just one gender.

Things that I’ve noticed throughout my adolescent years show that cisgender only use one word to describe those who feel out of their assign birth sex; transgender. There have been various misconceptions of byword that exclaims that “all people who identify as gender nonconforming or non-binary are transgender”, which, isn’t true! Pretty much anyone can identify as something different than what they were originally born as. This includes men, women, and non-binary people allied. Although it might be helpful to grasp the palpable that gender nonconformity can be comparable to non-binary or transgender personalities, it is also very critical to remember that not all sex nonconforming people use those terms as a way to present themselves. Keep an open mind.

As with all identities, each individual person has their own relationship and self struggles to the term; their own understanding of what it means to them, and their own coping circumstances to best describe their experience with gender and sexuality.

Morally, the discovering of one's identity isn’t always smooth-riding and easy going. According to The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), suicide rates are significantly greater in those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming compared to the heterosexual and cisgendered youth. All of which shows risk factors from discrimination, family rejection, internalized transphobia, prejudice and stigma, and bigotry. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents occurring in 13%–45% of individuals (“Suicidal Ideation and Self-Harm in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth”). This includes non-suicidal self-inflicted injuries in various forms of self-harm. Regardless, relatively little is known about the specific risks associated with suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors in the commonality.

But of course, this world that we live in isn’t perfect; filled with ridiculed viewpoints and disfigured intelligence. Some of these perspectives are to be looked past and fly over their heads instead of taking a vantage point. This is where various religions and suppositions counterplay.

I’m not trying to provoke anyone on their religious beliefs. But religion has been a source of both solace and suffering for many within the LGBTQ+ commonality. There has also been a significant amount of those within the community raised in religious homes. Many even maintain to cherish and keep their faith; disclosing themselves from their true identity. Too many have been forced of dispensation from their homes because of non-acceptance of their sexual or gender orientation. In recent years, an increasing number formulated religious groups in the United States have issued testimonies of officially accepting LGBTQ+ people as members. There have been organizations from religious beliefs where they take a supportive stance on the issues that affect people in the LGBTQ+ community in America; fighting for an exemption from discrimination, belligerent of mental health, the solemnizing of same-sex marriage, and the ordination of openly LGBTQ+ clergy. But not all religious organizations are as openly welcome as others.

Many people who have grown into Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, seem to forbid non-heterosexual, same-sex, sexual intercourse. They have the supposition that homosexuality and any sex change that isn’t the assigned birth gender, is a doing of transgression. I can’t exactly degrade anyone for the way they were raised, but anyone with the common knowledge should be able to know common courtesy and altruism. Discrimination towards those who only want to be comfortable within their own skin, is utterly repugnant. Stigma and bigotry have taken an entire offense to those who aren’t cisgender or heterosexual. These are many, which I have mentioned beforehand, are the top risk factors of those who commit suicide and self-inflicted injuries.

It might not be much to change those with strong axioms, but I’m hoping that this will shine a light on how the ignorance of others can have a great impingement on people in the LGBTQ+ community. Those who identify as gender nonconforming and non-binary are just as accepted and valid in the LGBTQ+ commonality as any transgender individual, facing mental health predicaments, discrimination, abuse, bigotry, and suppositions. They are civilized humans just like any other hetero and cis relationship that can occur essentially. It’s beyond he and him, and she and her. It’s the gendered revaluation of the twenty-first century; more accepting, more welcoming, more opened.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Gender Nonconformity: Beyond Stereotypes & Struggles. (2022, Jul 25). Retrieved from

Gender Nonconformity: Beyond Stereotypes & Struggles essay
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