Stepping Towards Gender Identity
Throughout everyone’s lives, there will be an application that requires their gender to be identified. The options are male, female and other, but many question why ‘other?’ How could ‘other’ identify their gender in society? From past experiences, I remember signing up for multiple social media sites and coming upon the gender portion of the registration. Being a young girl at the time, I questioned why there was ‘other’ as an option for gender. Still, I didn’t ask anyone, believing that it was a sensitive topic. For years, I would notice ‘other’ in the gender category and ignore it, thinking it everyone else did the same. That was the case until I entered the LGBT community, getting informed by many that people with different gender identities classify themselves in the other category.
Like my younger self believed, there were only two genders, but there are many who will advocate for the existence of the gender spectrums; a majority of those advocators identify in the ‘other’ category. People will discredit them as there are biologically two genders, but this rising matter cannot be swept under the rug any longer.
Although it seems like a myth, there are plenty of genders that individuals are identifying with in modern times (Tolerance). Sex is defined by whatever is between one’s legs as this is how our biology is. However, there are countless people who feel that whatever they are defined as biologically is not comfortable with them. Thus, the existence of the gender spectrums arises and the fierce debate of whether or not it’s real is brought up. The idea of more than two genders has always been an idea in our minds, but many have chosen to ignore the thought; whatever has been drilled into our head will always prevail over new opinions that have been created (Huffington Post).
From the moment individuals are born, the idea of only two sexes are drilled into our minds. There are many exceptions that children are meant to strive for as a male or a female, not leaving any room for those who do not identify with either (GenderSpectrum). Females are made out to be beautiful beings that must focus on their appearance more than anything else. Males are to do all the heavy work and make new discoveries that would change the world. Even though modern day society attempts to make large changes for gender equality, this only regards the two everyone has been told about: males and females.
Although the gender gap is gradually closing between males and females, this only widens it for those classifying themselves in the ‘other category.’ Many classes in school are tailored to teach about the history of our country or any sort of useless information. There are even a few classes that are briefly discussing mental disorders and sexuality. Particularly in Farmington High School, there are a few sophomore classes that go in depth about mental disorders and talk about sexuality for a few minutes. Although these strides have been achieved, the gender spectrum is ignored consistently. If anyone were to ask a student how many genders there are, their response would most likely be two. However, science has clarified that male and females are only sexes of a person; the gender of someone is a social construct that someone comfortably identifies as.
Children and teens need to understand how gender cannot define who they are. No one will be able to explain that it is okay to not abide by the socially acceptable ‘two genders’ unless society begins to accept the gender spectrum. To do so, Washington state has integrated gender identity into their school curriculum (FPIW). From kindergarten to high school, students are required to think critically about the gender spectrum and how it impacts the modern world. This integration of the LGBT+ community expresses acceptance and the school’s interest to understand the spectrum. Also, this displays the necessity for unification in the modern and LGBT+ communities.
On a larger scale, social media giant Facebook now acknowledges 58 out of 63 genders of the spectrum (ABC News), there are still many who do not follow in their footsteps. Both instances of LGBT+ unification expresses that some people are willing to accept the gender spectrum. However, the majority of the country either do not understand this LBGT+ community or do not have an open mind. An example being that transgenders may not even be able to use the bathroom they identify with (CNN). The country creates a facade of accepting the LGBT+ community with never ending pride parades and the legalization of gay marriage, however, this is not the case with our new president.
With Donald Trump being America’s president, he is bound to create many conservative laws. The short lived freedom the LGBT community gained during Obama’s administration will be taken by President Trump; conservatives have the tendency to be against anyone not straight. Following along with this assumption, Trump has made it a state decision to choose whether or not transgenders may go to the bathroom with which they identify. Conservative states such as North Carolina have already passed a law making it illegal for transgenders to go to the bathroom they originally were assigned to. Many, including myself, were outraged by this decision. Those with a different gender are merely attempting to fit in as what they identify with; not allowing them to do so only proves that this country is not as free as we believe it is.
In saying this, the LGBT+ community will not be understood or accepted so easily in modern society. Like stated previously, Washington schools have become a paragon for education on sexuality and gender identity that will catalyze the acceptance of LGBT+ individuals. Not only will it educate people on this community, but they will have background information on these topics if they are to question themselves. Schools in Fairfax County now have adapted a new curriculum involving gender and sexualtiy (NBC Washington). If this continues, everyone will be educated and tolerable of the LGBT+ community.