What is gender?

What is gender?

The word ‘gender’ is often used to indicate a person’s ‘sex’. But what is gender, and why do we only recognise two ‘kinds’ of it (male/female) in language? This language and our culture limit our ability to describe the variety that is naturally present. We are assigned a gender at birth, although in recent years, this no longer invariably happens when a person’s gender is unclear.

In addition to thinking in terms of a limited variety of genders, you may feel confronted with a hetero-normative mindset. The term hetero-normative may be used to express that we have grown up in a world with a very simple perspective: there are men and there are women, and they can engage in a relationship with one another. Plain and simple, and incidentally, taken for granted in this perspective. Similar to the way fish don’t question the nature of water; it’s simply always there.

Fortunately, knowledge and visibility are increasing, and openness about a world that isn’t quite so digital and consists of more than ones and zeroes is spreading. And so, too, is openness about being born and raised as a boy or a girl, but having feelings that are inconsistent with that upbringing.

Meer over what is gender?
Gender identity

Gender identity

‘Who are you?’ generally isn’t the easiest question to answer. But it is an important question.

After all, there are a lot of things that you are not, and so you would like to clarify that somehow. Your environment often insists on an answer as well. Sometimes directly, sometimes in subtle ways by conveying agreement and disagreement.

The advantage to identity is a certain clarity regarding who you think you are. Its disadvantage is that it can anchor you, which doesn’t work for everyone. In such cases it can be helpful to talk about fluidity to indicate that identity, too, is merely a changeable label. This provides leeway, but at times also ambiguity.

There’s something about gender as it preoccupies you

There’s something about gender as it preoccupies you

There are multiple factors that contribute to the questions you may have. You may not know what applies to you.

Who am I, which lifestyle suits me? How do I meet like-minded people? How do I engage in a relationship, and with whom? It’s also possible that you know who is right for you, but your environment reacts to it in a problematic way. How do you handle that? If you, after having felt very deeply what is right for you, choose to change your gender, you will often go through an intense (medical) process of acceptance and transformation.

LGBTIQI? LGBTIQI!

LGBTIQI? LGBTIQI!

LGBTQI is short for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, Interested.

There are many other forms. The reason this initialism is used is to indicate that there are people who ask questions, who are open to alternatives to hetero and male/female, and who as a result are ‘different’. What can be helpful with being different, is becoming aware, which can be helpful in other domains of your life. Otherwise, it can confuse you, agitate you or even make you feel sad having to feel different if you did not choose to be so. Therapy can be a place for relfection, to become more aware and to seperate what feelings and thoughts are your and which ones come from the outside world.

How are you different, and why does that matter?

How are you different, and why does that matter?

As long as there are no people who have a problem with being different, being different isn’t problematic.

However, the voices of many people can make a large impression. You can be troubled by the world’s opinions, even though you, as an LGBTQI person, tend to be strong, have the courage to explore and do things your way, and have your own interpretation of life, friendships, relationships etc.

And in some cases you can have doubts and not be sure about ‘what’ you are. You’d like to know. Is your environment opposed to ‘difference’? Sinteze can help you deal with that in finding the appropriate relation with the world and yourself.

What we offer

How do you accept yourself? How do you cope with opposition or a lack of understanding in your environment? How do you organise your life as your most authentic self?

Some people can answer these questions for themselves; others may benefit from support. This can take the form of support groups, a buddy, or support from friends and family. And sometimes the best way to help yourself is through psychosocial support.
Sinteze welcomes people with questions about gender, as well as partners and families that are dealing with changes in gender-related situations.

What can you expect?

You are unique, and so is your search. Every individual has their own experiences regarding gender, which is why we don’t offer a standard approach to gender-related questions.

We invite you to come meet us to explore your questions. What lies at the root of your problem? What kind of support could help you with that? Based on that meeting we can discuss an approach with you, giving us an indication of what to work with. That way you have a sense of support and are better able to enjoy the person you really are.