Today I’d like to touch on something that has a certain amount of controversy to it and seems to be a red button issue at the moment.
I would like to talk a little bit about gender identity.
I am a man. A man who calls himself Maisie, likes cherry bodywash and wears nail varnish, sure, but still a man. And yet, the shit I get off people is fucking staggering.
I’ve had full on death threats for it.
Back when I used to do bar work I once had a drunken idiot asking the whole pub at the top of his lungs if I was a man or a woman because I had a lick of eyeliner on. And that was despite the 1 inch thick beard I was sporting at the time.
Not I’m bothered, mind you, I don’t see anything shameful with being a woman or having qualities traditionally associated with femininity. I share this with you to prove a point- if someone like me who’s only slightly smaller and less hairy than a silverback gorilla can get this much shit for a bit of eyeliner, Iimagine what the truly dysphoric go through on a daily basis.
Not just transgendered people. Cross dressers, drag queens, third gender, gender neutral, gender fluid or any I’ve missed out. Like race, sexuality or any number of things that people use to identify themselves, gender exists on a spectrum. Yet there are a large group of people who seem to insist on a destructive, limited binary, even if it means condoning violence and denying the validation of others.
The gender binary, the idea of man or woman, is based on a series of traits believed to occur more in one biological sex over the other, but so much of this has the distinctive whiff of bullshit about it. I personally tend to agree with Judith Butler’s idea of “performative gender”(you can find a brief summary here), where essentially whilst growing up in our assigned gender we are taught these behaviours, a matter of nurture over nature if you will.
Many would disagree with me, but come on. How many men have to commit suicide rather than face their feelings, how many talented women have to quit promising careers, how many transgender people have to be murdered before we all wake up and realise how fucking stupid this all is?
These recent bathroom laws in certain parts of the US have left me scratching my head, too. What are you going to do, have someone checking people’s genitals at the door? And do these people not realise this will lead to more men in women’s rooms? Although I’d love to be a fly on the wall when a big, bearded man goes into a women’s bathroom because they were assigned female at birth.
You know what, I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going to talk about this anymore. It’s not even really my place to get angry about it. Fact is that other people’s gender identity is none of my fucking business, and it’s none of yours either. There shouldn’t even be a fucking debate on this. Just because someone went around one day arbitrarily deciding some things were feminine and other things were masculine we choose to figuratively and literally crucify our fellow human beings.
It’s utter bollocks.
If you’re the kind of person who finds anything not of the traditional binary disgusting, I’m not going to change your mind. You’re entitled to your opinion after all, and we all know you’d rather go to your graves being ignorant than stop and listen to reason for two minutes.
But I do want you to consider something: Life is shitty. For everybody. Everybody has hardships, everybody struggles with their identity sometimes, even if you fit completely into the heteronormative narrative that mainstream society sells. If somebody who feels like an outsider for whatever reason has found something that helps them feel happy and comfortable, and does it without hurting or bothering anybody, then who the hell are you to tell them otherwise?
Anyway, always finish on a song, or so they say. Here’s your daily dose of punk rock, Against Me’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues. The whole TDB album is class, by the way. One of my favourite albums of all time, definitely check it out.
Sorry for the soap box rant, normal crappy service will resume next week, promise.
Peace out xx