ThomiClinton-GED-1The ‘T’ in LGBT

“I recently purchased a National Geographic about Gender but don’t understand all the differences can you help explain it to me.  What is the difference between a drag queen and a transgender person?”Julie.

Julie asks a great question.  Even though Gender is expressed within the “T” in LGBT it is quite different from their LGB brother and sisters.  The LGB’s are based on sexual orientation whereas the “T” is expressed by gender.  Simply put, Sexual orientation is what a person is in bed where gender expression is what one is out of bed.   If a woman expresses female as her gender expression it does not tell us her sexual orientation.

Our society is mostly based on a binary system, where we only see things as either male or female expressions but most see a growing number of people that do not express or fit into the society norm of this.  Often the general public cannot figure out, at glance, if someone is male or female when it comes to gender non-conforming persons.  This is often called “non-binary”.  There is a growing movement with the younger generation to break the gender society norms and become non-binary.  For some time many used what is called the transgender umbrella to explain the variety of gender expressions.  The less informed became confused with this umbrella because drag queens and kings were under this umbrella with Transgender people that use hormone replacement therapy to permanently change their bodies from one gender to another.  It led to many calling transgender people drag queens and cross dressers which is considered offensive to many of the transgender community.  Advocacy groups began to coin the word “gender spectrum” so to give each group of persons their own group to express and identify their gender expression.  This allowed persons that identify as transgender not to be confused with a cross dresser or a person that is a drag queen to be confused with transgender.  It should be noted that when it comes to ‘drag’ anyone can do this as a form of entertainment but after performances a drag queen returns to their original self where a transgender person is their expression 24/7.

Gender Expression

We will be examining many different topics related to Transgender Awareness each month. Email your questions to and keep up with GED Magazine in print and online at


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