Saturday, February 08, 2014

gender issues: not the same

sexual orientation: this is who you prefer sexually. this is not just not binary; it's not even a linear scale.

romantic preference: this is who you are likely to become emotionally attached to. it is related to sexual orientation, but not necessarily the same.

gender identity: this is how you experience your own gender, male female or something more ambiguous or complicated. it is how you feel you are. most people tend toward male or female but some people fall somewhere between.

sex: the gender of your physical body. even this isn't binary. people exist who have ambiguous genitalia, or even a complete set of external genitalia belonging to one sex but chromosomes or organs of the other sex.

it is important to understand that while these things are related, they are not the same.

life is more convenient for you if these things match in your life.

it is none of anyone's damn business to decide how you should experience these things in your own life.

i only take the time to clarify because if you're going to think seriously about gender issues it helps to be aware that there are separate related concepts operating and if you want to work toward gender equality -true equality- you're going to have to make room at the table for people who don't fit the standard binary model.

you can call people freaks, or you can just accept them as valid variations.


Zhoen said...

People with strong opinions about how each should be are not comfortable with ambiguity and contradictions. The world is so much easier with god in his heaven, and everyone in clearly marked boxes.

But life is leaky and variable, lots of wiggle room.

cookie said...

I want to have "Valid Variation" made into a t-shirt. Aren't we all? These gender posts have been excellent--thank you. :)


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