I’ve noticed there’s been a little shift in coverage regarding LGBT issues. It went from how us gays and lesbians are going to bring down the foundation of all that is good to an attack on the transgender community. Now, apparently, us queers aren’t nearly so bad as those twisted freaks who can’t be happy with the penis that god gave them.
I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have been born in the wrong body. I can’t even relate any of my personal experiences to that. I would believe there is a huge feeling of betrayal. To look in the mirror and see a stranger looking back at you…I can sit here and contemplate all I want, but I’ll never know what that feels like.
But, what I can feel is a certain degree of empathy when I read the hateful comments and ignorant statements of others.
I’ve read several articles regarding transgender students, and issues when it comes to which restroom is acceptable for them to use. My personal thoughts on the matter: If the student legitimately identifies as a female, then let her use the girl’s restroom, and vice versa. Or, if that isn’t applicable, then create single stall, unisex bathrooms. These kids are struggling enough with their own personal acceptance of who they are without their peers (and adults) ostracizing them from society as well.
What bothered me though, were the comments regarding gender roles, and how, if a boy is a boy, he shouldn’t be
allowed to wear a dress – because of gender roles. That got me to thinking…what are gender roles? My answer? Gender roles were created by a misogynistic society to establish power and inferiority in an attempt to exert control over a group of people who would otherwise be considered equal.
But, that’s just my opinion. Gender roles have existed since recorded history. Men were the ‘breadwinners’ and the women stayed at home and took care of the young’uns. The 1950’s exemplified the gender roles, with magazines like Housekeeping Monthly giving women tips on ‘how to be a good wife’, including telling women that a good wife always knows her place.
Do we still have gender roles? Not in the eyes of most normal, well functioning humans. Women can run corporations, hold positions of political power, be champion athletes, and be as successful as her male counterparts. Gender roles were obliterated years ago, and continue to disintegrate into nothingness.
Another thing people seem to confuse is sex versus gender. A person’s sex is based upon their reproductive organs and their secondary sex characteristics. A person’s gender is their personal identification. Gender is psychological, while sex is more biologically based. So what’s so wrong with a child whose sex is male, but their gender identification isn’t necessarily the same as their biological identification, who wants to wear a dress? Certain cultures, including many Native American cultures, believe in a Two-Spirit person – someone who has both traditional male and female characteristics. I’m not talking about hermaphrodites, or intersexed individuals, but those who may have male genitalia, but identify with more feminine gender aspects.
People want to label the LGBT community as a bunch of individuals with a serious mental disease. I think there is a mental disease in repressing someone’s expression of gender identity. It hearkens back to the stories of nuns beating the knuckles of a left-handed individual because ‘only devil worshipers write with their left hand’.
I enjoy the art of gender-bending. I love the looks I get when I go to the mall and people stare, wondering if I’m a guy or a girl. I get a kick out of the back-pedaling someone does when they call me ‘sir’, only to find out that’s not the case. Now of course, I can go home and stand naked in the mirror and not be disgusted by what I see, so I can only experience part of what a transgender person goes through. But I for one will always promote a freedom of expression of your sexual identity, and I will always do my part to tear down this idea that gender roles 1) exist in the first place and 2) that they hold some kind of power over who we become.
There will always be those idiots that try to tear others down. They’re the ones who believe that a woman should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. These are the same idiots that will try and tell a boy that he can’t wear a dress, or tell a girl that she can’t play football. Just remember, these are the same morons that are afraid of lesbians and gays. They’re afraid of anyone different than them.
Embrace who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are supposed to be, because in reality, only you know the answer to that.