When I say confused I’m not saying anything is wrong with the spectrum and fluidity of gender identity; I’m saying I don’t understand how someone can feel like a man one day, female the next or at any given moment, somewhere in-between or entirely genderless?
But to quote my 19 year-old daughter, “Mom you don’t need to understand something to accept it.”
Clearly my ignorance and age is showing.
I’ve been socialized in a culture that lives and breathes by the construct of two genders, whether as cis or trans. No where in my upbringing despite liberal parents and my lifelong need to understand “the other not like me” was I introduced to gender identity across a moving spectrum. This is a new and complex conversation even inside my progressive circles.
Writes German Lopez, “It’s now more accepted if someone is a man and loves a man, or if someone is designated a woman at birth and identifies as a man later in life — or perhaps during childhood. Seeing this progress, others are trying to expand concepts of gender even further — to directions many Americans may not be used to.”
Actress and model Ruby Rose explains what gender fluidity means to her:
“Gender fluidity is not really feeling like you’re at one end of the spectrum or the other,” she said. “For the most part, I definitely don’t identify as any gender. I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which — in my perfect imagination — is like having the best of both sexes. I have a lot of characteristics that would normally be present in a guy and then less that would be present in a woman. But then sometimes I’ll put on a skirt — like today.”
My daughter who identifies as cis gender told me that yes it’s all very confusing, the genders and associated matrix of pronouns (he, she, they, ve, ze…) but that her generation just isn’t hung up on labels.
But I feel old and stuck and I admit, a little uncomfortable with gender fluidity as it relates to privacy in public changing spaces.
What if I walk into the locker room at the YMCA and someone walks by who appears to be biologically male but who self-defines as a woman that day? Of course this is all wildly hypothetical. I’m not going ask the person’s gender identity.
But does the fact that my stomach drops when I see a presumed man in the locker room mean I think he might be a straight guy sneaking a peek at naked women?
But then we get into the issue of sexual orientation which has nothing to do with gender identity. Sexual orientation is the gender you are attracted, and like gender identity can be fluid. It can change.
And the reality is in any given moment in a locker room, on the beach, in the sauna, we have no idea who is attracted to who. We just go about our business…..
Want to read the whole post? Here it is.
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