Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Gender Identity and Embracing Gender Fluidity


The article’s writer, Dr Roma Kumar, is a senior consultant clinical psychologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital & Max Hospital who is also counselling members of the LGTBQ community and individuals facing gender identity hiccups.

Without much thought, we all use gender labels frequently in our everyday conversations, but are we using them mindfully and validating the experiences of individuals who do not orient with the binary system of identity?

How have we learned about it, and how are we assigning these labels in our speech? The answer is psychological, social, cultural, and, most importantly, self-identification, as it is an essential aspect of a person’s identity.

Gender is a long-standing discussion and is on a multifaceted spectrum. Various gender identities do not align with the binary system; however, this does not imply that non-binary is a third gender or it is genderless. Rather, it breathes and sits anywhere that is not strictly male or female and emancipates each of us to differ, flow and make choices independently and unconventionally. It is imperative to know that it has always existed. However, strictures of society have exerted power to evade conversations around it. In the contemporary world, the LGBTQIA+ rights movement has played a pivotal and transformational role in promoting the acceptance of various gender identities and their rights. The community has fought for a more inclusive concept of gender through activism and public awareness campaigns.

Society often perceives that they look a certain way and function ‘differently.’ It is a pressing priority to dismantle these beliefs and allow gender to unfold its varied nature and cultivate flexibility. As individuals grow or their thought process gets ready to explore beyond the obvious, so is their understanding of gender preferences and sensitivity, challenging social compartmentalisation.

It influences how a person perceives and expresses his/her/their identities, roles, attitudes, beliefs, and relationships. Recognising that gender identities are not limited to males and females and that gender is a complex and evolving part of personal identity rather than a fixed attribute, we address the richness and diversity of human experiences. People who describe themselves as gender fluid may go through changes in their gender identification over time or feel flexible within a variety of genders. Those who accept their fluid gender identity often report increased self-confidence, improved mental and emotional well-being, and a well-integrated ego.

By exploring and broadening our understanding of gender, we allow ourselves to accept and appreciate the fluid nature of gender and simultaneously challenge gender-related rigidity and finally pave our paths towards agility. Therefore, acknowledgement is the first step one can take to empower and liberate them from gender-biased stereotypes regardless of wherever in the gender spectrum they are in.

It is, therefore, important to share pronouns and ask others how they would like to be addressed, as it provides a safe space and promotes empathy. It creates opportunities to educate and engage in healthy and respectful discussions. It also encourages the habit of asking rather than assuming and supports personal autonomy. We can start using gender-neutral language and be open to a wide range of choices and question gender norms rather than shunning behaviours in any way. One can also start by questioning the standards based on gender and creating new meaningful narratives around it, as there are no absolute ways to experience being non-binary. It is time we must introspect and reflect the gender roles and expectations and embrace gender diversity, where everyone can be themselves and embody their authentic selves. It is the only way to foster inclusivity, celebrate one’s unique experiences, and create spaces that encourage self-exploration and self-acceptance.

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday was prima facie unanimous that even if it grants marriage rights to same-sex couples, it will refrain from determining consequential rights, including adoption, succession and inheritance, as these are inseparably linked to religion and more.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.