Gender presentation

Clothes and body language both contribute to how society will categorise you.

Gender presentation or gender expression is one's outwards appearance, body language, and general behaviour as categorised under the gender binary by society. Common descriptors of gender expression are female, femme, feminine, twink effeminate, androgynous, male, masculine, macho, butch, and so on.

Even though though this categorisation of people into normative gender is not based on one's actual gender, it can be an indication. However, extreme caution is advised when attempting to diagnose one's gender based on one's gender presentation or expression. For example, a cishet woman can be butch, a pansexual trans man can identify as twink, a genderqueer person can present as femme, a cishet man can be androgynous, etc.

Because most people do indeed diagnose gender based on external appearance, many people, especially those who are misgendered often, make a conscious or subconscious effort to align their external appearance with that which will allow them to pass as the gender they identify as. This is a form of passing, although it can also be seen as a form of assimilation. Either way, each individual's gender presentation is their prerogative. All gender expressions are, in part, a function of the culture one lives in. Therefore, any choice with respect to gender expression one makes should be respected.

Complementing definitions

Gender Presentation / Gender Expression

Refers to the external appearance, dress, mannerism and behaviour through which each individual presents their gender identity, or the gender they want to appear as. Gender presentation may change, for example, a Drag King may present as a male during his performance, but as a female in her daily life.[1]

See also

External links


  1. Gender Presentation / Gender Expression, by Positive Space Network
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