It’s no secret that we love RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Courtney Act. And the latest Courtney Act gender identity video just makes us love her more. In the video for MTV’s new show MTV Single AF, she offers up “Gender Identity 101” for all those cisgender people who are still confused. (She even explains what “cisgender” means!)
Her video is a great explainer — you could even share it with your parents if you’re sick of answering their questions. Act opens with the very important point that we can’t expect every gender-diverse person to be our own personal teacher on gender issues, nor an ambassador for all gender-diverse people. (After all, you’d feel weird being asked to speak for every queer person, right?)
From there, she goes into the difference between gender and sex (“gender is about what’s between your ears, and your sex is about what’s between your legs”), and terminology. But it’s not just that — internal sex organs and chromosomes also go into what makes up your sex.
She also explains the difference between gender identity (“how you feel inside”) and gender expression (“how you choose to present your gender to the world”). This opens the way for Act to explain the terms cisgender — “a person who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth” — transgender (never “transgendered” or “transgenders”), genderfluid and intersex.
Importantly, a lot of Act’s video is about not being rude, which is a very noble goal. She explains:
Being trans is not dependent on your physical appearance or medical procedures. And so often trans people can be reduced to their genitals. Like “does she have a penis or a vagina?” And when you think about it, that’s kind of rude.
I mean, we’re all going to make judgements. I get it, being inquisitive is natural. But whenever I catch myself doing that, I just like to say “does it matter?” and “how is that my fucking business?”
Act also points out the importance of using preferred pronouns. After all, as she says:
Do you know how many people I know who use their middle names instead of their first names? Or refuse to be called “Matt” instead of “Matthew”? I mean, you’d respect their wishes and address them how they want to be addressed… so just do that for everyone!
We couldn’t say it better ourselves.
Watch the Courtney Act Gender Identity 101 video below:
And when you’re done with that, here’s Courtney on consent:
Featured image by Magnus Hastings