Something that many people seem to be confused about is gender identity and orientation. many have difficulty separating the two and yes they should be separated. These are two very different things.

Everyone is born with an ingrained sexual orientation. Now yes that is still on a scale. This is why we have gay, straight and bi people. However someone's orientation is different to their gender identity.

Gender identity is why some guy who is completely straight likes cross dressing. We (everyone) is born with both traditionally male and female characteristics and traits. So of course some of these traits will want to shine through. Liking to dress up in drag does not mean you are gay. Culturally that may be the stereotype, but we cannot think like that. The damage that can be done particularly to young people trying to work themselves out could be horrendous.

This is something we need to be aware of when talking with young people who are just discovering who they are. It’s quite common that straight guys who may like dressing in female clothes for example will often struggle with their sexuality because of the stereotype. They may have no interest in men but can’t then understand why they like to cross dress.

We see people out there like Andrej Pejic who I think is absolutely gorgeous, challenging gender identity stereotypes and this is great. The misconceptions out there remind me of the old thought that child abuse was associated with being gay. Yet as we all know they are two different things.

We need to be very careful what we say and how we explain sexual orientation verses gender identity. I have a lot of respect for people that challenge popular belief and hope it continues to gain momentum. If you know someone that is trying to be thesmselves whether it be through androgyny, cross dressing or just someone who doesn't fit neatly into a box, then support them don't try and make them fit the stereotype.