Gender Envy – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to describe someone envious of another person because of their gender? You could say they have a case of "gender envy." This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression "gender envy" means that someone is envious of another person's body. It's not usually for how they look but rather for their gender and the energy they give off when they are out in public. Some people that are uncomfortable with their birth gender may want to transition into the opposite sex.

Those who are yet to transition or are transitioning may look at other people and wish they could look like them after they finish their transition. They see themselves in the body of the other person, and they feel envious that the other person has the physical body that they dream of having themselves.

It's important to note that "cisgender" (non-trans people) cannot use this phrase, as it's offensive to transgender people. Using it could get you in trouble with "the woke mob" on social media platforms like Twitter.

Example Usage

“That person sure has some gender envy. She’s transitioning, and she can’t stand the opposite sex right now.”

“Did you know that they are teaching terms like ‘gender envy’ to children in 4th grade now? I don’t know why the government is trying the sexualize children.”

“Gender envy is becoming a real problem in schools. Some kids think they want to transition when they are just curious about the other sex.”

“Gender envy is causing young children to transition. Their parents let them use hormones and hormone blockers before they even hit puberty. These kids are going to hit developmental issues for sure.”

“I know this person with the worst case of gender envy. Whenever we go out, they can stop obsessing over people of the opposite sex. I told her to make a move and transition already.”

“People that think transgender athletes have an advantage just have a serious case of gender envy. There’s no reason why transgender men shouldn’t be able to compete in women’s sports.”


The expression “gender envy” has disputed origins, and language experts are unsure when the phrase first started to enter English and western culture. Some guess that it comes from the 90s and the early integration of gender and identity politics into cultural discussions.

Over the last two decades, we’ve seen a huge explosion in gender equality and gender rights. However, the structure of “gender envy” suggests that it has a more modern edge and could possibly evolve from the millennial or Gen Z groups.

While “gender envy” is something of a new term, it’s becoming used more frequently in countries worldwide as the transgender movement spreads.

Phrases Similar to Gender Envy

  • Insecure personality.
  • Depressive behavior.

Phrases Opposite to Gender Envy

  • Comfortable with who you are.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Gender envy.

Ways People May Say Gender Envy Incorrectly

You need to be careful how you use the term "gender envy." Anything to do with identity politics can get you in trouble if you use it incorrectly. If you're not a transgender person, people might find it offensive if you say they have gender envy.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Gender Envy

You can use "gender envy" to describe scenarios where a transgender person is envious of other people's bodies before or during their transition. It's a term from identity politics, and you can get in trouble if you use it incorrectly.

Gender envy can happen to men, women, non-binary people, and transgender people. It describes the sensation that you don't feel comfortable in your current body and you want to transition into another person's gender.

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