In the Western World, there exists a gender binary, a social dichotomy that society conforms to which meets the ideals of masculinity and femininity in all aspects of sex and gender. Through the category of Transforming Gender, I wanted to delve into the idea that the human identity is not just “black and white” as we tend to adhere to.
Through the use of the Identity Spectrum, we can rethink the idea of the gender symbols. The original Identity Spectrum was created by translategender.org and Ahuviya Harel, then later modified by Ian Night. The spectrum celebrates that the human identity is not just male and female. Other categories to take into account are gender identity, gender expression, sexual attraction, and romantic attraction. With these factors taken into account, a subjective experience of one’s own gender can be better understood.
The Identity Spectrum Survey.
A survey was created and distributed among the LGBT community on Reddit.com. Once the survey was completed by the participants, data was collected and translated into the 45 symbols. The symbol’s structure is based on the format of the Identity Spectrum. Each category has it’s own set of symbols. Like phases of the moon, the symbols change according to where you are on the spectrum. A structure reminiscent of a DNA strand forms to create unique gender symbols representing the participant’s identity.
Grace lives and works as a graphic designer in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She is a senior in the Graphic Design Program at the University of Houston. Her professor, Sibylle Hagmann, introduced her to the 45 Symbols project, which became a medium to explore her interest in the gender binary through the category of Transforming Gender.