I drove in to the city this morning and there was, just as I was pulling in to my parking spot, a “thing” on the radio about a transgender child from Alberta who is in the process of requesting his legal documents change his gender to represent the gender with which he identifies (male). I remembered reading an article about a family who opted not to reveal their children’s gender until the child themselves decided which gender they wished to identify as. I also remember that family being vilified as child abusers. And that brought me to this question:
What is so terrifying, so reprehensible, about allowing a child to express themself as whichever gender they choose?
That ultimately leads to this question:
What makes gender so damned important anyway?
I mean, what is “female-ness” or “male-ness” other than a group of behaviours and, ultimately, fashion choices? Why do so many people feel threatened – actually *threatened* – when faced with questions regarding gender?
I just keep coming back to this one question: what’s the big deal?
If someone wants to change their identification to reflect the gender they choose to display (rather than the one with which they were born, say), what’s the big deal? Surely there are better ways to classify and identify people “for national security reasons” than a box that says “m” or “f” on their passport or birth certificate. What are the important things that the government needs to know about you?
I guess that depends on what they’re going to use that information *for*. And, knowing bureaucracies, making a change to an OFFICIAL RECORD probably requires seventeen different people working on eight files in triplicate in order to change one tick mark from an “m” to an “f”. Ultimately, though, if the government wants to keep track of you, surely to Christmas they have better ways of doing it than the emms and effs on your passport.
This is actually a legitimate question. I don’t understand, and I’m trying to.
Why is it such a big deal to let a child (or an adult, really) what gender they wish to display? Where is the harm in letting (and encouraging) a (chromosomally-determined) girl to dress as, act like, use the same loo as, the boys? And what’s wrong with a (chromosomally-determined) man, who identifies as a woman, transitioning their life to live it as a woman? Is that child hurting you and your family in some way? Are they coming to your house and taking money out of your bank account? Are they eating your food and threatening your children?
I’d like to leave out the religious arguments, because…and I’m not sure here, but I THINK none of the ten commandments say “thou shalt, if born with one X and one Y chromosome, live thine entire life after the fashion of a male; likewise as a female when thou hast two X chromosomes. More than that and We Don’t Even Know”. I’m pretty sure there aren’t a whole lot of passages in the Torah or the Qu’ran that deal with gender expression. Ultimately, though, I think the religious argument that “we are made in God’s image” is silly. I’m sorry, I know that’s inflammatory and probably insulting and seven ways from “not socially/politically appropriate”. Here’s my reasoning, though: I don’t know what God looks like, and neither do you. For all we know, WE ARE ALL SUPPOSED TO GROW MAGNIFICENT BEARDS and something went wrong with the females. Or we’re all supposed to have enlarged mammary glands and something got cocked up with the males. Figuratively. Since there are no (that I’m aware of) passages in major religious texts that deal with the expression of gender, and since nobody (NOT EVEN JESUS) knows what “in God’s image” really means, let’s leave the religious arguments for now.
I want to know, socially, legally, bureaucratically, ethically. What is the problem with letting people – children especially – choose the gender they wish to express? Tell me. Let’s talk about this. Because it bugs the crap out of me when I don’t grok something.