So My Uncle Got Me Thinking…about transgendered people

The other day, one of my uncles was talking to me about this transgendered person he knew. Whenever anyone tells a story about someone who is going through a sex change or has been through one, the storyteller will inevitably not know what pronoun to use when describing the person. Do you call a he a she, or vice versa? To be honest I have no idea. And I am not writing today to answer that question. But I would like to briefly address gender issues in this country.

It is 2014. If a man desires to be a woman, then so be it. No one should care. After all, if it makes someone happy to declare themselves of the other sex, then who are we to disapprove? To do so would to impede on another person’s happiness, which is downright selfish. Yet, there is something that bothers me even more when discussing the issue of transgendered people and people who identify with a sex other than their own.

This wonderful country was founded on the principle of choice. Choice of vote, choice where to live, choice of what to eat for dinner. Choice of what size popcorn to buy at the movies. For the issue of gender identification however, choice may not prove synonymous with freedom, as it usually does in America. Many supporters of transgendered individuals may pride themselves on this very principle of choice. And that is alright. Everyone certainly does have the option to claim to be another gender than their sex indicates. I perceive this issue of choice differently, however.

Perhaps choice in this situation is not a freedom; an expression of the axiom this country has prided itself on since its global inauguration. I believe that a man, or woman, choosing to identify as the opposite gender is detrimental to gender equality. Why should a male have to identify as a woman if he feels that is one? Who are he or she trying to appease? This gender identification, whether aimed towards social or even personal acceptance is un-American and perhaps inhumane. The inhabitants of this country decide what shoes to buy. We decide what car to drive and what baseball team to root for. We do not, and I repeat “WE DO NOT” decide who we are! I feel incredibly sorry that a person would have to even entertain the idea of deciding what gender they are. I feel sorry that a person would succumb to social pressure to claim a gender other than their sex. I feel sorry that a person would have to succumb to internal pressure to claim a gender other than their sex. Identifying as another gender is to meet a goal of either self-acceptance or social acceptance. And this, to me, is intolerable and sad.

So what do you propose, Matt? Lovely question. I will answer like so. If you, for instance, are a male who has what society has deemed as effeminate qualities, and identify as a woman, do not feel the need to do so. Be a male who has feminine qualities or tendencies. There is nothing wrong with that. Keep your sex. Lose your gender. Eliminate gender altogether. Force society to acknowledge that you are a male; a male who happens to have the habits and the personality of which we typically relate to females. Do not let your characteristics change your sex all the while using gender identification as the outlet. Let your characteristics change the concept of sex in general. It is not up to you to decide what gender you are. It is up to the rest of us to accept that you have personality traits that differ from the standard man or woman. Hopefully, one day Americans will realize that it is our nonacceptance that is fueling this trend of gender identification.

For review

1. Perhaps the ability to choose what gender you identify with is not a choice at all.

2. Perhaps in this situation tolerance and acceptance are the American principles that need to shine the most.

3. Identify as your sex. Be confident in being a woman who has traditional masculine qualities. Be confident in being a male of has feminine traits. Embrace those characteristics, but never let them socially define you (in regards to gender identification.)

4. Eliminate gender. Who needs it anyways? Just because sex and personality are separate does not mean they need separate terms to distinguish the difference between them. Be the male or female you were born as. Accept that your personality may differ from what society deems standard for a male or female. And if you eliminate gender, you will force people to accept you for who you truly are…just a regular person who belongs to one of the biological sexes…who just so happens not to adhere to the traditional tendencies humans have allotted to males and females.

Hoping he did not offend anyone,

E