Males are to refrain from displaying what is perceived to be weakness by embracing their feminine side and, while women have a little more latitude in their dressing, they are also discouraged from appearing too masculine.
It seems we love our gender binary and feel reassured by it.
But nature is made for variations. We see them at every level and there are mutations and permutations for just about every facet of creation; so why not gender as well?
It’s certainly not hard to prove that gender fluidity is simply part of the anomalies we are also expected to find.
There is biology involved of course because the male has the role of protector and the female desires certain qualities in her man that embodies those traits which encourage strength and virility. Early man counted on these qualities for survival and for propagation of the species.
However, with the transformation from hunter/gatherers to creatures of leisure who work in offices and factories, our expectations that these traits remain rigid are, arguably, less based on need and more on convention.
The percentage of people who display gender variance is relatively small and it’s not as if it’s contagious. In other words, people will not line up to become more gender fluid by virtue of increased societal tolerance. But people fear what they do not understand and, as creatures often programmed with rigid religious dictates and parental expectations, we take many years to undo the pressures of those early demands.
I was reading a short article in the Washington Post yesterday where a pastor of a fundamentalist Christian church talked about being transgender almost as a flaw to be corrected and offered up to God. What struck me once again is how often people who do not experience or understand gender disphoria in a personal way feel perfectly comfortable advising those who do. Repent for your sins and you will be saved.
This is a view that I myself espoused when I thought that my own disphoria was due to a personal weakness or character flaw. The older I became and the better I understood myself, the more I grasped that I was simply one of those variances of nature who simply wanted to behave in a way that was natural to me; even if that inclination went against what I was taught as being normal.
Being my own worst enemy, I fought the good fight against those inclinations but, since coming out as transgender to friends and family, I have realized that all of that angst and turmoil was nothing more than wasted energy. No one has disowned me nor have I lost friends over it; in fact I have been lauded for my candour and my courage in sharing this side of myself with them.
I don’t need to conform perfectly to the gender binary; I just need to be myself.