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out for all to see

For most people biological sex and gender identity are closely aligned. They don't experience any disconnect between those two realities. Even if some push the envelope of what is accepted male and female behaviour they never flinch in their knowledge or understanding of who and what they are.

Today we recognize more than ever that these two aspects can also be misaligned in certain individuals; the most extreme example being a complete reversal leading to a need for correction.

So what constitutes male and female apart from biological sex? The most obvious answer would at first be the animas of masculine and the feminine. But these qualities can be almost entirely reversed in some persons with no apparent confict or discomfort.

Some women are entirely comfortable adopting masculine attire and behaviour which comes natural to them and it is likewise for some men towards the feminine. Strangely, the people most comfortable with their existing bodies who sometimes exhibit gender role reversals are also gay or lesbian. So now we are also touching sexual orientation.

Now things become complicated in that the elasticity in gender behavior does not always equate to gender dysphoria. So we are left scratching our heads in trying to understand where the dividing line is.

But the more I read about this topic and the more I observe people who cannot or will not conform to expected gender roles the more obscure and less predictable this subject becomes.

What helps matters today is that deviations from the norm are more accepted than ever and those who would take solace from this can feel less pressure to conform to binary rules. This flexibility offers options which in many cases don't require full transitions.

As I showed in yesterday's post not all are going to be comfortable with this malleability because it conflicts with their understanding of what sex and gender mean. For them there is a man and there is a woman. But in truth it is not that simple.

Yesterday I listened to CBC radio host Lara Rae discuss her gender role transition. She has been on hormones for about a year and without some form of facial feminization surgery she is not going to pass for a female. She mentioned how being addressed as sir was extremely uncomfortable for her but that it happens very often. She and others like her represent the face of the new challenge facing our modern world when it comes to sex and gender. She is taking this bold step at the age of 52.

Just like Caitlyn Jenner she faces the challenge of acceptance when there is nowhere to hide and your transition is out there for all to see.

No matter what some may think, the reality that transgender people require treatment is a reality and cannot be circumvented. Walt Heyer and the evangelicals can scream from the mountain top all to no avail.



Lara Rae



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