Gender & Sexuality: LGBTQ

Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

Cerritos High School Gay/Straight Alliance

The CHS GSA welcomes all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and straight youth to join us in the fight against homophobia on campus and in the community. When we’re not working on making the world a safer place for LGBTQIA students, we’re also a great place to meet new people, hang out, and have fun. Through acceptance, communication and support we work to reduce isolation and depression and create an environment that’s free of homophobic, sexual, verbal, and physical harassment. To get involved at any time during the school year, please stop by room 309, join our to find out about events by texting @85fc9 to 81010 or our Facebook group: CHS LGSA.

What is the difference between sex and gender?

  • Sex refers to the biological and physiological differences that differentiate men from women.
  • Gender refers to the socially constructed roles of masculinity and femininity through behaviors, activities, and mannerisms.

Here are some common definitions for sexual orientation and gender identity:

Sexual orientation

An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.

Gender identity

One's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

Gender expression

External appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.


An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.


A person who experiences a "mismatch" of body and brain. Transsexual individuals will undergo medical treatment including hormonal therapy and sexual reassignment surgery to change their physical sex to match his/her gender.

Gender transition

The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions in which they modify their bodies through medical interventions.

Gender dysphoria

Clinically significant distress caused when a person's assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the term – which replaces Gender Identity Disorder – "is intended to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults."

Most of the information for this page was gathered from: Human Rights Campaign.

Additional Resources

The Trevor Project - 1-866-488-7386

The Center of Long Beach - (562) 434-4455

PFLAG (Parents and families of lesbians and gays)

Resources and Community Agencies

The Center Long Beach 562-434-4455

2107 E. 4th Street Long Beach, CA 90814

  • A youth drop in center that provides workshops, social events, and counseling

Christopher Wahl Youth Center 562-693-2247

12401 Slauson Avenue, Unit G Whittier, CA 90606

  • Dedicated to serving youth of all identities ages 14-24. This center is a safe haven for youth to be themselves and provides counseling, workshops, social activities, and tutoring.

Youth Center on Highland 323-860-2280

1220 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038

  • Homeless shelter and transitional housing for LGBTQ youth ages 12-24.