Redefining Gender

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic
English essay 2: Definintion using classification.

Submitted: October 14, 2010

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Submitted: October 14, 2010

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Re-defining Gender

“Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals open your eyes!”

-Da Vinci

 

What is gender? The society has constructed a system labeling qualities of masculinity and femininity to men and women. So if someone were masculine under society that person would be a male. However many people share both qualities; a man could share, what society has labeled feminine qualities but he is nonetheless a man. Today we are re-defining what gender is. Today in the transgender community we describe gender is: how we feel about ourselves and also how we want to be perceived by others. There are different categories on the gender-variant pendulum that transcend the conventional terms of “man” and “woman” in various ways.

Defining gender is certainly not as simple as separating black and white. Being transgender we are often asked ‘Why do you think you belong to the opposite sex?’ It is virtually impossible to answer this question because in our quest to re-define gender societies labels of what it means to be a male or female are continuously changing. Women are becoming successful in a mans profession, and visa versa. To be a man does not include being athletic, competitive, and insensitive. We are bending the rules and often many people show elements of both genders. I cannot say I am male because I like to watch football, I prefer to play with cars then dolls. However I’m not athletic, I prefer to excise the muscle in my cranium; which could be considered a female quality. It’s a matter of internal existence. This question could be reversed toward a person who is not transgender; they were born with the normality of knowing what sex they are and their sex matched their internal self-identity.

Before I classify gender-variant or also known as gender identity; I want to tell you what it is not. Gender identity is commonly confused with sexual orientation. Even though transgender is often part of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) community, the terms are very different. Sexual orientation is ones sexual attraction to the same-sex (homosexual), opposite sex (heterosexual), or both sexes (bisexual). However, a transgendered person can identify as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Gender identity is our gendered self as male, female or a third gender. We demonstrate our preferred identity threw gender expression to others through clothing, social roles, language, or mannerisms. When I use the term gender, I mean our internal sense of who we are, not sex. Sex would be considered ones biological sexual gentiles.

When I talk about the transgender community I want people to be educated on the subject and the right terminology. A lot of the time people have a misconception of the transgender community because of gender fuckers; people who purposely present with strongely visible element of both sexes to provoke people. Terminology that is not used because they are used to dehumanize transgender people are: tranny, he-she, it, she-male, and gender-bender. A pronoun is ones preferred gender identity such as for male you would use he, him, or his. Misuse of pronouns is highly disrespectful. The transgender community uses the word “outing” in the same sense as the gay community. We work very hard to “pass” as our preferred gender in society things ranging from binding the chest or “packing” an object in our pants to be perceived as a penis. We pride ourselves when society sees us as that gender it becomes very embarrassing and disrespectful when someone reveals our biological sex.

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.

The most massive characters are seared with scars."

- Khalil Gibran

 

A Transgender Cross Dresser is someone who enjoys wearing clothes of the opposite sex. It is thought to be the first stage of transition; the process of changing ones biological sex to their gender identity. For example when I was three years old my mother would put a dress on me and I would rip it off and refuse to wear it. Finally she let me wear boy clothes and I enjoyed it, but at the time I didn’t know why I enjoyed dressing in boy clothes.

A Drag Queen or King is someone who dresses in clothes of the opposite sex for a theatrical purpose. They still identify with their biological sex but for the purpose of performing they use the opposite sex’s name. Usually the show is a Madonna over the top theatrical extravaganza. Uses all drag queens are flamboyant gay men.

A person that is Intersex is someone who has sex characteristics of male and female reproductive organs. Historically they were called hermaphrodite but the term is considered derogatory so it was dropped by the GLBT community and replaced with intersex. Intersexed people can either of characteristics of both sexes either genetically or psychically. For an example a male can have both an X and Y-chromosomes; one belonging to female and to male. Psychically one can have female sex qualities and also testicals that have failed to drop.

A new term that has been introduced and clinged to is GenderQueer. These people have completely discarded societies labels of gender and have classified themselves as the third gender. They don’t identify solely as male or female but they posses qualities of both genders. In the sixteenth century the term was considered as a bad, worthless, untrustworthy person. Then in the early nineteenth century people of the time described counterfeit or fake money as queer. Later in the same century until the 1980’s the term was a derogatory remark used toward homosexuals. In the 1990’s the word changed again and used its negative connotation to dehumanize the people; using phrases such as “That’s so queer” or “You’re so queer.” Finally in the twenty first century the term was redefined and used as a power word. It means completely falling out of the regular binary; also a being blessed to be rare.

"The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary.

 Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness."

-Joseph Conrad

For years scientists have begged the question to what makes a person transgender, and still to this day we have no received a plausible concrete answer with evidence behind it. Some Transgendered people have genetic chromosomes for both sexes, but not all. The church and media scandalizes the Transgender community declaring, “it’s a lifestyle we’ve chosen,” “it’s immoral or a sin,” “flip-floppers between genders.” The church declares there is a cure with electro shock therapy strapped on the genitals. The insists Transgendered people chosen the lifestyle because God does not make mistakes, and evidently the answer would have to be Transgendered people are mistakes. However if God in fact not make a mistake then Transgendered people are living just the way God intended. The media that has casted ‘The Pregnant Man’ as the face of the Transgender community has turned our lives into a freak show. Slandering the community’s real purposes; declaring we switch between genders for convienence; open the floodgates, after all it’s only our life to be twisted and broken.

The most common term used is Transgender. Someone who identifies as transgender has a psychological need to belong to the opposite sex but have not completely sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). Or in simpilar terms: someone who was born with the wrong sexual genitals. There are two types of transgender people there is male to female (MFT), which is more common than the other, female to male (FTM). This term is usually considered the second stage of transition because they have not fully completed surgery, which would mean they are “pre-op”.

Transition is a life long process the requirements even to be able to have surgery are burdening. First one has to spend six to nine months in counseling for a therapist to diagnose them with Gender Identity Disorder, stating they are uncomfortable in their assigned gender therefore they can begin hormones to start the physical and mental transformation to align their sex and gender. But hormones will only change certain physical features such as for a FTM testosterone will deepen the voice, reduce hair line to look more manly, gain muscle mass and redistribute fat for a more manly body, will allow to grow facial hair, and the clitoris will grow to about the size of the thumb. For a MTF breasts will grow to a certain side, usually only to an A cup, fat redistributes for a womanly hourglass shape, and will shrivel up the penis. Hormones can give but cannot take away so MTF’s would have to shave their face or have it laser removed.

After years of being on hormones one is able to have sexual reassignment surgery if of course one can afford it. In most cases one cannot afford the surgery since it is so expensive and insurances do not cover the costs because it is considered cosmetic. Surgery that does not include luxuries such as shaving of Adams apple or laser hair removal for a MTF ranges from $25,000 to $75,000. And for FTM ranges from $75,000 to $125,000; it more expensive because it is easier to dig a hole then to build a pole.

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;

For what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves.

We must die to one life before we can enter another."

- Anatole France

 

If someone had the luxury of completing surgery (post-op) they would then be considered transsexual. Now ones gender identity and sex match. Some transsexuals leave the GLBT community because they don’t want to be defined with “trans” in the prefix of their sex, they wish just to be recognized a normal male or female. However, there are some that stay in the community and advocate. For example my best friend and mentor Christopher. I met him at the first transgender meeting I attended at the time he was the facilitator of the group; educating, informing, and supporting other people in the community. We have a group called TEA but just pronounced as “T” and stands for Transgender education advocates of Utah. We go around to colleges and business including University of Utah, Salt Lake City Community College, police departments and fire stations, to advocate on transgender issues in the workplace.  We have also went to ones house that is trying to “come out” to their family.

"Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one who inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it."

-Mark Twain

November is transgender national awareness month and to celebrate this we have events throughout the month encouraging the public to attend. In the past we have brought in Marci Bower, a well-known surgeon that performs sexual reassignment surgery from Colorado. We’ve also brought Jamison Greene, a famous transgender author and advocate. You could say he is the face of FMT’s. We also host the annual candle light vigil that focuses on remembering those transgendered people that were killed due to hate crimes. In 2008 thirty-three people had been killed but in 2009 the death toll took a hike to 110. We hope to bring that number to zero through education the public.

"We are all brothers under the skin, and I, for one,

Would be willing to skin humanity to prove it."

-Ayn Rand

We are humans like everyone else; the only difference between us is that we are trying to find the normality everyone else is born with. We wish to be perceived and respected as male or female threw our gender expression just as those biologically born in that sex. The only exception is we are blessed to experience life in both genders.


© Copyright 2017 Toby Cruz. All rights reserved.

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