What is Gender?

What is Gender?

There is an abundance of arguments against the existence of transgender people. From “there are only two genders” to “trans is a mental disorder” all the way to “I don’t care how you dress, I don’t want men in my bathroom”. I believe that this kind of fear-mongering and hate that trans people receive is the reason that poor mental health among trans people is so high. Unfortunately, these views are also adopted by our government. It’s time for a change in attitudes towards trans people in the UK and I will attempt to debunk the Myth of Gender.

“You’re either a man or a woman”

There are 8,324,608 possible combinations of 23 chromosome pairs. When it comes to sex characteristics, it is usually considered that there are two possible combinations, XX and XY, and that somehow allows their bigotry towards transgender people – but it is not the case. There are some people who have differences in their sex chromosomes. For example, some people may have XXY, and some people may have one X or three Xs. These are genetic conditions, which means sometimes having these chromosome differences can result in medical complications.

Here’s a list of all known sex chromosome combinations: X, XY, XX, XXX, XXY, XYY, XXXX, XXXY, XXYY, XXXXY, XXXXX.

Now, this is important: having differences in sex chromosomes doesn’t mean that someone is transgender. Because being transgender has more to do with how someone feels. Do not reduce your perception of gender to some constructed binary that doesn’t even exist in genetic biology.

So why, knowing this, would a government prevent people from identifying as they please? Self Identification for transgender people is so highly debated amongst government officials but ultimately, there are two main arguments against Self Identification that I have seen in the UK, outside of the usual “transgender people don’t deserve rights” mentality.

“I don’t want that in my toilet”

The first – “it will validate and allow men to go into women’s spaces like toilets”. The flaw in this argument is obvious to me. I have seen no incidents surrounding this idea of TRANS people misusing this system in countries where this is legal, so this argument denies trans people rights on the basis that cis-gendered people will misuse it.

“You need gender dysphoria to be trans”

The next is transmedicalism. This is the idea that one must have gender dysphoria to be valid in a trans identity and that anyone who identifies outside of the binary of gender is invalid.

I have established that genetically there is no binary gender and so therefore for there to be a binary gender and sex must be separate, making gender not genetic but a social construct. I would like to remind you that Gender Dysphoria wasn’t required to be trans until 2013, whereas gender non-conforming people have been around for centuries. Gender Dysphoria was used to replace “Gender Identity Disorder”. It is precisely the same, it still classes it as a disorder and it is solely used to enforce the idea that transgender is a defect. There are tons of trans people who think that Gender Dysphoria is the only classifying factor for their identity. They are equal to the gay people who thought that homosexuality was an illness/defect. It’s gross and outdated. Shouldn’t we just allow people to be themselves rather than telling them they have a disorder?

Transmedicalism isn’t validating; it is a fleeting attempt to conform. The Tories implement this to keep Transgender people in a comfy little box and only allows men and women to exist. Transmedicalism as an idea is regression beyond what we had in the 20th Century. There was no dysphoria diagnosis in ’17 and ’31 when the first bottom surgeries took place, it was just used to relieve gender dysphoria. Sure the world wasn’t perfect, but they didn’t subscribe to some short-sighted exclusionary socially constructed bullshit that prevented people from being themselves.

Being trans only became “taboo” or “weird” in the 19th/20th century and here we are in the 21st century. Trans people exclude other trans people on the basis that “they’re not valid enough” and that they are “transtrenders”, because of some regressive politically charged and since debunked science which is now seen as valid because our government seems to support this ideology despite calling themselves as “inclusive” and “supportive” of the LGBTQ+ community.

Transmedicalism is a lie.

It’s used by government officials now to limit people’s freedom to express themselves. It’s outdated. So what can we do? We can push for reform, lobby local MPs (even the Tories), continue to force the issue before the government by signing petitions. Self ID won’t justify those going into the wrong bathroom with subversive intentions, it will purely allow people to be themselves.

My Response

So now moving forward we can see that the Conservative Party stands with a science-denying, Trans limiting ideology that prevents self-expression under the false pretences that “cisgender people will misuse it and go into the incorrect bathroom”. So what’s the effect of this?

According to Public Health England’s “Preventing suicide among trans young people” research, “In the UK at least one in two trans young people report self-harm. Trans young people also have high rates of substance misuse, another risk factor for suicide”. This research was conducted on people who identify as transgender in the UK – let alone those who aren’t legally classed as transgender under Britain’s bigoted and exclusionary viewpoint. Suicide rates are shown to go down in countries where self-identification is available to transgender people.

This shows that the Conservative Party prioritise a conspiracy theory about transgender people undertaking crime in women’s bathrooms over the mental well-being and safety of that group in our population. This is why Transmedicalism is such a dangerous idea, because it limits trans people to being mentally deficient rather than real human beings worthy of rights and that their life is less valuable than a myth about trans people in public bathrooms.

So what are the implications of this? Well not only have we established that there is binary in science, no binary in society [due to the socially constructed nature of gender] and that self-identification does not justify the misuse of private spaces such as toilets, what is stopping us from just allowing transgender people to be who they want to be in the UK? Why haven’t we put into place a system that doesn’t exclude people for “not being trans enough”, that doesn’t limit transgender to a mental disorder? There are two possibilities. 1, the Conservative Party, who have now been in power for over 10 years now, don’t want to move our country forward in the realms of self-expression or 2, they are transphobic as a party. I don’t like the implications of either.

To find my socials go to iocutmore.com. On my website, you can also find LGBTQ+ support links as well as a list of brilliant (mostly LGBTQ+) creators to who you should go and show some support. I hope you farewell until next time,

-Io

Bibliography

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