Gender expression is more than parts and purses

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Gender expression is more than parts and purses

Postby Miki Yamuri » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:32 am

Gender expression is more than parts and purses

Last week, Cher was on David Letterman speaking candidly about her transgender son Chaz, formerly known to the world as Chastity Bono, her daughter. Two weeks ago, "Sarah," the mother of a 5-year-old boy who chose Daphne from Scooby Doo as his Halloween costume, lit up cyberspace with a letter defending her son's decision to dress as a female character for the holiday. The national attention landed the boy's story on the "Today" show, CNN's "American Morning" and other major TV talk shows.

This Saturday is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, an event created to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in places across the world to hold candlelight vigils, because history reveals that sometimes when you stand out, ignorant others derive pleasure from knocking you out.

We have lost a lot of human beings to violence because of the hate behind the distaste for the way others may expresses their gender. About a decade ago, the vigil was created to remember and honor the many people who have been murdered.

I recall, once upon a time, being very uncomfortable when I encountered men who dressed as women. I thought it somehow impacted the way others saw me, as a gay man. I never had the feeling that I wanted to be anything but male, but I was fully aware that mainstream misconceptions about sexual orientation inevitably intertwine and confuse others about gender and gender expression. I bought into the concept that being gay somehow impacted how male I was perceived to be by others, so I clung to manhood like a selfish little girl.

But then I got over myself, because I should have never been focused on me at all. Our obligation to others is to help them feel comfortable and good about who they are, however they dress. And it's also about recognizing that understanding should not be a prerequisite to sensitivity and compassion. Sometimes, you have to be considerate to people even if you don't understand them or if you have trouble relating to them — especially if that person is your own child.

Imagine if you couldn't see or feel yourself from the neck down. Would you know whether you were a woman or a man? If you woke up tomorrow and your body had magically transformed into the opposite sex, would you suddenly be attracted to your former sex? Would you still be you? More importantly, would you deserve the dignity and right to live happily, without fear or shame, if what you felt in your mind and in your body were not the same?

Gender expression isn't just about parts or purses; it's about body, brain and soul. So the next time you experience discomfort in seeing someone trying to align one with the other two, imagine for one moment how challenging it would be if that person was you.

**with love**
Miki Yamuri
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:06 pm

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