Friday, April 10, 2015

Gender Proliferation

                First there was Adam…and Eve. Male and female.

Not long thereafter there were more men and women.

Eventually, the gay and lesbian community arrived on the scene.  They were joined by the bisexual crowd.  Trans-genders came aboard soon after, so that we now needed to use an acronym to save time and space when referring to this/these social group(s). GLBTG.
                The other day I picked up a newsletter from my son’s senior high school. Among other things, it touted the fact that therapists were available on campus to help your youngster through a range of issues including, “LGBTQ.” I couldn’t figure out what the Q was for.  I was informed it stood for “questioning.” Ah. But why was the G after the L now? Apparently lesbians have recently been granted more special status than gays. It’s hard to stay on top of proper politically-correct etiquette in these times. Also, I wondered, what happened to the G in transgender? They must have bumped it from the acronym to save space. That doesn’t seem very inclusive to me.
                 Facebook now recognizes something like 57 different genders. Startling.  I recently read a review of Facebook’s new acceptance of these 57 gender terms that opined, “this list cannot possibly cover every possible gender identity a person can have.” Really?! That list of genders is too small?
                Wow. I had no idea. We’re now going to need an acronym longer than “antidisestablishmentarianism.”
                And the good folks over at state, “…even in a fairly simple system of identifying genders, there are at least Sixty-Three (63) gender combinations.”
                These same progressives are leading the push for unisex bathrooms. If there are indeed 63 genders, this is probably a good thing. If there were 63 different bathrooms necessary, all of our sports and concert venues would have to be the size of New Jersey. After 8 or ten drinks, no convention attendee could ever find the right rest room. Personally, I think there should be three bathrooms, not 63…or one or two. Men’s, women’s and “Gender Non-Conformists” should suffice. (The latter can enter at their own risk and amusement after signing a waiver of liability). You’ll see why after reading the following.
                There exist, according to various gender-catalogers, many general categories(!) of gender, encompassing various gender sub-sets and variants.  To Whit:

*Agender- Someone who does not identify with any  gender. May also be termed “genderless” or “gender neutral.”
*Androgyne/Androgenous- Someone who neither identifies with, nor presents as, a man or woman. (I’m not entirely sure what differentiates these folks from the Agender. And I thought it was a zone).
*Bigender- Someone who identifies as both a man and a woman. A combination of the two, but not necessarily 50/50. They may present as men, women or as gender-neutral on different days. (I’d hate to pay for their wardrobe! But I’d like to see Ronco’s amazing new “Bigender Blender! It makes daiquiris and wine-spritzers, but also grinds sausage and cheese and makes a great double IPA!”
*Cis-  category encompasses many different terms to describe those (odd, boring) folks that aren’t trans and do not have a “gender diverse” identity or presentation. E.G.: Cis Female, Cisgender Female, Cisgender Woman, and Cis Woman all describe a female who identifies as a woman and has a feminine gender identity. (Why, that’s not at all progressive and frankly quite queer! But, by its own definition, these are four different labels to describe the exact same group! And one of the two traditional ones, at that. This is completely unnecessary and redundant. This term does not refer to your female sibling. Or maybe it does…I don’t know anymore).
*FTM (female to male)- a trans person who was assigned female sex, and now lives as a man and has a masculine gender identity. (Who “assigned” their female sex…a teacher? Was it homework? I thought FTM was a magazine).
*Gender Fluid- someone whose gender identity  and presentation are not confined to only one gender category. (What makes this category different than agender or bigender? “Could we get a wet clean-up in aisle four? There’s some gender fluid on the floor here!”).
*Gender Nonconforming- Someone who looks and/or performs in ways that are atypical of society’s expectations. (This is  the umpteenth description of the same group. Maybe the Cis-gendered are the Gender Nonconformists now?).
*Gender Questioning- Someone who may be questioning their gender or gender identity or ways of experiencing/expressing their gender or gender presentation. (This one actually scares me a little).
*Gender Variant- An umbrella term that refers to anyone who, for any reason, does not have a cisgender identity. (Again, what makes this category different than…?).
*Genderqueer- Someone who identifies outside of, or wishes to challenge, the two-gender system. (Again, what makes this category different from…? Wow. Talk about beating the proverbial dead- but previously Gender Questioning- horse!).
*MTF (Male to Female)- a trans person who was assigned male sex and now lives as a woman and has  a feminine gender identity. (Bruce Jenner).
*Neither- Not putting a label on one’s gender. (Is it just me, or is there an incredible amount of duplication in these terms/labels? Also, there is an incredible amount of labeling in these terms in order that we not stereotype, confine and… label).
*Neutrois- An umbrella term within the bigger umbrella terms of transgender or gender-queer. Includes people who consider themselves agender, neither-gender, and gender-less. (Department of Redundancy Department).
*Non-binary- Similar to gender-queer, a way of describing one’s gender as outside the two-gender “system” and/or challenging that system. (Ditto).
*Other- Choosing not to provide a commonly recognized label to one’s gender. This term should not be used to refer to people whose gender you can’t quite understand or place! (Ditto).
*Pangender- “Pan” means every, or all, and this term challenges binary gender and is inclusive of gender diverse people. (Ditto).
*Transgender- An umbrella term that includes all people who have genders not traditionally associated with their assigned sex. (Ditto).
*Trans*- Is an inclusive term, referring to the many ways one can transcend or even transgress gender or gender norms. Also called Trans*Person. (“Look at me, I’m transcending- dare I say transgressing- gender norms! How remarkably unusual and courageous I am!”).
*Transsexual Person- Refers to people who have made lasting changes to their bodies. (This is oddly vague. Does this include those with tattoos, piercings, etc.? Those who have lost 40 lbs. recently?).
*Transmasculine- Someone assigned a female sex at birth who identifies as masculine, but may not identify wholly as a man. (Do we need a separate term for those identifying as 99% masculine, 98% masculine, 97% masculine, etc.? There really could be limitless numbers of genders!).
*Transfeminine- Guess. Or see above. (Ditto).
*Two-Spirit- Native Americans who have both masculine and feminine characteristics and presentations, have distinct roles in their tribes, and are seen as a third gender. Germany and Nepal have recently adopted a third gender option for their citizens to select, as well. (I really shouldn’t comment on this, as much as I’d like to).
*So now we are up to (at the very least): the LGBTQAGANBGCISFTMGFGNGQGVGqIMTFNeiNeuNBOPGTTPTMTFTS community.
                And where do those of us that have been “assigned” male or female heterosexual genders fit in? Can we not squeeze a couple of capital letters into the world’s largest acronym to represent this group? Or is modern progressive society not quite that inclusive? Maybe Cis covers us? Aren't we all one big human family?

                Isn’t it ironic that those who so vehemently profess to believe in a limitless number of genders  have really only come up with one of their own? To replace the traditional designation of  1) male and 2) female, they have come up with 1) those who consider themselves to be male, or 2) female, in the traditional sense… and 3) those who don’t.             

No comments:

Post a Comment