Cate Mcgregor lashes out at LGBT community and why I’m sympathetic to gender non – binary people

Former Group Captain and Order of Australia, Catherine Mcgregor has lashed out publication Sydney Star Observer and the LGBT community, labelling them “capricious”, “discriminatory”, “narrow – minded” and “totalitarian”.She also opposes calling non – binary people “they” without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria:

I do not support bullying of trans or gay kids more than I support bullying of Muslims or Christians or fat kids or rangas. But you don’t just wear a nose ring and demand to be called “they” in the absence of a diagnosis.

Mcgregor isn’t the only trans person to criticise pronouns such as “they” when describing gender and the idea that gender is non – binary. American YouTuber, Blaire White, also a transwoman, totally rejects the idea that there are more than two genders:

Content Warning: coarse language

When I read Mcgregor’s article, I was conflicted. I still am. As a cis – gender female, I will be the first to say that I have no idea what Mcgregor or White have gone through. Mcgregor has said publicly that for her, the struggle was becoming too much. She says that she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – an acute distress over a person’s gender identity and sex not matching up. The latest Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), has used the term “gender dysphoria” instead of Gender Identity Disorder (GID), which has has been applauded as being a step to destigmatise trans people.

However, I’m not willing to say for certain that gender non – binary people are making their identity up as a political statement, like White suggests, or whether they (collectively), vary in political persuasions just as people in any other group.

I’m not willing to say that gender non – binary people are making it up, because, until very recently, that’s how many people viewed asexuality. In my teen years, two health professionals told me two myths about asexuality – one was that it doesn’t exist and another said it was a phase that people grow out of. The first isn’t true and the second isn’t true for most asexual people. Asexuality was classed as a part of hypo sexual desire disorder (HSDD), until the DSM V was modified. The idea that asexuality is a phase, doesn’t exist or is a mental disorder has left many asexual people feel confused, broken and isolated.

However, science is slowly proving that asexuality may be a legitimate orientation. According to Lorri Brotto and Morag Yule, research indicates that, like homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality, epigenetics seem to play a part in determining whether someone becomes asexual. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I think this is huge! Now, in terms of gender, I understand that there has been some research on cross – sex (MtF/ FtM) transgender people’s brain structures and differences have been noticed. Genetics may also play a part. An identical twin is more likely to identify as trans if his/ her identical twin identifies as trans. This research has only been very recent. In the past, I’ve looked up research on non – binary gender identities and there’s basically none. That’s not to say that non – binary/ agender people don’t exist and anyone who identifies that way is making it up. What I’m saying is, let the science catch up. Until then, I still don’t understand why people are still getting their knickers in a knot over the pronoun “they”. What’s so hard to call someone that if “they” prefer it?

What do you think? Am I wrong? I’d like to especially like to hear from trans/ gender non – binary people about this. Feel free to comment!

Advertisements

Why do we constantly confuse sex with gender?

CW: brief mention of suicide ideation. 

I was a little disappointed with former Labor Aboriginal Adviser, Warren Mundine on “The Bolt Report” last night, when he said, I thought quite flippantly, that in his day there was only two genders; male and female. I thought he may have been a bit more understanding of people who have been historically and, often, still continue to be marginalised. It did, however, make me realise something – that many people –  either accidentally or deliberately –  confuse sex with gender.

There are two SEXES, (not including intersex). There is male and female, XX and XY (again, not including intersex and other chromosomal conditions). That does not mean that everyone strictly identifies with either. I believe as cis – gender people, like myself, don’t have a right to tell non – cis gender people how they should identify or that gender identity is ‘simple”. It isn’t the case for everyone. Has anyone thought that many non – cis – gender people have tried telling themselves to be what sex they were born as, only to fall into depression and suicide ideation? Former Australian Defence Force Colonel, 2012 Order of Australia recipient and transwoman, Catherine Mcgregor has been very frank about her own personal struggles with her gender identity to the point where, before her transition, she was planning to take her own life. For some, transitioning and identifying as the opposite sex isn’t the answer either.

 

A genderqueer activist on the LGBTQ+ Christian website, Believe Out Loud, used the analogy of computer coding and explained that the digits are coded either 0 or 1 for a software to carry out certain tasks (downloading, uploading a photo on Instagram, etc). The writer went on to say that gender and sexuality in humans isn’t always so straight forward. About the whole, “in my day there were only two genders”? In 2013, creator and star of the hit musical,”The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, Richard O’Brien, told the BBC that he identifies as “70% man”.  and admitted to taking female hormone, although not surgery. The article goes on to explain briefly some findings that has come out of recent research about gender identity, what’s believed to determine it and how in some people, it, like sexuality, can be fluid.

 

Why is this important? Because transgender – identified people are still a heavily marginalised group all over the world. Transgender suicide rate in the West,is believed to be at 41% according to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The overall American rate is 6.4%. I truly believe that one of the main ways to combat this is if we get real about what transgender people experience and stop treating them as a joke. Because the marginalisation of transgender people, like any other group, it not a laughing matter.