Dr Shyamanta Das
Gender identity is an innate sense of being a man, woman, or any other gender. It is completely internal in nature, and is private and invisible. On the other hand, how gender is manifested to others and communicated is what is termed as gender expression. Individuals are mostly considered gender congruent if their gender identity, gender expression, and roles are in alignment. If gender identity seems incongruent with gender expression, then it is usually considered gender variant. While discussing about trans-identities, or transgenderism and transsexuality, it depicts an incongruence between one’s biological sex and one’s own gender identity. Not always do trans-identities abide by the binary concept of male-female. In fact, they lie somewhere in between the continuum of gender queer, multigendered, or gender fluid.
While in theory the concept of gender beyond binary is considered but in everyday life within mainstream society, living beyond this concept is still not a socially feasible alternative. The paper, “Intra-psychic disarray of gender identity and sexual orientation: in the process of coming out as transsexual” by Budhiswatya Shankar Das and Soumitra Ghosh, and published in the Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), takes a step towards understanding the confusion that a transgender individual undergoes while coming to terms with one’s gender identity. The concepts of negotiation, self-understanding, and disclosure are presented through a case study with anecdotes. The individual is referred to as ‘him’ as the person identifies himself as a male and is in the process of transition. The coming out process is introduced as a one-way and two-way process.