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framing your own identity

I am enjoying seeing the diversity we have in our world. Our increasingly tolerant environment is bringing out the true colours of people who were once too afraid to poke their heads out for some air. As a result, we are more than ever able to showcase and celebrate our differences.

It happened with sexuality. We naively thought that people’s sexual practices were restricted to monogamous relations between men and women but clearly there was much more than met the eye. There was the part society was supposed to see but more underneath.

Recently here in Canada, Gian Gomeshi, a popular radio host and personality, was dismissed from the CBC for engaging in a type of bestial sex that was essentially physical assault. He defended himself by saying that it was consensual but many women began speaking up and the broadcaster could not condone his activity by having Mr. Gomeshi continue to work for them. Admittedly, this particular case features one of the less desirable aspects of diversity.

There are all types of sexual kinks, tastes and orientations out there that I won’t go into detail about but should we then be surprised that there is an equally astonishing diversity in the area of gender?

We now have people who openly self identify as gender variant, gender non-conforming, gender queer, androgynous,transgender, transsexual, cross dresser, etc and within those designations (whatever their value) live their lives quite uniquely. Even those terms only have the meaning and power that you give them and can shift within lifetimes. In the end you are a human being with emotions, intellect and a desire to express yourself that reflects who you are. I suggest that the best name for that is being yourself; it's that simple.

So yes we have discovered that the expression of gender is not as monolithic as we first thought and what of it? it should not come as a shock because if you look at nature’s model on other fronts it is chock full of anomalies, exceptions, mutations and variations. We, as an inherent part of that nature, are not immune to them either.

People of every possible inclination have always existed and made themselves known and heard only as much as was permitted by the mores of the culture they happened to be living in. We still see this today where depending on the family your were born into and openness of your society, your divergence from the accepted norm could either be welcomed, tolerated or openly rejected. Remember that surgery and hormone therapy didn't exist for those people and yet they somehow survived.

You have a chance to define and frame your identity on your own terms more than at any other period in our history and for that we should all be grateful. Now do yourself the honour and the dignity to be the only person deemed worthy to do so.


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