Respecting identities

What if we allowed people to define themselves?

The author has been a Chico resident since 1980.

I have always believed that today’s religious conservatives walk about through life wearing their own special brand of blinders. They see only what they want to see. And they truly believe that their view is the only possible view, without exception. They will never understand that they are not controlling their religion; rather, their religion is controlling them.

This discussion is not about religion. It is about gender. Gender is fluid. Gender is defined in one’s head and one’s heart. It has always been this way. The Creator observed a rainbow and decided human life should be the same. With today’s easy global communication and interaction, others are now accepting this new perspective that we are not all the same and that gender it is not a binary option.

One problem is that American society has trouble separating gender and sexuality. Gender represents how one self-identifies in society. Sexuality represents sexual behavior. A simple example: A biological boy decides that he wants to wear a dress to school. The old gender rule said, “Boys wear pants and girls wear dresses.” That is a gender issue. The same boy is sexually attracted to girls. That is a sexuality issue. How is it possible to apply a binary label to the boy? Is he straight, gay or just plain questionable? Do we call the boy he, she or they?

What if we did not have to apply labels? What if we allowed that boy to define his own label? What if his self-identified gender is none of our business? Rule One: Gender is not identified by one’s plumbing. Rule Two: We should respect an individual’s self-defined identity.

We are all colors in the rainbow of life. Our place within that rainbow is often defined at birth. It is not a world of all boys and all girls. It is not a world of binary choices. We now live in a world of choice and acceptance and self-identification. As to myself, I am the color in the middle of the rainbow.