The Difference Between Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The Difference Between Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In the LGBTQA community there are many differences in each individual person’s preferences. For example, there is a huge difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual orientation is who you are attracted to whereas gender identity is who you are. Most people presume that these two things go hand in hand but they are in fact very different.

For example, people may assume that because someone is transgender that they are also gay, which in some cases is not true. Gender identity is defined by the Human Rights Campaign as the “innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves.” Which means that people will identify as what fits them the best in their heart and not necessarily what is on the outside.

Whereas sexual orientation is defined as, “inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.” Meaning who each person is attracted to, who they sleep with, fall in love with, etc. whether they be male, female, bi, gay, straight, lesbian, trans, pan, etc. These are the people they choose to be with and some of the time they do not go hand in hand as most of the population believes that they do.

Being confused about this is a very normal thing, but most people in the LGBTQA community are very nice, understanding, and more than happy to explain the differences to you as well as share their own personal preferences. It is just important to ask and be friendly, because times are changing and it’s important to make everyone feel accepted and loved no matter who they are or who they love.


Written by – Bella Deen – Marketing Intern