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What is the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation?

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Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. While sexual orientation refers to an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, and /or emotional attraction to another person, gender identity refers to one’s internal sense of being male, female, or something else. Sometimes a person’s gender identity doesn’t align in a typical way with their biological sex assigned at birth, which is what we call being transgender.  Like all other people, transgender people can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or identify in a number of other ways. Each person defines their experience and sexual orientation in their own way, and sexual orientation should never be assumed.

For more information please visit our GLBT Resource Center Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender webpage.

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