Gender “Theology”

The gender roles our society created keep order and help many feel comfortable and safe.  All born with a vulva must cook, clean; do most of the raising of the children; always defer to the one born with a penis and be happy with that.  Those born with a penis of any sort must like sports; want to play with trucks; play war games; have footballs;  grow up to do the yard work;  take out the trash and make all of the important decisions.  How did our world ever buy into this crazy gender “theology”?  Twenty years ago anyone who strayed from these gender rules was called names like feminist bitch, fag, and queer and usually were shunned.   Thankfully, these days society is a bit more comfortable allowing a little more variation in this strict gender “theology”.  Women are allowed to vote, become doctors, lawyers, work outside of the home and even allowed to do yard work — but it’s probably called gardening.  Men are allowed to cook (of course they call them chefs), design clothing, sew, be more involved in the daily raising of their children and they don’t necessarily all have to be jocks or macho to be accepted by society. 

The ends of the gender scale in the western world have expanded and there is still a lot more to learn and accept about gender.  Our culture and society in general still mostly views gender as a person’s genitalia.  Most people never see a person’s genitalia but still make judgments about them based on their perceived genitals.  This is ridiculous.  Now that I am no longer publicly perceived as female in anyway I get quite a chuckle about how people treat me and how differently they would treat me if they knew that I was not born with a penis.  I say I chuckle and sometimes I do and it also makes me very sad and aware of how shallow and fake much of our society is when it comes to gender and gender roles. 

I have heard of several small children, and have met a few, who have come out very early in life knowing that their physical bodies or genitals  do not match who they are inside.  It never fails to amaze me that our society is so shook up by a child who knows who they are at an early age.  Our so called civilized society would rather everyone go along like sheep; faking it to fit into the tiny tight boxes they have constructed for us.   Many are appalled when someone does not go along with the status quo.    Many people are outraged by parents and those allies who are supportive of these children, saying things like a kid cannot know that young who they are.  As someone who has lived this experience, and lived it in a society that puts out extreme pressure to fit into gender roles, this saddens me.  I truly wish I would have felt open to saying who I was at a young age.   I knew as far back as I can remember that I was masculine and saw myself totally as a boy.  No one should have to spend a lifetime, like I did, hiding who they are to be accepted, loved, or safe.  I commend schools, parents and any who allow a child to express who they really are and are supportive of them. 

I wonder if our society did not have so much invested in gender roles would children or people even feel any need to transition or declare their gender or a disorder know as “Gender Dysphoria”?  In other words, if we just allow people to be who they are from the start — did not have a culture that says right away if you are born with a penis you will wear more masculine clothing and like blue and if you are born with a vulva you will have longer hair, like pink and play with dolls — would there even be a need for transitioning? I propose that it is because of our society’s pressures that there is a need for such a thing.  If there was no shame for not fitting into this gender “theology” then would there be a problem?  People would be fine with their bodies if they were accepted and allowed to dress like they wanted to, play to roles they choose, wear make-up or not and not be ridiculed for any choices they make.   If people are actually accepted and loved for who they are inside, if their spirit and character is what really mattered who would care?  If people fell in love with a person for their kindness, compassion, sense of humor, companionship, integrity and did not prejudge on what genitals we think they have or do not have — how different would things be?  I propose that this is a problem our culture or society has created.  For many years people who did not buy into the gender boxes were made out to be like side show acts at the circus or fair.  People were curious about it but afraid of it and still are.  Because I am very out about being transgendered many people tell me I am brave.  Anyone who does not exactly fit in to what our society says is the norm and is openly being who they are I guess is brave.  I am just being who I am.   I know that the more of us that are not the societal norm who are willing to openly talk about it the more understanding and tolerance there will be in society.    Trying to force them to fit in and be something they are not is cruel.  The day we know that our society is healthy and has matured is the day we are not threatened by people’s differences.  I look forward to that day — when we are secure enough to allow and even enjoy others being whoever or whatever they are and realize that their being who they are does not threaten who we are. 

Celebrate Diversity!