Bruce Jenner is sharing his gender story with Diane Sawyer tonight, rather he shared it and it’s airing tonight. Bruce Tells Diane, “Yes, for all intents and purposes I am a woman.” I will be open about my own confusion on this topic.
You see I was raised by a hardcore Gloria Steinem feminist who wouldn’t even let me read fairy tales (so I rebelled by loving all things girlie, naturally). I was told that gender is a construct, that women don’t like A and men like B, or women will act like A and men like B. This was to explain why it was that women didn’t really want to stay at home with children, nor should we have to, and what I felt as biological urges were just me falling prey to the patriarchal machine. When I got to college (undergrad) this was still the prevailing feminist theory upheld by my women’s studies professors. By the time I got to graduate school and the full court press by the GLBTQA movement was on, and suddenly “women” do feel one way and “men” feel another, but it can’t be quantified except to say that you feel like you’re in the wrong body.
Unless you’re a transgender who doesn’t want SRT then it’s not your body, it’s wise not to ask too many questions.
Like anything else I didn’t understand I decided to research it. What I found:
The more I read, the more confused I get. I had a MTF transgender friend try to explain to me the concept but in the end she told me that she thinks I just have no gender since I don’t know what it feels like on the inside to be a woman.
At least she tried.
I am reminded of the Native America “Two Spirit”
They didn’t think in terms of gay/straight or even cisgender (when your gender and body match) and transgender (when they don’t). You were male, female, or both. The natives were able to live this way without all the drama, without all the SRT, without all the hullabaloo because they had options other cultures didn’t have.
If you think that some same sex attraction makes you gay, you’ll be gay. If you think identifying with feminine things makes you a woman, you’ll want to be a woman. The mind is a powerful thing.
What if we had an option of “both”? What would the world look like then?
I am reminded of my goddess, Violet Chachki
She’s a drag queen who self-identifies as gender fluid, meaning she feels like both genders, sometimes at once, sometimes at different times.
And she’s fine with it.
What if you believed you could dress like Violet and still keep your penis? What if you believed that you didn’t have to harm your body just to be you?
This gay man by the name of Walter Heyer was very flamboyant and for years believed he was transgender and went through the process of SRT/GRS. Immediately following he had a major breakdown and suicidal depression about having lost his penis. The dilation device was a painful daily reminder of all he gave up. After multiple suicide attempts, he switched back. Today he has a website for people who are considering sex reassignment to warn them of what he went through.
Of course there are people like my friend who, aside from the pain, are happy about their sex change. I know former RPDR contestant “Sonique” is very happy in her new skin.
This whole thing confuses me and I admit to it. I think that scientists don’t know enough yet for us to progress as fast as we are. As a libertarian I support both Bruce and Sonique in following their heart and choosing how to live their lives, to include what they do with their own bodies.
However, I am reluctant to say the same when it comes to the under 16 crowd. It is one thing for Kylie or Bruce to switch as adults, but right now we are giving hormones to small children and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
If we don’t know what it is how can doctor’s treat it with medical integrity?
I wish we could move away with ideas and concepts of gender and just let people be unique individuals, however that may turn out.