This blog entry is purely informational. I don’t profess to know everything about this topic but I am going to explain it in my words.
Gender identity is what your mind thinks you are. For most people, this is pretty easy. You are biologically female and your mind thinks you are female and vice versa for males. Sometimes though, your gender identity is different than your biological body. This means that biologically you are female but mentally you are male (again vice versa for males). This is a pretty simple explanation but it’s the way I have interpreted it. Although the explanation is simple, the issues that go along with it are very complex. Some people recognize their gender/biological conflict at a very young age, while others take much longer to realize just what is going on. Many transgender people struggle with this for years. A biological female/gender male person is called a transgender male. A biological male/gender female is called a transgender female. The reason I have explained this here is because I made the mistake in the past of thinking a transgender male was a guy in a girl’s body. Gender identity is something we are born with.
Sexual orientation is who you are attracted to. It has absolutely nothing to do with gender identity. You can be biologically and mentally female and be attracted to males or females or both. If you are attracted to the same sex, it doesn’t mean you have gender conflict. It’s just who you are attracted to. Sexual orientation is also something we are born with.