We support the whole GIRL

Gender identification has become a hot topic. In the world of transgender, gender fluid or feeling as though you are not your gender assigned at birth, people are starting to feel as though they can express themselves in new ways.

However, as Girls Inc. is a specific gender organization, it’s important to share our opinions on gender identity. Girls Inc. states that a girl is “a young person who identifies as a girl regardless of her assigned sex at birth, or who is exploring gender identity or expression.”

Girls Inc. is committed to providing the Girls Inc. Experience to girls. This means we serve girls who identify as girls regardless of their assigned sex at birth and we serve girls who are exploring their gender identity or expression during their time at Girls Inc.

At Girls Inc. of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, we will not discriminate or exclude girls from our programming based on their gender identity or gender expression. In fact, we welcome anyone who identifies as a girl to our facility and we encourage them to express themselves. Allowing our members to be whomever they choose benefits their mental health and provides them with a caring and supportive home.

We hope that at Girls Inc. DC, we can help others learn about gender identity and how that relates to sex and gender expression so we can have an informed understanding of this matter and be supportive to one another.

So…What is sex versus gender?  Let’s lay it out for you.

Sex: Sex is what is assigned at birth, based on a newborn’s genitals. We then presume the child’s gender based on the sex assigned at birth.

Gender: Gender is an amalgamation of several elements: chromosomes (those X’s and Y’s), anatomy (internal sex organs and external genitals), hormones (relative levels of testosterone and estrogen), psychology (self-defined gender identity), and culture (socially defined gender behaviors).

Gender Expression: How we present our gender in the world (through such things as clothing, hairstyles, and mannerisms, to name a few) and how society, culture, community, and family perceive, interact with, and try to shape our gender. Gender expression is also related to gender roles and how society uses those roles to try to enforce conformity to current gender norms.

What about gender identity?

A Cisgender person has a gender identity consistent with the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a child whose sex was assigned male on their birth certificate and who identifies as a boy is cisgender (you may hear this term shortened to “cis”).

A Transgender person has a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. So, a child who was assigned male on their birth certificate and who identifies as a girl is transgender.

Why is this topic important?

This topic is so important because it affects youth every day.

  • 55% of trans* youth reported being physically attacked (60% don’t report the incidents because they believe no one would care)
  • 74% of trans* youth reported being sexually harassed at school
  • 90% of trans* youth reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression

It’s on us to make our girls feel safe and welcome when they come into our facility. At Girls Inc. DC, we strive to do this each and every day, so come as you are.