Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"I Identify as a Bird. Where are My Wings?"

As many of you know, I am of a certain opinion about being transgender. While having a debate/argument about what it takes to be a woman, I was faced with the argument "I identify as a bird. Where are my wings?" Here is my hopefully not long-winded response.

Genetics Don't Equal Identity

I stumbled across a post explaining that you can't be a real woman if you haven't experienced periods, miscarriage, and/or childbirth. I find this argument to be degrading. So because I may or may not actually have children of my own, you're telling me I'm not a real woman? My value and worthiness is strictly tied to the status and abilities of my uterus? I think not. 

I would like to reiterate that gender is not necessarily determined by one's biological sex. This is to say that what your genetics have to say doesn't really have to tell you who you are allowed to be. In addition, biological sex isn't a binary to begin with. Intersex is a thing. But once again, it doesn't really matter what your genitalia qualifies as, your spirit is its own entity.

Your Body and Your Soul are Not a Single Entity

I heard it best explained while in attendance of a Mormon church: your body is like the glove for your soul. Your soul is who you are. Your protective encasement is not. It is possible for you to feel in conflict with your body. Body image struggles are not uncommon.

I believe everyone has the right to feel comfortable in your own skin no matter how you choose to personalize it. For instance, I am really into body modification (a post for another time). I crave outward expression of my love for family and sparkles. I choose to personalize my glove in this way to better suit my soul.

You are the Only One who has the Right to Choose Your Labels

No one should EVER be forced to live within the constraints of a box chosen without his/her consent and approval. Growing up I was labelled as the smart kid. The smart kid stereotype comes with several shackles I have since thrown off, but throughout my junior high-high school years I struggled with finding myself outside of that box. Not being allowed to explore and choose my own labels that I could resonate with was stunting to say the least. And your DNA, your own body, should be the last thing to make decisions for you with which you have no peace.

Transgender suicide rates are ridiculously disproportionate. I think it is because there is a mindset that says your labels decide who your soul is allowed to be instead of allowing our souls to choose our labels (or even choosing to go without).

This was a pretty roundabout way of saying that just because someone who was born with the XY chromosome pairing wants to identify as a woman and undergo surgeries to make her glove more comfortable for her soul doesn't mean she should be constrained by her genetics. None of us are.

So where are your wings? Changing species isn't within the realm of possible. Choosing to follow where your heart leads you and finding your happiness is. Choosing to be imperfectly, humanly you is. Choosing to simply acknowledge and be who you were born to be is.

I don't know about you, but my wings are going to be permanently inked into my skin, and one day I will fly around this world to experience all that life has to offer. There are more important things than trying to force any and everything into boxes and making the people who want to pick their own boxes feel like death is a better alternative. Live and let live.