The difference between sex and gender is something we learn about in middle-school biology class. A person’s sex is determined by biology, but gender is how a person identifies or feels socially. If you’re a cis-gender person, meaning your gender corresponds to your biological sex, this might go in one ear and out the other. But for many people whose sex and gender aren’t the same, life can get very confusing early on. Plus, that same middle school could teach you there are two genders and you have to fit into one, until you get to college and learn that is far from true. In the video above, María José, Rain Dove, and Kate Bornstein talk about what gender means to them, why it isn’t a black-and-white issue, and what myths about gender they want to dispel.
José identifies as a “queer, gender nonconforming, trans-feminine person.” Bornstein identifies as a “nonbinary, trans-feminine, BDSM, Diesel Dyke, tranny.” Dove doesn’t believe gender exists, saying, “I’m not transgender because gender doesn’t exist in my book. I’m not transexual because I love the body I have. My state of being is just unique.” But what all three human beings have in common is the need to live their most authentic selves without judgment from family and friends, without fear of violence, and with compassion and respect. “We’re still not part of the traditional narrative of what life is,” says José. “You would never expect to bring a trans person to your household to introduce them to your parents, and I think that’s part of the violence, really. We need to just be seen as people.”
Bornstein thinks maybe it’s time we just stop enforcing gender upon people, saying: “If someone wants to be a man, OK, you’re a man. If someone wants to be a woman, great, be a woman. Enjoy the hell out of it.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Video by StyleLikeU