In order to understand what gender identity is, we’d need to eliminate everything it isn’t. If gender identity is not determined by relative masculinity or femininity (as indicated by the fact that these traits can exist in any combination with gender identity and assigned sex) then those are separate variables. If a person of any gender identity can have any sexual orientation, then that’s a separate variable. If gender can be presented or expressed in any number of ways across gender identities, then that’s a separate variable too. The only thing that is consistent across all individuals with a given gender identity (such as “man”, or “woman”, amongst others), is the deep-seated sense of identification with that concept. The term rings true. It holds meaning. Something inside of us says “yes, that’s right. That makes sense. That feels like home. That is what I am.” “I am a woman.