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the oldest taboo

If you look at the world around you there are a myriad of variations and permutations. At every level of nature we see exceptions to the norm because nature is not perfect nor is it uniform.

Intuitively we should be able to arrive at the conclusion that gender identity should be no exception and why should it? That would make it the only area of biology that was uniformly predictable.

This anomaly however, has not been easily accepted since it strikes at the roots of our cultural norms.

Our societies are built on the premise that man and woman are clearly defined concepts and form the nucleus of a family unit which guarantees the survival of our species. Transgender people, no matter how small in number, challenge that model and turn society’s expectation on its head.

Parents would attempt convert their transgender children into models that would fit the expectation of the society they were to live in for the rest of their lives in. This is understandable given the amount of suffering they would typically be exposed to; most especially in religious societies built on very black and white concepts of how things should be.

Even as we accept that the transgender condition forms part of an expected anomaly of nature it collides with the Judeo-Christian concepts that western society was built upon. Science and religion have met this way in the past; Galileo being a notable example of someone whose work rattled the religious beliefs of his time.

It is more tempting and easier for some to believe that this all lies in mental illness in need of therapy. Of course this does not work because transgender people are perfectly sane. There is simply an imbalance in their own self perception of gender which is likely shaped by a myriad of possible factors which are currently difficult to trace scientifically.

The war which is now being waged is about how much to give in to the demands of a group that has been marginalized and ignored since humans have been of this planet. Some think that by giving transgender people recognition we are somehow condoning immoral behavior (as if this were an issue of morality which it is not).

To question your own gender has been our most fundamental taboo and why it’s becoming one of the last and hardest to fall.


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