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Before proceeding with this article, please read Part 1: (NOT SO) BASIC SOGIE 101. In this article, we will continue to discuss the remaining two subjects of the ever-controversial and timely SOGIE. As discussed in our previous article, SOGIE stands for Sexual Orientation Gender Identity & Expression. In some countries, like the Philippines, we also call it SOGIESC, with SC as Sexual Characteristics.

The need to reach more people to learn and understand the concept of SOGIE/SC is important. It is so, now, more than ever, as we continue to see more cases of gender-based assaults happening daily. Abuse, harassment, and violence know no gender, regardless of whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or not. Though we all have SOGIESC, the main goal of educating everyone about it is not just to spread awareness. There is a need to emphasize that, to some, a person’s SOGIESC could spell life and death. Others experience denial of opportunities or, sometimes, in their place of dwelling, safety. 

Gender Expression is not the same as Gender Identity.


We know, by now, that Gender Identity is a person’s inner sense of being a man, woman, both, or neither. Gender Expression, on the other hand, is how a person expresses their gender identity. It could either be through the way they dress, their hairstyle, voice, behavior, body features, or the pronouns they use.

Gender expression is how a person presents themselves to the world. A person could be feminine, masculine, androgynous, gender-conforming, gender-nonconforming, or gender-neutral. However, the environment and society plays a vital role and influence in this aspect. This means that it is not uniform across the gender spectrum, and may change over time. One example of gender expression as a non-static concept is BB Gandanghari, who is now legally female in the US.

Before her gender confirmation surgery in 2009, many struggled to address her correctly. News outlets often tagged her  gay when she identifies as “trans.” It is likely due to our societal concept that there is only bakla or tomboy. We also used to identify someone as a transwoman if they wear clothes of a woman, act and speak like a woman, or when they use names for a woman. When BB Gandanghari came out with her sexuality back in 2006, we saw her as a person wearing clothes that are normally worn by men. It was only in 2009 when she finally expressed her gender; by also announcing the name she will now only respond to—BB Gandanghari.

Something to learn here.


When a person transitions to a specific gender identity and publicly announces to be called by a different name, calling them by their old name is called deadnaming. Though it doesn’t always come from a place of malice, deadnaming may be harmful to the mental health of transgender people who no longer use their birth or legal name to align with their identity. When you find yourself in a curious situation and do not know how to address or call a person properly, the key is to ask how they would like you to address them. It is the best way to show respect and acceptance. Some notable people who changed their names after coming out as transgender are Jake Zyrus (Charice Pempengco) and Hollywood actor Elliot Page (Ellen Page).

Sexual Characteristics and how it’s different from Gender Expression.

Sex Characteristics answer the question, what parts do you have? It is the anatomical and physiological attributions of a person. A person born with XX chromosomes and usually has female sex and reproductive organs is assigned female at birth. A person born with XY chromosomes and has male sex and reproductive organs is assigned male at birth. A newborn with a combination of both male and female biological characteristics, regardless of whether through chromosomes or genitals, is assigned as being intersex.

Newborn intersex opted by their parents to undergo surgery to carry one gender and sex as they grow. The number of cases of intersex surgery continues to rise despite various research and studies that have proven how it could cause harmful effects on the child. Advocates often urge to let the child grow until they reach the age of maturity and let them decide how they would want to proceed. The archaic term for intersex is hermaphrodite. The term was changed to intersex to get away from the negative connotation of the old word. Homosexuality is also an old term that is often used as a derogatory remark against someone who does not fit into the gender binary notions.

PRIDE is a celebration of diversity and belongingness.

This article aims to educate the masses that gender as a spectrum does not only have males or females. There is a good reason to celebrate diversity by respecting and accepting that when it comes to a person’s SOGIE, it is not one size fits all. The way we differ is a weapon we could use to work collectively towards a more accepting and safe society where people come from a place of respect. We should not use it to malign, harass, or get ahead of others for personal gains. At the end of the day, we all want to live a dignified life. The kind of life where we do not have to hide who we truly think and feel we are. May the Pride month help you find a safe space where you can celebrate being you with rainbow confetti. Happy Pride!


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