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Gender Identity

Gender identity refers to the way you feel about your own gender. A person’s gender identity can match the sex they were assigned at birth, or can differ from it. Some people’s gender identity can be changeable.

Remember that how you define your gender identity is up to you, and some people may need to take time to figure out how they identify and how they wish to be referred to.

At Luton Sexual Health we are welcoming of all gender identities and will refer to you with your preferred name and pronouns.

  • Cisgender people’s gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is a cis woman.
  • Transgender (or trans) people’s gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth, which may cause Gender Dysphoria. For example, someone who identifies as male and was assigned female at birth is a trans man. Transgender people may transition to the gender they identify as. They might identify as binary (strongly male or female), or non-binary (see below).
  • Non-binary is an umbrella term for people who do not identify with the traditional binary male or female gender categories. For example, someone who is gender fluid, or someone who identifies anywhere in between on the gender spectrum.
  • Gender fluid people have a fluctuating gender identity. For example, one day they may feel more male and another day they may feel more female, or anywhere in between.
  • Gender neutral people do not identify with any gender.
  • Questioning – some people are unsure about what gender they identify as. Being unsure of your gender identity can be confusing and daunting. It may help to speak to a counsellor or support group.


Gender Dysphoria

Gender Dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between the sex they were assigned at birth, and their gender identity. Your GP can provide an assessment and advice if you are experiencing gender dysphoria, and you may be referred to a Gender Identify Clinic (GIC). We can also refer you to a GIC from Luton Sexual Health.

Treatment for gender dysphoria aims to help reduce or remove the distressing feelings of a mismatch between biological sex and gender identity.

This can mean different things for different people. It can include psychological support, and for some people it can mean dressing and living as their preferred gender. For others, it can mean taking hormones or also having surgery to change their physical appearance. For the majority of people, the process of transitioning will help reduce or eliminate their dysphoria.



Transitioning is the process a transgender person goes through in order to live as the gender they identify with. This can involve social, legal, and/or medical aspects.

  • Social – coming out to family and friends, dressing as the gender you identify with, asking to be referred to as your preferred pronouns
  • Legal – changing your name, changing your gender on legal documents such as passports
  • Medical – taking hormones, surgery

Your GP will be able to provide advice if you wish to discuss any medical interventions, and you may be referred to a Gender Identify Clinic (GIC). You can read more about medical options for transitioning here



Pronouns are the words we use to refer to another person, which can be masculine, feminine, or gender neutral. For example:

Masculine – he, him, his

Feminine – she, her, hers

Neutral – they, them, theirs

The pronouns you would like to be used to refer to you are your own individual choice. Transgender and non-binary people may want to change their pronouns as part of their transition or coming out