People with bodies like ours sometimes don’t particularly fit well into binary, either/or categories due to our unique chemical, hormonal and physical make up. This can also be true when we try to place ourselves solely on one side of the gender scale (feminine) or the other (masculine).
The concept of gender is different than biological sex, sexual orientation, and sexual preference. Gender is more about society’s preconceived ideals and stereotypes for what is considered appropriate dress, manner, interests and behavior for males and females. Indoctrination into acceptable gender patterns begins with our first pink or blue outfit, the toys put out before us, and the reinforcement of gender appropriate behavior. Even the stranger who declares, “What a big strong boy you are,” or “What a cute little girl you are,” is sending cues to the small child as to what behavior and attributes are prized.
If you are an adult who survived the confines of gender appropriate behavior of the last half century, you already understand the incongruity of biological sex and gender. As it turns out, we were way ahead of current gender-bender theorists, breaking away (or attempting to) from biologically sexed traditional “right” and “wrong” behavior, without even understanding the complexities of our actions.
Unfortunately for some of us, any gender displays that were incongruent to our biological sex felt threatening to our parents, who had been instructed to only reinforce gender appropriate leanings. We were not children encouraged to explore our individual possibilities. Instead, often times, our energies or interests were funneled and re-channeled to remain in sync with our blue or pink labels, which had never felt really blue or pink to us in the first place.
Many people with bodies like ours have synchronized their biology and gender in ways that are individually comfortable and compatible, and realistically that is what every person ~ regardless of their body~ should do for themselves. But this evolution is so much more difficult for many of us because our chemistry, emotions, capabilities, and physical attributes are not so concisely male or female. In continuance of the suppressive and familiar teachings of our youth, we may end up feeling ashamed when we are not being a feminine woman or a masculine man. We may put intense pressure on ourselves to fit into places, sometimes not understanding why, but knowing that it just doesn’t feel quite right.
When people with bodies like ours are allowed the freedom to create our own individual balance by having the bodies we were born with nurtured with acceptance and not condemnation, our gender will evolve and be celebrated, which is as it should be.
- Read about Our Sex