I feel they’ve gotten out of control. Don’t get me wrong, I love that individuals that are different have banded together to (sort of) agree on what to call themselves and say “yes, we deserve a proper name.” however, when is it too much? We’ve got gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans (glbt) – those I’m cool with – and we’ve got gender queer and pansexual, too. These last two are the ones I’m not so sure about.
I’m really not sure if gender queer is fair because it’s used so sparingly but if it were actually true to its definition - a gender other than man or woman- I think it would mean a whole lot more people. Maybe I would be gender queer. Maybe you would be gender queer because you didn’t adhere to strict rules of what makes you this particular gender.
And what does that even say about those who do not identify as gender queer? Does that make you 100% girl or a 100% boy? What does that even mean, anyway, when girl and boy are labels we use to label our gender binary, and they have variations within those two names? Some girls like to wear tight dresses and high heels, some girls like to like pants all the time. Some girls have naturally higher voices than others, same goes for boys. But is this really the only way we can tell the difference? What is the big deal with “the difference” anyway? Some people find men who wear makeup sexually attractive (ie: “guy-liner”) like David Bowie. Does that mean the one who finds David Bowie attractive is less of a man or woman? I should hope not.
I really don’t know what 100% girl or boy would mean other than in a joke – a super societal expected feminine woman who loves pink and frills and speaks with a high pitched voice and never speaks unless spoken to or a man who feels nothing in his metaphorical heart for anything but the carnal desire for flesh? It’s ridiculous and it’s not doing anyone any favors. In fact I think of the strict gender binary and strict gender expectations as being a disservice to everyone actively involved in the conversation and those who think they are not involved, guess what? If you exist and someone knows of your existence, you affect the conversation.
I’m not sure anyone is 100% what society says is feminine or 100% what society says is masculine. We all have both in us and it’s not just one way or the other, especially when it seems society is constantly changing its mind about what counts as feminine and what counts as masculine. Also, this feminine/masculine binary is completely heterosexual only and denies the complexities of the queers (and I mean that in the most loving sense because I identify as one myself).
The human being is a complex, beautiful and horrifying creature. We are complicated, to say the least.
How could anyone on Earth be only half of the potential? Not to mention that we continue to slap on strict labels and expectations to newborns with blues and pinks who essentially look and act the same for a very long time. We only make them look different with the choices we make for them; “you will have a pink blanket and look pretty while you will have blue blanket and look handsome.”
I’m reminded of a joking exchange I had with a friend recently. She was told by her boss to write the address on an envelope in her most feminine handwriting. I told her she should write the address in menstrual blood. What’s more “feminine” than the blood that only women can shed? She said “eww!”
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, no one carries a photograph of their genitalia as proof of their right to be in the women’s restroom or the men’s restroom. It’s all about presentation! I appear like a woman because I have big hips, a butt, a belly, large breasts, long hair and a soft mainly hairless (talking no beard) face. But what if I didn’t? More importantly, women are women with varying breast sizes, hip sizes and other “feminine” features. I can deepen my voice pretty easily and sometimes I honestly feel more comfortable in that range. I can’t hit the high notes in songs. I rarely wear makeup anymore. I don’t naturally have hairless legs (no one does). Hair grows under my arms and mainly I leave it. Some of these things I can control, others I can’t. Does that make me gender queer? Does this directly dictate who I find attractive or fall in love with? Or does it make me just human? I think just human.
And if people think there is just male and female, why is there pansexual? Pan means “all” or “omni,” which usually refers to more than two. I’m quite sure the ones who are using the word pansexual feel there is more than just boy and girl because if not, logic would say they were bisexual. But then I think, why should there be a secondary term for essentially the same thing used by the second class citizens, the non-heteronormative people? No, that’s just messed up. Also, I have to admit I can only think of Pan from A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Mr. Tumnus from The Lion, The Wich and the Wardrobe and therefore usually giggle when I hear the term. I’m not perfect.
It’s very human to try and want to fit into the crowd and to be accepted. But sometimes the crowd has become too exclusive and just ridiculous. It seems to me there are far more “misfits” than there are people in the “in crowd.”
Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because on a physical level, I think androgyny is very attractive, a major turn-on and I half wish I could pull it off. Two British women in particular fully exemplify beautiful androgyny for me, Elly Jackson of the group La Roux and Coco Sumner of I Blame Coco. I’m a Libra and I like balance or the in-between. I really love the middle ground. The middle is where everything goes fuzzy, everything is gray. This is where I like to be. Most people don’t know that I identify as queer or as a lesbian when they meet me or even until I flat out tell them, I suppose because my gender presentation is pretty average. I’m able to be judged mainly by my character and my personality first, rather than by the fact I fall in love with women, not men.
I guess mainly what bothers me about these labels is their seeming permanency. Why do you have to pick just one and struggle to be the most this or that? If you are heterosexual and have always felt so, then good for you, but it is not that constant for some people. The best label to use is human. I’m fine with male or female or man or woman, I guess, if we really have to use labels, but we have to know that we are more than just that. It is a disservice to our Creator (if you believe that) and to our own selves. We limit ourselves with all these labels and terms that say “this is what you are and this is what you will be.”
There are, of course, lots of other labels we use for ourselves everyday like smart, dumb, beautiful, ugly, fat, skinny, well-traveled, well-read, funny, but the labels we use for our sexuality and our gender really get under my skin as being extremely limiting. Sometimes I just wonder what the world would look like if there were fewer “men and women” and more “people with ideas.” I think it’d be a freer place, a more accepting place, a more vibrant world where ideas would stand very much on their own merits and not be weighed down by a side-argument about the thinker’s presentation.
What do you think?