Variety is the Spice of Life: A rant
It's been a while since I last posted a musing. Todays thoughts were born from my feelings around the current narrative of hate and intolerance from the right-wing media machine in the USA at the moment; and worse still the subtle pops of sarcastic transphobic memes sneaking onto my news feeds by people I thought I knew.
I am a great believer in science. Yes, science is ever evolving, and we are forever learning and questioning theories but that's what science is; a continuous challenging of beliefs, ideas and concepts in search of truth.
In America at the moment, there is a huge shift in the transphobic narrative; it seems to be growing momentum with all sorts of attempts to discriminate against gender non-conforming individuals. As Dr Marci Bowers mentioned in her latest #WPATH Newsletter "More than 400 anti-transgender bills, particularly in conservative states, see anti-transmessaging as a winning political posture for some."
Another pissing competition at the expense of innocent people.
It's hard not to get into arguments with conservative folk who are on their high and righteous horse about how Transgenderism is against nature; and something that is sinful and wrong. Their ignorance and arrogance baits me more often than I care to admit; but proudly, I am learning that there is much greater power in the quiet, calm progression of strong, committed, educated people all over the world who are gathering and understand the reality of Gender Identity and the need for Gender Affirming Care.
Dr Bowers writes in her guest essay for the New York Times (What Decades of Providing Trans Health Care Have Taught Me):
"The presumption that gender-diverse identities are not real — that young people will eventually come to accept their birth assigned gender as their minds catch up to their maturing bodies — is not supported by the evidence and is likely harmful. There are, after all, more than 40 identified intersex variations representing diversity in the development of genitalia. Gender identity is similarly diverse. In nature, for every rule, there is an exception."
The non-brain argument that anything other than man=penis & woman=vagina, is unnatural and "wrong" is certainly not based on scientific evidence. And even as science evolves, it continues to show that diversity of human beings is absolutely natural.
Over 40 identified intersex variations! For those of you who don't know, people who are intersex have genitals, chromosomes or reproductive organs that don't fit into a male/female sex binary. That's just on the physical level; and can be proven in a lab with actual physical samples. Human beings are such complex creatures with so many more levels than just the physical why is it so hard to accept that there can be as much variation on other levels as there are on the physical?
Conditioned beliefs can be a powerful fear inducer; especially if they are reenforced by influential leaders in society and religion. And as we know, fear is a great tool of control. Humans like comfort, and new information can be uncomfortable because it asks that you question those beliefs that are so intrinsically woven into our lives.
Yes, there are some serious questions that need to be investigated about Gender Affirming Care for children and adolescents as well as the way forward with regards to competitive sports, and I am inclined to err on the side of caution in this regard; however there has to be more than the option of a blanket refusal to accept this.
I'm not sure what the road ahead looks like for the Transgender and Intersex Communities on this planet. All I know is that I am 100% certain about which side of history I will be on.
In case you were unsure about my position on the matter, I hope it is bright and sparkly clear now. When the rights of one person, or one group of people is denied, the rights of us all are at risk.
My space continues to be a safe place for all people, no matter their #genderidentity or #chromosomalmarkers
With Kindness Shay
PS: for Dr Bowers full (brilliant) essay click on this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/01/opinion/trans-healthcare-law.html