There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about what gender identity is. Some of you have said that you don’t have a gender identity, which is the equivalent of saying that you have brain damage. Please, let me explain before you start sending angry replies.

Gender Identity (GI) is not a psychological concept, and it is not something exclusive to transgender people. GI has its roots in biology, specifically, neurobiology. The idea is an outgrowth of a field of study called the Neural Basis of Self. This field studies various parts of the brain that evidence shows give rise to a human’s sense of self. It’s too complex to go into in this forum, so I invite you to check it out yourself. Still, the main gist is that there are only a few segments of the brain that process sensory and other information in a way that establishes our identity as a unique person.

One of the main findings of this research is that while male and female brains are nearly identical, the sections responsible for self-identity behave differently in each of them. This is gender identity, the ways men and women process information differently about their identity.

Gender Identity was not found by studying trans people. Scientists using fMRI scanners studied the brains of cisgender people, and in the differences found between the sexes, the concept of Gender Identity was born.

Only later was the idea applied to trans people. The same scientists who discovered gender identity decided to see what the brains of trans people look like. What they found is that the brains of trans people have brains that behave like the gender with which they identify. That is to say; a trans man has a brain that reacts to the world the same way a cisgender man does. He has a brain that knows itself to be a man no matter what his body may look like. The same goes for trans women.

So that’s why I said that those who claim to have no gender identity are claiming to have brain damage. Gender identity is part of what makes us human, every single one of us, trans and cis alike. The only way to disrupt the neural basis of self is to have a stroke or injury to these areas of the brain or some neurological disorder like schizophrenia. And no, they have not found that trans people have brain damage. They have found that being trans is just another way to be a normal human.

Saying that you have no gender identity is just another way of trying to other trans people. “That’s something for you weird trans people.” So basically, these people are reacting exactly how the article predicts. I hope that this little bit of knowledge might open some hearts or, at the very least, improve their arguments as to why trans people should be othered and treated poorly by the majority instead of claiming brain damage.

I’m an LGBTQ+ DEI educator, activist, and writer living in the Midwest with my cat. Call me Addi. They/She. Booking and more info at

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