Gender V

To say we all change during our life is an understatement, despite some people's insistence they haven't, they have, it's called denial. Every day we change, every year we age, mature, learn, succeed, fail, strive, and experience. And every year we renew our knowledge of who we are and how we express ourselves in the mirror and in the world. We see ourselves and the world sees us.

We are a living experiment in dynamic equilibrium. While we strive to stay one thing, everything around us is striving to push and pull us in a boatload of directions of change. Our bodies are constantly changing and our minds constantly experiencing, interpreting and storing into memory events and experiences. And both are constantly interacting to the experiences and interpretations. It's simply who we are.

Underneath all of that is the variety of ways we see ourselves and the world, through lenses of our physical, gender and sexual identities, our personality, temperament and intelligence, and through our experiences. We constantly adjust the filters with which we see ourselve, we want to world to see us, and how we see the world. And while we think they match, they never do, because we can't step outside ourselves to see us.

And so we have two of these dynamic perspective constantly interacting with the third, all of which is constantly changing. Any wonder people like stability? It's not possible, but we can achieve some measure of consistently to control the dynamics, and give ourselves time to experience things on fairly level terrain, or perceptively level terrain anyway (when your stuck on a mountain, level is relative). And sometimes we can then control some changes within a framework.

And where does gender squeeze into this dynamic? Well, for one it's constantly changing. But for another, and more importantly, for those seeking to change their gender, the dyanmic of life and change is overwhelming. It's one thing to go through life knowing your male and a man, or female and a woman, but try going through when there is the incongruity, and you're trying to make sense of your circumstances and who you really are and make sense of the world.

And that, as they say, is the rub. Unless you have a strong sense of yourself, it's almost impossible to do both, struggle with your own physical and gender identity, and struggle with the world as you see it and it sees you. Despite what some will argue, being a transperson is as hard as being gay, being an ethnic minority, living with a physical disability. You can't change your ethnic history, you can't change your sexual identity, and some disabilities are permanent. But you can change the incongruity of your sex and gender.

Our society, however, has a problem with that for we see the world and everyone else with moral values. And it baffles me when those moral values don't include understanding and acceptance for transpeople because they're seen as less than human. Since when is any human less a human being? We don't necessarily have to have some people in our lives, but we shouldn't discriminate against their personal expression and identity.

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WSR V2.8, January 2013