Gender fluidity refers to changes over time in a person’s gender expression or gender identity, or both.
In 1955, only the biological sex differed from the social role expectation of gender in public. In 1996, the definition evolved and explained that a Gender-fluid person encompassed both masculine and feminine. Gender fluidity at this time aligned with transgenderism. Transgenderism refers to the ability to change gender, whether biological, emotional, political, or otherwise.
By now, Gender fluidity is used as an umbrella term to describe possibilities for gender identity beyond the binary male and female system. It includes a wider and more flexible range of gender expression.
People identifying themselves as gender fluid are not confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical and culturally determined expectations of women and men. Some gender-fluid persons unconfined by binary gender roles may feel they are more female on some days and more male on others, or possibly feel neither.
Historically and traditionally, several countries have integrated and recognized more than two genders. For example, the Hawaiian culture traditionally reveres and respects the so-called “Mahu” – a person who embodies both the male and female spirits. These cultural appearances of more than two genders are often found under the term Two Spirits.
Increasingly, the topic of gender fluidity has appeared in the public media in recent years, conveying the image that gender fluidity affects only some people. However, the gender spectrum suggests that all people are part of this development.
See more resources
Fontanella, L., Maretti, M. & Sarra, A. Gender fluidity across the world: a Multilevel Item Response Theory approach. Qual Quant 48, 2553–2568 (2014). Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-013-9907-4
Genderfluid – Gender Wiki. Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://gender.fandom.com/wiki/Genderfluid
Map of Gender Diverse Cultures. Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/content/two-spirits_map-html/
Gender fluidity: What it means and why support matters. Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/gender-fluidity-what-it-means-and-why-support-matters-2020120321544#:~:text=Gender%20fluidity%20refers%20to%20change,in%20identity%2C%20but%20not%20expression.
Urban Dictionary: Genderfluid. Retrieved from January 3, 2023, from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Genderfluid