Expressing, not classifying
I rather like the Genderbread person. Someone can look at this and learn. Here is a wonderful post, which critiques it. I love what she says. And it has clarified something for me. At point 2, she asks for an explanation of the difference between transsexual and transgendered, and for me there is none.
Yes, there is a difference between sex and gender. Sex is biological, gender is to do with cultural expression, though I consider at least some of that culture, of “masculine” and “feminine”, is atavistic and genetic rather than merely cultural. But I loathe the expression “biologically male”, and I cannot imagine actually saying “I was biologically male”. I have always been a woman.
“Biologically male” is a useful classification for objective thought, and it does not fit my feelings. I was always a woman. I was a woman with a penis (and fused pelvis, broken voice, Y chromosome almost certainly, etc.). Treat that as a koan, like “the sound of one hand clapping”, a thought which makes no sense but provokes understanding. (Oops, there I go, defining, classifying, simplifying, all the things I deprecate.)
My essence is female. That is more important than my gonads, or I would not have had them cut off.
At point 5, she quotes another site, “being intersex can be any combination of biological sex characteristics.” Lumme. Intersex is a scientific classification, but also a label, something people choose for themselves and argue about its boundaries- is Kalman’s Syndrome intersex? Some prefer “disorders of sexual development”, some object to DSD, some would identify as “intersex” and also as “a woman” which might appear contradictory. Most who choose the label, I understand, object to trans folk applying it to us.
The classification expresses rationally perceived reality. For me, emotional reality is far more important.
It feels to me like emotional reality is dissed in our culture, certainly in my current experience of my history. Some discourse takes no account of it at all. And- I learn from the Genderbread graphic, which has two bars rather than a spectrum. I can be at different places on the two bars, at different times.
Now I get personal. If you (Oh, I want a name for her! “Complicated feelings” is not enough! Later- “Small Sauropod?” Really?) If you are reading this, picture me smiling and fluttering my eyelashes. At point 7, she complains that Genderbread oversimplifies sexual orientation. We could debate whether it should mention orientation and oversimplify it, or whether it is primarily about trans issues and it has to simplify something. And- I notice that she says it excludes being attracted to feminine men who are male. My antennae twitch. Close enough? Possibly, give it a try (flutter eyelashes again). I wonder if you are saying, “This does not include me”.
And- when the picture differentiates “gender identity” from “gender expression”, it gives me new understanding, because I have conflated them.