I wonder if anyone is clear about what these various “my body is this form, but I feel like another form” discussions yield? In our society, a body with a penis is male, and a body with a vagina is female. That is a physical, sexual distinction. This distinction is important to procreation, on a purely biological basis. Females have the capacity to bring a fertilized egg, to embryo, through gestation, to live birth of a new person. Males do not. This is bisexual reproduction, without dispute. Early humans could not alter this law of nature. The fact that our world now has 7 billion people, is testament to this: vive la différence! (I know that physiology can be unclear in up to 1.7 percent of the world’s population, according to the UN, but let’s let the outliers lie out there.)
Then we have society. Sex is physical, gender is cultural, based on the expected roles and behaviors of men and women. Most of these expectations have evolved from physical traits and expanded family traditions. To act like a man was to think, speak, and act in ways that the alpha male did. Little boys worked at being like their father or big brother. Likewise, to act like a woman was to conform to the ways of other women, take cues from their mother and other female models.
Yet, humans have gone through amazing, changing models for men and women. Three centuries ago men wore fancy silk and satin clothes, high heels, wigs, and makeup. They moved and spoke in ways modern Americans would associate with women. We have also seen the division of labor of the past shift mightily. The roles and responsibilities of men and women are more alike than ever.
We inherited our intricate social structure and laws from humans who managed to survive and procreate. In any culture, to deviate from those complex behaviors was to jar the stability of, and threaten the survival of a family/community. Failure to conform to the spoken and unspoken rules of society was an invitation to punishment.
Homosexuality did not bear the fruit of children, which was a threat to the future of the community. Religions proclaim that it is a duty to God for people be fruitful, and forbid non-fruitful behaviors. Some religions even promoted polygamy to increase the number of children added to their flock. Being “non-fruitful” by having sex without the possibility of children was a sin. Such sins were often punishable by shaming, shunning, physical punishment, death, or exile. No one questioned the wisdom of the “scriptures.”
When societies expanded and advanced to the point that extinction was not as great a fear, people felt safer to allow themselves to be “non-fruitful.” Homosexuality was tolerated along with other “sins,” and “debauchery.”
Only recently, has America made homosexuality legal and sanctioned homosexual marriages.
But here is where I get confused: what exactly is “transgender?” At first, I thought it meant a homosexual who took action to physically gain the attributes of the opposite sex. Sounds painful and expensive to me; and not all men make pretty women.
But now I hear that transgender can mean that a person “identifies” as another sex without the physical transformation. I was surprised that Bruce/Kaitlin Jenner “identifies” as a woman, has gained breasts, grown long hair, bought a wardrobe of women’s clothing, but retains male genitalia. You think, maybe, he “identifies” as both male and female?
I am also hearing about people who call themselves transgender who do nothing physical, just “identify.” Boys who “identify” as girls, but are still physically boys, want to go to the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. Homosexuals have always used the bathrooms of their physical sex. What is different with transgenders who are physically boys or girls? For me, as long as the difference in preference or identity is not represented by your body, I say, your body determines which school or public facilities to use.