Is gender the same thing as sex?
Many people believe that when someone is born they are assigned a gender, but this happens to be false. People are born with an assigned sex (genital), but gender is up to interpretation. Gender is a social concept that has been validated for hundreds of years, but it has recently been given the chance to educate society on this part of the LGBTQ community.
I first want to point out that being assigned a sex at birth doesn’t mean you are ultimately bound to those parts of the physical experience. As a trans man, I will be getting top surgery (removal of breasts), some people are born with the wrong physical experiences and it helps them immensely to be reassigned to what they are meant to flourish in, and that’s ok. Being transgendered isn’t 100% one way or another, it’s a spectrum which includes people who identify as nonbinary, with certain pronouns, who are fully transitioned, etc. Asking someone to identify with a gender is like asking your cat to be a dog. It’s not a part of us, and we shouldn’t be shamed for living our authentic selves. Many people (some of my family included) believe that using a different pronoun for a loved one is silly, ridiculous, or in my personal experience “selfish”. But, put yourself in your loved one’s shoes, would you like it if we consistently called you an idiot and used the “it” pronoun?
example: This is my Idiot, it has been my best friend for nine years.
Do you feel isolated? Do you like being called an idiot and referred to as an object? That’s what we live through every day, but not only is one person improperly referring to us, but society has taken sides. We can’t go to the bathroom, hide our ID’s, live in constant fear, and become abused and bullied by narrowminded people.
Percentage of trans individuals who lost their jobs for being trans
Percentage of trans individuals who seriously attempted taking their own lives
Percent of trans individuals who have been sexually assaulted for being trans
Percent of people having healthcare denied or stopped due to being trans
Being transgendered isn’t a choice, it’s not something people strive to do. No person in a sane mind would choose to put themselves through assault, abuse, pain, loss of loved ones, loss of healthcare and several basic human rights, loss of career opportunity, put through the pain of bullying, misgendering, identity confusion (often resulting in personality disorders) and PTSD, etc.
Gender is a major part of today’s society, many different opportunities, care, and relationships are based on gender. However, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When a loved one transitions you don’t need to be scared, they have the same morals. It’s understandable that the families of transgendered persons find it difficult to make the shift of treating their loved one as a different gender or no gender at all. Politics, in particular, puts a major emphasis on gender, including restricting women’s rights to work, vote, etc. As a society, we were able to adapt and grow from that situation because we were able to see that women are strong, powerful, and contribute to society in ways men could never dream. Why can’t we make that shift with transpeople?
Humanity is known to adapt, and I am positive that someday we will be able to adapt to the gender spectrum. I do sympathize with the conservative people on some level who struggle with transphobia…For example, if I said that sterile couples within a family should be able to date, have sex, and get married, a lot of you would be grossed out. But, if we look deeper into the meaning of this sentence we learn that it is the exact same thing as LGBTQ peoples. The pressure, social structure, and stigma against being with the one you love. We can’t blame people for what they can’t understand, so please allow some room for those who are adapting to the change in social structure. But, if you are the one abusing LGBTQ people…don’t be a dick and go to an ethics class.