Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Complex Gender Spectrum Is Not Simply Male Or Female

The New York Times Sunday Magazine has a piece today titled "When Girls Will Be Boys" with a focus on transgender and genderqueer students in college, and specifically the trans community in women's colleges.
The conventional thinking is that trans people feel they are “born in the wrong body.” But today many students who identify as trans are seeking not simply to change their sex but to create an identity outside or between established genders — they may refuse to use any gender pronouns whatsoever or take a gender-neutral name but never modify their bodies chemically or surgically. These students are also considered part of the trans community, though they are known as either gender nonconforming or genderqueer rather than transmen or transmale.

I rarely find articles in the Sunday Times Magazine which provoke me to read significant portion of them, and it's even more unusual for me to read one from start to finish. I highly recommend this one. Our nation and our world will be a better place when more people understand and comprehend gender identity.

Rey, who was the focus of the article, had this to say.
“Some transmen want to be seen as men — they want to be accepted as born men,” he said. “I want to be accepted as a transman — my brain is not gendered. There’s this crazy gender binary that’s built into all of life, that there are just two genders that are acceptable. I don’t want to have to fit into that.”

Between a quarter of a percent and 1 percent of the U.S. population is transgender, according to The National Center for Transgender Equality. If the higher pecentage is accurate, that's three million Americans.

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