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!

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What Do You Think?

This isn’t ace related. This is about gender. The reason why I posted it on this blog is because I understand that a number of Ace – identified people are also trans/ non – cis Identified. So, here goes.

Paglia: “Transgender Mania” Is A Symptom of West’s Cultural Collapse

I understand that CNS News is a conservative site. However, it’s also pointed out in the article that Camille Paglia also identifies as trans.

So, what do you think?

Acceptance

TW: suicide

The suicide of transgender teenager Leelah Acorn brung to light the conflicts that many LGBT face and the importance of acceptance, especially from parents. I just thought I’d talk about the term acceptance, including what it means in the context of asexuality.

What acceptance is NOT: 

  • Acceptance doesn’t mean understanding, in the sense that you know exactly what your LGBTA+friend/ child/sibling, etc is going through. Chances are you don’t really have a clue of what someone who is LGBTA+ is going through if you haven’t experienced things like they might. That’s OK. It doesn’t give your or anyone else the right to be rude or condescending though.
  • Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately change your beliefs about things. Even on Tumblr, Alcirn admitted that. Some people have deeply ingrained views about sexuality and gender, particularly if they’ve been heavily involved in a religious organisation where certain views on gender and sexuality are very black and white, particularly in a highly conservative environment.

What acceptance IS:

  • Acceptance is believing what the person is saying, or at least respecting the person enough not to be dismissive about what the person’s been telling you.
  • Acceptance means your overall view of the hasn’t been negatively affected to devastating proportions. If someone has ‘come out’ to you, and you need time to process what you’ve been told, by all means do it. May I suggest maybe doing research on gender/ sexuality information relevant to the person who’s come out to you. Read blogs, research papers, books/ ebooks/ iBooks, articles,whatever you can, just to gain some insight into the worlds of the group of people your friend/ loved one identifies with.
  • Obviously, acceptance means not ostracising the person from you or others

Research indicates that if a LGBTA+ person is accepted by loved ones, they are are lipless likely to be suicidal or self – harm. I think too, they’re less likely to be involved in harmful activities (drugs, etc). So please, please love and/ or respect the person who’s just come out to you. Chances are, the decision for the person to come put wasn’t the easiest for them either. It can be a nerve wracking experience, even when the likelihood of something bad happening is slim.

“Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality” – Part 1 Review

Sorry it’s taken a while to get to this. This post is a continuation of reviews of the book “Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality” by Julie Sondra Decker.

Part 1 basically gives a rundown on what asexuality is and what it isn’t. There is repeated emphasis that asexuality is an orientation: not something that can (or should) be ‘fixed’, the difference between asexuality and ‘purity’, that not all asexuals are religious (actually, I’ve queried on here before why so many asexuals are actually atheists). Also, she pointed out that asexuality should not be mistaken for asexual reproduction. Basically, to cut the rundown short, Decker wanted to emphasise that asexuality is an orientation. That’s it.

Just a note on trying to be ‘fixed’. It doesn’t work. The American Psychological Association, as well most other major organisations worldwide agree that any sort of effort to change one’s sexual orientation is futile at best to downright psychologically harmful at worst. In the latest version of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there was a modification to deliberately separate asexuality from disorders like Hypo Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) and Sexual Arousal Disorder (SAD). Unfortunately, the medical industry as a whole hasn’t caught on (more on that on a later post).

She also talked about asexuality and gender identity. Most asexuals identify as cisgender. This busts the myth that people are asexual because of being intersex or transgender, thus, linking asexuality to hormone situations often linked to intersexuality and transgenderism. Yes, there are many self – identified asexuals who do identify as trans or intersex, but it’s not all of them (there’s a few trans – identified people in the Asexuality group I participate in on Facebook. While a number of them do identify as trans, or fit under a non gender – conforming identity (agender, gender – fluid, etc), most are cisgender.

Next myth that was busted in the book was the idea that asexuals are “anti – sex”. Many asexuals are sex – repulsed, but most respect the fact that other people enjoy sex and deem it an important part of their lives, even if the asexual doesn’t. Anti – sexual comments and almost a reverse – discrimination, of allosexual people is usually actually frowned upon in asexual circles. Unfortunately, I’ve read that this makes people who are sex – repulsed (which is apparently statistically speaking, the majority), feel alienated, even in asexual circles. But most asexuals do respect the right for others to have consensual, legal sexual interactions.

She talked about this and I’ll further emphasise it: asexuality is not a trend or phase (for most people; some people can and do experience fluidity – she cited Dr. Lisa Diamond when pointing this out). To call asexuality a “trend” is quite frankly, ridiculous. Like really, we’re 1% of the population! It is just the way some people are wired/ built or experienced their sexuality. That’s it. It’s also not a reflection of the person to not find a “suitable” partner/ spouse (I honestly hate it wne so much value is placed on people’s ability to find a partner and get married – more on that later). I’ll talk more about this later, but I find the sentiment about this both absurd and, frankly, quite damaging.

All asexuls can’t be placed in a pidgeon hole. Som asexuals want romance (I talked about romantic orientation here). Of course, there are other variations, which i won’t describe here because I feel that i’m in danger of summarising the whole book part, which is not my intent.

A plea to the allosexual community, both from Decker and myself. If someone discloses to you that they are asexual, please respect the person and believe them. This is so important. Coming to terms that you’re anything other than straight, including asexual, can be terrifying to admit to yourself let alone anyone else. Please take our word for it.

 

 

 

 

 

Closets

I saw the first couple minutes of this TED talk just before. It’s very good. For the first couple of minutes, she talks about closets and how everyone, at some point, has one. Interesting point. I’ve never really thought about it that way.

Her conversation with a little girl about her gender was pretty endearing. I’ll let you hear the talk for yourself.

Gender Expression

Throughout the time I’ve studied (currently doing Early Childhood Education and Care), one of my favourite topics has been about diversity and, in particular, gender. It got me thinking about how I experience my own gender.

i’m a cisgender female. Never once in my life have I ever questioned the fact that I’m female. However, I have thought more about my own gender expression. When I was a kid, I was a girly – girl. I loved dresses, loved make – up and loved barbies. However, from my late teen years throughout my the first half of my 20’s, I realise that, unless I really have to, I don’t really go out of my way to be particularly ‘feminine’. The last time I wore make up was at my Year 12 formal and that was over five years ago. I do wear feminine colours, like pink, but I wouldn’t say that’s particularly because I want to appear more ‘feminine’. It just is.bi’m quite easy when it comes to colour/s.

I did read in a magazine that a study showed that women subconsciously dress ‘sexy’ or more attractive around certain times of the months in order to attract a mate. It got me thinking, does my own gender expression also reflect my asexuality, even on a subconscious level? Something tells me it’s not that much of a stretch to say it is.

Please note, I am NOT trying to suggest that young children express their gender in a way that indicates sexuality. I was just expressing my own thought on how I experience my own gender and why. I’m fully aware that gender and sexuality are separate, however, I wonder for some people, whether gender expression and sexuality do overlap.

What do you think about this? To asexual people in particular, how do you view your gender expression? Do you you think your sexuality plays a role in this? To people of other orientations, what do you think?