For parents who have just had a child come out to them as trans, and who are having trouble reconciling that with conservative Christianity. It is playing with fire with a child to look them in the eye and tell them that what they feel…Leave a Comment
Category: Gender and Sexuality
I don’t wear a pin because I’ve never been able to sit down and shut up when someone’s being an asshole to someone around me, and people have always been comfortable asking me for help or accepting help when offered, so it doesn’t feel necessary…Leave a Comment
When a baby is born, the first thing everyone wants to know is, “Is it a boy or a girl?” Even during pregnancy, parents often have an ultrasound scan, to look at a baby’s body and find out whether their baby has “boy parts” or “girl parts” before the child is born.
But what defines “boy” or “girl” doesn’t have a lot to do with the parts people have. Different groups of people define what it means to be male or female in many different ways. And people get messages from a lot of places about what it means to be male or female. The very idea that there are only male and female to choose from is not the same everywhere. Some cultures expect there to be three, five, or even more genders.
So what happens when someone tells you “boys are like this” or “girls are like that?” and “this and that” don’t seem to match up well to who you are? There are a lot of different ways that people respond to this feeling.One Comment
For All Students, Including Trans and Nonbinary Kids
Gender is something that traditionally has been taught in very simple ways. Penis means boy. Vulva means girl. Men are taller and stronger. Women are curvier and can get pregnant. People can be either male or female.
When someone who does not fit these rules joins or reveals themself to a group that has been taught these rules from early childhood, it creates a fundamental friction for some people, which essentially boils down to a feeling that, “This isn’t right, this person isn’t following the rules.”
But the rules are wrong. Gender is not simple. Gender is a social construct. So is binary sex. Physical sexual characteristics can run such a huge gamut that there is often as much variation within a “sex” as there is between sexes. There are many individuals who simply do not have bodies that line up well with our basic assumption that XY means male with penis and scrotum and XX means female with vagina and uterus and breasts. Chromosome variations exist, ranging from Turner’s Syndrome (single X) to almost any variation of XXY, XYY and other duplications. Androgen resistance can make someone with XY chromosomes appear female by normative standards. Some babies are born with truly ambiguous genitalia, which in the past has been “treated” with surgical gender reassignment at birth, though the thinking on that is changing and many parents are deciding to let children decide later.2 Comments
It is, if not amusing, certainly bemusing to me that the older I get, the less clarity I have about my identity. When I was 20, I attended, very briefly, Evergreen State College. And the one class I enrolled in was titled, “Race, Class and…Leave a Comment
A few days ago, one of our co-op members posted about http://www.illgowithyou.org/ . This is a project formed in response to the transgender protest #wejustneedtopee. See http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/03/14/trans-folks-respond-bathroom-bills-wejustneedtopee-selfies for an excellent article about the issues faced by trans folk in bathrooms. To quote one young friend of mine,…2 Comments