African Centre in Toronto

The Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind

Gender and Sexual Diversity

Our Focus here at African Centre is to identify and eliminate societal barriers that prevent marginalized and oppressed individuals, peoples and communities from participating fully in society.

There are four main concepts of identity to understand, and each one is distinct: sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
Sex is determined by biological features including;
• chromosomes,
• hormones,
• internal reproductive organs and;
• external sexual anatomy.
GENDER IDENTITY is how you feel about your gender on the inside as a woman, a man, both, in between and something else.
GENDER EXPRESSION is how you demonstrate your gender to the world, and it may match traditional gender norms or may differ from those norms.
Sexual orientation is who you are attracted to, sexually and romantically (emotionally).
WHAT IS GENDER?
Traditionally, gender has been defined as being either one of the two sexes: male or female. But gender is actually a much broader concept. There is a lot more to gender than the sex your child was assigned at birth, and it does not tell the complete story of who they are.
IDENTITY
It is common for people to confuse sex, gender and even sexual orientation, but they are all different things. Each category exists independently and has its own spectrums. It can be helpful to visualize these concepts through the illustration below.