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    Gender Envy

    Gender envy is a term describing a feeling of envy towards a target individual’s gender presentation. This may include an envy of physical appearance, voice, mannerisms, aesthetic, gender role, or societal expectations among other things.

    Gender envy is not an inherently hostile or resentful feeling, and instead is based upon a desire to appear or present similarly to the target individual. It may instead be characterized by discontent/dysphoria or desire/euphoria.

    While often experienced by transgender and non-binary individuals, gender envy may also be experienced by cisgender individuals and is not limited to individuals of cisn’t or genderqueer gender modalities. This is because gender identity/modality and gender presentation do not necessarily correlate.

    Experiencing gender envy does not imply that one feels a need to transition or change their presentation. An individual may experience gender envy but not desire to act on it.

    Because gender identity and gender presentation do not necessarily correlate, one may also experience gender envy towards an individual whose presentation does not stereotypically match their own gender identity.

    Gender envy is similar to invidious attraction, but gender envy does not inherently include a feeling of attraction towards the target individual, just a desire to have a similar gender presentation. Invidious attraction also may not relate to gender.


    Gender envy has been a frequently discussed concept within the trans and genderqueer communities for many years.[1] It has historically been kept from cisgender individuals as a trans-exclusive experience, ignoring the distinction of gender identity and gender presentation as well as the existence of dysphoric cis individuals.[2]


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