What is Gender Non-Conformance?

While for some biological sex and gender identity match, this is not the case for everyone in all situations. Gender non-conformance or gender non-conformity is characterized by behaving or appearing in a way that is considered atypical for one’s gender. There are large and small instances of gender non-conformance. For example, a female who wears facial hair or prefers gender neutral pronouns could be considered gender non-conforming, while so too could a female who prefers “men’s” clothes or dislikes traditionally “female” aspirations. Gender non-conformance is a mode of gender expression.

While some individuals lead happy, healthy lives in the sphere of gender non-conformity, many may experience societal or familial pressures that can make living their true gender identity confusing and, at times, painful. It is not uncommon for gender non-conforming individuals to experience depression, stress or anxiety. Fortunately, these issues can be worked through via psychological therapy and family counseling. Gender non-conformance is perfectly natural.

Gender Non-Conformance and Sexual Orientation

Some individuals may mistakenly equate gender expression to mean the same thing as sexual orientation. However, this is not the case. Gender non-conforming individuals, like their gender conforming counterparts, exist all along the sexual orientation spectrum as gender does not directly influence sexual preference.